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Feb 15, 2013

MarketWatch | Wall Street at Close Report February 15, 2013.: S&P 500 up for 7th week; Dow down for 2nd

By Wallace Witkowski and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch 

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)The S&P 500 Index finished Friday with its seventh consecutive week of gains as a choppy trading day was buffeted by worries of weak retail sales and supported by positive economic data. 

The S&P 500 index SPX -0.10%  fell 1.59 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,519.79, with telecom the best gainer and energy the biggest decliner among its 10 major industry groups. The index, however, rose 0.1% for the week, extending a seven-week winning streak not seen since January 2011. 


U.S. stocks hit their lows of the day in afternoon trading following a Bloomberg News report that a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT -2.15%  executive called the retailer’s February sales “a total disaster” in an internal email. Read more on Wal-Mart exec's email.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.06%  rose 8.37 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 13,981.76. That comeback wasn’t enough to save the Dow for the week as it logged its second week of losses in a row, with a 0.1% decline. 

Sixteen of the Dow’s 30 components closed in positive territory with Coca-Cola Co. KO +1.57%  shares 1.6% higher. Reflecting the day’s choppy trading, the index crossed zero 37 times during the session.

S.E.C. Acts on Suspicious Heinz Tradin: DealBook Alert February 15, 2013.

The New York Times | NEWS ALERT


DEALBOOK ALERT Friday, February 15, 2013 4:38 PM EST
Regulators investigating possible insider trading in the $23 billion takeover of H. J. Heinz have a frozen account linked to suspicious trades, according to a court filing on Friday.
In the filing made in Federal District Curt in Manhattan, the Securities and Exchange Commission took action against a Zurich-based trading account that reaped $1.7 million in gains. The emergency action, the S.E.C. said on Friday, will prevent the suspects from collecting their profits or moving the money overseas.
The identity of the Heinz traders is not yet clear. An S.E.C. statement referred only to “unknown traders.” The agency said its investigation is continuing.
“Irregular and highly suspicious options trading immediately in front of a merger or acquisition announcement is a serious red flag that traders may be improperly acting on confidential nonpublic information,” Daniel M. Hawke, head of the S.E.C.’s market abuse unit, said in a statement.
As the agency took action on Friday, it could cast a cloud over the Heinz deal. Authorities will no doubt turn their focus toward the limited universe of insiders who tipped traders to the takeover.

READ MORE »

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/s-e-c-acts-on-suspicious-heinz-trading/?emc=na

Real-estate media manipulation trend emerges: BIV Today's Business News February 15, 2013.



Media and Marketing

Real-estate media manipulation trend emerges

News this week that MAC Marketing had one of its employees pose as a potential homeowner in media interviews has prompted ... READ MORE

 

Life in the Village pays off for local webzine editor

Marketers of the in-receivership Olympic Village are paying the editor of a well-known local webzine to blog about joys of life in the Village ... READ MORE

Environment and Sustainability

 

Pacific Carbon Trust pricing to be reviewed, government may tap surplus

B.C. environment minister Terry Lake wants to know how much money the Pacific Carbon Trust has banked, and says his government may tap any surplus it has accrued to help pay ... READ MORE

More News...

   

U.S. report attacks Burnaby refinery owner’s safety record

Vancouver’s January home sales up but year-over-year prices down: CREA

Westshore ship collision slowed port’s 2012 growth

Local tech venture capitalist buys Vancouver crowdfunding startup Weeve

 

This Week's Issue

City trash talk: Vancouver's plans to turn garbage into power

A recent Conference Board of Canada report revealed Canada tops 17 other developed ... READ MORE

Andrew Ramlo

 

Charting B.C.’s rocky road to economic recovery

Recent Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey data show that B.C. has recouped all of ... READ MORE

Awards

BIV CFO of the Year 2013

The deadline for nominations has been extended to March 1, so you still have two weeks to get your nominations in! Complete the online form and register for the May 14 gala dinner ... CLICK HERE

 

Money Show Investors Daily Alert February 15, 2013.: Jim Jubak recommends five stocks to buy for the long term.

INVESTORS DAILY ALERT

Jim Jubak on MoneyShow.com
TOP PROS' TOP PICKS
GURUS' VIEWS & STRATEGIES
TRADING LESSONS
CHARTS IN PLAY
MoneyShow.com Exclusive Interviews
IDEAS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Today's Featured Videos

DealBook P.M. Edition February 15, 2013: SAC Investors Ask to Withdraw $1.7 Billion


NYTimes.com Home |Business Day| Video The New York Times


Friday, February 15, 2013
TOP STORY
SAC Investors Ask to Withdraw $1.7 Billion While the outflows are a blow to the fund founded by Steven A. Cohen, which boasts one of the best investment track records on Wall Street, they are expected to have little impact on the fund's business.

ADVERTISEMENT
DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
DealBook Column: A Deal-Making Craze? Yes, With Caveats Andrew Ross Sorkin says that the deals of recent weeks have very little to do with the trends that bankers on Wall Street say they believe will drive a new cycle of deal-making.
Deal Professor: Warren Buffett's Kind of Deal Steven Davidoff explains how Pennsylvania law has helped structure a favorable buyout for Warren E. Buffett and 3G Capital.
Gleacher Confirms It Has Called Off Sales Process Gleacher & Company confirmed on Friday that it had ended attempts to sell itself, at least for the moment, but that it had agreed to sell its mortgage lending unit to Ocwen Financial.
Several Ex-Partners Ask Judge to Reject Dewey's Bankruptcy Plan Six onetime partners have filed legal papers urging a judge to reject the plan for Dewey & LeBoeuf, which delineates how the defunct firm plans to pay back its creditors.
Commerzbank Chief Gives Up Bonus Amid Lackluster Results The chief executive of Commerzbank, Martin Blessing, said Friday he would not take a bonus for 2012, after the bank reported a net loss of 716 million euros, or $959 million, in the fourth quarter.
The Icahn Effect on Herbalife Shares Shares of Herbalife surged after the disclosure that Carl C. Icahn had taken a big stake. But that enthusiasm appeared to fade a bit once Mr. Icahn appeared on CNBC to explain his reasons for investing in the nutritional supplements company.
LOOKING AHEAD
Presidents' Day DealBook's morning and afternoon e-mails will be off on Monday. Check with dealbook.com for the latest news.


Quotation of the Day
"I'm not going to lie to you and say that if Ackman gets squeezed I'll feel very sorry and cry and do penance."
Carl C. Icahn on his dispute with William A. Ackman over Herbalife.


MarketWatch | Euro markets at Close Report February 15, 2013.: Europe stocks slip with G-20 meeting in focus.

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch 

LONDON (MarketWatch)European stock markets inched lower on Friday, with investors remaining on the sidelines while finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations began a closely watched two-day meeting in Moscow amid rising global currency tensions. 

The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -0.16% fell 0.2% to close at 287.34, leaving the index flat for the week. 


Is Heinz Buffett's last big deal?
A look at the strategy behind the Heinz deal, which may reveal the lengths to which Warren Buffett is willing to go to deploy spare cash. Photo: Getty Images. 

“This week, markets have moved around a lot, but haven’t made any big moves overall. I would call this a consolidation week, after we had stocks move very strongly to the upside in the beginning of the year,” said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets.
So far this year, the Europe benchmark index has added 2.7%. 

“The rally has been justified on the basis of fundamentals, but you also have central banks injecting liquidity into the market, so in that sense the moves have been artificial. We would have a very different environment if it wasn’t for the central bank liquidity and we should keep in mind that at some point the economy should become self sustained,” he said. 

Shares of precious-metals miners were among the biggest decliners after a round of downgrades by Citigroup. Shares of Randgold Resources Ltd. UK:RRS -3.79% dropped 3.8% and Fresnillo PLC UK:FRES -6.34% lost 6.3% as ratings on both U.K. miners were slashed to sell from neutral, while Petropavlovsk PLC UK:POG -4.76% shaved off 4.8% as it was cut to neutral from buy. See: Soros cuts back on gold and Citi talks price 'hibernation'

Also on the decline in Europe, shares of Aker Solutions ASA dropped more than 10% after the Norwegian oil-services firm reported fourth-quarter profit below market expectations.

AFP/Getty Images Enlarge Image
Precious-metals mining firms fell Friday after a round of broker downgrades.
On an upbeat note, shares of luxury-goods firm PPR SA FR:PP +7.63% jumped 7.6% as the Gucci owner said it is confident of its prospects for 2013 after posting a rise in net profit last year. See: PPR confident for 2013 amid luxury boom .

G-20 meeting in focus

For the broader market, investors trained their attention on developments in Moscow where the gathering of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers got under way. The Japanese yen rebounded on growing expectations the G-20 won’t single out Tokyo for pursuing a weaker currency, despite currency tensions that have been amplified by the yen’s sharp plunge. See: Russian meteor christens G-20 meeting
However, a Reuters report quoted a G-20 official as saying a final communiqué won’t repeat an earlier Group of Seven pledge that members won't target exchange rates. See: Yen rebound falters with focus on G-20

“You have to remember that all these currency moves also can be seen as a positive. If a country is trying to bring down its currency, it means it will inject more liquidity into the system and that has been driving the rally,” said Gijsels from BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets.

Stronger-than-expected manufacturing data for the New York region briefly helped lift the trading mood. The Empire State index jumped to 10 in February form negative 7.8 in the prior month, exceeding analysts’ forecast of a negative 2 reading. See: Manufacturing improves in New York
 
The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment gauge rose to a preliminary February reading of 76.3—the highest level since November—from a final January reading of 73.8, reports said. See: University of Michigan consumer sentiment rises in February
 
Meanwhile, data showed industrial production in the U.S. slipped 0.1% in January, after gains of 1.4% in November and 0.4% in December. See: Industrial production slips in January
U.S. stocks traded mixed on Wall Street. See: U.S. stocks edge up after Empire State data .

Movers

Among country-specific indexes in Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UK:UKX +0.01% closed marginally higher at 6,328.26 and closed out the week with a 1% gain. 

Anglo American PLC UK:AAL +1.29% rose 1.3%, after the miner’s chief executive Cynthia Carroll said she sees a better 2013 after a challenging 2012. See: Anglo American CEO expects better year in 2013

France’s CAC 40 index FR:PX1 -0.25% fell 0.3% to 3,660.37, but gained 0.3% on the week. Shares of Renault SA FR:RNO +3.47% rose 3.5% after J.P. Morgan Cazenove lifted the car maker to overweight from neutral. 

Germany’s DAX 30 index DX:DAX -0.49% shaved off 0.5% to 7,593.51, with shares of E.ON SE DE:EOAN -1.50% off 1.3%, as the utility firm sold its stake in a Finnish nuclear project. The German benchmark lost 0.8% on the week. See: E.ON sells stake in Finnish nuclear project

Shares of Commerzbank AG DE:CBK +0.95% added 1.2%, after the bank said operating profit more than doubled in 2012 compared with the year before. 

Outside the major indexes, shares of Italian oil major Eni SpA IT:ENI +2.14% E +2.14% gained 2.1% after the company announced plans to raise its 2012 dividend despite a drop in fourth-quarter profit. See: Eni raises dividend despite fourth-quarter profit drop

Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter @sarasjolin.

ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin February 15, 2013.


ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Friday, 15 February 2013


London Market Report
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Stocks flat as caution sets in ahead of G20 statement

    Market Movers
    techMARK 2,308.76 +0.49%
    FTSE 100 6,328.26 +0.01%
    FTSE 250 13,558.35 +0.43%
Better-than-expected economic data from the States helped the Footsie erase its earlier losses on Friday afternoon, though the mood on markets was still cautious ahead of an announcement from the Group of 20 meeting in Moscow.

Market analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said that “traders opt[ed] to wait on the sidelines ahead of the statement”, though it is likely to be very similar to the one released earlier in the week following the G7 meeting, claiming that they “reaffirm their longstanding commitment to market determined exchange rates”.

European Central Bank council member Jens Weidmann said today that the Bank would not cut interest rates in order to reverse the recent rise in the euro. He said that the exchange rate of the euro "is broadly in line with fundamentals" and the single currency is not overvalued.

Both the Empire State manufacturing survey and University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index came in above expectations today, helped the FTSE 100 push into positive territory by the close, albeit only slightly.

Market sentiment was still a little fragile after disappointing fourth-quarter economic growth figures from the Eurozone and Japan. The Eurozone contracted by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter (consensus estimate: -0.4%) while Japan saw its economic activity decline 0.4% on an annualised basis (consensus estimate: +0.4%).
FTSE 100: Fresnillo and Randgold hit by downgrades
Precious metal peers Randgold and Fresnillo registered heavy losses today after Citigroup cut its ratings for both stocks to 'sell' and reduced target. The US bank said it was seeing the “loss of momentum” in precious metal prices and premium valuations of gold and silver stocks.

Similarly, sweeteners and food products firm Tate & Lyle was hit after Exane BNP Paribas lowered its rating to 'neutral'.

In contrast, broadcaster ITV was a high riser today after Nomura raised its target for the shares from 125p to 130p and kept its ‘buy’ rating ahead of the company’s full-year results. The broker said it sees a “strong case” for a share buy-back.

Mining giant Anglo American gained despite recording $4.6bn of impairment charges in 2012. While underlying earnings took a hit from falling commodity prices, ongoing cost pressures and a loss-making platinum business, they still managed to beat consensus forecast. Analysts at Jefferies said that they are "becoming more positive on Anglo shares", adding that the worst could now be over. They also said that "there is a possibility that the merged Glenstrata attempts to acquire the company at some point".

Chemicals group Johnson Matthey fell after saying that it is to lose commission income from restructuring a metal supply deal with Anglo American Platinum.
FTSE 250: Tullett Prebon dragged into LIBOR scandal
Interdealer broker Tullett Prebon sank after being drawn into the LIBOR scandal. Reports suggest that an individual at the firm was part of conversations about rigging the yen LIBOR rate, according to the Financial Times.

Gold miner Petropavlovsk was lower after Citi downgraded its recommendation to 'neutral'. Meanwhile, engineering and software group Invensys was performing well after Morgan Stanley lifted its view to 'overweight'.

Bumi plc shares continued to fall as co-founders of the coal miner financier Nathanial Rothschild and the Bakrie Group continued to butt heads over fate of the business.

Britvic was back in positive territory as the stock recovered following yesterday's news that the Office of Fair Trading has referred the tie-up with A.G. Barr to the Competition Commission.

AIM/Small Cap Report
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 117.00p +3.17%
WPP (WPP) 1,047.00p +2.75%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,680.00p +2.38%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,984.00p +2.06%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,263.00p +1.85%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,060.00p +1.63%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 940.00p +1.62%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,478.00p +1.54%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,201.00p +1.52%
Capita (CPI) 831.50p +1.40%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,550.00p -6.34%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,580.00p -3.79%
Polymetal International (POLY) 997.50p -2.40%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 784.00p -2.18%
Pearson (PSON) 1,184.00p -1.91%
IMI (IMI) 1,160.00p -1.69%
Tesco (TSCO) 364.75p -1.57%
Amec (AMEC) 1,026.00p -1.54%
CRH (CRH) 1,388.00p -1.49%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 331.00p -1.43%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,525.00p +6.62%
Britvic (BVIC) 403.90p +3.56%
RPS Group (RPS) 243.00p +3.40%
Perform Group (PER) 410.00p +3.27%
Carpetright (CPR) 679.50p +2.95%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 730.00p +2.89%
Redrow (RDW) 190.50p +2.86%
Senior (SNR) 213.90p +2.84%
Rotork (ROR) 2,914.00p +2.75%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 675.50p +2.74%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 272.60p -8.80%
Bumi (BUMI) 377.30p -7.07%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 282.80p -5.92%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 326.40p -4.76%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 295.00p -4.56%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,288.00p -3.95%
Savills (SVS) 515.50p -3.55%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 124.00p -3.50%
Man Group (EMG) 107.60p -3.15%
Genus (GNS) 1,401.00p -2.37%

Europe Market Report
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European Markets Finished Mixed After Mixed Economic Reports

The European markets ended Friday's trading session with mixed results. Following the release of several weaker than expected GDP results on Thursday, the markets were dealt an unexpected drop in retail sales in the U.K. at the end of the week. There were some positive results released by the United States in the afternoon, including a stronger than expected increase in consumer sentiment and a surge in the New York manufacturing data. However, U.S. industrial production unexpectedly declined.

The Eurozone economy is likely to stop shrinking further in the first quarter after recording a faster contraction in the fourth quarter, IHS Global Insight Chief European and UK Economist Howard Archer said Friday.

IHS Global Insight noted that fourth quarter's deeper-than-expected contraction is unlikely to prompt the European Central Bank (ECB) to lower interest rates, at least in the near term, as it clearly believes that Eurozone's economic activity has passed its low point and the major downside risks have been diluted, even if activity is currently still muted and recovery prospects limited.

However, a further marked appreciation of the euro could eventually prompt the bank to cut interest rates to try and reduce the upward pressure on the single currency, but the euro is not yet at a strong enough level to warrant such action.

U.K. lawmakers on Friday said the Treasury could not explain the effect of the quantitative easing on the whole economy. The panel said some GBP 375 billion has so far been injected into the economy as an 'experiment'.

"The Treasury has not convinced us it understands either the risks it has taken on by indemnifying the Bank of England against losses on Quantitative Easing or the expected economic benefits," the Public Accounts Committee said in an annual report.

Further, lawmakers said, "The Treasury's attempts to stimulate economic growth through new lending have, so far, not been successful." The treasury should be clear what it wants this BoE scheme to achieve and how it intends to monitor it.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks declined by 0.72 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.16 percent.

The CAC 40 of France fell by 0.25 percent and the DAX of Germany dropped by 0.49 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.15 percent and the SMI of Switzerland advanced by 0.25 percent.

In Frankfurt, Commerzbank increased by 1.22 percent after reporting full year results.

In Paris, Renault gained 3.30 percent. JP Morgan upgraded its rating on the auto-maker to "Overweight" from "Neutral."

PPR surged by 7.63 percent, after reporting an increased full year profit. The company also expressed confidence in its 2013 prospects.

In London, mining stocks turned in a weak performance following a series of downgrades. Citigroup downgraded its rating on shares of both Randgold Resources and Fresnillo to "Sell" from "Neutral." Randgold Resources declined by 3.79 percent and Fresnillo lost 6.16 percent.

Petropavlovsk dropped by 4.58 percent, after Citigroup downgraded it to "Neutral" from "Buy." Anglo American climbed by 1.17 percent, after its CEO made positive comments on the full year 2013.

Tate & Lyle fell by 2.18 percent, after BNP Paribas downgraded it to "Neutral" from "Outperform."

Eurozone's trade surplus declined in December from a month earlier, the latest figures published by Eurostat revealed Friday. The surplus fell to EUR 11.7 billion in December from a revised EUR 13 billion in the previous month. Economists expected the surplus to fall to EUR 13.1 billion from November's originally estimated EUR 13.7 billion.

Employment in Germany's manufacturing sector increased from last year in December, preliminary data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed Friday. The number of employees working in manufacturing units with 50 or more employees increased 1.4 percent from a year earlier to around 5.2 million in December.

Denting recovery hopes, U.K. retail sales fell unexpectedly in January as heavy snow fall battered food turnover, official data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Confounding expectations for a 0.5 percent rise, retail sales including auto fuel dropped 0.6 percent in January from the previous month, when sales fell 0.3 percent.

US Market Report
Stocks Nearly Flat In Mid-Day Trading

After closing mixed in each of the three previous sessions, stocks are turning in yet another lackluster performance during trading on Friday. The choppy trading on the day extends a recent sideways trend by the markets.

The major averages are currently lingering near the unchanged line, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. While the Dow is up 2.50 points at 13,975.89, the Nasdaq is down 0.54 points at 3,198.12 and the S&P 500 is down 0.63 points at 1,520.75.

The lack of direction being shown by stocks comes as traders express uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after recent gains lifted the major averages to multi-year highs.

While the major averages have largely held on to their recent gains, a lack of meaningful catalysts has prevented the markets from seeing much further upside.

A mixed back of economic data is also contributing to the choppy trading, with traders weighing upbeat reports on New York manufacturing activity and consumer sentiment against a disappointing report on industrial production.

The New York Federal Reserve said its general business conditions index jumped to a positive 10.0 in February from a negative 7.8 in January, with a positive reading indicating an increase in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to climb to a negative 1.8.

With the much bigger than expected increase, the general business conditions index turned positive for the first time since July of 2012.

Reuters and the University of Michigan also released their preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of February, showing that the consumer sentiment index climbed to 76.3 from January's final reading of 73.8. The index had been expected to edge up to 75.0.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said industrial production edged down by 0.1 percent in January following a revised 0.4 percent increase in December.

Economists had expected production to increase by 0.3 percent, matching the growth originally reported for the previous month.

Among individual stocks, CBS Corp. (CBS) is posting a notable gain after the broadcaster reported weaker than expected fourth quarter results but announced plans for a $1 billion accelerated share repurchase. CBS is currently up by 3.6 percent.

Fast food giant Burger King (BKW) is also turning in a strong performance after reporting fourth quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

On the other hand, Agilent Technologies (A) has come under pressure after the scientific instrument maker reported weaker than expected fourth quarter results and provided disappointing guidance. Shares of Agilent have fallen by 4.3 percent.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are once again showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Gold stocks are seeing substantial weakness, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3.2 percent after hitting a nine-month low. The weakness in the sector comes as gold for April delivery has tumbled $28.50 to $1,607 an ounce.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among energy stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of crude oil. Crude for March delivery has plunged $1.70 to $95.61 a barrel.

On the other hand, airline stocks are seeing some strength on the day, moving back the upside after coming under pressure in the previous session.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.2 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have recently climbed off their worst levels but continue to see modest weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.2 basis points at 2.022 percent.

Broker tips
Anglo American, TUI Travel, Precious metal miners
Jefferies is 'becoming more positive' on Anglo American after the mining giant reported better-than-expected results for 2012 on Friday morning, but kept its 'hold' rating for the stock.

"While we have been concerned about structural cost pressures in South Africa, operational challenges in most of Anglo's businesses, and the risk of further delays and capex overruns at the company's Minas Rio iron ore project, it is possible that the worst is now over for Anglo American, and we are becoming more positive on Anglo shares."

Panmure Gordon has raised its rating for travel and leisure group TUI Travel from 'sell' to 'hold', saying that there are now few catalysts for the stock to underperform.

"The group is outperforming operationally, free cash flow generation is improving and with renewed effort from TUI AG to optimise the corporate structure of the two companies we see few catalysts for the stock to underperform."

Citi Research has downgraded its ratings for mining peers Fresnillo, Randgold and Petropavlovsk as part of its review into the precious metals sector.

"We have for some time been expressing caution both about the future trend of precious metals prices and about the premium valuations on gold and silver stocks, but have been unwilling to downgrade them to 'sell' ratings prior to further evidence of a loss of momentum in gold and silver prices," the broker said on Friday morning.

"We now believe that we are seeing that loss of momentum and do not believe that the ‘hothouse’ valuation effect of UK buyers chasing limited top-quality UK gold and silver stocks will prevail for much longer."

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin February 15, 2013.


ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Friday, 15 February 201



US Market
Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

Extending a recent sideways trend, stocks are showing a lack of direction in early trading on Friday. The major averages are lingering near the unchanged line after closing mixed in each of the three previous sessions.

The major averages are currently posting modest gains, hovering just above the unchanged line. The Dow is up 4.63 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 13,978.02, the Nasdaq is up 2.19 points or 0.1 percent at 3,200.85 and the S&P 500 is up 0.78 points or 0.1 percent at 1,522.16.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the outlook for the markets after recent strength lifted the major averages to multi-year highs.

While the major averages have largely held on to their recent gains, a lack of meaningful catalysts has prevented the markets from seeing much further upside.

A mixed batch of economic data is also contributing to today's lackluster performance, with traders digesting a pair of reports showing an expansion in New York manufacturing activity but an unexpected drop in industrial production.

The New York Federal Reserve said its general business conditions index jumped to a positive 10.0 in February from a negative 7.8 in January, with a positive reading indicating an increase in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to climb to a negative 1.8.

With the much bigger than expected increase, the general business conditions index turned positive for the first time since July of 2012.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said industrial production edged down by 0.1 percent in January following a revised 0.4 percent increase in December.

Economists had expected production to increase by 0.3 percent, matching the growth originally reported for the previous month.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in early trading, although considerable weakness has emerged among gold stocks. The NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is down by 3 percent, with a sharp drop by the price of gold weighing on the sector.

Oil service and natural gas stocks are also seeing early weakness, while airline stocks are regaining some ground after coming under pressure on Thursday.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.2 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. The German DAX Index has edged up by 0.1 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest weakness on the heels of the mixed economic data. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.2 basis points at 2.012 percent.

Canadian Market
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Commodities Drag TSX Lower At Open Friday

Toronto stocks moved down at open Friday amid marginal selling in commodities, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index losing 28.66 points or 0.22 percent to 12,693.13.

Royal Gold, Agnico-Eagle Mines and Barrick Gold were down over 1 percent each.

In the oil patch, Baytex Energy Corp. lost close to 2 percent.

The price of crude oil was paring recent gains Friday morning as traders focus to the G20 meeting, which is expected to address the so called 'currency wars'. Crude for March delivery shed $0.66 to $96.65 a barrel.

The price of gold was extending its six-month low Friday morning, with the euro trading weak as traders await cues from the G20 meeting. Gold fort April lost $19.40 to $1,616.10 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, Goldcorp. reported improved fourth-quarter net earnings of $504 million, or $0.47 per share compared to $405 million or $0.39 per share in the same period a year ago. Adjusted net earnings were $465 million or $0.57 per share compared to $531 million, or $0.66 per share. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.54 per share for the quarter.

Crude oil pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. reported lower fourth-quarter net earnings of C$146 million or C$0.18 per share compared to C$159 million or C$0.21 per share a year ago. However, on an adjusted basis, quarterly earnings totaled C$327 million or C$0.42 per share. Analysts expected earnings per share of C$0.44 for the quarter.

Property owner Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. posted a rise in fourth-quarter 2012 funds from operations to $459 million or $0.67 per share from $397 million or $0.58 per share last year, while net income attributable to Brookfield shareholders dropped to $492 million or $0.72 per share from last year's $588 million, or $0.90 per share.

Insurance services provider Fairfax Financial Holdings reported that its fourth-quarter net earnings was $404.1 million or $18.90 per share compared to a net loss of $771.5 million or $38.47 per share in the year ago quarter.

Wealth management and investment fund company CI Financial Corp. reported a fourth-quarter earnings of C$0.34 per share, up from C$0.31 per share in the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to earn $0.34 per share for the quarter.

Wood products company, West Fraser Timber reported improved fourth-quarter profit at C$22.9 million or C$0.51 per share compared to C$6.0 million or C$0.14 per share in the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the quarter were C$1.25 per share, compared to an adjusted loss from continuing operations of C$0.35 million. Analysts expected the company to earn C$1.15 per share for the quarter.

Forest products company Canfor Corp. swung to profit in fourth-quarter, reporting net income of C$21.6 million or C$0.15 per share compared to net loss of C$44.1 million or C$0.31 per share in the comparable quarter last year.

Communications and media company Rogers Communications Inc. posted fourth quarter net income of C$529 million, higher than C$327 million last year, while quarterly earnings per share rose to C$1.02, from C$0.61 a year ago. On an adjusted basis, net income improved to C$455 million or C$0.88 per share from the prior year's C$350 million or C$0.66 per share. Analysts expected earnings per share of C$0.72 for the quarter. Separately, the company announced a 10 percent increase to the annualized dividend rate from C$1.58 to C$1.74 per Class A Voting and Class B Non-Voting share.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said merchandise imports fell 2.8 percent in December and merchandise exports declined 0.9 percent. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world decreased from $1.7 billion in November to $901 million in December.

European Market
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European Markets Declined On Weak GDP Data

The European markets finished in the red on Thursday, dragged lower by weaker than expected GDP results in the Eurozone. Larger than expected economic contractions, especially those in Germany and France, weighed on investor sentiment. Thursday's session was also negatively impacted by some mixed earnings reports. Investors will be watching for any announcements from Friday's G-20 meeting.

Professional forecasters surveyed by the European Central Bank have lowered their view on growth and inflation outlook for the euro area, results of a quarterly survey published in the latest ECB bulletin revealed Thursday.

Real GDP growth expectations for 2013 were lowered to zero from 0.3 percent growth forecast previously, the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters showed. The outlook for 2014 was reduced to 1.1 percent from 1.3 percent. Growth is seen at 1.6 percent in 2015.

The main factor behind the downward revision for 2013 is the weaker than expected development in economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2012. Preliminary estimates from Eurostat showed today that the Eurozone economy contracted further at a faster than expected pace in the fourth quarter.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reportedly said Wednesday that the country may miss its deficit reduction target of 3 percent of GDP for 2013, due to weak economic growth.

Speaking to a French television channel, he, however, said that the government could attain a balanced budget in 2017, as targeted earlier. Ayrault said that growth in France as well as in Europe is weaker than expected.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks declined by 0.71 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.12 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped by 1.05 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell by 0.78 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. decreased by 0.41 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished down by 0.00 percent.

In Frankfurt, Rheinmetall increased by 7.21 percent. The company report fiscal 2012 earnings before interest and taxes of 301 million euros compared to 354 million euros last year.

In Paris, BNP Paribas climbed by 1.97 percent. The company unveiled plans to cut costs and expand in the Asia-Pacific region.

EDF advanced by 4.99 percent, after the utility group reported a 5 percent rise in full-year 2012 net income. Renault surged by 7.65 percent, after forecasting continued growth in global auto sales.

In London, Rio Tinto Plc declined by 0.14 percent. The mining giant recorded a $3.0 billion loss in 2012, as against a profit of $6.77 billion in 2011, of which $14 million was attributable to non-controlling interests.

Barclays decreased by 1.98 percent, after Investec Securities downgraded the stock to "Hold" from "Buy." Vodafone extended its losses from the previous session, falling by 2.39 percent. The recent weakness has been attributed to reports the Company is considering an acquisition of Kabel Deutschland.

Next increased by 1.21 percent, after HSBC upgraded the retailer to "Overweight" from "Neutral." ABB rose by 5.63 percent in Zurich. The engineering firm posted earnings that beat estimates. Nestle dropped by 2.33 percent, after reporting slower than expected growth.

Zurich Insurance Group finished up by 0.46 percent, after reporting higher fourth-quarter 2012 net income after tax attributable to shareholders of $983 million, compared with the prior year's $540 million.

The Eurozone contracted the most since the first quarter of 2009, after the unresolved sovereign debt crisis took its toll even on the economic powerhouse Germany.

Gross domestic product declined at a faster-than-expected pace of 0.6 percent, much bigger than the previous quarter's 0.1 percent fall, flash estimates from Eurostat showed Thursday. It was worse than a 0.4 percent drop forecast by economists.

Asia Market
Asian Markets Mostly Trade Lower

Asian stock markets are mostly trading in negative territory on Friday as weaker than expected GDP results in the Eurozone led to renewed concerns about the global economy. Investors also treaded cautiously ahead of the G-20 meeting in Moscow over the weekend.

The Australian stock market is trading lower, backing down from four-and-a-half years, as disappointing earnings results of banks and miners weighed on investor sentiment.

In early morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 9.40 points or 0.19 percent to 5,027.50, while the All Ordinaries Index is trading lower by 8.20 points or 0.16 percent to 5,049.00.

In the mining space, BHP Billiton (BHP) is trading lower by 0.62 percent and Rio Tinto (RIO) is declining 2.07 percent.

Rio Tinto on Thursday reported a loss for fiscal 2012 after recording impairment charges of $14.36 billion. The mining giant reported a loss of $2.99 billion for 2012, compared to profit of $5.83 billion in the prior year.

Among banks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is down 0.04 percent, while National Australia Bank is adding 1.11 percent and Westpac (WBK) is up 0.14 percent.

ANZ Banking's net profit for the first quarter dropped by about 20 percent from last year to A$1.36 billion. However, the lender's unaudited underlying profit for the quarter rose 6.2 percent from the year-ago period to A$1.53 billion. The company's shares are trading lower by 0.84 percent.

Sims Metal Management (SMS) said it will write down the value of inventory at its British operations by A$78 million after discovering a possible case of fraud. Accordingly, the recycler will record an impairment charge of A$354 million, related to its UK and US operations, against its results for the half year ended December 31, 2012. Shares of the company are trading lower by more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is trading flat against the U.S. dollar following weak eurozone data and encouraging U.S. jobs figures. In early morning trades, the local unit was trading at US$1.0349, down from US$1.0350 on Thursday.

The Japanese market is trading in negative territory as a stronger yen weighed on export-oriented stocks. Investors treaded cautiously following weaker than expected GDP results in the Eurozone - especially those in the largest economies of Germany and France.

In the auto sector, Toyota Motor (TM) is trading lower by 2.60 percent and Honda Motor (HMC) is declining 2.71 percent. Among exporters, Canon (CAJ) is down 0.90 percent, Panasonic (PC) is losing 2.68 percent and Casio Computer Co. is declining 2.96 percent.

Shares of Orix Corp. (IX) are trading lower by 1.86 percent. The Nikkei business daily reported that the leasing company is in the final stages of talks to buy asset management company Robeco, an affiliate of Dutch lender Rabobank, for about 250 billion yen.

Shares of Trend Micro are down more than 8 percent. The computer security company reported Thursday that its profit for the year to December declined 22 percent from last year to 13.4 billion yen.

On the economic front, Japan is on Friday scheduled to release final December figures for industrial production and capacity utilization.

Little change is expected from last month's preliminary reading that showed a 7.8 percent annual contraction and a 2.5 percent monthly gain for output, as well as a 0.2 percent monthly decline in capacity utilization.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar was trading in the lower 93 yen-range on Friday. In early morning trades, the dollar was quoted in a range of 92.97-93.00 yen, down 0.48 from Thursday's close of 93.45-93.46 yen in Tokyo.

Among other markets in the region, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore are trading in negative territory. Meanwhile, Indonesia and South Korea are trading higher. The markets in Taiwan and China remain closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year holidays. Both will re-open on Monday.

Commodities
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Crude Slips Below $97

The price of crude oil was paring recent gains Friday morning as traders focus to the G20 meeting, which is expected to address the so called 'currency wars'.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for March delivery, slipped $0.39 to $96.92 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled marginally higher on some upbeat jobs claims data even as investors weighed some supply concerns due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Nevertheless, a strengthening dollar limited some of the gains made by oil intraday. Investors also digested the soft euro zone GDP data which showed the economy to have contracted the most since the first quarter of 2009, with the unresolved sovereign debt crisis taking a toll even on the economic powerhouse Germany.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering around its 3-week high versus the euro and extending its 6-month high against sterling. The buck was hovering around its two-and half year high versus the yen and ticking higher against the Swiss franc.

Gold Slips Amid Weak Euro

The price of gold was extending its six-month low Friday morning, with the euro trading weak as traders await cues from the G20 meeting.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $8.50 to $1,627.00 an ounce. Yesterday, gold settled at a fresh 6-month low as the dollar strengthened against some major currencies on some weak GDP data from the euro zone, indicating the economy to be in deep recession. Investors also weighed a lull in demand for the precious metal in China with the New Year holidays in progress. On a positive note, a World Gold Council report showed demand for the precious metal in the fourth quarter was the highest in six quarters.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, edged down to 1,322.97 tons from 1,325.99 tons.