Financial Review

Somewhere Between Extremes

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-27-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 42 = 18,037 SPX – 8 = 2108 NAS – 31 = 5060 10 YR YLD + .01 = 1.92% OIL – .16 = 56.99 GOLD + 21.30 = 1201.70 SILV + .65 = 16.50   We’ll get to the economic news in a minute, but the big market news today is Apple. Net income in the quarter that ended in March was $13.6 billion, or $2.33 a share, representing a 33% jump in profit from last quarter. Analysts on average had forecast second-quarter profit of $12.6 billion, or $2.16 a share. Revenue rose 27 percent to $58 billion, beating estimates of $56 billion. IPhone sales in greater China outpaced those in the U.S. for the first time. Total revenue from greater China surged 71 percent to $16.8 billion. IPhone unit sales jumped 40 percent to 61.2 million. That topped analysts’ average prediction for 58.1 million.   Apple forecast the momentum will continue in the third quarter, with revenue projected to rise to $46 billion to $48 billion from $37.4 billion a year ago. Apple has $193 billion in cash, with a capital return program, which now totals $200 billion. Apple will increase its share-buyback authorization by $50 billion to $140 billion, and increase the company’s dividend by 11 percent; to 52 cents from 47 cents.   To recap: Apple posted better than expected sales and profit; they …

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Financial Review

Chips and Salsa Like 1999

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-24-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 21 = 18,080 SPX + 4 = 2117 NAS + 36 = 5092 10 YR YLD – .03 = 1.92% OIL – .58 = 57.16   Yesterday, the Nasdaq closed at 5,056, finally surpassing its tech-boom peak of 5,048 set in March 2000. It only took a little over 15 years to get back to those levels. Today the party continued. The S&P 500 hit a new record high close, but just barely; topping the March 2 record by a fraction. For the week, the Nasdaq surged 3.2% and the S&P 500 jumped 1.8%. The Dow added 1.4%.   WTI crude oil closed down 58 cents at $57.16 a barrel, retreating from Thursday’s 2015 high of $58.41. It rose for a sixth straight week, its longest such stretch since the first quarter of 2014. This week’s gain was 2.5 percent. After a sell-off between June and January driven by oversupply, oil prices seem to have found their footing in the last three months, gaining about 33 percent from a low in March.   In the past year, there’s been an inverse relationship between the price of crude oil and the relative performance of retail stocks. Also, most retailers aren’t hurt by a stronger dollar; rather, it helps because items imported to the US are cheaper. An almost 60 percent decline in oil between June 2014 and mid-March contributed …

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Financial Review

Chips and Salsa

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-23-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 20 = 18,058 SPX + 4 = 2112 NAS + 20 = 5056 10 YR YLD – .02 = 1.95% OIL + 1.32 = 57.48   Record highs on Wall Street today. On March 10, 2000 the Nasdaq Composite Index reached an intraday high of 5,132 and closed at 5,048. It only took a little over 15 years to get back to those levels. The Nasdaq is now up 6.8% for 2015. The Nasdaq Composite now trades at 30 times earnings, versus a multiple of 190 in March 2000; not exactly a value play, but not dot-com frothiness. The S&P 500 hit a new intraday high but could not take out the 2117 record close from early March.   The number of people who applied for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits ticked up 1,000 to 295,000 in the week that ended April 18. Also, the government said continuing claims, which show the number of people already receiving weekly unemployment checks, rose 50,000 to 2.33 million in the week that ended April 11.   Sales of new single-family homes dropped 11.4% to 481,000 in March, hitting the slowest pace since November.  Sales of new single-family homes increased about 19% over the past year. However, sales still remain almost 40% below a long-term pace set over 20 years.   Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ …

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Financial Review

The Moral and Economic Issue of Our Time

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-22-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 88 = 18,038 SPX + 10 = 2107 NAS + 21 = 5035 10 YR YLD + .06 = 1.98% OIL – .45 = 56.16 GOLD – 15.00 = 1187.80 SILV – .22 = 15.86   The National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales increased 6.1% in March, the fastest pace of sales in 18 months. The jump in March sales follows a couple of slow months due, at least in part, to bad winter weather. But the latest figures suggest the mix of low mortgage rates, steady job creation and pent-up demand could push full-year sales to prerecession levels. Mortgage rates also are still near their lows for the year. The average interest rate on a fixed, 30-year mortgage was 3.67% last week, down from 4.27% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac’s latest weekly survey.   Greece will not present a list of economic reforms to Eurozone finance ministers on Friday; the deadlines don’t really help and they might even hurt because they lead to brinksmanship in negotiations on what reforms the Syriza government in Greece needs to do to secure more funding. There are signs Greece’s creditors are curbing demands for far-reaching reforms as part of current talks, perhaps a realization that they can’t get blood from a turnip, but the softening stance comes on condition Greece stays co-operative on fiscal targets. The liquidity situation …

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Financial Review

Jump Into Earnings

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-21-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 85 = 17,949 SPX – 3 = 2097 NAS + 19 = 5014 10 YR YLD + .02 = 1.92% OIL – 1.12 = 56.26 GOLD SILV This is one of the busiest weeks for earnings reports, so let’s jump in with both feet.   IBM delivered its 12th straight quarter of declining revenue, but they beat earnings expectations because they proved that even if they aren’t the masters of technology, they are masters of financial engineering; one way to boost earnings per share – reduce the shares outstanding with stock buybacks. At some point the strategy has a flaw, but that is for another day.   We’ve known that a stronger dollar would hurt US companies doing business overseas, but we rarely think about reversing that equation. The weaker euro boosted revenue at German business software maker SAP in the first three months of the year and drove operating profit up 15 percent. First-quarter revenue rose 22 percent to 4.5 billion euros, at the top of market forecasts. At constant exchange rates sales rose 10 percent.  First-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, rose to 1.06 billion euros ($1.13 billion), matching estimates. Excluding the effect of currencies, SAP’s operating profit dropped 2 percent.   Chip designer ARM Holdings supplies Apple’s iPhone. Arm said first quarter profits rose 24%, beating forecasts. Chief executive Simon Segars said: “As the world becomes more …

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Financial Review

A Low Bar

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-20-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 208 = 18,034 SPX + 19 = 2100 NAS + 62 = 4994 10 YR YLD + .05 = 1.90% OIL + .76 = 56.50 No major economic data published today. The global markets have been focused on China and Greece. China is changing regulations and adding stimulus to try and prop up the economy, even as some of their big real estate development companies are staring down defaults. The problem with Greece is that they are ready to default; payments are due at the end of the week and they are scrambling for cash. Perhaps more importantly, earnings season will kick into high gear this week. Maybe all that will take a backseat to a facedown off the shore of Yemen. The US Navy has sent an aircraft carrier and a guided-missile cruiser into the waters near Yemen to conduct maritime security operations, and not to intercept Iranian arms shipments. It’s believed there are 9 US ships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers. It is further believed the Iranian Navy has sent up to 5 ships full of weapons bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Yea, what could go wrong?   Following soft GDP data last week, China’s central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio for all banks by 100 basis points to 18.5% yesterday, adding about $200 billion in liquidity for banks to lend. Last …

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Financial Review

Just Around the Corner

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-17-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 279 = 17,826 SPX – 23 = 2081 NAS – 75 = 4931 10 YR YLD – .03 = 1.85% OIL – .52 = 56.19 Even though oil prices were down slightly today, oil posted a 12% gain for the past week.   The economy continues to expand and consumers are feeling better. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 95.9 in April, up from 93 in March. Separately, The Conference Board said leading indicators rose 0.2% in March; the leading economic index has been slowing over recent months but it still points to moderate expansion in economic activity.   Consumer prices rose 0.2% in March. Gasoline prices rose 3.9%, which was the biggest jump since February 2013; still, gas prices are about 33% below year-ago levels.  The core-CPI, which excludes energy and food prices, also rose 0.2% due to higher cost of housing and used cars. The cost of clothes, housing, cars, and medical care increased, while food and airfare decreased. Core prices have risen 1.8% in the past year. While the “all-items index” (which includes things like food and energy) declined 0.1% over the last 12 months. Higher inflation would indicate a stronger dollar because it could reinforce the view that the Fed might hike interest rates sooner rather than later.   The Labor Department reports real average hourly earnings for all employees …

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Financial Review

To Be Fair

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-16-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:19 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 6 = 18,105 SPX – 1 = 2104 NAS – 3 = 5007 10 YR YLD – .02 = 1.88% OIL + 12 = 56.51 GOLD – 3.70 = 1198.90 SILV – .04 – 16.37   Yesterday the ECB pledged to fulfill its €1 trillion-euro bond-buying program; today Eurozone government borrowing costs slid to new lows. Germany’s 10-year yield fell almost a basis point to 0.087% in early trade, while yields on all German government debt out to January 2024 were negative. Other notable levels include France’s 30-year yield, which fell below 1%, and the yield on two-year Portuguese bonds, which is on its way below zero.   The price of Greece’s three-year notes dropped the most since February and Greek corporate bonds also slumped. Credit-default swaps suggested there was a 79 percent chance of the country being unable to repay its debt in five years. Greece’s three-year yield is at a multiyear high, up 359 basis points at 27.7%. Expectations are low that Greece can reach a deal with its creditors at next week’s Eurogroup meeting. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Greece’s credit rating to CCC+ with a negative outlook, citing a substantial risk of a default due to the country’s drawn out negotiations with its creditors. Greece has been pushed a step closer to default and potential exit from the euro after one of its main lenders, the International Monetary …

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Financial Review

Slow to Patch

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-15-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 75 = 18,112 SPX + 10 = 2106 NAS + 33 = 5011 10 YR YLD un = 1.90% OIL + 2.67 = 55.96 GOLD + 9.60 = 1202.50 SILV + .18 = 16.41   The Federal Reserve reports industrial production dropped 0.6% in March. The biggest drop since August 2012. For the first quarter, industrial production was down at 1% annual rate, the first quarterly decline since the end of the recession.   The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of home builder confidence increased to 56 in April from 52 in March. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor. All three components of the index improved in the month: sales expectations, buyer traffic, and the component gauging current sales conditions all moved higher.   China grew at its slowest pace last quarter since the global financial crisis in 2009; GDP expanded 7% in the three months to March from the year ago period, down from 7.3% the prior quarter. Retail sales and industrial output data broadly missed expectations, however, with the latter expanding at the slowest pace since 2008.   Japan overtook China as the top foreign holder of US government debt for the first time since the global financial crisis. Each country holds a little more than $1.22 trillion in US Treasuries, but Japan has about …

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Financial Review

Rocket Science

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-04-14-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 59 = 18,036 SPX + 3 = 2095 NAS – 10 = 4977 10 YR YLD – .04 = 1.90% OIL + 1.38 = 53.29 GOLD – 6.10 = 1192.90 SILV – .13 = 16.23 For the past 3 months, retail sales have been down. There was some speculation that the harsh winter weather was to blame for declining sales; and that appears to be true. Retail sales rose in March for the first time since late last year as consumers stepped up purchases of automobiles and other goods. Retail sales increased 0.9 percent in March. That was the largest gain since March last year and snapped three straight months of declines. In a separate report, the Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.2 percent last month, with rising prices for goods accounting for more than half of the increase. The PPI, which measures prices at the wholesale level, had declined 0.5 percent in February.  In the 12 months through March, producer prices fell 0.8 percent, the biggest year-on-year decline since the revamped series started in 2009. Of course, the Federal Reserve has a 2 percent inflation target, so this data does not suggest the Fed needs to be in a hurry to raise rates.   The National Federation of Independent Business said its small-business optimism index fell 2.8 points to 95.2, …

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