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Jul 15, 2011

SEC | Enforcement Actios: SEC Obtains Final Judgment as to Defendant Danielle Chiesi , Galleon Management LP, etal.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Litigation Release No. 22042 / July 15, 2011

SEC v. Galleon Management, LP, et al., Civil Action No. 09-CV-8811 (SDNY) (JSR)

SEC Obtains Final Judgment as to Defendant Danielle Chiesi

The SEC announced that the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, entered a Final Judgment as to Danielle Chiesi on July 12, 2011, in the SEC’s insider trading case, SEC v. Galleon Management, LP, et al., 09-CV-8811 (SDNY) (JSR). The SEC filed its action on October 16, 2009, against Raj Rajaratnam, Galleon Management, LP, Danielle Chiesi and others, alleging a widespread insider trading scheme involving hedge funds, industry professionals, and corporate insiders.

For full Information:

SEC Filed Fraud Charges against Chief Executive Jeffrey A Lowrance A Forex Ponzi Operator.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges Thursday against the CEO of a purported foreign currency trading firm, alleging he scammed hundreds of investors with false promises of high, fixed-rate returns while secretly using their money to fund his start-up alternative newspaper.
 First Capital Savings & Loan Ltd. Chief Executive Jeffery A. Lowrance, who had fled to Peru and was arrested there earlier this year, was arraigned today on criminal fraud charges in a 2010 indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. In addition, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed fraud charges Thursday against Lowrance and First Capital. 
To read full Information:  

Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Jul 15/11 05:20 PM EDT

The Economist | Selected New Articles: The Debt Ceiling / The mumbai Bombs / St Cuthbert's Gospel ... and more

The debt ceiling: McConnell's retreat

The Mumbai bombs: A web of support

St Cuthbert's Gospel: Holy writ

Language: The antichrist

Buttonwood: The privatisation illusion

Audio: The week ahead
Daily chart: Rebekah Brooks and News's books

Online debate: The internet has reduced newsroom staff; is that a bad thing?

Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Google lifts Wall Street in otherwise rough week.

Google lifts Wall Street in otherwise rough week
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google's blowout quarter led the Nasdaq higher on Friday but mounting uncertainty about the government's ability to reach a debt-reduction deal may keep investors at bay in the coming week. | Full Article

Gloomy consumers cast dark cloud over economy
July 15, 2011 01:19 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence hit a near 2-1/2 year low in early July and manufacturing output stalled in June, further frustrating expectations of a quick economic growth rebound in the second half of the year. | Full Article
Murdoch says sorry over hacking, Brooks quits
July 15, 2011 04:31 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch said sorry on Friday to victims of criminal phone hacking by one of his tabloids after confidante Rebekah Brooks quit as head of the British newspaper arm of his News Corp media empire. | Full Article
S&P threatens downgrade of U.S. finance companies
July 15, 2011 04:34 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Friday raised the pressure on Washington debt negotiators, saying it could downgrade insurers, securities clearinghouses, mortgage agencies and a laundry list of other firms if there is not a deal soon to lift the debt ceiling and cut the deficit. | Full Article
Centerbridge vows to fight Lehman bankruptcy plan
July 15, 2011 03:58 PM ET
WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - The Centerbridge hedge fund does not think Lehman Brothers Holding Inc's plan to exit bankruptcy can be confirmed by a judge and it plans to mount a fight against it, according to court documents. | Full Article

Money Show Investors Daily Alert: UPDATE: Merger Boom Strikes Again

Investors Daily Alert
Only a few hours after Jim Jubak shared his list of top takeover candidates, lightning struck as oil-shale play Petrohawk (HK) was picked up, leading to a 63% pop overnight. Read the rest of Jim's list, along with Igor Greenwald's take on what's really behind the debt-ceiling debate, Elliott Gue's contrarian recommendation of a volatile sector, and Tom Aspray's analysis of 4 market leaders that may have run too long. All this and much more are available now...
NEW! THE DAILY GURUCandid Daily Interviews with Top Market Experts
5 Funds for an Uncertain Market, Jude Boudreaux

Jim Jubak on
UPDATE: Merger Boom Strikes Again
How to Profit from the Deal Boom
Why Don't We Have Deadlines?

Today's Top Pros' Top Picks
3 Option Strategies for 3 Top Stocks, Bernie Schaeffer
5 Great Summer Oil Trades, Peter Way

Today's Gurus' Views & Strategies
Place Your Bets, Bernanke vs. Paul, Axel Merk
Markets Ignoring Phony Debt Crisis, Igor Greenwald

Today's Charts in Play
4 Most Overbought Dow Stocks, Tom Aspray Exclusive Interviews
3 Unloved Tech Powerhouses, Elliott Gue

Global Investing Ideas
A New Junior Gold Worth a Look, Lawrence Roulston

Today's Featured Videos
Which ETFs Are Right for You, Jim Lowell
Should You Be in Municipal Bonds?, Marilyn Cohen

NYT : Afternoon Business News: European Banks Urged to Bolster Reserves Following Stress Tests


European Banks Urged to Bolster Reserves Following Stress Tests

Eight banks failed and an additional 16 barely passed the much-anticipated stress tests, which measured whether they would be able to survive economic shocks.

Citigroup Beats Forecast Despite Sluggish Economy

After two and half years of clawing itself back from the brink, Citigroup said that earnings rose 24 percent.

As Gulf Tourism Rebounds, BP Seeks to Lower Payments

BP says the formula used to determine compensation for businesses hurt in last year's spill is too generous.
Your Money

What the New Consumer Bureau Thinks of Your Ideas

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been soliciting ideas from the public, and the public has responded with an explosion of ideas, four of which seem to have real potential.

DealBook Portraits: Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, tasked with setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recently sat down with DealBook to discuss the attacks on the bureau, the delay in naming its director, and her dog Otis.

MarketWatch | Top Ten Stories From July 11 to July 15, 2011

Weekly Roundup
JULY 15, 2011

MarketWatch top 10 stories July 11 - 15

By MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks closed higher Friday as earnings and merger activity overshadowed worries about the U.S. debt situation. They dropped more than 1% for the week, however. For the week, the Dow lost 1.4%, the S&P 500 fell 2.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.5%.

Also this week, a streak of successful Treasury auctions ended Thursday with a strong 30-year-bond sale, showing that investors believe in U.S. debt as safe-haven investments and are not concerned about the debt ceiling.

Treasurys involved in the three auctions — a sale of $32 billion in 3-year notes Tuesday, $21 billion in 10-year notes and Wednesday and $13 billion in 30-year bonds Thursday — were all sold at the lowest yields since last fall. See full story on this week's Treasury auctions

Also please be sure to watch our week Ahead videos for Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor

 Asia Week Ahead:China PMI, Japan Data

 U.S. Week Ahead, Earnings from Apple, Microsoft and B. of A. t

 Europe week Ahead:Nokia earnings German Data

Google earnings rise 36%, surging past estimates

Google Inc. (GOOG) on Thursday posted 36% profit growth, handily surpassing most Wall Street expectations, fueled by a significant increase in demand for its online advertising. Google said that its paid clicks, or the number of times that Internet users click on the company's advertising and generate revenue, rose roughly 18% compared to the same period last year — in line with, or slightly ahead of, most analysts' expectations. Read MarketWatch coverage of Google earnings

Citi 2nd-quarter net up 24%; provisions decline

Citigroup Inc. (C) second-quarter profit jumped 24% as provisions for loan losses declined sharply from a year ago, but its top line slumped on lower revenue from investment yields and hedging activities. Citi, which returned to profitability last year after intense struggles during the financial crisis, has recently lagged rivals in its capital markets business. Citi's vast international operations, however, have been a source of strength, particularly hubs in Asia and Latin America.Citi reported a profit of $3.34 billion, or $1.09 a share, from $2.7 billion, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 6.6% to $20.62 billion.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently estimated a per-share profit of 96 cents on $19.89 billion in revenue. Read coverage Citigroup earnings report, on MarketWatch

Apple expected to set up strong second half

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is expected to post its usual strong double-digit earnings growth when it reports results for the June quarter next week, though Wall Street says the company is setting itself up for an even stronger performance in the latter half of the year.Investors do not appear to be baking in much upside. Apple shares have put in a mild performance for much of the year, gaining only 4.5% since the company's last earnings report in mid-April. Net income is expected to surge more than 65% for the quarter, with earnings per share coming in at $5.80 compared to $3.51 for the same period last year, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters. Read MarketWatch's Apple earnings preview

10 insider tips to make sense of tech earnings

To make things easier, and possibly liven up boring conference calls, here are some specific company concerns tech investors should be thinking about, and indeed asking about. (But you at your beach house in the Hamptons, please close the windows so we don't have to hear the ocean or gulls flying over the beach, where we, too, would much rather be). Here is a quick cheat sheet for 10 companies, in order of reporting date. Read MarketWatch commentary on things to watch for in upcoming tech earnings

Why I'm lightening up on stocks for good

My thinking has changed a lot over the last few months.I began to get bullish last summer, just before Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced the second round of the Fed's "quantitative easing" program. Stocks and other risky assets took off, driving the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 30% to its April 29 high. But since mid-April, I've become increasingly nervous and skeptical because of seasonal factors and a lot of fundamental obstacles to the markets' advance. Read Howard Gold's commentary on MarketWatch

Fed weighing further easing, Bernanke says

Just two weeks after completing a second extraordinary effort to juice the moribund U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve is contemplating more "untested" steps, the head of the central bank said Wednesday.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the central bank is examining several untested means to stimulate growth if conditions deteriorate, even though the central bank believes the temporary shocks holding down economic activity will pass.At the end of June, the Fed completed a plan to buy $600 billion of Treasury bonds in what markets have dubbed QE2. Read coverage of Bernanke's congressional testimony, on MarketWatch .

‘Potter' shatters midnight-screening record

Midnight screenings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" pulled in an estimated $43.5 million on Friday, setting a revenue record, according to box-office tracker eighth and final film in the highly popular series from Time Warner Inc.(TWX) Warner Bros. Pictures beat the previous mark held by "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which was $30 million. "Eclipse" set the previous mark on June 30, 2010. Screened at 3,800 theaters throughout the nation, the midnight showings could help "Potter" set new marks for a single-day opening record. The current record is $72.7 million from "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" on Nov. 20, 2009. Read MarketWatch's harry Potter coverage

Best cities to invest in rental homes

The housing market in Las Vegas may continue to struggle, but for investors, the city is the best place to buy a home and rent it out, a new report revealed on Monday.HomeVestors of America and Local Market Monitor released its list of best markets to invest in rental property, and Las Vegas came out on top. HomeVestors is a real-estate investment company; Local Market Monitor is a forecaster of real-estate markets. Here are HomeVestors/Local Market Monitor's top 10 markets for people to invest in rental property are. Read Amy Hoak's Home Economics on MarketWatch

No debt-limit deal? Your investments plummet

It's no joke. The sky over the investment world and everything under it, including bonds, stocks, money markets, commodities, you name it, will fall unless lawmakers raise the $14.3 trillion Federal debt ceiling by Aug. 2.It could be nothing less than catastrophic and worse than the financial meltdown of the late 2000s should Uncle Sam fail to raise the legal limit on government borrowing and default on U.S. debt, according to Greg McBride, a CFA charterholder and senior analyst with "There will be no safe haven," said McBride, from his perch in Florida. Read Bob Powell's Your Portfolio on MarketWatch

Maybe the best market-timing system ever

Chalk up another win for one of the best-performing stock market timing systems of all time.After neatly sidestepping most of the May-June correction, this system became 100% long during the last week of June — just in time for the explosive rally that soon ensued.And, then, the system went back to 100% cash at last Friday's close, thereby avoiding the big down day that greeted investors on the first trading day of this week.What is this timing system with such nimble footwork?It is the Seasonality Trading System, which was created by Norman Fosback in the early 1970s. Fosback was president of the Institute for Econometric Research from the early 1970s through the late 1990s, and he currently edits an investment advisory service called Fosback's Fund Forecaster.
See Mark Hulbert's column on MarketWatch

Beware of rent-to-own house deals: MarketWatch | Personal Finance daily

Personal Finance Daily
JULY 15, 2011

Beware of rent-to-own house deals

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

Lew Sichelman warns in his Realty Q&A column about the risks of rent-to-own or lease-to-own deals in residential housing. The advantage, he tells readers, is that you get to live in the house you want until you can qualify for a mortgage. But the inherent danger is that you fail to improve your credit or can't get the mortgage for some other reason and the deal goes down the drain — with a lot of your money. A realistic selling price and other terms are key to making such an agreement work.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

Setting up a rent-to-own agreement

Most investors who dabble in the lease-to-own field are betting would-be buyers don't live up to their end of the bargain. Be careful when taking this route to obtaining your dream home.
Read more: Setting up a rent-to-own agreement.

Beginning of the end of the entire crisis?

One contrarian-oriented advisory service is detecting light at the end of the real-estate tunnel.
Read more: Beginning of the end of the entire crisis?

Do area codes even matter anymore?

With cells phones and unlimited calling plans, area codes don't matter any more to most consumers. But some residents and business people still cherish their recognizable area codes — and ZIP codes — for their cachet.
Read more: Do area codes even matter anymore?


In charts: Confidence and consumption

The week's data showed a big drop in consumer confidence, a mixed picture on prices as well as China's economy still racing ahead. See that data, and more, in charts.
See charts: Confidence and consumption.

Obama says time for debt agreement running out

President Barack Obama presses for a "big" deficit-cutting deal, but says he and Congress should at least get a "down payment" on cutting the budget soon.
Read more: Obama says time for debt agreement running out.

U.S. consumer prices drop for first time in a year

The cost of living fell last month for the first time in a year, mainly because of a drop in gasoline prices, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.
Read more: U.S. consumer prices drop for first time in a year.

Consumer sentiment plunges in July

A gauge of consumer sentiment plunges in early July as views on the current economy and expectations worsen, according to an index released Friday.
Read more: Consumer sentiment plunges in July.


CFTC whistleblower rule draws scrutiny

A rule that would encourage whistleblowers to report commodities trading infractions is beginning to draw the same ire that a similar rule for securities trading sparked.
Read more: CFTC whistleblower rule draws scrutiny.

Investment driven by guilt, and that's good

Guilty consciences may just save the world and make it a better place, writes Thomas Kostigen.
Read more: Investment driven by guilt, and that's good.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Palin's bus tour a family trip, Park Service says

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


National Park Service said Palin's bus tour wasn't a burden; "family" trip paid for with Palin's political action committee
Read full story
Palin's bus tour a family trip, Park Service says

Reagan, taxes and the Minnesota shutdown Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers offers thoughts on Ronald Reagan and taxes

Bachmann spouse: I don't push gays to be straight Marcus Bachmann says his clinic will work with patients seeking to become heterosexual, but isn't seeking to change people; denies calling gays "barbarians"

Obama: We don't need a balanced budget amendment President Obama said in a press conference today that the House GOP plan to tie a debt ceiling increase to a balanced budget amendment is unnecessary and unrealistic

Obama: Americans back me on debt deal President points to polls to argue that Americans -- including Republicans -- support his call for deal with revenue increases



Litigation Release No. 22041 / July 15, 2011


Securities and Exchange Commission v. Darrel West and Own My Travel, LLC, and Professionally Assisted Marketing, Inc., Case No. 6:09-CV-1419 (M.D. Fla.).

The Commission announced that the Honorable John Antoon II, Senior District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted the Commission’s Motions to Set Disgorgement and Civil Penalty Amounts as to Defendant Darrel West. The Court ordered West to pay disgorgement of $606,413.31 (representing profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged against him in the Complaint) together with prejudgment interest thereon in the amount of $42,148.81. The Court also ordered West to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $606,413.31 for a total liability of $1,254,975.43. West controlled Defendant Own My Travel, LLC. Previously, the Court entered Judgments of Permanent Injunction against West and Own My Travel. The Judgments, entered by consent, enjoin West and Own My Travel from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Commission voluntarily dismissed with prejudice its previous claims for disgorgement and civil penalties against Own My Travel and disgorgement against Professionally Assisted Marketing, Inc. as both companies are currently defunct.

The Commission filed its complaint on August 14, 2009, against West, Own My Travel and Professionally Assisted Marketing, LLC as a relief defendant. The complaint alleged the defendants misrepresented Own My Travel as a legitimate multi-level marketing company when it was actually a fraudulent pyramid scheme premised on the sale of memberships and thus destined to collapse, leaving investors with substantial losses. The complaint also alleged that West and Own My Travel misled investors about Own My Travel’s business structure and how it generated revenue, the future commissions investors would purportedly receive on a monthly basis, the risks associated with the Own My Travel investment, and West’s failures running a similar predecessor company.

For additional information, see LR-21182 (August 21, 2009) and LR-21504 (April 26, 2010).

Palin may have a misunderstanding of what could happen if the nation breaches the debt limit.: The Washington Post | Politics Afternoon Edition

The Washington Post

Politics Afternoon Edition


  1. Obama still pushing for 'big deal'

    President Obama calls on parties to "set politics aside" to reach a debt agreement.
    » Read full article
  2. Murdoch protege resigns amid scandal

    Chief executive of News International resigns as phone hacking scandal continues to spread.
    » Read full article
  3. Fact Checker: Palin's debt whoppers

    Palin may have a misunderstanding of what could happen if the nation breaches the debt limit.
    » Read full article
  4. Obama's toughest job: Tax increases

    THE FIX | Obama pressed for Republicans to accept tax increases in the debt deal.
    » Read full article
  5. Romney focuses on economy in N.H.

    By making the economy the focus of his campaign, Romney has raised expectations for what he eventually will propose.
    » Read full article

Eight banks fail European stress tests: MarketWatch | Market Pulse - Stress Tests Results

By Simon Kennedy 
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The European Banking Authority said Friday that eight banks failed its stress tests, with a combined capital shortfall of 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion). A further sixteen banks narrowly passed the tests. The capital shortfall was even smaller than the 3.5 billion euro shortfall of the seven banks that failed the tests last year. But the authority said this was in part because banks have raised significant amounts of extra capital since the start of the year. In total, around 50 billion euros of capital was raised between January and April. If capital levels from the end of 2010 were used, 20 banks would have failed the tests. The EBA didn't immediately name the banks that failed, but individual banks will release their own results.

Mineweb Top Stories: U.S. hardrock AML cleanup may require federal fees, Good Samaritan laws

Mineweb logo

TOP STORIES | Friday , 15 Jul 2011                                                     

U.S. hardrock AML cleanup may require federal fees, Good Samaritan laws

A congressional subcommittee hearing on cleanup and securing of abandoned mined land sites on public lands has generated numerous suggestions regarding inventory, incentives, and costs.    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Three reports define Critical Minerals and Materials

An analysis of three reports which identify those metals and minerals seen as critical to the technology and industries of the major Western economies    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Europe's debt default crisis: It's the CDS Stupid!

The latest sharp run up in the gold price goes deeper than just fear about the naked debt positions of the European PIIG economies. These are magnified many times by derivatives such as Credit Default Swaps.    Thursday , 14 Jul 2011

Ontario forest fires force Goldcorp Musselwhite mine evacuation

A fire located 30 kilometers from the Musselwhite mine was advancing late Thursday toward the mine site, forcing the temporary closure and evacuation of the Goldcorp operation.    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Scrap copper market supply squeezed by U.S. building slump

A continued slump in industrial demolition rates as a result of the prolonged downturn in the U.S. housing sector has tightened supplies in the U.S. copper scrap market    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

China nearly doubles rare earth export quota

Even as China dismissed US and EU claims that they have violated global trade rules by restricting exports of rare earths, a WTO ruling of last week has resulted in China almost doubling the export quota of the precious minerals.    Thursday , 14 Jul 2011

BHP Billiton to spend $12.1bn on U.S. Petrohawk Energy

The transnational miner unveiled the all-cash bid for the U.S. energy company on Friday marking its biggest step to date, into the shale gas sector.    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Fortescue production rises 8% in June quarter

According to the Australian iron ore miner, production rose to 12.38m tonnes during the quarter. The group added that expansion work to triple output over the next two-and-a-half years remained on track    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Usimas pays $1.16bn for long term iron ore access

The Brazilian steelmaker said Thursday it has agreed to rent mining rights owned by MBL Materiais Basicos for the next 30 years in order to secure access to iron ore resources    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

JPMorgan ups commodities risk in Q2

According to the numbers in its latest financial results, the bank's value at risk for commodities averaged $16 million per day in the second quarter, compared with $13 million in the first quarter    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Vale signs JV for concession rights at Brazil's Ultrafertil port

According to a regulatory filing the Brazilian miner will pay its Vale Fertilizantes unit $96m for a 51 percent stake in the port project and will pump in 432 million reais to fund investments in the port.    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Outotec alumina calciners ordered for Saudi's Ma'aden Alcoa JV

Finnish metallurgical technology specialist has achieved an order for two calciners for the Ma'aden/Alcoa Ras Al Khair aluminium complex in Saudi Arabia    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Shipments and production resume at Freeport Indonesia

Workers at Freeport McMoRan's Indonesian mine said that production gradually resumed on Thursday and and two cargoes carrying 65,000 tonnes of concentrate were ready for shipping on Friday    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Wesizwe Platinum looking for consolidation

The Platinum miner said it will look to consolidate with neighbouring mines as it aims for full production at its Frischgewaagd-Ledig mine by 2021    Thursday , 14 Jul 2011

Goldplat on target to sell first gold from Kilimapesa

Small budding gold mining and technology company Goldplat says it is on track to produce its first gold at its Kilimapesa property in Kenya    Thursday , 14 Jul 2011

Unravelling global economy moving back towards a gold standard

Step by step, the world is edging towards a revived Gold Standard as it becomes clearer that Japan and the West have reached debt saturation.    Friday , 15 Jul 2011

Yesterday's Top Story: Extreme times for central bankers - a time for gold

The huge upwards swing in the gold price this week relates to loss of confidence in currencies with central banks in ‘preserving-their-gold mode' with Greek default still looming.    Thursday , 14 Jul 2011

PODCASTS / RADIO                                                     

Gold bullion versus gold stocks and Europe's continuing debt problems

John Licata of Blue Phoenix takes us through some of the factors continuing to underpin gold prices and looks at the difference in valuation between gold bullion and equities

Cameco and the uranium sector - Tim Gitzel, Cameco CEO

Three days into the job, Cameco's new CEO, Tim Gitzel, sat down with Mineweb to discuss the current state of the uranium sector and Cameco's plans for the future.

Putting monetary trust in gold - Ronald Stoeferle

A look at some of the changes in the monetary nature of gold and an outlook for prices given the current macro economic outlook

Europe stocks drop ahead of stress-test results Shares of BHP Billiton slip following deal news: MarketWatch | Europe Markets

By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch 

LONDON (MarketWatch) European stock markets finished lower on Friday after data showed a big drop in U.S. consumer sentiment and ahead of the release of bank-stress-test results. 

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index XX:SXXP -0.29%  fell 0.3% to end at 266.91. For the week, the index dropped 2.5%. 
Downbeat economic data overshadowed strong corporate earnings from companies such as Citigroup Inc. C -0.28% . The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell sharply in July, data indicated and soured investors’ mood. 

Europe's Week Ahead: Nokia earnings, German data Mobile-handset maker Nokia will report earnings next week. Economic indicators from Germany and the Bank of England's July meeting minutes are also due. 

Among the biggest decliners in Europe was Temenos Group AG CH:TEMN -20.53% . The shares tumbled 20.4% in Zurich after the provider of banking-software systems lowered its full-year license outlook, saying banks face uncertainty and are unwilling to take decisions about large capital projects.
In France, the CAC 40 index FR:PX1 -0.66%  dropped 0.7% to 3,726.59, while Germany’s DAX 30 index DX:DAX +0.07%  edged up 0.1% to 7,220.12
“Results of the European bank stress tests are released at 5 p.m. when markets have already closed, so it seems unlikely that investors will have an enormous appetite for risk ahead of both this and the weekend,” said Ben Critchley, sales trader at IG Index in London, in a note.
Banking shares moved lower ahead of the stress-test announcement.
In Paris, Natixis FR:KN -2.97%  dropped 3% and Credit Agricole FR:ACA -3.06%  sank 3.1%. In Frankfurt, Commerzbank AG DE:CBK -1.01%  fell 3% and Deutsche Bank AG DE:DBK -0.88%   declined 1.5%.
ING Group NL:INGA -2.35%  dropped 2.4% in Amsterdam.
In Zurich, shares of Credit Suisse Group AG CH:CSGN -1.54%   CS -0.76%  dropped 1.5% after the bank said it’s the target of a Department of Justice investigation into private-banking services provided to Americans.

Italy, Spain stocks fall

Peripheral markets posted steeper losses than the core European markets; worries have grown in recent days that the euro-zone debt crisis may spread to bigger economies such as Italy and Spain.
Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 1% to 18,450.45, with Intesa Sanpaolo SpA IT:ISP -1.49%  down 1.5%. Spain’s IBEX 35 index dropped 1.2% to 9,484.20, with BBVA ES:BBVA -1.56%   BBVA -0.97%  down 1.6%.
In the technology sector, shares of STMicroelectronics FR:STM -3.31%   STM -2.52%  slipped 3.3% in Paris after Morgan Stanley downgraded the firm to equalweight from overweight. 

The broker also reiterated its equal weight rating on Infineon Technologies AG DE:IFX -2.02% , whose shares dropped 2.4%.
German car maker Volkswagen AG DE:VOW3 +3.01%  rallied 2.9% after it reported record deliveries for the first half and expressed confidence it could perform better than the global car market in the second half of the year.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UK:UKX -0.06%  closed down 0.06% at 5,843.66. Luxury-goods firm Burberry Group PLC UK:BRBY +4.16%  rallied 4.2%, as Citigroup raised its price target on the stock.
Shares of Fresnillo PLC UK:FRES +1.88%  rose 1.9% after J.P. Morgan Cazenove upgraded the silver miner to overweight from neutral. Citing its latest production report, the broker said that “Fresnillo has shown itself to be simply the best in the business at consistently delivering against its production targets.” The shares have rallied more than 14% this week.
Shares of BHP Billiton PLC UK:BLT -1.93%   BHP -1.46%  fell 1.9% after the miner said it will acquire Petrohawk Energy Corp. HK +62.50%  for $12.1 billion in cash.
Another decliner was Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC UK:RR -2.50% , whose shares dropped 2.5%. UBS downgraded the engine maker to sell from neutral, citing weakness in the outlook for offshore vessels, which have been one of the drivers of the firm’s marine business growth.
Meanwhile, in Helsinki, shares of Wartsila Oyj FI:WRT1V -11.84%  , which supplies engines and power systems to the marine industry, slumped nearly 12%. The firm lowered its full-year sales forecast because of weaker-than-expected marine-service markets.
In other U.K. trading, shares of FirstGroup PLC UK:FGP +6.31% , which owns the Greyhound bus service in the U.S., surged 6.3%. The firm said trading in its fiscal first quarter was in line with its expectations, and cited improving trends in the U.K. rail and Greyhound businesses.
Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.