Financial Review

Risk On

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-20-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 154 = 18,140 SPX + 12 = 2110 NAS + 31 = 4955 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.13% OIL – .82 = 50.34   Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today for the latest round of emergency talks aimed at breaking the deadlock with Greece. Yesterday, Germany rejected a request by Athens to extend a loan program, calling the Greek proposal a Trojan horse. Now it looks like there will be an extension of the bailout loan agreement, probably for four months; the current deal was scheduled to expire on February 28th.   Euro zone officials said the accord required Greece to submit by Monday a letter to the Eurogroup listing all the policy measures it planned to take during the remainder of the bailout period, to ensure they complied with conditions. So, they haven’t worked out all the details or even come close to resolving the problems; they didn’t have to; they just needed to avoid making a big, irreversible mess of everything. So, they have hit the pause button. It might be the smartest thing they could have done.   Greece has a new government, barely one month on the job. It is not reasonable to expect the new government to have fully formulated all the details of a bailout and recovery plan. They might not come up with a decent plan after 3 or …

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Financial Review

Blue Light Special

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-19-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:17 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 44 = 17,985 SPX – 2 = 2097 NAS + 18 = 4924 10 YR YLD + .04 = 2.11% OIL – .77 = 51.37 GOLD – 6.10 = 1208.20 SILV – .12 = 16.48 The S&P 500 is up 5.2 percent in February, rebounding from a January slump. If the index holds those gains it will be the best monthly performance since October 2011.   Crude-oil futures fell to the lowest level in a week, after data showed inventories have built up much faster than expected. According to a report from the American Petroleum Institute late yesterday, US crude stocks rose by 14.3 million barrels last week vs. expectations of a 3.2 million. The today the US Energy Information Administration released a report showing crude inventories rose 7.7 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 13; that was about double expectations, but far less than the API report. And prices bounced back.   The latest EIA data peg total commercial crude inventories at 425 million barrels, with the government referring to the total as “the highest level for this time of year in at least the last 80 years.” One possible reason for the rising inventories is that there has been a United Steelworkers strike at 11 refineries that account for 13% of US output capacity.  A slowdown in refining would lessen the demand for crude …

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Financial Review

Justice Delayed is Par for the Course

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-18-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:17 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 17 = 18,029 SPX – 0.66 = 2099 NAS + 7 = 4906 10 YR YLD – .08 = 2.06% OIL – 2.56 = 50.97   The S&P 500 closed above 2,100 for the first time ever on Tuesday, delivering year-end target goals to Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Barclays nearly 11 months early.   Greece confirms that it plans to submit a request to the euro zone tomorrow to extend a “loan agreement” for up to six months, but EU paymaster Germany says Athens must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout. Greece wants to maintain a budget surplus before interest payments equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product; the current plan calls for a budget surplus equal to 4.5 percent of GDP. It’s still unclear what the terms of the extension will look like, as both Athens and its creditors seem determined not to compromise over the loan’s conditions.   The Federal Reserve released minutes from the January 27-28 Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The minutes reveal that “Many participants indicated that their assessment of the balance of risks associated with the timing of the beginning of policy normalization had inclined them toward keeping the federal funds rate at its effective lower bound for a longer time.” Allow me to translate; the Fed would like to put off raising interest rates because the economy …

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Financial Review

The Bar is Set Low

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-17-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 28 = 18,047 SPX + 3 = 2100 NAS + 5 = 4899 10 YR YLD + .12 = 2.14% OIL + .27 = 53.05 Another record high close for the S&P 500 index and the Russell 2000 index. As of February 11, 356 S&P 500 companies have reported and 71.3% beat earnings expectations. Total revenues are up +1.5% with 55.6% beating top-line estimates. Earnings growth with little or no revenue growth means companies are cutting costs or repurchasing shares to boost earnings. The Health Care and Telecom Services sectors were the best performers on the quarter. The energy sector was badly beaten down. The 12-month forward P/E currently sits around 16, putting it well above the 10-year average of 14; a little pricey but not excessive. Guidance has been disappointing but the game is to set the bar very low and then stop over it.   Eurozone officials and the new government in Greece have been playing hardball. Greece is running out of money. A report from JPMorgan shows Greek banks were losing deposits at the rate of €2 billion a week. The Greek government has so far insisted that budget cuts and economic overhauls mandated by the current €240 billion bailout are hurting its economy and society and that the currency union’s finance ministers haven’t offered sufficient leeway on implementing those measures. Yesterday, Eurozone ministers gave the …

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Financial Review

It’s About to Get Hot

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-13-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:17 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 46 = 18,019 SPX + 8 = 2096 NAS + 36 = 4893 10 YR YLD + .04 = 2.02% OIL + 1.43 = 52.46 GOLD + 6.20 = 1228.90 SILV + .48 = 17.42 The S&P 500 Index closed at an all-time high, taking out the previous record close from December 29. Whenever the S&P 500 hits a record high, we acknowledge it, but for some reason we don’t have a big celebration. When the Dow Industrials hit records we have the orchestra, the parade, milk and cookies; it’s a big ridiculous mess, but S&P 500 record high close; well done, attaboy, next.   Next would be the Russell 2000 index of small and mid-cap stocks hitting a record high close. Well done, next.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished above 18,000 for the first time this year. The Nasdaq Composite ended at its highest level since March 2000. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2%. The Dow Industrial Average was up 1.1% on the week. For the second day, American Express led declines for the Dow, following news Costco was ending its exclusive business arrangement with AmEx. The Nasdaq Composite gained 3% over the past week, and is now within a few percentage points of record highs. The Russell 2000 gained 1.5% on the week.   In economic news, consumer sentiment slipped in …

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Financial Review

Upside-Down World

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-12-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 110 = 17,972 SPX + 19 = 2088 NAS + 56 = 4857 10 YR YLD un 1.98% OIL + 2.28 = 51.12   A ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is scheduled to start February 15, which apparently means that Putin’s little green men still have 2 days to grab as much land as they can. The agreement follows a 17 hour, four-way meeting between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in Minsk. The new deal revived a failed September ceasefire agreement, with commitments from each side to pull back heavy weapons, as well as greater autonomy for separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. IMF chief Christine Lagarde also announced today that Ukraine will receive about $40B in funding over the next four years.   Along with the new cease-fire agreement, that won’t actually end the fighting; there was a non-agreement agreement between Eurozone finance ministers to put off decisions on Greece’s bailout terms until next week. Greek officials were unable to reach a deal over its bailout program yesterday, but will return to Brussels on Monday to try to end the deadlock.   Meanwhile, Sweden’s central bank cut its main interest rate into negative territory and announced a bond-buying program this morning. Sweden now joins Denmark and Switzerland and the European Central Bank in negative rate land. So, now, if you want to make a deposit in Sweden, you …

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Financial Review

Goodnight and Good Luck

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-11-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe   DOW – 6 = 17,862 SPX – .06 = 2068 NAS + 13 = 4801 10 YR YLD un = 1.98% OIL – .75 = 49.27 President Obama has asked Congress for formal authorization to fight the Islamic State that would prohibit the use of “enduring offensive ground forces” and limit engagement to three years. The proposed resolution says Islamic State “has committed despicable acts of violence and mass execution.” Its militants have killed thousands of civilians while seizing territory in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to establish a hub of jihadism in the heart of the Arab world. Don’t expect a quick vote by Congress, maybe something in March, maybe just more talk.   We keep hearing that ISIS is growing, and one way they recruit jihadists to their cause is through slick websites and social media. So, you might be wondering why the government doesn’t just close down those sites. I don’t know, but today, the hacktivist group Anonymous has launched a massive cyber-attack against ISIS. A list of more than hundred Twitter and Facebook accounts suspected to belong to Islamic militants has been released by Anonymous. Twitter has already suspended more than 1500 ISIS accounts since the group released the first list in June, 2014 and dozens of militant recruiting websites were knocked offline using collective DDoS Attack. Thousands of Twitter accounts associated with ISIS are still active and spreading jihadist propaganda, but …

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Financial Review

A Question for the New AG

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-10-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 139 = 17,868 SPX + 21 = 2068 NAS + 61 = 4787 10 YR YLD + .04 = 1.99% OIL – 2.10 = 50.76 GOLD – 5.00 = 1234.70 SILV – .06 = 17.01 Small-business sentiment slipped in January on a decline in optimism over sales growth and business conditions, according to a gauge released Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business said its small-business optimism index fell 2.5 points to 97.9, with seven out of 10 components declining.   Good news if you are looking for a job. The Labor Department said job openings surged to 5.03 million in December, the highest level since January 2001, from 4.85 million in November. Hiring jumped to a seven-year high and the number of job seekers for every open position, a key measure of labor market slack, fell to 1.73 in December, the lowest since 2007. The bad news is that there are still about 9 million people looking for a job.   Wholesale inventories barely rose in December, up just 0.1%. Together with data last week showing a 0.3% fall in manufacturing inventories in December, today’s report suggests the boost to GDP growth from restocking in the fourth quarter was probably not as large as initially thought.   Halliburton is cutting as many as 6,500 jobs. The oil company, facing up to the reality of crude oil prices, …

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Financial Review

HSBC – Too Big To Jail

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-09-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:18 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 95 = 17,729 SPX – 8 = 2046 NAS – 18 = 4726 10 YR YLD + .02 = 1.95% OIL + .90 = 52.59 GOLD + 5.40 = 1239.70 SILV + .28 = 17.07 Let’s start with oil; OPEC lowered its estimate for non-OPEC supply growth this year by about 400,000 barrels a day, the biggest reduction since the forecast was introduced in August. The US led with a cut of 130,000 barrels a day while estimates for Colombia, Canada and Yemen were also trimmed. The group said it may boost global demand forecasts beyond this month’s slight increase amid rising U.S. gasoline use.   OPEC’s research department said: “The main factors for the lower growth prediction in 2015 are price expectations, a declining number of active rigs in North America, a decrease in drilling permits in the US and a reduction in the 2015 spending plans of international oil companies.”   The United Steelworkers strike continues with walkouts at two of BP’s refineries over the weekend. The strike now encompasses more than 5,000 workers at 11 refineries across the country, which account for about 13% of U.S. fuel-making capacity. Facility owners also hit by the strike include Shell, Tesoro, Marathon Petroleum and LyondellBasell.   Cheap gasoline prices have increased 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.20 a gallon, nationwide average; but not everybody is buying …

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Financial Review

Job Seekers Find Their Place Again

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-06-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 60 = 17,824 SPX – 7 = 2055 NAS – 20 = 4744 10 YR YLD + .12 = 1.94% OIL + 1.60 = 52.08 GOLD – 31.20 = 1234.30 SILV – .54 = 16.79   The U.S. added 257,000 new jobs in January. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% from 5.6%, but that’s because more people looked for jobs. The January report topped expectations of 230,000 to 245,000 new jobs.   The Labor Force Participation Rate increased 0.2% to 62.9%. The Labor Department’s survey of households, used to derive the unemployment rate, showed about 1.05 million people entered the labor force and 759,000 found work. These numbers also reflect new estimates on the size of the population. Even as the labor-force participation rate rose last month, it’s held to roughly the same level for the past year and a half. The hope is that there is a trend developing of more people looking for work. Consumers believe job prospects have improved. That perception was evident in last week’s confidence report that showed a jump in the number of consumers who think jobs were “plentiful” last month.  Better confidence in job availability should lead to a jump in the number of people quitting. That’s one data series the Fed tracks as a sign of labor-market tightening beyond what the jobless rate says.   The economy has …

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