US crude stocks rise, products mixed-API - Reuters US crude stocks rise, products mixed-API - Reuters

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

US crude stocks rise, products mixed-API - Reuters

US crude stocks rise, products mixed-API - Reuters

NEW YORK, June 26 | Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:54pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks rose last week, while refined fuel stocks were mixed with gasoline inventories rising and distillates falling, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil inventories unexpectedly rose 507,000 barrels in the week to June 22, the API said, compared with analyst expectations for a 500,000 barrel fall in a Reuters poll.

In the Gulf Coast region, or PADD 3, crude stocks grew by a large 4.85 million barrels, more than offsetting stock reductions in other PADD regions. The Gulf Coast stocks rose even as U.S. crude imports fell last week, by 332,000 barrels per day to 8.93 million bpd, according to API data.

U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 373,000 barrels compared with analyst expectations for a larger 800,000 barrel increase. The largest rise occurred in the PADD 1 East Coast region, where gasoline inventories were up nearly 1.8 million barrels.

U.S. distillate stocks unexpectedly fell 1 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a 1.2 million barrel rise.

Stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange crude contract fell by 682,000 barrels last week.

Refinery operations rose by 0.8 percentage point to 91.9 percent of capacity last week, compared with forecasts for a 0.1 percentage point rise.

U.S. crude oil prices were little changed after the data. They were up 16 cents to $79.38 in post-settlement trading. (Reporting by Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Stocks turn mixed on Wall Street in early trade - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were little changed in early trading on Wall Street on Tuesday, following a big loss the day before. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. surged after the media conglomerate said it was considering splitting into two companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 12 points to 12,490 in the first hour of trading, giving up an early gain of 41 points. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up a point to 1,315.

Homebuilder stocks rose after a measure of national home prices rose 1.3 percent in April from March, the first increase in seven months.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed home prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities tracked by the survey. That's the second month prices have risen in a majority of U.S. cities. PulteGroup rose 35 cents to $9.58 and Lennar rose 96 cents to $25.54.

News Corp. jumped 7 percent after the company confirmed it is contemplating a breakup into two companies, separating its publishing and entertainment businesses. The sprawling media empire includes The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel, and newspapers in Britain and Australia. The stock jumped $1.50 to $21.59.

Apollo Group, a for-profit education company which operates the University of Phoenix, soared 10 percent after the company reported third-quarter income that was far larger than analysts were expecting. The stock rose $3.27 to $35.75.

In other trading, the Nasdaq composite index rose six to 2,842.

U.S. markets were held in check by more worrisome developments in Europe. Spain's borrowing costs rose in a pair of short-term debt auctions, the latest sign that investors are hesitant to lend the country money. Spain's main stock index plunged 4 percent, the second day of steep losses, and the yield on its benchmark 10-year government bond rose to 6.69 percent.

The slump in Spanish financial markets came a day after 28 Spanish banks were downgraded by Moody's, a credit rating agency.

Stock markets slumped in the U.S. and Europe on Monday after Spain's formal request for help for its banking systems left many questions unanswered, including how much money it would ask for. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 138 points.

Macau casino stocks slide on visa concerns - The Guardian

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Stocks Fluctuate as Investors Watch Data - Businessweek

U.S. stocks advanced, rebounding from yesterday’s selloff, as optimism about the housing market tempered concern about a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis.

News Corp. rose 8.3 percent as Rupert Murdoch’s company said it’s considering splitting into two publicly held corporations. Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) (APOL), the largest U.S. for-profit college chain, surged 10 percent after beating earnings and revenue estimates and raising its forecast. A measure of homebuilders in Standard & Poor’s indexes jumped 3.8 percent as housing prices dropped at the slowest pace in more than a year.

The S&P 500 (SPX) rose 0.5 percent to 1,319.99 at 4 p.m. New York time. It tumbled 1.6 percent yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 32.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,534.67. Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the U.S. was about 6 billion shares, or 12 percent below the three-month average.

“There are lots of variables at play,” said Keith Wirtz, who oversees $15 billion as chief investment officer for Fifth Third Asset Management in Cincinnati. He spoke in a phone interview. “People are looking at signs of stabilization in the housing market, there’s the European summit this week, it’s almost quarter end. It’s going to be a volatile week.”

Today’s rally trimmed this quarter’s decline in the S&P 500 to 6.3 percent. The benchmark measure is on pace for the first quarterly slump since September amid concern about a global economic slowdown. Energy, financial and technology shares have had the biggest losses so far in the second quarter, tumbling at least 9.5 percent.

Yields Surge

Equities rose today as the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities dropped 1.9 percent in April from the same month in 2011, the smallest decline since November 2010, after decreasing 2.6 percent in the year ended March. The data overshadowed a surge in yields at auctions in Italy and Spain ahead of a European Union summit on June 28.

“We’re caught in this limbo,” said Brian Jacobsen, who helps oversee $204 billion as chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. “People are waiting to see what comes out of the European Union summit this week.”

Consumer discretionary, energy and financial shares had the biggest gains among the 10 main S&P 500 industries. Homebuilders in S&P indexes advanced with PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) (PHM) and Lennar Corp. (LEN) (LEN) adding more than 3 percent.

News Corp. (NWSA) (NWSA) rallied 8.3 percent to $21.76, the highest level since 2007. Murdoch, the chairman and CEO, is overseeing internal discussions on whether to separate the company’s publishing business from its entertainment holdings, said two people with knowledge of the matter. In a statement today, News Corp. didn’t say how the company would be divided.

Apollo Gains

Apollo advanced 10 percent to $35.81 for the largest gain in the Bloomberg U.S. For-Profit Education Index. The company, confronting student reluctance to take on debt amid high unemployment and government investigations of for-profit colleges’ marketing practices, reined in costs during the quarter, said Peter Appert, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) (JPM) had its recommendation raised and Morgan Stanley (MS) (MS) was lowered by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who said they have a better view of the near-term earnings outlook for JPMorgan. Shares of JPMorgan increased 1.1 percent to $35.71, while Morgan Stanley added 0.2 percent to $13.51.

Goldman Sachs upgraded JPMorgan to a buy on its “Americas conviction list” of highly recommended stocks, while Morgan Stanley was removed from that list and lowered to neutral, the analysts wrote in a research note today.

Return Visibility

“Both JPM and MS shares have underperformed (JPM) the broader banking group this year, driven by real but different idiosyncratic concerns,” Goldman Sachs analysts led by Richard Ramsden wrote, referring to the two company’s stock symbols. The balance of risk and potential return is better for JPMorgan shareholders, according to the note, because of “more near-term earnings and return visibility for JPM.”

Facebook Inc. (FB) (FB), facing criticism for a lack of diversity on its board, appointed Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg as its first female director. The world’s largest social-networking service, a majority of whose users are women, will benefit from the addition of a female voice to its board, said Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co.

“This is a great move,” said Martin, who doesn’t own shares and rates the stock a buy. “Academic research shows that the greater the diversity on a board, the higher the returns to shareholders are.”

The shares rose 3.2 percent to $33.10.

Dow Chemical

Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) (DOW) slid 2.9 percent to $31.32. The largest U.S. chemical company by revenue was downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan by equity analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas. The 18-month share-price estimate is $36.

The S&P 500, down 7.4 percent through yesterday since reaching a four-year high in April on weakening economic data, is about to lose another pillar of support: the election year calendar.

The gauge has climbed an average of 0.1 percent in third quarters before a presidential vote in election cycles since 1945, the worst return of the year and down from an average increase of 2.2 percent between April and June, according to S&P. U.S. shares have returned 5.7 percent in election years since World War II, the second-worst performance during four- year executive branch terms.

Stocks have retreated following a rally in the first quarter, dragged down after reports on U.S. manufacturing and employment trailed economist forecasts and concern grew that Europe’s debt crisis will spur a global recession.

Financial Crisis

The S&P 500 dropped 8.9 percent in the July-September quarter of 2008 as the financial crisis intensified. It has rebounded 1.9 percent on average in quarters after elections, S&P’s data show.

“This lack of direction is understandable, in our opinion, as investors are bombarded by the hype from the conventions, speeches and political advertisements, as they await the outcome of the upcoming election,” Sam Stovall, S&P’s chief equity strategist, wrote in a note yesterday.

While the index posts an average gain during the third quarter of election years, it’s just as likely to rise as fall, according to S&P. Its lowest point during years of presidential votes have come in the first half 71 percent of the time, the data shows. The most consistent gains come in the final quarter, when the gauge has climbed 81 percent of the time.

Only twice out of the 17 election years since 1944 did the index bottom in the fourth quarter, in 2000 and 2008, when the market suffered the bursting of Internet and housing bubbles, respectively. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is seeking a second term against Republican candidate Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at

US STOCKS-Wall St bounces back but Europe woes linger - Reuters UK

Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:41pm BST

* Housing sector gains 3 pct after upbeat home prices data

* Jump in Spanish yields contributes to market caution

* Speculation of split sparks surge in News Corp

* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct (Updates to close)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes bounced back on Tuesday, but trading was light with the outlook clouded by doubts before yet another summit to tackle the European debt crisis.

U.S. stocks partly recovered from losses of more than 1 percent on Monday, led by housing shares after stronger-than-expected data on home prices.

The consumer discretionary sector was the top gainer on the S&P 500, followed by energy shares, which were boosted by a 2.3 percent jump in Brent crude prices.

Traders remained cautious as Spanish short-term borrowing costs nearly tripled and U.S. consumer confidence fell in June to its lowest level in five months.

"Certainly in the United States stocks are nicely priced, and for a long-term investor it is an attractive entry point, but then what about these macro risks hovering around the market? I think it's having a dampening effect," said John De Clue, global market strategist at U.S. Bank's wealth management group in Minneapolis.

Spanish 10-year bond yields rose after demand at a shorter-term bill sale fell despite significantly higher yields. Hopes faded that the European Union summit later this week would produce game-changing measures to ease the debt crisis.

Madrid has formally asked for funds to bail out its banks in a move some see as a prelude for a full-blown bailout of the euro zone's fourth-largest economy.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said it was considering splitting into two publicly traded companies, and sources familiar with the matter said publishing would be separated from entertainment. Shares jumped 8.3 percent to $21.76 on volume of 73.1 million shares, making it the day's most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32.01 points, or 0.26 percent, to 12,534.67. The S&P 500 Index gained 6.27 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,319.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 17.90 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,854.06.

About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE Amex, below the daily average of 6.82 billion so far this year.

JPMorgan Chase & Co shares rose 1.1 percent to $35.71 after Goldman Sachs added the bank to its conviction buy list. Morgan Stanley, cut to "neutral" by Goldman, added 0.2 percent to $13.51.

The PHLX housing index jumped 2.6 percent after S&P/Case Shiller data showed home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas gained 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists' expectations for a 0.4 percent gain.

Facebook shares rose 3.2 percent to $33.10 a day before the underwriters of the online social network's recent IPO are expected to release research on the company.

Advancing issues beat decliners on the New York Stock exchange by about 9 to 5 while on the Nasdaq almost seven issues rose for every five that fell. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

Business Secretary the keynote speaker at awards - yorkshirepost

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable will be the headline speaker at the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2012.

The Cabinet Minister praised the awards, which are now open for entries, and emphasised the importance of entrepreneurialism to the health of the country.

The Liberal Democrat MP told the Yorkshire Post: “Despite the difficult economic conditions we are continuing to see businesses taking the initiative, being innovative and thriving.

“It is great that local companies in Yorkshire are being recognised for the fantastic work they are doing to help boost the local and UK economy.”

He added: “We need to harness the enthusiasm of our entrepreneurs, while creating the right conditions to develop new talent.

“The Government is backing SMEs by making it easier to gain access to finance and creating a network of thousands of business mentors.

“We hope that this support will encourage more people to take the leap and, like the successful people in Yorkshire, realise their business potential.”

Judges are inviting entries from all companies with a compelling story to tell, so long as they are based in Yorkshire or have significant operations in the region.

There are general categories as well as specific awards relating to export, innovation, community work and outstanding employment practices.

Companies and individuals have until Monday, July 2, to submit their entries in a simple process online via

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