Financial Review

Milk and Cookies. Enjoy While You Can.

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-25-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 15 = 18,224 SPX – 1 = 2113 NAS – 0.98 = 4967 10 YR YLD – .02 = 1.97% OIL + 1.75 = 51.03 GOLD + 2.90 = 1205.20 SILV + .22 = 16.64   Another record high for the Dow Industrial Average. These are the days of milk and cookies.   Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen continued her semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony today in front of the House Financial Services Committee. The prepared opening remarks were identical to the testimony yesterday in the Senate. The Q&A session became a bit testy today as Yellen was accused of political bias. Republicans questioned Yellen about an October speech on inequality, just before the midterm elections, as evidence she was leaning toward the Obama administration and Democrats. Methinks they doth protest too much. There were also calls for an audit of the Fed, historically a nonstarter with Federal Reserve Chairs. It made for generally poor political theater.   The important part of the testimony was fairly easy to find. Keep in mind the Fed has a dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability. So the key statement from Yellen was when she said: “Provided that labor market conditions continue to improve and further improvement is expected, the Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when, on the basis of …

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Financial Review

Gulliver’s Travels

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-24-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW + 92 = 18,209 SPX + 5 = 2115 NAS + 7 = 4968 10 YR YLD – .07 = 1.99% OIL – .29 = 49.16 GOLD – .50 = 1202.30 SILV – .01 = 16.41   The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 hit record high closes. The Nasdaq rose for the tenth straight session, its longest streak since July 2009. The Russell 2000 Index of small cap stocks closed at a record 1233.   Fed Chair Janet Yellen testified today before the Senate banking committee in her semi-annual report on monetary policy. Yellen said the Fed is preparing to consider interest rate hikes “on a meeting-by-meeting basis.” Yellen described how the Fed’s rate-setting policy committee will likely proceed in coming months: first by removing the word “patient” in describing its approach to rate hikes, then entering a phase in which rate hikes are possible at any meeting. That approach could open the door to an interest rate increase as early as June, but short-term rate futures contracts showed traders had shifted their expectations of an initial rate hike from September to October. And the yield on the ten year Treasury note slipped down below 2%. So, the markets players are placing their bets.   Yellen said she felt labor markets and other key economic indicators “have been increasing at a solid rate.” However, she said she still feels the …

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Financial Review

The Dog Ate the Greek Proposal

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-02-23-2015.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review by Sinclair Noe DOW – 23 = 18,116 SPX – 0.64 = 2109 NAS + 5 = 4960 10 YR YLD – .07 = 2.06% OIL – 1.36 = 49.45 GOLD – 2.10 = 1202.80 SILV + .05 = 16.42   The S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent last week to finish at record highs, the third record high of the year. The Dow rose to its first record of the year and the Nasdaq Composite closed at its highest level since March 2000, closing in on 5000. The Russell 2000 Index advanced 0.7 percent, also ending at a record Friday. Much of the stock market action has followed news of a compromise with Greece. At last week’s meeting, Greece signed up to all the conditions of its current bailout package and to continued international oversight, provided the Greeks come up with a list of reforms. Easier said than done; any reforms have to be acceptable to the Troika (the IMF, the ECB, and the EU, and subject to approval by all EU members) and at the same time it will have to be acceptable to Greeks who voted against the austerity plans of the Troika. The plan was supposed to be presented today, but that didn’t happen. Now the Greeks say they will present the reforms tomorrow. Given that Monday night was treated as a hard deadline for getting the Greek proposals …

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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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