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Friday (12/23/11) Mid-Day Market News

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Mid-Day Market Action


  • US:  Dow: 12260.89 (0.75%), S&P 500: 1261.91 (0.63%), NASDAQ: 2614.23 (0.57%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3102.09 (0.98%), DAX: 5878.93 (0.46%), FTSE: 5512.70 (1.01%).
  • Asia:Australia: 4140.40 (1.21%),China: 2204.78 (0.84%),Hong Kong: 18629.17 (1.35%),India: 4714.00 (-0.42%),Japan: 8395.16 (-0.77%),Korea: 1867.22 (1.06%),Singapore: 2676.47 (0.44%),
  • Metals: Gold: 1605.00 (-0.35%), Silver: 29.07 (0.08%), Copper: 3.47 (0.07%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 99.96 (0.43%), Natural Gas: 3.13 (-1.33%)
  • Agriculture: Corn: 6.21 (0.53%), Soya Bean: 11.65 (0.26%), Wheat: 6.25 (0.56%).
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3048 (-0.0153%), GBP/USD: 1.5609 (-0.4447%), USD/JPY: 78.0190 (-0.1909%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 2.019% (0.072)





Market News Update



US markets extend rally: Wall Street stocks rose on Friday as the S&P 500 rallied for a fourth straight day and turned positive for the year after a run of better-than-expected economic data. The S&P 500 has gained nearly 5 percent over the last four days and is slightly higher for the year. Investors cited recent improvement in U.S. economic data and seasonal factors behind the move, but many remained cautious about the 2012 outlook. http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/23/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?iid=HP_LN


Oil reclaims $100 mark: Crude futures reclaimed the $100 mark in intraday trade, as momentum from better U.S. economic data, a drop in inventories and threats of tighter Middle East supplies provided a bullish backdrop Friday. Trading volume was thin on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ahead of the long Christmas weekend, and support also may have come from year-end shifts into 2011’s most-winning investments. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/23/us-markets-oil-idUSTRE7AD06820111223

Euro liquidity levels at all-time high: Liquidity levels in the euro money market soared to an all-time high on Friday, as the near half a trillion euros pumped into the system by the European Central Bank this week in its first ever three-year loans ballooned the amount banks were holding.



Italian bond yield rise above 7%: Italian bond yields rose above 7% on Friday as worries about the government’s debt problems resurfaced. The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds edged up to 7.04%, after falling below 6% earlier this month.



New home sales climbs to 7-month high: New U.S. single-family home sales rose to a seven-month high in November and the months’ supply of houses  was the lowest in 5-1/2 years, adding to signs of a budding recovery in the sector. The Commerce Department said on Friday sales rose 1.6% to a seasonally adjusted 315,000-unit annual rate. Octobers’ sales pace was revised up to 310,000 units from the previously reported 307,000 units.



US personal spending rises less than forecast: Consumer purchases rose less than forecast in November as a drop in wages encouraged Americans to seek discounted merchandise at the start of the holiday shopping season.




Company News Update


  • General Electric Co. (GE) agreed to pay $70.4 million to settle a criminal probe and civil claims for conspiring to rig bids onU.S. municipal-bond deals, overcharging state and local governments on investments.
  • Days after its $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA collapsed, AT&T (T) received regulatory approval late Thursday for a $1.9 billion purchase of wireless spectrum from wireless chip maker Qualcomm (QCOM).
  • Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings’ stock options have been cut in half for 2012 following a disastrous year.Hastings will be given $1.5 million worth of options next year – half of the $3 million in options he received this year, according to a regulatory filing. It will be the lowest amount of optionsHastings has received since 2009.
  • Visa Inc. (V), the world’s biggest bank- card network, will deposit $1.57 billion into its litigation escrow account, the biggest addition in three years as the company prepares to resolve price-fixing accusations.
  • In-flight internet connectivity provider Gogo Inc, which serves some of the biggest names in the airlines industry, filed withU.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.



Hedge Fund News Update


  • Hedge fund manager Philip Falcone has rejected a and U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) settlement offer that would have banned him from the  securities industry, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Apple Inc (AAPL) has been the most popular stock amongU.S. hedge funds since at least the third quarter of 2010, according to a recent survey.
  • Juggernaut Asia Fund, set-up by former Lehman Brothers’ managing director Yashwant Bajaj, has returned 45 percent since its August 1 launch, by mainly betting on equity capital market deals, and shorting companies such as scandal-hit Olympus Corp.
  • BlueGold, the London-based fund, founded by former traders Dennis Crema and Pierre Andurand, is heading for a negative annual return, losing 34 percent through mid-December. BlueGold has veered from its energy-focused strategy, betting almost half its money on equities and other trades that are worrying investors as it turns in its first down year.
  • BBVA Asset Management will liquidate Spain‘s first hedge fund, BBVA Codespa Microfinanzas, which has suffered crippling redemptions in recent months.
  • Peter Swartz, a former Galleon Group LLC portfolio manager, is starting a new technology hedge fund for Fortress Investment Group LLC.

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