Post Market Update
* US: Dow: 12871.40 (-0.07%), S&P 500: 1365.24 (0.23%), NASDAQ: 2951.23 (0.55%)
* Europe: CAC: 3240.20 (1.34%), DAX: 6496.08 (1.23%), FTSE: 5640.64 (1.23%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4133.00 (0.94%), China: 2226.11 (0.03%), Hong Kong: 19441.46 (0.00%), India: 5278.60 (-0.01%), Japan: 9003.48 (-0.04%).
* Metals: Gold: 1597.70 (-0.41%), Silver: 27.50 (-0.41%), Copper: 3.47 (-0.79%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 83.75 (-1.42%), Natural Gas: 2.82 (0.00%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.55 (3.31%), Soya Bean: 14.38 (0.72%), Wheat: 7.90 (1.80%)
* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2586 (0.60%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5715 (-0.04%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.5150 (-0.35%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.587% (-0.058)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets erased most of their earlier losses to end mixed on Monday amid hopes for a stimulus from the Fed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slipped 0.07 percent to close at 12,871.39. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) added 0.25 percent to end at 1,365.51, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.55 percent to finish at 2,951.23.
U.S. manufacturing shrinks: Manufacturing in the US declined in June, for the first time in nearly three years, adding to signs that the economy is faltering. The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of national factory activity declined to 49.7 in June, from 53.5 in May. Economists were expecting a reading of 52.0. This is the first time since July 2009 that the index has recorded a reading of below 50, that separates expansion from contraction.
Oil prices fall:Oil prices declined on Monday as weak manufacturing data from several major economies reinforced investor concerns that a slowdown in economic growth will hurt demand for petroleum. Crude oil for August delivery fell 1.4 percent, to settle at $83.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement fell 0.5 percent to $97.34 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.Fresh threats from Iran to close the straits of Hormuz, had little impact.
Stocks in Focus
* Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is trying to reach a settlement with European Union regulators on charges that the technology giant may have abused its dominance in the online search market.
* Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said that its online services division will take a $6.2 billion non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to its 2007 acquisition of internet advertising firm aQuantive Inc.
* GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) agreed to plead guilty and pay $3 billion over charges that it marketed two popular prescription drugs for unauthorized uses.
* Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN) and Washington-based private-equity firm, Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), ended the day higher, after the two agreed to form a joint venture to keep Sunoco’s troubled Philadelphia refinery, running.
* Lighting fixture maker Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI)soared 16 percent in trade today after reporting a better than expected third quarter earnings, excluding certain items of 82 cents per share. Revenue increased 6.4 percent to $487.5 million amid stronger sales volume and higher prices.
* European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS NV (EPA:EAD), today announced plans to build a new facility in Alabama to produce commercial planes. * Energy giant Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is planning to participate in an oil and gas tender of six blocks in the Afghan-Tajik Basin of northern Afghanistan, Reuters reported.
* According to media reports, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) founder Richard Schulze is not expected to present a buyout offer for the electronics retailer anytime soon.
* The US Government Accountability Office today upheld the Defense Department’s award of a $20.5 billion military contract to UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH).
* Houston-based oil & gas exploration and production company ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ:ATPG) said it discovered natural gas at one of its wells in the Levant Basin off the coast of Israel.
* AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX), the parent company of AMC, IFC, Sundance and WE channels, ended the day significantly higher, after arriving at a deal to keep its shows on AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s U-verse TV service.
* Computer-software company, VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), has agreed to acquire cloud automation solutions provider, DynamicOps, Inc., for an undisclosed sum.
* Chip technology developer Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA) slumped 2.6 percent after receiving a notice from Taiwan-based Powertech Technology Inc. (TSE:6239) that it will terminate a license agreement between the companies as of June 30, 2012.
Hedge Fund News Update
* Large hedge funds increased their short position against euro futures last week, amid investor nervousness ahead of the key two-day European Union summit, according to a report compiled by Hedge Fund Monitor, in collaboration with analysts at Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC).
* Paul Tudor Jones’ Tudor Investment Corp. launched its first new macro fund in a decade. The Tudor Discretionary Macro Portfolios, which debuted with $500 million, will be managed by 14 portfolio managers, Bloomberg reported.
* Hedge fund managers increased their bullish bets across 18 U.S. futures and options by 15 percent in the week ended June 26, just before European leaders agreed to a 120 billion-euro ($151 billion) plan to contain the region’s debt crisis, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
* Activist investor Carl Icahn will nominate four people to the board of New York-based drug maker, Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX), where he is the second largest shareholder, and said that he intends to look at disclosures made by long-time Chief Executive, Howard Solomon, before he sold-off more than $500 million worth of the company’s stock several years ago.
* Hedge funds fell 1.38 percent in the second quarter of 2012, outperforming the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), which was down 5.44 percent quarter to date, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch investable hedge fund composite index.
* London-based Cube Capital’s event-driven fund, Cube Global Opportunities, has been opened to outside investors. The $100 million fund, launched in May 2009, is yet to have a down year.
* According to research from hedge fund tracking firm, eVestment|HFN, funds of hedge funds accounted for only 36 percent of overall hedge fund assets at the end of the first quarter of 2012, down from 38 percent in the same quarter last year.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, July 02, 2012
* Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO) was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays Capital with a target price of $105.
* GATX Corporation (NYSE:GMT) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets with a price target of $45.
* KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) was lifted to “outperform” from “perform” at Oppenheimer with a target price of $18.
* Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at BB&T Capital Markets.
* Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays Capital with a price target of $104.
* TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) was lifted to “long-term buy” from “hold” by analysts at Hilliard Lyons with a target price of $35.
* Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Canaccord Genuity with a price target of $63.
* Analog Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADI) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Sterne Agee with a target price of $32.
* Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS) was downgraded to “perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Oppenheimer.
* Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $54.
* Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST)was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. The stock was also lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” at Barclays Capital.
* Fossil, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
* NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Argus.
* The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) was cut to “sell” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $17.
* Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE:SYA) was downgraded to “underweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a price target of $10.
* WPX Energy Inc (NYSE:WPX) was lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $19.