Every afternoon (and morning) we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news.
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 13169.40 (-0.29%), S&P 500: 1404.11 (-0.13%), NASDAQ: 3022.52 (0.05%)
- Europe: CAC: 3426.41 (-0.27%), DAX: 6909.68 (-0.50%), FTSE: 5831.88 (-0.26%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4283.30 (0.14%), China: 2136.08 (-1.53%), Hong Kong: 20081.36 (-0.27%), India: 5347.90 (0.52%), Japan: 8885.15 (-0.07%).
- Metals: Gold: 1612.60 (-0.63%), Silver: 27.77 (-1.05%), Copper: 3.35 (-1.15%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 92.73 (-0.15%), Natural Gas: 2.73 (-2.74%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.92 (-2.43%), Soya Bean: 16.00 (-2.69%), Wheat: 8.75 (-2.83%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2333 (-0.34%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5683 (0.02%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.3050 (0.04%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.664% (0.007)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets rebounded from lows made earlier in the day, but still closed lower on Monday, in a light-volume session, as a slower than expected economic growth in Japan added to ongoing worries over a global economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slid 38.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 13,169.43. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) snapped a six day winning streak to end 0.13 percent lower at 1,404.11, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) squeezed out a gain of 1.66 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 3,022.52.
Oil prices end marginally lower: Oil prices declined on Monday amid a dearth of macroeconomic reports and a weaker than expected Japanese GDP data. Crude oil for September delivery fell 0.2 percent, to settle at $92.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for September settlement rose 0.6 percent to $113.60 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported second quarter profit excluding some items of 8 cents a share that easily beat the average analysts’ estimate of 3 cents a share. Sales increased 45 percent to $568.3 million, trailing estimates of $575.3 million. Article to follow shortly.
- eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) ended 3 percent higher after data from web consulting company ChannelAdvisor showed that same-store sales jumped 28 percent in July from a year ago.
- General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said that its financial unit, GM Financial, is among bidders for the international operations that Detroit-based auto lender Ally Financial is planning to sell.
- Diversified industrial company Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR) has named Nelson Peltz of Trian Fund Management LP, to its board of directors. Peltz acquired a 7.1 percent stake in the company in May, and is one of its largest shareholders.
- Energy drinks maker Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) has doubled the size of its share repurchase program to $500 million.
- Food service supplier Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) reported an 8 percent decline in fourth quarter profit to $309.3 million, or 53 cents a share, from $336.3 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 6 percent to $11.04 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 54 cents a share on $11.04 billion in revenue.
- Don Stebbins, the Chief Executive Officer of auto parts supplier Visteon Corporation (NYSE:VC) has stepped down after four years at the helm.
- Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) is planning to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores, to form a new publicly traded company. In separate news, Barron’s reported that Sears could double to $100 a share if Chairman Edward Lampert succeeds in his bid to restructure the company.
- Chip-equipment maker FSI International, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSII) has agreed to be acquired by Japan’s Tokyo Electron Limited (TYO:8035) for about $252.5 million in cash, or $6.20 per share.
- Data management company Pervasive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:PVSW) closed 23 percent higher after privately held rival, Actian Corp, offered to buy the company for $139 million in cash, or $8.50 a share.
- Chinese digital advertising company Focus Media Holding Limited (NASDAQ:FMCN) said it received a $3.5 billion offer from a consortium that includes Chairman and Chief Executive Jason Jiang, and U.S.-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, to take it private.
- Midstates Petroleum Company Inc (NYSE:MPO) reported second-quarter net loss of $112.4 million, compared with a profit of $23.5 million last year. Total revenues for the quarter increased to $102.58 million from $64.66 million a year earlier. Separately, the company also agreed to acquire Mississippi lime assets in Oklahoma and Kansas from Eagle Energy Production LLC for $650 million in cash and stock.
- Software company NetSol Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:NTWK) soared 13 percent after issuing an upbeat fiscal 2013 outlook.
- British soccer club Manchester United Ltd (NYSE:MANU) ended 1.1 percent higher, above the initial offering price of $14 a share. The world’s most famous soccer club debuted on the U.S. stock market on Friday.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge fund managers trimmed their net-long positions across commodities for the first time in nine weeks, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
- Leon Cooperman’s New York-based hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc., has reduced its stakes in JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) in the second quarter, and completely offloaded its position in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), according to a report in Bloomberg News.
- Hedge fund managers, who are short European stocks, are unwinding their positions at the fastest pace in three years, amid hope that policy makers will take concrete steps to resolve the region’s debt crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, Pasadena, California, the $38.6 billion pension fund, has hiked its hedge funds allocation to 3 percent from 1 percent, while private equity was raised to 11 percent from 7 percent, chief investment officer David Kushner said.
- New York-based credit hedge fund, Marathon Asset Management LP,had shorted debt of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) in the first half of this year, and closed most of the position in early July, at about double the level at which the hedge fund bought them, Bloomberg reported.
- Fort Lauderdale Police & Fire Retirement System, the $503 million Florida pension fund, has hired New York-based hedge fund-of-funds manager, EnTrust Capital to manage $23 million.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, August 13, 2012
- Copano Energy, L.L.C. (NASDAQ:CPNO) was upgraded to “neutral” from “reduce” by analysts at Global Hunter Securities.
- ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Societe Generale.
- EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE:HPY) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Packaging Corp of America (NYSE:PKG) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
- The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Tranzyme Inc (NASDAQ:TZYM) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Canaccord Genuity with a target price of $7.
- WNS (Holdings) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:WNS) was raised to “neutral” from “underweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:PANL) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Wedbush.
- Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Cardtronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CATM) was lowered to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase.
- J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
- Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA) was lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” at Morgan Stanley.
- Penn West Petroleum Ltd (USA) (NYSE:PWE) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
- Robbins & Myers, Inc. (NYSE:RBN) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $60.
- Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCHN) was lowered to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Syntel, Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNT) was cut by analysts at JPMorgan Chase from “overweight” to “neutral.”
- Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) was downgraded by analysts at Caris & Co. from an “above average” rating to an “average” rating.
- The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) was lowered to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- Wright Express Corp (NYSE:WXS) was cut to “underweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.