- US: Dow: 13035.90 (-0.42%), S&P 500: 1404.94 (-0.12%), NASDAQ: 3075.06 (0.26%)
- Europe: CAC: 3399.04 (-1.58%), DAX: 6932.58 (-1.17%), FTSE: 5672.01 (-1.50%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4303.50 (-0.61%), China: 2043.65 (-0.76%), Hong Kong: 19429.91 (-0.67%), India: 5274.00 (0.39%), Japan: 8775.51 (-0.10%).
- Metals: Gold: 1696.00 (0.50%), Silver: 32.41 (3.08%), Copper: 3.47 (0.35%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 95.30 (-1.21%), Natural Gas: 2.85 (1.96%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.05 (0.47%), Soya Bean: 17.68 (0.55%), Wheat: 8.88 (-0.08%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2566 (0.17%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5871 (0.09%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.4050 (0.15%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.572% (0.024)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets recovered from lows made earlier in the day to close mixed on Tuesday as investors await a crucial ECB meeting later this week. On the economic front, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 49.6 percent in August, the worst reading since July 2009. Economists had expected the index to rise to 50.2 percent. Construction spending fell in July for the first time in four months, the Commerce Department said today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 54.90 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 13,035.94. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dipped 1.64 points, or 0.12 percent, to finish at 1,404.94, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) squeezed out a gain of 8.10 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 3,075.06.
Oil prices fall: Oil prices declined on Tuesday after data showed U.S. manufacturing contracted in August for the third consecutive month, and construction spending dropped in July. Crude oil for October delivery slid 1.2 percent, to settle at $95.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for October settlement fell 1.4 percent to $114.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) slid 1.8 percent to close at a new all-time low of $17.73, down more than 53 percent from its initial public offering price of $38, after analysts at Morgan Stanley slashed its price forecast. But shares are up 1.8 percent in extended-hours trading after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg vowed not to sell his shares for at least 12 months.
- FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) slashed its first quarter earnings outlook, and said that its now expects to earn between $1.37 and $1.43 a share, lower than its initial forecast of $1.45 to $1.60 a share
- The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) reported second-quarter profit of $33 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with a profit of $14 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales for the quarter increased less than 1 percent to $525.7 million from $522.6 million, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 16 cents per share, on revenue of $528.27 million.
- Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s August U.S. sales rose 13 percent to 197,249 vehicles, while General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) posted a 10 percent rise in sales last month from the year-ago period, to 240,520 units. Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203)‘s sales spiked 46 per cent in August to 188,520 vehicles, while Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) (TYO:7267)‘s sales jumped 60 per cent to 131,321 vehicles.
- Specialty tea retailer Teavana Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TEA) reported second quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, in line with expectations, while revenue came in at $43 million, topping estimates for $40 million. The company provided better than expected full-year revenue outlook, but current-quarter earnings guidance was weaker than expected.
- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced a multi-year licensing deal in the United States with Hollywood studio consortium EPIX that will bring about 3,000 movie titles to Amazon’s streaming video service, Prime Instant Video.
- Women’s clothing retailer Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FRAN) reported second quarter earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $76 million that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 24 cents a share on revenue of $71 million. The company provided better than expected current quarter and full-year earnings and revenue outlook, and announced that chief executive John De Meritt will retire at the end of the year.
- Guidewire Software Inc (NASDAQ:GWRE) posted fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 10 cents a share, on revenue of $68 million that easily beat Street estimates of earnings excluding items of 4 cents a share on revenue of $59 million.
- Fiber optic component vendor Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR) reported first quarter earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $221 million that trailed estimates of 14 cents a share on revenue of $226 million.
- Supermarket operator Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) said it plans to start selling its own single-serve coffee cups, called Java Delight, compatible with leading brewing systems, such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)’s Keuric.
- Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:TSEM) soared 9.8 percent after the maker of customized chips yesterday said it won a new contract with current customer Vishay Siliconix.
- Offshore-oil driller Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) slumped 2.3 percent after it said that third-quarter financial results are expected to be hurt by operational developments and rig delays in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.
- First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) ended 5.4 percent lower, resuming losses from last week following a report that the company had halted solar-panel deliveries to the 397 megawatt Agua Caliente power plant in Arizona.
- Wastewater-treatment company Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK) agreed to buy privately held North Dakota-based Power Fuels in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $381 million.
- For-profit education provider DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV) said that its board has approved a new share repurchase program of up $100 million.
- Florida based special effects company Digital Domain Media Group Inc (NYSE:DDMG) plunged 32 percent after the company said in an SEC filing that it defaulted on a $35 million loan.
Hedge Fund News Update
- David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital gained 4.2 percent in August, and is up 10.9 percent for the year, as insurer Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), Greenlight’s seventh largest position, soared 28 percent during the last four weeks.
- Hedge fund manager Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) has teamed up with Japanese investment banking giant Nomura, to launch a computer-driven fund, the Nomura Man Systematic Fixed Income fund that aims to earn profits trading government bonds.
- Hedge fund managers increased their bullish bets on gasoline to the highest level since the week ended May 1, as Hurricane Isaac curtailed production on the Gulf of Mexico and a deadly gas explosion closed Venezuela’s largest refinery, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- Hedge funds gained 0.17 percent month to date as of August 29, data from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch investable hedge fund composite index showed, with event-driven and equity long/short producing the best gains.
- Canadian telecommunications company TELUS Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TU) (TSE:T) has launched legal proceedings to quash a plan by New York hedge fund Mason Capital to hold its own shareholder meeting.
- Schroders will launch a UCITS-compliant global macro fixed-income fund, GAIA Global Macro Fund, in October, 2012.
- Tokyo-based Atom Capital Management has launched a new long/short fund, the Atom Japan Fund, and is hoping to raise about $100 million in its first year.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Tuesday, September 04, 2012
- ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase with a target price of $29.
- Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB) was lifted to “outperform” from “strong buy” by analysts at Raymond James with a target price of $6.
- Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Zacks with a target price of $34.
- Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Leerink Swann.
- Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ:INFA) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $40.
- Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) was upgraded to “neutral” from “reduce” by analysts at Nomura with a target price of $11.
- News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $28.
- NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods with a target price of $29.
- TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase with a target price of $13.
- Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE:VSH) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $13.
- Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Dahlman Rose.
- Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) was lowered to “underweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Evercore Partners with a target price of $4.
- American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $44.
- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was downgraded to “buy” from “conviction buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $415.
- Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at Piper Jaffray.
- NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) was lowered to “underweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Evercore Partners.
- NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $38.
- Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNCR) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:SWKS) was lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $28.
- Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Dahlman Rose.