Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, economic news, company news and hedge fund news.
- US: Dow: 12932.10 (-0.59%), S&P 500: 1363.72 (-0.43%), NASDAQ: 2946.27 (-0.39%)
- Europe: CAC: 3124.80 (-2.86%), DAX: 6444.74 (-1.94%), FTSE: 5554.54 (-1.81%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4314.30 (0.30%), China: 2448.88 (-0.12%), Hong Kong: 20484.75 (-0.25%), India: 4999.95 (-2.23%), Japan: 9181.65 (0.68%).
- Metals: Gold: 1604.50 (-2.11%), Silver: 29.46 (-2.20%), Copper: 3.68 (-2.54%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 97.01 (-0.95%), Natural Gas: 2.39 (2.44%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.23 (0.48%), Soya Bean: 13.40 (-0.96%), Wheat: 6.15 (0.49%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3006 (0.40%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6159 (0.23%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.8250 (-0.08%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.840% (-0.031)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: Markets recovered more than half their losses, but still ended lower on Tuesday as political turmoil in Greece outweighed an increase in U.S. small business confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) recovered from a 198-point plunge, but ended below the psychologically important level of 13,000. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slid 0.4 percent to 1,363.67, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 0.4 percent to 2946.27
Oil prices fall for the fifth day: Oil prices fell for the fifth consecutive day amid post-election uncertainty in Greece and comments from the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi that prices should come down further. Crude oil for June delivery fell 0.9 percent, to settle at $97.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for June settlement declined 0.4 percent, to $112.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Company News Update
- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), the world’s largest entertainment company, posted second quarter earnings excluding items of 58 cents a share that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 55 cents a share. The company reported a net income of $1.14 billion, on sales $9.63 billion in the fiscal second quarter.
- Fashion accessories maker Fossil, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL) reported a 9.8 percent increase in first quarter revenue to $589.5 million, but fell short of even the lowest estimates.
- Fast-food chain The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) reported first quarter profit that missed street expectations, and cut its 2012 forecast.
- Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), the owner of cable networks such as Animal Planet and TLC reported first quarter profit that fell short of analysts’ projections, hurt by losses at the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) director Patti Hart is planning to step down from the company’s board amid questions over her alleged role in the hiring of Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson.
- Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) reported a 20 percent increase in first quarter profit to $98 million, or 66 cents a share, topping analysts’ estimates.
- Application software maker Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNCR) plunged to a 52-week low today after forecasting second quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates.
- Mail and document services company Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) reported first quarter earnings from continuing operations of 63 cents per share, better than the 50 cents per share which analysts were expecting.
- Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN) plunged 24 percent in trading today after the maker of the prostate cancer drug Provenge, reported first quarter results and outlook that disappointed Wall Street.
- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) said a Food and Drug Administration staff report showed the cancer risks associated with the biotechnology company’ obesity treatment lorcaserin were found to be in line with expectations.
Hedge Fund News Update
- The widely-followed Hennessee Hedge Fund Index fell 0.38 percent in April, compared with a decline of 0.75 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX). But hedge funds still badly trail the broader market index, after missing out on its first quarter rally. Equity long/short strategies were among the worst performers last month.
- High-end fashion retailer Barneys New York, Inc. has struck a deal with hedge fund firm Perry Capital, its largest lender, to reduce its long-term debt from $590 million to $50 million. In return Perry will acquire a majority stake in the company.
- According to observers, New York-based hedge fund Mason Capital Management has gathered enough shareholder support to derail Telus Corporation (TSE:T)’s plan to create a single class of common shares on Wednesday when the issue is put before shareholders.
- Man Group Plc (LON:EMG), Europe’s largest listed hedge fund firm, said Douglas Greenig, former mortgage-backed securities expert at RBS Greenwich Capital, will replace Matthew Sargaison as the head of risk at its troubled flagship fund, AHL.
- Richard Ruzika, the former Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) commodities chief, who was planning to start a hedge fund, Dublin Hill Capital, has died at the age of 53.
- Alp Ercil, the former head of Asia at New York-based Perry Capital, has raised $440 million for a private-equity style hedge fund that will focus on distressed investment opportunities in credit and equities in the Asia-Pacific region, Reuters reported.
- New York-based hedge fund firm Global Credit Advisers has launched a plan assets fund, the GCA Credit Opportunities Offshore Plan Assets Fund, which will be an extension of the firm’s master fund.
- Signia Wealth Limited said Ameet Patel, the former managing director at AlphaOne Partners, will join as head of alternative investments at the firm’s London office.
- Hedge fund tech provider Eze Castle Integration has opened an office in Hong Kong, in an effort to further consolidate its position in the Asia Pacific region.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Tuesday, May 08, 2012
- Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE:XEC) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Canaccord Genuity with a target price of $84.
- Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $76.
- Exco Resources Inc (NYSE:XCO) was raised to “buy” from “hold” at with a KeyBanc Capital Mkts target price of $10.
- Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $12.
- Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VCO) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays with a target price of $45.
- Callon Petroleum Company (NYSE:CPE) was cut to “market perform” from “market outperform” at Howard Weil with a target price of $8.
- MAKO Surgical Corp. (NASDAQ:MAKO) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Mizuho with a target price of $30.
- National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) was downgraded to “in-line” from “outperform” at Imperial Capital with a target price of $14.5.
- Thomas & Betts Corporation (NYSE:TNB) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $72.
- Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNCR) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Wells Fargo & Co.