• US: Dow: 13021.80 (0.28%), S&P 500: 1415.84 (0.42%), NASDAQ: 3012.03 (0.68%)
• Europe: CAC: 3568.88 (1.50%), DAX: 7400.96 (0.78%), FTSE: 5870.30 (1.14%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4477.70 (0.68%), China: 1963.49 (-0.51%), Hong Kong: 21922.89 (0.98%), India: 5825.00 (1.70%), Japan: 9400.88 (0.98%).
• Metals: Gold: 1727.20 (0.62%), Silver: 34.35 (1.97%), Copper: 3.59 (1.82%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 88.07 (1.83%), Natural Gas: 3.85 (-0.77%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.58 (-0.69%), Soya Bean: 14.48 (0.12%), Wheat: 8.85 (-0.65%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2976 (-0.20%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6042 (-0.17%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 82.0950 (0.02%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.618% (-0.010)
The latest Robinhood Investors Conference is in the books, and some hedge funds made an appearance at the conference. In a panel on hedge funds moderated by Maverick Capital's Lee Ainslie, Ricky Sandler of Eminence Capital, Gaurav Kapadia of XN and Glen Kacher of Light Street discussed their own hedge funds and various aspects of Read More
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets closed higher in a choppy session on Thursday following a batch of upbeat economic data and positive comments from several lawmakers on the looming “fiscal cliff.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 36.71 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 13,021.82. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 6.02 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 1,415.95. The NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 20.25 points, or 0.68 percent, to finish at 3,012.03.
Oil prices jump: Oil prices rallied on Thursday amid growing Middle East tensions that reinforced fears of supply disruptions. Prices were also boosted by investor optimism that U.S. lawmakers can strike a budget deal to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff.” Crude oil for January delivery added 1.8 percent, to settle at $88.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for January settlement gained 0.9 percent to $110.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) ended 1.5 percent lower after market research firm NPD Group said initial sales of its Windows 8 operating system haven’t been terribly strong.
• Supermarket chain The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) gained 4.8 percent after posting stronger-than-expected third-quarter profits and raising its full-year earnings outlook.
• Luxury goods retailer Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) plunged 6 percent after reporting lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue and slashing its full-year profit forecast, citing difficult economic conditions.
• Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) dropped 2.8 percent after analysts at Goldman Sachs lowered their price target on the firm to $16 from $20.
• Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), and Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS), all moved lower after the retailers missed monthly same-store sales expectations.
• Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has agreed to buy privately held networking firm Cariden Technologies Inc for about $141 million in cash.
• Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) fell 11 percent after the bookstore chain said quarterly loss at its Nook tablet unit increased. The company also said its core bookselling business slowed during the period.
• Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) rose 0.5 percent after company President Marillyn Hewson said an agreement with the Pentagon about a fifth batch of F-35 fighter jets was likely before the end of the year.
• John Malone’s cable group Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ:LBTYA) fell 0.5 percent after disclosing it had not tabled a bid to acquire Brazilian broadband specialist GVT from France’s Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV).
• Restaurant chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) slid 5 percent after projecting fiscal second-quarter income of between $1.22 and $1.27 a share, trailing analysts’ predictions of $1.28 a share.
• Data-center technology company Infoblox Inc (NYSE:BLOX) soared 30 percent after reporting core earnings and revenue that beat expectations, and raising its outlook for the year.
• Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO), the maker of Marlboro and L&M cigarettes, will increase the prices of all its brands by six-cent per-pack.
• Teen-apparel retailer Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO) tumbled 5 percent after projecting fourth-quarter earnings per share of 36 cents to 41 cents, compared with the average analyst estimate of 55 cents a share.
• Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)’s CNN Worldwide has named former NBC CEO Jeff Zucker as its next president.
• Online auction operator Liquidity Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:LQDT) posted fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 40 cents a share, 3 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue jumped 54 percent to $122.3 million, above expectations of $115 million.
• Drug maker Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is withdrawing its marketing authorization application for European approval of its potential treatment for bone sarcoma ridaforolimus, citing insufficient data.
• Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (NASDAQ:BECN) fell 0.8 percent after fourth quarter revenue trailed estimates. Adjusted earnings were in line with analysts’ expectations.
• Distribution giant Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE:IM) has agreed to acquire data-storage distributor Promark Technology for an undisclosed amount.
• DVR device provider TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) closed 6.3 percent higher after posting third quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, blowing past expectations for a loss of 21 cents a share. The company provided current quarter revenue outlook that matched forecasts.
• Furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB) tanked 10 percent after reporting second quarter earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $322 million that missed Street expectations for 20 cents a share on sales of $325 million.
• Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:UVE) closed 4 percent higher after its board unveiled a special cash dividend of 12 cents a share.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Truck maker Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) has urged its shareholders to ignore Carl Icahn’s plea to accept his $32.50-per-share bid for any and all outstanding shares of the company before the offer expires on Monday, December 3.
• Omega Advisors expects less robust corporate earnings next year, according to a Reuters report.
• Hedge funds fell 0.16 percent month to date as of November 21, compared to a drop of 1.5 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch investable hedge fund composite index.
• A federal appeals court in New York yesterday put on hold a New York judge’s order for Argentina to pay $1.3 billion into escrow for holders of its defaulted debt by December 15; a setback for defaulted bondholders like billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp.
• Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates added two emerging markets ETFs to its portfolio in the third quarter.
• Ridley Park Paragon fund is closing down after returns fell below expectations in 2011, founder Julian Barnett told investors in a letter. The fund lost 27 percent last year, whereas the average equities fund fell 8.38 percent during the same period.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, November 29, 2012
• Apartment Investment & Management Co. (NYSE:AIV) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $28.
• AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE:AVB) was upgraded to “market perform” from “equal underperform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $135.
• CarMax, Inc (NYSE:KMX) was raised to a “buy” rating from a “neutral” rating by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $42.
• Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at BB&T Capital Markets with a target price of $34.
• Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $72.
• D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) was raised to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Compass Point with a target price of $18.
• EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) was lifted to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Macquarie with a target price of $142.
• Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.
• Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at Piper Jaffray with a target price of $31.
• Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ:HERO) was lifted to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Stephens with a target price of $6.
• IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
• Mid-Con Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:MCEP) was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $24.
• Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at FBR Capital with a target price of $8.
• Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE:PLT) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase with a target price of $41.
• Pentair, Ltd. (NYSE:PNR) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein with a target price of $58.
• Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) was lifted to “hold” from “underweight” by analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
• Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $16.
• Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO) was downgraded to “average” from “above average” by analysts at Caris & Co. with a target price of $18.
• Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
• Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP) was cut to “underperform” from “market perform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $21.
• Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
• EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ:EZCH) was lowered by analysts at Chardan Capital Markets from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
• CGI Group Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GIB) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
• Mid America Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE:MAA) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at BMO Capital Markets with a target price of $65.
• OM Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMG) was lowered by analysts at Northcoast Research from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating.
• Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL) was cut to “perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a target price of $58.
• The Timken Company (NYSE:TKR) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Jefferies Group with a target price of $45.