- US: Dow: 13075.70 (1.46%), S&P 500: 1385.97 (1.91%), NASDAQ: 2958.09 (2.24%)
- Europe: CAC: 3280.19 (2.23%), DAX: 6689.40 (1.59%), FTSE: 5627.21 (0.96%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4209.80 (1.50%), China: 2128.77 (0.13%), Hong Kong: 19274.96 (1.98%), India: 5099.85 (1.13%), Japan: 8566.64 (1.44%).
- Metals: Gold: 1618.00 (0.18%), Silver: 27.50 (0.19%), Copper: 3.43 (0.96%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 90.13 (0.83%), Natural Gas: 3.01 (-3.06%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.93 (2.19%), Soya Bean: 16.01 (2.19%), Wheat: 9.11 (1.56%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2306 (-0.19%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5728 (-0.25%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.4750 (0.36%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.541% (0.103)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 13,000 for the first time since May amid investor expectation that the central banks in Europe and the United States will take steps to prop up the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 188 points, or 1.5%, to end above the 13,000 mark. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) advanced 25.95 points, or 1.9%, to 1385.97, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 64.84 points, or 2.2%, to 2958.09. For the week, the Dow added 2 percent, the S&P rose 1.7 percent and the NASDAQ climbed 1.1 percent.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices increased for the fourth consecutive day amid hopes that the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will initiate more steps to provide stimulus to the economy and control the debt crisis. Crude oil for August delivery gained 0.8 percent, to settle at $90.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for September settlement increased 1.2 percent to $106.27 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI), the fourth-largest U.S. producer of the fuel reported second-quarter loss excluding one time items of 10 cents per share, narrower than a loss of 18 cents per share that analysts were expecting. Revenue increased 8 percent to $1.1 billion, also beating the average analysts’ estimate of $998 million.
- Footwear maker Deckers Outdoor Corp (NASDAQ:DECK) reported narrower than expected second-quarter loss of 53 cents per share, and said revenue for the quarter stood at $174.4 million, also topping Street estimates of $166.8 million.
- Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) will close its regional carrier, Comair, by the end of September, as it cuts back on low-margin regional services.
- Business-software maker CA, Inc. (NASDAQ:CA) reported first quarter earnings excluding items of 63 cents per share, 2 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.15 billion that missed consensus estimates of $1.18 billion. The company also cut its annual revenue forecast.
- KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) reported a 73 percent jump in second-quarter economic net income that easily beat analysts’ expectations, as the value of its holdings rose, and the company successfully exited from private equity investments.
- Automotive parts maker Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE:DLPH) has received regulatory clearance from the European Commission to buy FCI Group’s motorized vehicles unit for about $972 million, from Boston-based private equity firm, Bain Capital.
- The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) heart drug, Vascepa, used to treat patients with very high levels of triglycerides.
- Green Dot Corporation (NASDAQ:GDOT), a provider of prepaid financial services, reported second quarter earnings excluding items of 35 cents per share that missed analyst expectations of 38 cents per share. The company also lowered its full-year outlook.
- Weight loss company Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED) closed at a 52-week high after reporting better-than-expected second quarter earnings and raising its full-year earnings and revenue outlook.
- Healthcare IT company Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN) reported second-quarter earnings of 59 cents per share, beating the average analysts’ estimates of 55 cents per share. Second quarter bookings increased 8 percent to $700.5 million, but trailed estimates of $710 million.
- Computer networking gear maker QLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QLGC) plunged 11 percent after reporting lower than expected first quarter earnings excluding items of 26 cents per share, and also slashing its current quarter earnings guidance.
- Health insurer Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) closed 1.2 percent lower after reporting a second-quarter loss and warning that enrollment in its Texas health plans are likely to decline in the third quarter.
- Steakhouse operator Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DFRG) slumped in its trading debut, but managed to recover to close unchanged, after pricing its initial public offering below the proposed range.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Antoine Cornut, the head of flow-credit trading in the Americas and Europe at Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB), has left the bank this week to join a hedge fund, Bloomberg News reported.
- The $1.56 billion London Borough of Camden Pension Fund has doubled its hedge fund allocation to 10 percent of its total assets.
- Elliott Management Corp.’s global trading chief, Brian Miller, will be leaving after more than two decades in the hedge fund.
- Patrick Boyle, a former trader at Nomura Holdings, Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:NMR) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS), will launch his London-based hedge fund, Palomar Capital LLP, next month, with $50 million.
- A North Carolina hedge fund, Belltower Advisors has shut-down after its anchor investor pulled its money.
- Oaktree Capital Management has hired emerging markets veteran, Julio Herrera, to run its new Emerging Markets Opportunities strategy.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Friday, July 27, 2012
- Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) was lifted to “neutral” from “underweight” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) was raised to “equal weight” from “underweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
- International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) was upgraded from “outperform” to “buy” by analysts at CLSA.
- Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) was lifted to “outperform” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
- MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $70.
- Siliconware Precision Industries (ADR) (NASDAQ:SPIL) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
- Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
- Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) was downgraded to “market perform” from “strong buy” by analysts at Raymond James.
- BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:BGCP) was cut to “sell” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
- Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank.
- Douglas Emmett, Inc. (NYSE:DEI) was lowered to “underweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital.
- Green Dot Corporation (NASDAQ:GDOT) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
- Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ:PACB) was downgraded by analysts at Piper Jaffray from “neutral” to “underweight.”
- Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) was cut by analysts at Bank of America from “buy” to “neutral.”
- United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.