Post Market Update
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* US: Dow: 12653.10 (-0.65%), S&P 500: 1341.47 (-0.81%), NASDAQ: 2902.33 (-1.00%)
* Europe: CAC: 3175.41 (0.59%), DAX: 6438.33 (0.79%), FTSE: 5664.07 (0.65%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4098.00 (-0.49%), China: 2164.44 (-0.29%), Hong Kong: 19396.36 (-0.16%), India: 5345.35 (1.33%), Japan: 8857.73 (-0.44%).
* Metals: Gold: 1579.80 (-0.59%), Silver: 26.88 (-2.05%), Copper: 3.40 (-0.98%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 83.91 (-2.42%), Natural Gas: 2.74 (-5.06%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.17 (-1.17%), Soya Bean: 15.38 (-0.60%), Wheat: 8.35 (-1.01%)
* Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2252 (0.49%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5520 (0.04%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 79.4050 (-0.19%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.502% (-0.010)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets closed lower on Tuesday, amid investor concern about corporate profits falling, that overshadowed news from Germany, that the country’s top court will approve the euro zone’s new bailout fund. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) declined 0.65 percent to close at 12,653.12, the fourth consecutive down day. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 10.99 points, or 0.81 percent, to finish at 1,341.47, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) tumbled 29.44 points, or 1 percent, to end at 2,902.33.
Oil prices decline: Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday after Norway, Western Europe’s largest crude exporter, ordered an end to an oil workers’ strike, and Chinese crude imports fell in June, compared to the previous month. Crude oil for August delivery fell 2.4 percent, to settle at $83.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for August settlement slumped 2.3 percent to $97.27 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
* The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) said that shareholders have approved a two-for-one stock split, effective at the end of the month. This will be the first stock split in 16 years.
* Troubled BlackBerry-maker, Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM), closed 5 percent lower as the company’s annual meeting did little to placate disillusioned shareholders.
* Department-store retailer, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), said it will lay off 350 corporate employees at its headquarters in Plano, Texas.
* Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) said that its NBC Universal subsidiary has agreed to sell its 15.8 percent stake in A&E Television Networks to its joint-venture partners, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Hearst Corp, for $3 billion in cash.
* General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said that it expects prices to remain stable and sees input costs to rise only 2 percent to 3 percent this fiscal year. The Minneapolis-based company also disclosed plans to open another 50 Haagen-Dazs ice cream shops in China over the next year.
* United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) said that its Sikorsky Aircraft unit has been awarded an $8.5 billion contract by the U.S. Army and Navy to build 653 H-60 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters. Separately, Nomura Securities lowered its price target for the stock to $95 from $90.
* Mining company, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), will sell its 45 percent stake in the Sonoma coal mine joint venture in Australia, for approximately 141 million Australian dollars ($144 million).
* Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) tumbled 9 percent after it cut its full year revenue outlook citing weak demand. The truck engine maker also hiked its quarterly dividend by 25 percent.
* Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) reported second quarter earnings, excluding certain items, of 41 cents a share that trailed the average analysts’ estimate of 44 cents per share. Sales increased 0.8 percent to $312.7 million that also missed Street expectations. The company however reiterated its full-year forecast.
* Semiconductor components maker, Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), slashed its fiscal year 2012 sales and profit outlook due to weak demand in China and Europe.
* The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) posted third quarter net loss of $16 million, or 24 cents per share, that was lower than the loss $70 million, or 89 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue increased 5 percent to $1.56 billion, but the technology and engineering company lowered its full-year forecast for orders.
* Maintenance and cleaning-products company, WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC), slumped 4.1 percent in trade after its fiscal third-quarter results missed Street estimates, and provided full-year earnings and revenue outlook that was at the lower end of its previously announced guidance.
* Plastic raw materials company, A Schulman Inc (NASDAQ:SHLM), ended the day 8.7 percent higher after reporting a higher than expected profit for the third quarter on improved margins at its North American and Asian units.
* Cleaning-products maker, Zep, Inc. (NYSE:ZEP), posted a better than expected 38 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings amid robust sales in its distribution and retail channels.
* KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) expects current quarter orders to dip due to weak demand from memory chipmakers. The company, earlier in the day, had announced a 14 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend.
* Real estate investment trust, DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE:DRH), has agreed to buy four hotels from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI for about $495 million in cash and stock.
* Internet-based telephone services provider, magicJack VocalTec Ltd (NASDAQ:CALL), raised its second-quarter and full-year, revenue and earnings outlook
* Biotechnology company, Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHTP), said that its founder and Chief Executive, Simon Pedder, and some other key executives have resigned as part of a plan to significantly reduce the company’s workforce.
Hedge Fund News Update
* Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson suffered another tough month in June, when one of his largest funds, the Advantage Plus fund, declined 7.9 percent. The Gold Fund declined marginally last month, but was down 23 percent in the first half of the year.
* Hedge funds eked out a 0.06 percent gain in June, compared to a gain of 3.96 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), according to industry adviser, Hennessee Group’s Hedge Fund Index.
* Hedge fund managers raised their bullish bets on natural gas to the highest level in more than a year, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
* The Chinese government has granted permission to foreign hedge funds to seek funds from wealthy citizens to invest overseas, The Financial Times reported.
* Hong Kong-based hedge fund Maso Capital, by former managing directors of Och-Ziff Capital Management, Manoj Jain and Sohit Khurana, has hired Allan Finnerty as chief operating officer. Finnerty was the former chief financial officer at private equity fund, Mount Kellett.
* David Curtis, the former Asia foreign exchange chief for Credit Suisse, who launched the Northbridge Park Asset Management in Sydney, is ready to unveil a currency hedge fund by October.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
* TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NYSE:AMTD) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at BGB Securities with a target price of $15.50.
* American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Nomura Securities.
* Biomed Realty Trust Inc (NYSE:BMR) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” at Cantor Fitzgerald.
* Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at UBS AG with a price target of $49.
* Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
* LRR Energy LP (NYSE:LRE) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” at Raymond James.
* Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
* Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $38.
* AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE:ATR) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
* Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST) was downgraded to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets with a target price of $8.
* Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IBKR) was lowered to “hold” from “buy” at Stifel Nicolaus.
* MAKO Surgical Corp. (NASDAQ:MAKO) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Summer Street Research.
* Mattson Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSN) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Needham & Company.
* The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) was lowered to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Zacks with a target price of $56.
* Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at UBS AG with a price target of $48.
* Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.