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• US: Dow: 12932.70 (-2.36%), S&P 500: 1394.53 (-2.37%), NASDAQ: 2937.29 (-2.48%)
• Europe: CAC: 3409.59 (-2.03%), DAX: 7232.83 (-2.00%), FTSE: 5791.63 (-1.61%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4516.50 (0.71%), China: 2105.73 (-0.01%), Hong Kong: 22099.85 (0.70%), India: 5760.10 (0.62%), Japan: 8972.89 (-0.03%).
• Metals: Gold: 1714.00 (-0.06%), Silver: 31.66 (-1.16%), Copper: 3.44 (-1.85%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 84.44 (-4.81%), Natural Gas: 3.58 (-1.08%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.44 (0.44%), Soya Bean: 15.07 (-0.56%), Wheat: 8.94 (1.94%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2768 (-0.37%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5988 (-0.06%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.9700 (-0.47%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.642% (-0.108)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets sold-off on Wednesday, with the Dow recording its biggest decline in nearly a year, amid concerns over the looming “fiscal cliff” in the wake of the re-election of President Barack Obama, and renewed worries over Europe’s weak economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) slumped 312.95 points, or 2.36 percent, to close at 12,932.73. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) tumbled 33.86 points, or 2.37 percent, to finish at 1,394.53, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) plummeted 74.64 points, or 2.48 percent, to end at 2,937.29.
Oil prices tumble: Crude prices fell more than 4 percent on investor concerns about global growth and an increase in U.S. oil inventories. Crude oil for December delivery lost 4.8 percent, to settle at $84.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for December settlement tanked 3.9 percent to $106.74 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported forth quarter adjusted earnings of 89 cents a share, on revenue of $4.87 billion, topping Street expectation for earnings of 82 cents a share on revenue of $4.7 billion
• CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) posted third quarter earnings excluding items of 65 cents a share, 4 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue for the period came in at $3.42 billion, trailing expectations for $3.49 billion.
• Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) reported third quarter non-GAAP earnings of $168 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenue of $841 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $710 million. The video game publisher also raised its full-year outlook.
• AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) said it would spend $14 billion over the next three years to expand and improve its wireless and fixed Internet-based broadband networks. The telecom major also raised its quarterly dividend by 2.3 percent to 45 cents a share.
• JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is close to reaching a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to end a probe into alleged misconduct in the handling of mortgage-backed securities, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
• VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEAMEX:VHC) soared 28 percent after a federal jury in Texas ordered Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to pay the security software firm $368 million in a patent lawsuit
• Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has acquired spectrum and customers from United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) in a deal worth $480 million.
• The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) said it plans to employ 30 percent fewer executives at its defense unit compared with 2010, to save $1.6 billion over the next two years.
• Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) said it will not make an offer for British defence contractor Chemring Group plc (LON:CHG). Chemring fell 13.4 percent in London trading.
• HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC) reported a 15 percent rise in third quarter profit to $600.4 million, or $2.94 a share, from $523.1 million, or $2.48 a share, in the same period last year. Revenue edged 0.6 percent higher to $5.2 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings of $2.40 on revenue of $5.3 billion.
• Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) said its revenue passenger miles in October dropped 2.4 percent to 8.5 billion, while load factor fell to 80.7 percent from 81.4 in the year-ago period.
• Nutritional-products maker Perrigo Company (NASDAQ:PRGO) reported first quarter earnings excluding items of $1.27 a share, 4 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue increased 6.1 percent to $769.8 million, much lower than expectations for $826.2 million.
• Coal stocks, including Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI), Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX), James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC) and Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WLT), plunged in trade today on the expectation that a second term for President Obama would mean tougher going for these companies.
• Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) said that its experimental drug for acute heart failure, serelaxin, cut deaths by 37 percent in a late stage clinical trial.
• Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) said more people listened to its online radio service in October than a year ago.
• Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP) reported third quarter net profit of $25 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with a loss of $68.8 million, or 90 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 1.4 percent to $722 million. Analysts had expected the low-cost mobile telecom operator to report a loss of 70 cents per share, on revenue of $774.6 million.
• Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) said it has received fast-track development program designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its breast cancer drug, etirinotecan pegol.
• Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) reported third quarter earnings excluding one –time items of 87 cents a share, on revenue of $112.5 million. Analysts were expecting the Israel-based maker of at-home carbonated beverage machines to earn 72 cents a share on revenue of $103.5 million.
• Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) posted third quarter earnings excluding items of 88 cents a share, on revenue of $1.87 billion. Analysts were expecting the independent oil and gas producer to earn 69 cents a share on revenue of $2.27 billion.
• Online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) plunged 11.5 percent after cutting its full-year earnings and revenue forecast
• The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE) gained 1.6 percent after declaring a special dividend of $4.50 per share, the retailer’s second special dividend in a little over a year.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Hedge funds fell 1.9 percent in October as global stocks slumped amid concerns that the economy was slowing, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
• A number of well-known hedge fund firms are betting that British retailers are likely to face tough times, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. According to a list published under new rules by the U.K. Financial Services Authority, Lansdowne Partner has built up a short position in Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO), while Jim Chanos’ Kynikos Associates has acquired a short position in online fashion retailer, Asos plc (LON:ASC). Greenlight Capital has a bet against Daily Mail & General Trust plc (LON:DMGT) worth 80.7 million pounds, or 4.4 percent of the company’s market value.
• Tom Gayner’s Markel Corporation acquired new positions in Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (NASDAQ:AHGP), Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) during the third quarter, according to a regulatory filing.
• U.K.-based Matrix Group Ltd. will liquidate its hedge fund, Matrix Alternative Asset Management LLP, and its investment-banking division, according to a Bloomberg report.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, November 07, 2012
• Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) was lifted to “buy” from “underperform” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $46.
• Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CNK) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Janney Montgomery Scott.
• EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) was raised to an “outperform” rating from a “neutral” rating by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $142.
• Fossil, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL) was lifted to “buy” from “above average” by analysts at Caris & Co. with a target price of $105.
• HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $39.
• Host Hotels and Resorts Inc (NYSE:HST) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald with a target price of $16.
• Magellan Health Services Inc (NASDAQ:MGLN) was lifted to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $29.
• Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) was raised to “buy” from “accumulate” by analysts at Global Hunter Securities with a target price of $40.
• News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) was lifted to “buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
• Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
• UMB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:UMBF) was raised to “market perform” from “underperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Vanguard Health System, Inc. (NYSE:VHS) was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG.
• Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald with a target price of $15.
• Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:AREX) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Global Hunter Securities.
• DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE:DRH) was lowered to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) was cut to “buy” from “conviction buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $64.
• Exterran Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ:EXLP) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
• Fidelity National Financial Inc (NYSE:FNF) was lowered by analysts at Stephens from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating.
• Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
• Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:INFI) was lowered by analysts at Jefferies Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating with a target price of $21.
• Quicksilver Resources Inc (NYSE:KWK) was cut to “underperform” from “buy” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
• MakeMyTrip Limited (NASDAQ:MMYT) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
• Quality Distribution, Inc. (NASDAQ:QLTY) was lowered by analysts at JPMorgan Chase from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating.
• TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS) was cut to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.
• Universal American Corporation (NYSE:UAM) was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $9.50.