- US: Dow: 12496.40 (-0.62%), S&P 500: 1312.05 (-0.92%), NASDAQ: 2818.61 (-0.86%)
- Europe: CAC: 3030.04 (-0.56%), DAX: 6152.49 (-0.14%), FTSE: 5483.81 (0.18%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4063.80 (-0.22%), China: 2318.92 (1.26%), Hong Kong: 19026.52 (0.81%), India: 5121.45 (0.11%), Japan: 8587.84 (0.60%).
- Metals: Gold: 1619.40 (0.35%), Silver: 28.94 (-0.03%), Copper: 3.34 (0.12%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 82.62 (-0.84%), Natural Gas: 2.18 (-2.11%)
- Commodities: Corn: 5.10 (-2.30%), Soya Bean: 13.19 (-1.29%), Wheat: 6.16 (0.00%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2568 (-0.51%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5519 (0.33%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.3450 (-0.26%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.605% (-0.060)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets declined on Wednesday as retail sales dropped, and concern about euro zone debt crisis grew after Egan-Jones downgraded Spain’s credit rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 0.62 percent to finish at 12496.40. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 0.70 percent to end at 1,314.88, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) dropped 0.86 percent to finish at 2,818.61.
Oil prices drop: Oil prices slumped to an eight-month low on Wednesday after a drop in U.S. retail sales in May offset U.S. government data that showed domestic crude stockpiles fell last week. Crude oil for July delivery fell 0.8 percent, to settle at $82.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for July settlement dropped 1 cent to $97.13 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Company News Update
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) closed 1.6 percent higher after Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told the Senate Banking Committee that the $2 billion trading loss was an “isolated incident.”
- Discount chain Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) increased its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 36 cents a share. The increase in quarterly dividend will cost the company about $158.7 million a year. The stock ended the day 0.2 percent lower.
- Internet giant Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has entered into an agreement with CNBC LLC of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), to share business-news content.
- Morgan Stanley (MS) has named Claus Skrumsager and Leo Civitillo as global co-heads of fixed-income underwriting, three months after William Jennings Bryan, the U.S. bond-underwriting chief was arrested on charges of stabbing a New York cab driver.
- United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) today sold $1 billion of convertible notes, to fund its acquisition of aircraft components maker Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR).
- Steelmaker Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) expects second quarter earnings to miss its previous guidance, as a surge in cheap steel imports from Turkey and Russia continues to pressure prices.
- Cancer drug maker Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) announced that its board has authorized a new $2.5 billion share buyback program.
- Sealy Corporation (NYSE:ZZ), the largest bedding manufacturer in the world, has acquired a non-controlling stake in New Jersey-based foam mattress maker Comfort Revolution. The details of the deal were not released.
- Tools giant Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) has put its hardware and home-improvement unit up for sale, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- English soccer club Manchester United is planning to list as a public company in the United States, Reuters reported.
- Email marketing company Constant Contact, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTCT) has entered into a deal to acquire New York-based Singleplatform Corp. for as much as $95 million in cash.
- Video technology provider KIT digital, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITD) said in a regulatory filing that it is in talks with several prospective buyers.
- Private label coffee maker Coffee Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:JVA) swung to a loss in the second-quarter as a decline in coffee prices hurt performance.
- Specialty medical-device maker C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) raised its quarterly dividend by 5.3 percent and announced a $500 million share buyback program.
Hedge Fund News Update
- According to a report by BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment, the hedge fund industry witnessed redemptions of over $5 billion (0.3 percent of total industry assets) in April, following inflows of $2.8 billion in March, as growing uncertainty in the euro zone affected investor sentiment. Hedge funds were down 0.59 percent in April, but managed to outperform the S&P 500.
- Elliott Management founder Paul Singer’s efforts to pass a state law that would allow his firm to pursue post court judgment claims against Argentina and other foreign states, has received a major setback, when the bill failed to make it out of the judiciary committee.
- Swiss fund of hedge funds EIM has hired Robert Phillips, the former deputy head of research at UBP Alternative Investments, as the new global head of equity long/short research.
- UK-based Odin Capital Management will launch its first hedge fund on July 1. The offshore fund will be followed by an onshore launch in the U.S. later in the year.
- Joe Dear, the chief investment officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest public pension, will head the Securities and Exchange Commission’s newly formed investor advisory committee.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
- AGCO Corporation (NASDAQ:AGCO) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Buckingham Research.
- Genon Energy Inc (NYSE:GEN) was raised to “neutral” from “sell” at UBS with a target price of $1.5.
- Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS with a target price of $28.
- Tesco PLC (ADR) (PINK:TSCDY) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at HSBC Securities.
- Venoco, Inc. (NYSE:VQ) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $12.5.
- Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was raised to “equal weight” from “underweight” at Evercore Partners.
- Capstead Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:CMO) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” at RBC Capital Mkts with a target price of $14.
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Bernstein with a target price of $21.
- Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Lazard Capital.
- Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Buckingham Research.
- VistaPrint Limited (NASDAQ:VPRT) was cut to “equal weight” from “overweight” at Barclays Capital with a target price of $29.
- Power Integrations, Inc. (NASDAQ:POWI) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Sterne Agee with a target price of $43.