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Friday Midday Market, Economic And Company News

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Friday Midday Market, Economic And Company NewsEvery afternoon ValueWalk provides an update on global market levels, economic news, and hedge fund news.

Market Levels

* US: Dow: 13029.26 (0.50%), S&P 500: 1378.53 (0.12%), NASDAQ: 3000.45 (-0.24%)

* Europe: CAC: 3188.58 (0.46%), DAX: 6750.12 (1.17%), FTSE: 5772.15 (0.48%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4366.50 (0.09%), China: 2406.86 (1.17%), Hong Kong: 21010.64 (0.07%), India: 5290.85 (-0.78%), Japan: 9561.36 (-0.28%).

* Metals: Gold: 1643.60 (0.05%), Silver: 31.66 (0.03%), Copper: 3.69 (-0.20%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 104.06 (1.30%), Natural Gas: 1.93 (1.05%)

* Commodities: Corn: 6.03 (-1.47%), Soya Bean: 13.56 (1.01%), Wheat: 6.23 (-1.11%)

* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3219 (0.62%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6123 (0.44%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 81.5300 (-0.09%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.963% (-0.004)

Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end mixed: Markets erased gains made earlier in the day and finished mixed, but the Dow and S&P 500 managed to finish the week higher, breaking a two-week losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 0.5 percent, to 13029.26, while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) advanced 0.1 percent, to 1378.53. The NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) ended 0.2 percent lower as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) slid 2.5 percent.

 Oil rises: Oil prices rose for the first time in three days on Friday after German business confidence unexpectedly increased in April. Crude oil for May delivery declined 1.3 percent to $104.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for June settlement ended the session up 98 cents at $118.98 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

 IMF secures $430 billion in funding:The Group of 20 nations on Friday pledged $430 billion in fresh money to the International Monetary Fund to fight any widening of Europe’s debt crisis. The announcement came after Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers met today in Washington. The IMF has warned the eurozone’s debt crisis presents the gravest risk to the global economic expansion, and policy makers were of the opinion the region’s governments need to do even more to restore fiscal health.

Company News Update

* Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB), the world’s largest oilfield-services provider, posted a first quarter profit of $1.3 billion, or 97 cents a share, up from $944 million, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had forecast earnings of 97 cents a share.

* Underwear and clothing maker Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) posted a narrower first-quarter loss than analysts estimated and reaffirmed its full-year outlook.

* A jury in Connecticut ruled that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) must pay at least $4 million in damages to a woman who developed breast cancer after taking the company’s hormone replacement drug Prempro.

* Rich Ross stepped down as chairman of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s film unit, following the company’s $200 million loss on the science-fiction picture “John Carter,” one of the biggest flops in recent Hollywood history.

* Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon has been sued by a shareholder after a Reuters report revealed McClendon had secured up to $1.1 billion in loans to fund his stake in the company’s wells.

* Chipmaker Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) said first-quarter sales fell 28 percent to $383.8 million, trailing the average analyst estimate of $422.5. Profit slumped a 48 percent and stood at $116.1 million, or 35 cents a share, down from $224.1 million, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier.

* Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD) the maker of computer- networking products, matched first-quarter earnings estimates but lowered its forecast for 2012 sales growth.

* Mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (NYSE:TPX) met expectations on first quarter revenue and beat slightly on earnings per share, but provided a downbeat outlook for the full year.

* Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA), the provider of testing products to telecom operators, reported first-quarter sales of $85.6 million, topping analysts’ estimates.

* INFOBLOX INC COM USD0.01 (BLOX) surged 33 percent on its first day of trading, after raising $120 million in an initial public offering, selling 7.5 million shares at $16 apiece.

Hedge Fund News Update

* New York-based Renaissance LLC rolled out its first new hedge fund in five years, Renaissance Institutional Diversified Alpha Fund, on March 1 with $3.5 billion in assets.

* London-based hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management said in a regulatory filing it has raised US$194.5 million for the emerging markets fixed-income hedge fund it since it was opened to investors last June.

* The $5 billion PointState Capital LP has said Sean Cullinan, chairman and chief executive officer, and, Anuj Malhotra, global macro adviser at the firm, are set to leave at the end of next month.

* A Cayman Islands judge approved the liquidation of a hedge fund run by New York-based Fletcher Asset Management after three Louisiana public pension funds, the Louisiana Firefighters’ Retirement System, Louisiana Municipal Employees’ Retirement System and the New Orleans Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund, told the court they weren’t able to withdraw their money from the fund.

* New York-based investment advisory firm, Capstone Equities Capital Management, launched its maiden hedge fund to outside investors, and will target global institutional investors to raise $50m.

* London-headquarted African-focused hedge fund firm Scipion Capital, has opened its Commodity Trade Finance Fund to US investors for the first time in a bid to break into the market.

* VS Capital Advisors GP LLC, the new hedge fund launched in Arlington, has raised $25.05 million for a new fund called VS Capital Value Fund LP, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.



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