Market news round up, upgrades & downgrades courtesy of Cantor Index

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UK Corporate Announcements

3i Group details an group NAV of £2.73/share from £2.79 in March and states that investment activity remains subdued

National Grid states that it is pleased with its progress as it details an h1 pre-tax profit of £1.15bn ahead of the estimates of £1.1bn

Centrica states that market conditions for gas stations remains challenging but that trading has been in line with the expectations

Premier Oil states that its producing fields are performing well

Resolution announces nine month sales of £8709m and that its capital position remains robust but that its international division was below par

Rexam states that trading at its healthcare unit has been under the expectations

Amlin states that the underwriting environment from July has been encouraging and is well placed to absorb the claims from Sandy

Investec  announces an H1 EPS of 16.8p from 19.2p with total funds under management at £62.4bn from £61.6bn

WS Atkins announces H1 sales of £815m just missing the forecasts but keeps its outlook unchanged

Invensys announces H1 revenues of £1.2bn and sees material progress ahead in H2

UK Market News

The UK business press details how Mervyn King stated yesterday that Britain is on a ‘long and winding road’ to economic recovery and faces several more years of slow growth

The Telegraph writes on how the MD of John Lewis has joined the recent corporate tax debate stating that the government must tackle the international accounting issues, raised recently at Amazon and Starbucks, as the current situation was driving UK based retailers out of business

The head of RBS has stated that ‘small countries’ don’t often have small banks, suggesting the banking group could relocate out of Scotland if was to seek independence

The CFO of Pearson has refused to rule out a possible future sale of the FT

Moody’s states that it will keep assessing the AAA rating of the UK in 2013 amid the slowing economy

The FT suggests that ICAP is to close its NYSE floor trading operations

Qatar details today how it will vote on the Glencore’s moves for Xstrata, abstaining on the MIA resolution and continues to see merit in the combination

BP confirms today that it is in advanced talks with the US Dept. of Justice on settling claims over the Gulf of Mexico spill, but that no agreements have been made yet

In UK political news the coalition government faces a test today, with the bi-election in Corby, the seat vacated as Louise Mensch left, and John Prescott is amongst those standing to be a police commissioner, voting in general is expected to break the records for poor turnouts

The UK sells £2bn in 2052 bonds at 10:30

UK Analyst Upgrades

Ag Barr Raised To Buy From Hold At Socgen

 Balfour Beatty Raised To Buy From Add At Numis

 Britvic Raised to ‘Buy’ at Societe Generale

 Great Portland Pt Raised 4% To 480P At Exane; Kept At Neutral

 Sainsbury Pt Raised 8% To 325P At Exane; Kept At Underperform

UK Analyst Cuts

 Icap Pt Cut To 370P Vs 425P At Berenberg, Stays Hold

UK Insider Buying

Admiral Group Plc, (ADM), 1 insider(s) bought 10,000 shares, £10.81

Ashcourt Rowan, (ARP), 1 insider(s) bought 31,645 shares, £1.58

Chemring Group Plc, (CHG), 3 insider(s) bought 103,000 shares, £2.24

Fidessa Group Plc, (FDSA), 2 insider(s) bought 12,941 shares, £12.74

First Derivatives Plc, (FDP), 1 insider(s) bought 10,000 shares, £5.35

Metric Property Invest, (METP), 3 insider(s) bought 196,413 shares, £1.02

Norcros Plc, (NXR), 1 insider(s) bought 205,000 shares, £0.13

Persimmon Plc, (PSN), 1 insider(s) bought 65,000 shares, £7.58

UK Insider Selling

First Derivatives Plc, (FDP), 1 insider(s) sold 10,000 shares, £5.35

Major European Companies Reporting

3i Group PLC, S1, 0.04,  Antofagasta PLC, Q3, 0,  GN Store Nord A/S, Q3, 0.659,  GSW Immobilien AG, Q3, 0.31,  Iliad SA, Q3, 0,  Invensys PLC, S1, 0,  Investec PLC, S1, 0.22,  Koninklijke Ahold NV, Q3, 0.228,  Merck KGaA, Q3, 1.908,  National Grid PLC, S1, 0.21,  Zurich Insurance Group AG, Q3, 6.495

European Market Summary

Bloomberg suggest that the French transaction tax misses the mark as speculators are able to avoid the levy by using CFDs, speculators were targeted as the major reason for the implementation of the tax

The EU stated yesterday that the budget plans detailed by the Spanish prime minister are enough to satisfy the EU, as the tone of the EU authorities continues to soften in recent week’s on concerns that the tough measures, while required, would be politically difficult to force through quickly

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

NetApp gained over 10% in late trading as it announces Q3 profits ahead of the forecasts and expands its planned share buyback, others in the sector gained in sympathy, Brocade, Fusion-io

Petsmart posted gains of 6% in late trading as it increases its full year EPS targets

Velti was amongst the major movers, down 22% as it sells its Greek and Balkan assets for $23.5m

Diamond Foods came off 19% as it restates it earnings for the previous two years

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

Target Corp, Q3, 0.797,  Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Q3, 1.072,  Ross Stores Inc, Q3, 0.721,  Gap Inc/The, Q3, 0.62,  Applied Materials Inc, Q4, 0.033,  Intuit Inc, Q1, -0.062,  Dell Inc, Q3, 0.398,  Dollar Tree Inc, Q3, 0.492,  Viacom Inc, Q4, 1.162,  GameStop Corp, Q3, 0.327,  Autodesk Inc, Q3, 0.434,  Helmerich & Payne Inc, Q4, 1.242,  Ltd Brands Inc, Q3, 0.243

US Market News

The Dow yesterday fell to its lowest level since June, as the nervousness on the fiscal cliff continues, former Senator Chris Dodd states that ‘you have about six or eight weeks’ to get this right and former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz states that a contingency plan may be necessary

Texas Instruments announces that it is to cut a further 1,700 jobs and will take a $325m charge

Netanyahu has stated that President Obama has supported Israel’s right to defend itself as Israel targeted around 100 rocket sites in Gaza and the targeted killing of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari

Akamai has postponed its planned investor summit until after a new CFO has been appointed and confirms its full year outlook

Hostess Brands the Twinkies and Wonder bread maker states that it will cease operations and liquidate unless enough of its striking workers return

The Fed meeting minutes detail that ‘a number’ of FOMC officials favoured additional stimulus in 2013

Berkshire Hathaway details that it has taken a 4m share stake in Deere & Co

US based Apollo is reportedly the lead contender to buy Aviva’s US Life unit

Overnight Market News

Xi Jinping has now replaced Hu Jintao as China Communist Party Leader and central bank governor Zhou Ziaochuan is to step aside and by replaced by Vice Premier Wang Qishan

The Shangahi Securities Journal writes that Qianhai a city close to Shenzhen is set to release detailed regulations governing an economic zone to test full account convertibility for the yuan by the end of the month

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has criticised the US for ‘indulging in a Cold War mentality’ as the US Congressional advisory panel calls for the US to do more to protect itself from Chinese based cyber espionage

Espirit gained as much as 33% after its former chairman Michael Ying doubled his stake in the retailer which continues with its turnaround plans

FX Summary

The yen has now fallen to a six month low as the markets price in that elections in December could hand power over to the opposition party which has advocated more aggressive monetary easing

The Canadian dollar has fallen to a three month low as the finance minister states that he will delay plans to balance the federal budget for one year citing the lower commodity prices

Commodity Summary

The conflict in Gaza keeps tensions in the region at extreme levels, with oil prices moving up as a result 

Economic Data Due

07:00 German Q3 GDP, y/y, 0.8% exp. 1.0% previous

09:30 UK October Retail Sales, -0.1% exp. 0.6% previous

10:00 Eurozone October CPI, 0.2% exp. 0.7% previous

13:30 US October CPI 0.1% exp. 0.6% previous

13:30 US Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, 355k previous

15:00 US November Philadelphia Fed. 2.0 exp. 5.7 previous

Economic Events

Fed’s Bernanke Speaks in Atlanta

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