Every afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.
- US: Dow: 13131.10 (1.32%), S&P 500: 1390.94 (1.45%), NASDAQ: 3029.12 (1.54%)
- Europe: CAC: 3550.16 (1.69%), DAX: 6995.91 (1.35%), FTSE: 5995.91 (1.06%).
- Asia-Pacific:Australia: 4247.60 (1.21%),China: 2455.79 (0.85%),Hong Kong: 21339.70 (0.96%),India: 5429.50 (1.31%),Japan: 9899.08 (0.09%).
- Metals: Gold: 1681.90 (-0.73%), Silver: 33.44 (-0.43%), Copper: 3.89 (-0.29%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 106.56 (0.21%), Natural Gas: 2.32 (2.29%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.61 (0.27%), Soya Bean: 13.48 (1.07%), Wheat: 6.48 (-0.38%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3071 (-0.63%), GBP/USD: 1.5690 (0.31%), USD/JPY: 83.0300 (0.97%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 2.121% (0.088)
Market News Update
Dow rises to highest level since 2007 as Fed holds steady: U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward the highest level since 2007, after the Federal Reserve said it will hold steady on monetary policy. The S&P 500 index reached 1,384.75, its highest intraday level since June 2008, and the NASDAQ Composite hit 3,017.42, its highest mark since December 2000. Financial, technology and industrial shares were the biggest gainers in S&P 500.
Fed keeps policy unchanged: Federal Reserve kept interest rates at their historically low levels, acknowledging that recent signs of strength in the economy did not call for new actions to lower borrowing costs. Policymakers said that rates would remain near zero until at least late 2014, and announced no other changes to fiscal policy.
Retail sales post largest gain in five months: The Commerce Department saidU.S. retail sales recorded their biggest gain in five months, adding to signs that the world’s largest economy is gaining strength. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month, up from 0.6 percent in January. Sales of motor vehicles provided a big chunk of the increase.
Dollar gains against the euro: After the Federal Reserve policy makers raised their assessment of the economy, the dollar gained against the euro and the yen. The dollar strengthened 0.5 percent to $1.3086 at2:31 p.m. inNew York. It rose 0.9 percent to 82.95 yen after reaching an almost 11-month high.
Company News Update
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) continued its rally for the fifth straight day and jumped 1.9 percent after Jefferies Group Inc. increased its share-price target to $699.
- Intel (INTC) shares were trading higher today after news reports suggested the chipmaker is planning an Internet-based television service.
- Alcoa Inc. (AA), the largestU.S. aluminum producer, rallied 3 percent to $10.17.
- Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) fell 5.6 percent, the most in the S&P 500, after it reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed the average analyst estimate.
- FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS), the Norwalk, Connecticut-based financial-data supplier advanced 9 percent after it posted second-quarter profit and sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
- Midas Inc. (MDS), the operator of car-service shops agreed to be acquired by tire supplier TBC Corp., a unit ofJapan’s Sumitomo for $11.50 per share. The stock surged 27 percent to $11.45.
- Carmike Cinemas Inc. (CKEC), the fourth-largestU.S. theater chain recorded fourth-quarter revenue that exceeded the average analyst projection. The stock gained 14 percent to $10.33.
- According to a regulatory filing, drugmaker BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BCRX) will initiate a process to correct an apparent error by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that saw a patent for a hepatitis C inhibitor it discovered being wrongly issued to Biota Holdings Ltd. The stock slid 5.4 percent to $5.25.
- Private-equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) will buy the operator of indoor waterpark resorts Great Wolf Resorts (WOLF), through one of its affiliates, at a 19 percent premium to Great Wolf’s Monday closing price. The total deal is valued at about $703 million.
- Dell Inc. (DELL) agreed to buy San Jose, California based, SonicWall Inc. to gain network-security and data-protection tools, which should help the world’s third- largest maker of personal computers compete better with the smartphones and tablets.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Robert Lacoursiere, the head of financial investing at Paulson & Co. has quit after four years, to start an equity hedge fund that will focus on financial companies.
- According to a Hedge Fund Research report, the number of hedge fund launches in 2011 was the highest since the pre-crisis days 0f 2007. 1,113 funds were launched in 2011, with more funds being launched in theUnited States than inEurope.
- London-based Children’s Investment Fund Management, which is a shareholder in Coal India Ltd. (CIL), is planning to take legal action against board members of the state-owned Indian coal major for its alleged failure to protect interest of minority stakeholders.
- The world’s second largest hedge fund manager, Man Group, is all set to launch a new computer-driven fund to invest in commodities. Scott Kerson, the former Ospraie Management and Amaranth trader, will be heading the new fund.
- The $950 million St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association has adopted a new asset allocation model that will mark its foray into hedge funds and commodities. The public pension has allocated 5% for hedge funds allocation and its private equity allocation doubled to 10%.
- The head of systematic investing at the London-based $13 billion Capula Investment Management LLP, Qiang Dai, is planning to leave the company to pursue personal interests.
- Leading provider of strategic IT solutions and private cloud services to hedge funds, Eze Castle Integration Inc., and eSentire, one of the largest managed security solutions provider, today announced a strategic partnership to improve information security at hedge funds worldwide.
- SKCG, the insurance and risk management advisory group, has said that the recent regulatory crackdown on hedge funds has pushed rates for insurance covering potential lawsuit costs ever higher.