- US: Dow: 13323.40 (0.52%), S&P 500: 1433.56 (0.31%), NASDAQ: 3104.53 (0.02%)
- Europe: CAC: 3537.30 (0.88%), DAX: 7310.11 (1.32%), FTSE: 5792.12 (-0.02%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4325.80 (-0.18%), China: 2120.55 (-0.68%), Hong Kong: 19857.88 (0.15%), India: 5390.00 (0.50%), Japan: 8807.38 (-0.70%).
- Metals: Gold: 1734.90 (0.18%), Silver: 33.57 (-0.20%), Copper: 3.70 (0.23%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 97.17 (0.65%), Natural Gas: 2.99 (6.40%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.77 (-0.70%), Soya Bean: 17.01 (-1.00%), Wheat: 8.83 (-0.67%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2854 (-0.75%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6069 (-0.50%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 77.7550 (-0.64%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.701% (0.046)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets rebounded from yesterday’s pull-back, to close higher on Tuesday, with the Dow back at its highest level since December 2007. All eyes are on Fed’s two-day policy meeting that wraps up on Thursday afternoon, when investors are expecting announcement about new stimulus measures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) gained 69.07 points, or 0.52 percent, to end at 13,323.36. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) added 4.48 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish at 1,433.56, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) eked out a gain of 0.51 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 3,104.53.
Oil prices rise: Oil prices edged higher in a choppy session on Tuesday amid investor hopes for further stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. Crude oil for October delivery rose 0.7 percent, to settle at $97.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for October settlement gained 0.2 percent to $115.09 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) agreed to buy the rest of its brokerage joint venture, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), for about $13.5 billion.
- Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) narrowed its third-quarter earnings guidance to between 38 cents and 42 cents a share, and revenue to between $3.27 billion to $3.41 billion. The chipmaker had earlier forecast earnings of 34 cents to 42 cents share, with revenue between $3.21 billion to $3.47 billion.
- PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) said that its president John Compton will leave the company and will be replaced by the CEO of its European division, Zein Abdalla.
- Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) soared 7.7 percent higher after Chief Financial Officer Jason Child told an investor conference that the company is taking steps to send more relevant daily deals to subscribers in Europe. Separately, latest data from internet analytics company ComScore showed an increase in traffic to its website.
- Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG) has hired International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) to identify the cause of its August 1 trading glitch that led to a $440 million loss.
- Globecomm Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:GCOM) posted fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 13 cents a share, missing expectations for 20 cents a share. Revenue came in at $105 million against estimates for $99 million. The company provided full-year outlook that disappointed.
- Specialty finance company CYS Investments Inc (NYSE:CYS) slashed its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 45 cents a share from 50 cents a share.
- Specialty food distributor United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) reported fourth quarter profit of 51 cents per share, in line with analysts’ expectations. Net sales for the quarter increased 16 percent to $1.34 billion. The company provided full-year earnings outlook that was below Street expectations.
- The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) hit an all-time high in trade today after its chief executive Jay Fishman said business and individual insurance rates continued to rise in the third quarter.
- Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) rose 8 percent after it said that it has invested in cloud gaming company CiiNOW. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSS) soared to a two-year high after the company said it is expanding a study of its experimental blood cancer drug, vosaroxin.
- Kraft Foods Inc (NASDAQ:KFT) has agreed to acquire Morocco’s top cookie maker, Bimo, from a local investment holding company, controlled by the country’s royal family, for 1.31 billion dirhams ($151 million).
- Student loan lender SLM Corporation (NASDAQ:SLM) ended 1.3 percent higher after chief executive Al Lord said at a Barclay’s conference in New York that the stock is too low, leading to investor speculation of more buybacks.
- Filtration products maker Polypore International, Inc. (NYSE:PPO) warned that its third-quarter earnings would come in below forecasts due to weaker than expected demand that led to delays in customer orders.
- Irish clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) told investors that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has still not decided on granting exclusive marketing rights to its heart pill, Vascepa.
- Israel-based semiconductor company Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) rose 0.8 percent higher following a Reuters report that the company was approached several times by potential buyer over the past year.
- Telecom equipment maker Calix, Inc. (NYSE:CALX) closed 7.1 percent higher after a regulatory filing showed that Chief Financial Officer Michael Ashby bought 50,000 shares of the firm.
- Cell Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CTIC) soared 39 percent after the company announced the European launch of its non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma drug, Pixuvri.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Hedge fund redemption requests in July stood at $7.4 billion, up sharply from the $4.2 billion pulled out in June, according to a research report released by BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research on Tuesday.
- Hedge funds gained 0.47 percent in August, and are up 3 percent year to date, according to the Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index. Event-driven funds, distressed debt funds and relative value funds were the best performers.
- The Texas County & District Retirement System has committed $175 million to Connecticut-based hedge fund firm Graham Capital Management.
- York Capital Management’s flagship fund, the York Multi Strategy Fund gained 2.6 percent in August, and is up 6.2 percent year-to-date. York’s second largest fund, the Credit Opportunities fund, was up 1.7 percent in August, and 10.6 percent for the year.
- Shopping mall operator General Growth Properties Inc (NYSE:GGP) has rejected activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management’s demand that it consider a sale.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
- Broadwind Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:BWEN) was raised to “market perform” from “underperform” by analysts at Raymond James with a target price of $2.
- Catamaran Corp (USA) (NASDAQ:CTRX) was upgraded to “conviction buy” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
- Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE:OFC) was lifted to “neutral” from “underweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase with a target price of $23.
- Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at ISI Group with a target price of $65.
- Morgan Sindall plc (LON:MGNS) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Numis Securities Ltd with a target price of $12.90.
- Nordion Inc(USA) (NYSE:NDZ) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Paradigm Research.
- PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Macquarie with a target price of $28.
- Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE:SIG) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Northcoast Research with a target price of $58.
- Synacor Inc (NASDAQ:SYNC) was lifted to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Citigroup.
- Bemis Company, Inc. (NYSE:BMS) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup with a target price of $34.
- Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Brean Murray.
- Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
- Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE:LPX) was lowered to “underperform” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole with a target price of $15.
- Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE:OI) was cut by analysts at Citigroup from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
- Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) was downgraded to “accumulate” from “buy” by analysts at Global Hunter Securities with a target price of $63.
- Quaker Chemical Corp (NYSE:KWR) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Janney Capital with a target price of $50.
- Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at ThinkEquity with a target price of $32.
- Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:WPI) was downgraded to “buy” from “conviction buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $95.