• US: Dow: 13034.50 (0.64%), S&P 500: 1409.28 (0.16%), NASDAQ: 2973.70 (-0.77%)
• Europe: CAC: 3590.50 (0.28%), DAX: 7454.55 (0.26%), FTSE: 5892.08 (0.39%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4520.40 (0.37%), China: 2031.91 (2.79%), Hong Kong: 22270.91 (2.11%), India: 5900.50 (0.19%), Japan: 9468.84 (0.38%).
• Metals: Gold: 1693.80 (-0.12%), Silver: 32.96 (0.45%), Copper: 3.69 (0.85%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 87.88 (-0.70%), Natural Gas: 3.85 (-0.77%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.57 (0.76%), Soya Bean: 14.79 (1.63%), Wheat: 8.60 (0.41%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3073 (0.16%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6091 (0.06%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 82.4350 (0.67%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.593% (-0.010)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets closed mixed on Wednesday despite reporting a batch of upbeat economic reports. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s shares dropped sharply pushing the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) into negative territory. On the economic front, factory orders unexpectedly gained in October, while the U.S service sector expanded more than expected in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) added 82.71 points, or 0.64 percent, to finish at 13,034.49. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 2.23 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 1,409.28, and the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) declined 22.99 points, or 0.77 percent, to end at 2,973.70.
Oil prices fall: Oil prices declined on Wednesday as gasoline stockpiles in the United States jumped last week. Weak euro zone economic data also hurt sentiment about energy demand. Crude oil for January delivery lost 0.7 percent, to settle at $87.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for January settlement slid 1 percent to $108.70 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) rallied 6 percent after the banking giant said it will take a charge of about $1 billion as part of a plan to eliminate 11,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce.
• Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 6.4 percent after Cor Clearing said it is raising the margin requirement for clients seeking to buy shares to 60 percent from 30 percent
• Mcmoran Exploration Co (NYSE:MMR) and Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) soared after being bought by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) for $9 billion in cash and stock.
• SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU) moved higher on market speculation that Cerberus Capital Management LP would buy two of its units.
• The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) said super storm Sandy will cost the company about $1.14 billion, or $650 million after taxes and reinsurance recoveries.
• The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) fell 6 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings plunged 95 percent on weak sales. The company also forecast lower than expected full-year earnings and revenue.
• Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSE:CP) (NYSE:CP) jumped in trade today after the Alberta-based railroad said it would eliminate 4,500 jobs by 2016 as part of a plan to improve efficiency and lower costs.
• Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) gained 2 percent after reporting upbeat results of a mid-stage study of its experimental breast cancer drug, PD 0332991.
• Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) added 3.2 percent after the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation forecast better than expected fourth quarter earnings.
• Consumer-electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) accelerated its regular quarterly dividend to December 31 from January 2.
• Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) fell 0.8 percent after reaching an agreement with the U.S. F.D.A. on the design of a Phase III trial of its recurrent brain cancer treatment, Cotara.
• Seismic-equipment supplier Mitcham Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIND) tanked 12 percent after it reported a surprise third-quarter loss on lower revenue.
• SeaChange International (NASDAQ:SEAC) surged 10 percent after third-quarter profit jumped 42 percent. The video-gear maker also raised its full-year guidance.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Man Group PLC (LON:EMG) has hired hedge fund industry veteran John Rohal as executive chairman of its North America business, according to a Reuters report.
• Hedge funds invested in Greek debt are all set to cheer news that European policy makers have raised the price at which the recession-stricken country would buy back its bonds, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
• Edouard Salet’s London-based Apson Capital will close at the end of the year, after less than 18 months in business, Financial News reported.
• Dutch investment services firm Orangefield Group is all set to enter the U.S. market after acquiring hedge fund administrator Columbus Avenue Consulting.
• Hedge funds were up 0.41 percent last month, after recording a drop of 0.52 percent in October, according to Hedge Fund Research’s HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index.
• The $1.85 billion Oklahoma Police Pension & Retirement System has decided to shift $31 million from two funds of hedge funds to four hedge funds, Pensions & Investments reported.
• William Seibold’s Recipero Capital plans to launch its maiden hedge fund in the second half of next year, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, December 05, 2012
• American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Argus with a target price of $40.
• AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
• Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE) was raised to a “buy” rating from a “hold” rating by analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
• Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:DLR) was lifted to a “hold” from “sell” by analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald with a target price of $70.
• DST Systems, Inc. (NYSE:DST) was upgraded to “equal weight” from “underweight” by analysts at Evercore Partners.
• PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at FBR Capital with a target price of $61.
• Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Argus with a target price of $72.
• VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG with a target price of $39.
• Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $42.
• ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup with a target price of $12.50.
• Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at ISI Group with a target price of $1.65.
• Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets with a target price of $32.
• Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Jefferies Group with a target price of $47.
• Echo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ECTE) was lowered by analysts at Northland Securities from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating with a target price of $1.40.
• HEICO Corporation (NYSE:HEI) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets with a target price of $39.
• ICON plc (NASDAQ:ICLR) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was lowered by analysts at Raymond James from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating.
• Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Wunderlich with a target price of $110.
• NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) was downgraded to “perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Oppenheimer.
• TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) was lowered by analysts at Bank of America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating with a target price of $26.
• WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE:WBC) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at William Blair with a target price of $65.
• WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at FBR Capital with a target price of $66.