Every afternoon we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. Among the stock in focus today, AAPL, GOOG, CAT, GRPN, PAYX, BA, PPHM, T, CIT, BA.
Post Market Update
* US: Dow: 13558.90 (-0.15%), S&P 500: 1456.89 (-0.22%), NASDAQ: 3160.78 (-0.60%)
* Europe: CAC: 3497.22 (-0.96%), DAX: 7413.16 (-0.52%), FTSE: 5838.84 (-0.24%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4385.50 (-0.52%), China: 2033.19 (0.32%), Hong Kong: 20694.70 (-0.19%), India: 5669.60 (-0.38%), Japan: 9069.29 (-0.45%).
* Metals: Gold: 1764.60 (-0.75%), Silver: 33.98 (-1.89%), Copper: 3.73 (-1.52%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 91.93 (-1.03%), Natural Gas: 2.84 (-1.66%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.44 (-0.47%), Soya Bean: 16.10 (-0.72%), Wheat: 8.92 (-0.59%)
* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2930 (0.33%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6219 (0.14%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 77.8350 (-0.41%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.709% (-0.043)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Monday, with the S&P 500 posting a decline for the third-straight session, as European leaders differed on ways to stem the region’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) erased 20.55 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 13,558.92. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) declined 3.26 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 1,456.89, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 19.18 points, or 0.60 percent, to end at 3,160.78.
Oil prices decline: Oil prices fell more than one percent to end at a seven-week low on Monday as weak German data cast further doubt on the global economic recovery. Crude oil for November delivery slid 1 percent, to settle at $91.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for November settlement lost 1.4 percent to $109.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
* Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 1.3 percent after some analysts were disappointed by the 5 million weekend sales of its iPhone 5, and news of riots breaking out at its Foxconn Technology Group supply plant.
* Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) hit an all-time high on Monday amid estimates by New York-based research firm eMarketer that its U.S. display advertising revenue this year will jump 39 percent to $2.31 billion.
* Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) slashed its 2015 earnings forecast to between $12 a share and $18 a share, from $15 to $20 per share, citing weak global economic conditions.
* Software company Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) posted second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 28 cents a share, on revenue of $323 million. Analysts had forecast earnings excluding items of 29 cents a share on revenue of $322 million.
* Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) said that it has acquired New York City-based restaurant reservation company Savored for an undisclosed amount.
* Payroll and human resource service company Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) reported first quarter earnings of 42 cents a share that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 41 cents a share. Revenue for the quarter increased 3 percent to $578.2 million, trailing estimates of $584 million.
* The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) said it has delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to United Airlines, the first airline in North America to take delivery of the aircraft.
* Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) sank 78 percent after it revealed major discrepancies in the trial data of its potential lung cancer treatment bavituximab.
* Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) ended deep in the red after analysts at Evercore Partners slashed its price targets on both the companies to $12 from $14 and $18 from $19, respectively.
* Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) closed 0.4 percent higher after Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher Mutascio said that the country’s fourth largest bank could boost its profitability by acquiring specialty lender CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT).
* Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) agreed to pay more than $26 million to settle U.S. charges that it violated a foreign bribery law.
* Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) ended 8 percent higher after Barron’s said the retailer’s turnaround appears to be taking hold.
* Specialty retailer The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) gained 2.5 percent after third-largest investor, the Clinton Group pushed for control of the struggling company.
* Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) soared 18 percent after a federal judge in California ruled that Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc (KRX:000660) has infringed Rambus’ patents and should pay royalties for past infringement.
* Biopharmaceutical development company Bioline RX Ltd (NASDAQ:BLRX) jumped 10 percent after it won a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its schizophrenia drug.
* Joy Global Inc. (NYSE:JOY) ended 1.3 percent higher after Larry De Maria, a New York- based analyst at William Blair & Co., said that the world’s fourth- largest mining equipment maker looks “increasingly likely” to be a General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) acquisition target.
Hedge Fund News Update
* Hedge funds were up 1.7 percent in the third quarter, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s investable hedge fund composite index, with long/short strategies providing the best returns, followed by event-driven strategies.
* Hedge fund managers decreased their net long positions across commodities for the first time this month, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
* Japan’s Teachers’ Mutual Aid Co-operative Society is planning to allocate about $154 million to hedge funds in the fiscal year ending March 2013, according to a Bloomberg report. This will be the pension fund’s first ever hedge fund allocation.
* US hedge fund Mason Capital Management announced that it has filed and is sending its dissident proxy circular to the voting shareholders of Canadian telecom company, TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU) (TSE:T), for the general meeting scheduled for October 17, 2012.
* Asia focused hedge funds returned 1.6 percent this year through August, according to the against a gain of 8 percent in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Monday, September 24, 2012
* Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
* Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at ISI Group with a target price of $62.
* Body Central Corp (NASDAQ:BODY) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a target price of $19.
* C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a target price of $117.
* Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:CTB) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $24.
* Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC) was upgraded to “strong buy” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James with a target price of $15.
* KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. (NYSE:KS) was raised to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Stephens with a target price of $26.
* Lamar Advertising Co (NASDAQ:LAMR) was lifted to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley with a target price of $46.
* PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at Piper Jaffray with a target price of $109.
* Rubicon Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCN) was raised to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $9.
* Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
* Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG with a target price of $24.
* Viropharma Inc (NASDAQ:VPHM) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
* Actuant Corporation (NYSE:ATU) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
* Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $63.
* Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH) was downgraded to “underperform” from “sector perform” by analysts at FBN Securities.
* Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) was cut to “underweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital.
* Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Macquarie with a target price of $67.
* Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) was lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
* EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:EQM) was cut by analysts at Credit Suisse from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating.
* Flowserve Corporation (NYSE:FLS) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup.
* Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) was cut by analysts at Pacific Crest from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating.
* PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) was downgraded to “underperform” from “sector perform” by analysts at FBN Securities.
* Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Compass Point with a target price of $7.25.
* Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI) was cut by analysts at Bank of America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
* Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $27.
* Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $37.
* Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS) was cut by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating with a target price of $22.