- US: Dow: 12777.10 (1.62%), S&P 500: 1356.78 (1.65%), NASDAQ: 2908.47 (1.48%)
- Europe: CAC: 3180.81 (1.43%), DAX: 6557.10 (2.10%), FTSE: 5666.13 (1.02%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4082.20 (0.35%), China: 2185.90 (0.02%), Hong Kong: 19092.63 (0.35%), India: 5227.25 (-0.15%), Japan: 8724.12 (0.05%).
- Metals: Gold: 1592.00 (1.71%), Silver: 27.37 (0.77%), Copper: 3.50 (2.61%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 87.10 (1.18%), Natural Gas: 2.87 (0.00%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.40 (1.09%), Soya Bean: 15.52 (1.54%), Wheat: 8.62 (0.32%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2249 (-0.39%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5563 (-0.89%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.1650 (-0.14%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.488% (0.013)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets rally: U.S. markets ended significantly higher, buoyed by strong gains in financial stocks following JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s earnings report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) jumped 204 points, or 1.6 percent. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) added 22 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1334.76, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) climbed 42 points, or 1.5 percent.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices gained for the third consecutive day after China reported GDP data in line with analysts’ expectations, and North Sea production problems continued to worry investors. Crude oil for August delivery increased 1.2 percent, to settle at $87.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement climbed 1.3 percent to $102.40 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to rejoin the ‘EPEAT’ environmental ratings registry, after a controversy that saw San Francisco city officials planning to ban local agencies from buying Apple computers and notebooks.
- Oil refiner Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), which had spun off from ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) earlier this year, soared percent after billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced an investment in the company.
- Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) slumped in trade today after Lexmark International Inc (NYSE:LXK) cut its second-quarter outlook, late yesterday.
- A New York state judge has temporarily blocked Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO) from selling certain branded products at J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) stores.
- Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) have agreed to a settlement with retailers in a case surrounding interchange fees.
- Network equipment maker Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is expected to gain unconditional approval from the European Commission for its $5 billion acquisition of television software maker, NDS, Reuters reported.
- The Blackstone Group L.P.’s (NYSE:BX) credit arm will buy a group of housing development sites from troubled homebuilder, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:HOV), in a deal worth $125 million.
- Specialty chemicals company Cytec Industries Inc (NYSE:CYT) reported better than expected second-quarter earnings amid strong performance in the coatings unit.
- Presidential Life Corp (NASDAQ:PLFE) agreed to be acquired by a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd. for about $415 million in cash.
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) ended 7.4 percent lower after Stifel Nicolaus lowered its full-year earnings estimates, citing rising costs and falling prices.
- Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) jumped 3.7 percent after analysts at Goldman Sachs increased its earnings estimates and raised its six month price target to $46.
- Women’s retailer New York & Company, Inc. (NYSE:NWY) soared 19 percent after it said that fiscal second-quarter results should exceed its previously issued forecast.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Philippe Gougenheim, the former head of hedge funds at Swiss fund house Unigestion, has raised $80 million for his new hedge fund, the Glasnost fund, which will be launching in September.
- New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE:FIG)’s Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund was named the “Best Distressed Hedge Fund” at the Hedge Funds Review First Annual Americas Awards in New York.
- Lee Robinson’s Monaco-based hedge fund firm, Altana Wealth, in which Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) bought a stake earlier this year, has seen its Distressed Assets Fund and Inflation Trends Fund suffer big losses last month.
- Rafael Garcia Arbej, managing director at Och-Ziff Capital Management has left the hedge fund.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, July 13, 2012
- CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” at Wells Fargo & Co.
- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird.
- D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), KB Home (NYSE:KBH) and Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) were lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at MKM Partners.
- Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:DLR) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
- Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
- Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $72.
- Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ:THOR) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $45.
- Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Macquarie.
- Associated Estates Realty Corporation (NYSE:AEC) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $16.
- Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE:EW) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $38.
- NetSuite Inc. (NYSE:N) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at MKM Partners.
- Parkway Properties Inc (NYSE:PKY) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
- Sigma Designs Inc (NASDAQ:SIGM) was cut by analysts at UBS AG from “neutral” to “sell”.
- Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS) was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America from “neutral” to “underperform”.
- The Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE:RYL) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:TSS) was cut to “equalweight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital.