Financial Review

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada

Congratulations Graduates, Yada, Yada, Yada by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 158 = 16,533 SPX + 15 = 1888 NAS + 34 = 4131 10 YR + .02 = 2.53% OIL – 33 = 103.74 GOLD – 2.40 = 1292.90 SIL  un = 19.49   Earnings season is winding down; about 96% of S&P 500 companies have reported results, with profit growth this quarter of 5.5% and revenue up 2.8%. While more companies have topped earnings expectations than usual, fewer have beat on the revenue side. This has been an ongoing theme for corporate profits; bottom line growth without corresponding sales. If this formula sounds unsustainable, it is, unless there is some other factor pumping up the markets.   Follow-up from yesterday: China has signed a 30-year deal to buy Russian natural gas worth about $400 billion. The gas deal gives Moscow an economic boost at a time when Washington and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on dozens of Russian officials and several companies over Ukraine. It allows Russia to diversify its markets for gas, which now goes mostly to Europe; essentially opening the door to Asia’s gas market and potentially closing the door on the petro-dollar.   The Federal Reserve today released the minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting. Fed policymakers considered several approaches to tightening monetary policy, but decided to remain flexible; which is another way of saying QE is a big experiment and they are just hoping nothing explodes in their …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – A Brilliant Future From Cool Ideas

A Brilliant Future From Cool Ideas by Sinclair Noe DOW – 12 = 16,501SPX – 4 = 1875NAS – 34 = 412610 YR YLD – .05 = 2.68%OIL – .2- = 101.55GOLD un 1284.70SILV + .06 = 19.55 It’s earnings season, and this is a chance to compare and contrast. This morning, Facebook posted earnings of $642 million in net income, or 25 cents a share, in the first quarter, versus $219 million, or 9 cents a share in the year ago period. Overall revenue grew 72% year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, topping estimates. Facebook now has 1.28 billion active users, and more than 1 billion do their Facebook stuff on a mobile device. Then Facebook announced their Financial Director was resigning. Shares were up about 3%. Nobody puts on a better presentation than Apple, that’s how they grew to be the most valuable company in the world. Steve Jobs would walk out and announce Apple had created a new mp3 player, and also a new way to connect to the internet, and also a new camera. Wow, three new products, nope…, he would hold up the iPhone – just one very cool thing from Apple; tech geeks heads would explode. Today, Apple posted earnings of $10.2 billion or $11.62 a share, on revenue of $45.6 billion. Analysts expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $10.18 a share; Apple reported a 4.6% rise in March-quarter revenue to $45.6 billion; Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones in …

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Financial Review

Monday, April 21, 2014 – Why Stocks Continue Going Higher

Why Stocks Continue Going Higherby Sinclair Noe DOW + 40 = 16,449SPX + 7 = 1871NAS + 26 = 412110 YR YLD un 2.72%OIL – .01 = 103.64GOLD – 4.30 = 1291.30 SILV – .21 = 19.54 The S&P 500 has gained for five straight sessions, marking the longest winning streak since October. This has not been a pretty rally. Volume was light today; that has been part of the trend; light volume on up days and heavy volume on down days. We are smack dab in earnings reporting season, and 87 companies have posted results through this morning with 62% beating earnings expectations; that’s down from 66% beating earnings over the past 4 quarters, and those earnings expectations have been ratcheted lower and lower, so it should be an easy bar to cross. And still the markets have been moving higher. Dozens of S&P 500 components will report earnings this week, including Apple, Biogen, Facebook, McDonald’s, AT&T and Caterpillar. More than 30 companies in the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are slated to report earnings. After the close of trade Netflix posted a first-quarter profit of $53 million, or 86 cents a share, up from $3 million, or five cents a share, a year ago. The company in January had projected a profit of 78 cents a share. The stock shot up about 7% to $372 in extended-hours trading. After a jump of 300% in 2013, Netflix had slumped recently. As part of the earnings announcement, Netflix announced a price hike, …

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Financial Review

Friday, April 18, 2014 – Yes, We Have No Avocados

Yes, We Have No Avocados by Sinclair Noe The markets are closed today in observance of Good Friday. No economic reports today. Let’s take a look at next week’s economic calendar. On Wednesday, we’ll get reports on new and existing home sales. New home sales are expected to be up slightly, while existing home sales are expected to post a decline for the third consecutive month. Higher mortgage rates and rising prices have pushed some potential buyers out of the market. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is up almost a full percentage point from its recent low one year ago. The softness in home prices in the first quarter has also hurt homeowners struggling with negative equity. The pool of underwater borrowers peaked at 12.8 million, or 29% of all properties with a mortgage, in the second quarter of 2012. Rising prices have lifted millions back above water. As of the first quarter of this year, some 9.1 million homes (or 17% of homes with mortgages) were “seriously” underwater, owing at least 25% more than property’s estimated market value. Next Friday, we’ll see the Consumer sentiment index, which has been showing a lack of enthusiasm reflecting the weak pace of hiring and meager pay raises for most households, which in turn results in sluggish consumer spending. Thursday, we’ll get a report on durable goods orders. If economic growth is finding traction, you would expect to see businesses spending more on equipment, which should show up in the …

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Financial Review

Thursday, April 17, 2014 – The Growth Industry for the Next 20 Years

The Growth Industry for the Next 20 Years by Sinclair Noe DOW – 16 = 16,408SPX + 2 = 1864NAS + 9 = 409510 YR YLD + .08 = 2.72%OIL + .83 = 104.59GOLD – 7.60 = 1295.60SILV + .02 = 19.75 Stocks ended a holiday-shortened week with mixed results. Stock markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday. The S&P 500 had its best week since last July. For the week, the Dow rose 2.4%, the S&P 500 added 2.7% and the Nasdaq advanced 2.4%. With less than one-fifth of S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, about 63% have topped earnings expectations and 52% have topped revenue expectations. Of course that’s part of the dance between corporations and analysts, but it does move stock prices. For example, Goldman Sachs reported an 11% drop in quarterly profit and revenue fell 8%, but the results were better than estimates and share price was higher on the day.  Among the other earnings related movers today, Google, IBM, Mattel, and United Health were down on poor earnings news, while Morgan Stanley, GE and Pepsi moved higher. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected in the latest week and came near pre-recession levels. The Labor Department also reports weekly earnings of the typical full-time worker rose 3% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, the fastest pace since 2008. Median earnings came in at $796, that’s the point where half of …

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Thursday, March 27, 2013 – Certain Assumptions

Certain Assumptions by Sinclair Noe DOW – 4 = 16,246SPX – 3 = 1849NAS – 22 = 415110 YR YLD – .03 = 2.67%OIL + 1.02 = 101.28GOLD – 14.10 = 1292.70SILV – .05 = 19.79 Stocks fell for the fourth time in 5 sessions. This year’s first quarter, which ends Monday, isn’t nearly as bullish as last year, when the benchmark Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index soared 10% in the first three months of the year on its way to a 29% gain. The broad market is unchanged in 2014.  The losing sectors today included banks and biotech. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, up 304% in the last five years, has fallen 11% since the end of February, while the Russell 2000 gauge of smaller companies has slipped 2.7% after rallying more than 230%. If you really want a great investment, it’s hard to beat collecting $7,250 for every $1 you spend. That’s the benefit Boeing will reap from a ramped-up lobbying push in Washington state that ended with a massive $8.7 billion tax subsidy. A new analysis of lobbying data shows the tax break came as part of a deal to keep production of a new jet, the 777X, in the Seattle area. Lobbying data is notoriously difficult to parse because matching individual dollars to specific legislative priorities is often impossible. It’s plausible that the company could have achieved the same result with a single phone call, given how terrified state officials were that the company might ship …

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Thursday, January 30, 2014 – Where Water Flows

Where Water Flowsby Sinclair Noe DOW + 109 = 15,848SPX + 19 = 1794NAS + 71 = 412310 YR YLD + .02 = 2.69%OIL + .59 = 97.95GOLD – 24.60 = 1244.10SILV – .57 = 19.24 Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2% pace in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was down from the 4.1% growth in the third quarter. Consumer spending rose at a 3.3 percent rate, the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2010. Inventories increased $127 billion, the most since the first quarter of 1998. That added 0.42 percentage point to GDP growth. Inventories had risen $115 billion in the third quarter, contributing 1.67 percentage points to output. Excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 2.8% rate, up from the third-quarter’s 2.5% rate. We might reasonably expect inventories to decline again in the first quarter. Consumption in the fourth quarter came at the expense of saving. The saving rate slowed to 4.3% in the fourth quarter from 4.9 % in the prior period. Income at the disposal of households after accounting for inflation rose at a tepid 0.8% rate. That was a sharp slowdown from the 3.0% pace in the third quarter. Income is one of the biggest constraints on growth. Exports rose at their fastest pace in three years. Exports combined with declining petroleum imports helped narrow the trade deficit. Business spending on equipment accelerated at a 6.9% rate in the fourth quarter after rising at only a 0.2% pace in the prior three months, …

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 – A Few Pages of Pork

A Few Pages of Pork by Sinclair Noe DOW + 108 = 16,481SPX + 9 = 1848.38NAS + 31 = 4214 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.88%OIL + 1.75 = 94.34GOLD – 3.00 = 1243.00SILV – .05 = 20.30 The S&P 500 hit a record high close, just a few pennies better than December 31st. The market has had a weak start to January but we’re still at elevated levels. The Dow Industrials are about another day like today away from records; that close was 16,576 on New Year’s Eve. A $1.1 trillion compromise spending bill that funds the government through September won approval today from the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Senate is expected to also pass the so-called “omnibus” bill and send it to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. The 1,582-page bill eases most of the automatic spending cuts that were part of the sequester and keeps the federal government funded through Sept. 30. The budget bill calls for 1% increases in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, the first raises in three years for most agency workers. The spending measure also would protect disabled veterans and some military spouses from a pension cut set to go into effect in 2015.The bill would provide nearly $92 billion for US military operations abroad, mostly in Afghanistan, plus about $7 billion for disasters and other emergencies. That was just slightly less than last year’s war spending but …

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013 – What’s It All About?

What’s It All About? by Sinclair Noe DOW + 75 = 15,300SPX + 11 = 1652NAS + 19 = 3504 10 YR YLD -.01 = 2.63%OIL + 1.38 = 104.52GOLD + 13.40 = 1251.70SILV + .18 = 19.36 It’s earnings reporting season. The stock market is feeling happy for the moment. Second quarter earnings are expected to be soft, but expectations have been ratcheted down, so there is potential for upside surprises. That’s the game that’s played on Wall Street to siphon a little bit of trading profit. Anywhere else, they’d call it price fixing. But this game of diminished expectations may have some basis in reality. The top line numbers more than likely suck. Analysts expect the 30 companies in the Dow Industrial Average to see revenue growth of just 0.7%; that number could be ratcheted down into negative territory; that follows a 0.6% drop in revenue in the first quarter. What do you call it when there are two consecutive quarters of economic contraction? Recession. That’s a bit of a non sequitur, but the logical conclusion is not too far removed from the premise. After all, we’re talking about 30 of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world and they are struggling to grow sales. They’re still reporting profits, but that comes from cost cutting, which tends to fall on the labor force. There are limits to cost cutting as a business strategy for growing profits. No worries. The S&P 500 closed above 1650 and looks poised …

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Friday, April 12, 2014 – Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets by Sinclair Noe DOW – 0.08 = 14,865SPX – 4 = 1588NAS – 5 = 329410 YR YLD – .07 = 1.72%OIL – 2.85 = 90.66GOLD – 84.00 = 1478.00SILV – 1.81 = 25.95 The S&P 500 is up about 2.4 percent for the week, and the Dow up about 1.8 percent and Nasdaq up about 2.4 percent. The S&P has only had two weeks in 2013 with bigger gains. For the year, the Dow has gained more than 13 percent and the Nasdaq is up 8.7 percent. Retail sales fell in March for the second time in three months and consumer confidence dropped in April. Sales fell 0.4 percent in March. Consumer spending was considerably weaker in the first quarter than estimated. Core sales, which strip out cars, gasoline and building materials, fell 0.2 percent last month. This measure corresponds closely with the consumer spending component of the government’s measure of gross domestic product. It is widely believed that the end of the payroll tax holiday is related to the drop in consumer spending. Going a step further, growth is expected to slow sharply in the second quarter largely because fiscal policy tightened further in March. A separate report from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan shows the consumer sentiment index dropping ot 72.3 in April, the lowest level since last summer. Producer prices, or prices at the wholesale level, fell 0.6 percent in March, their biggest drop in 10 months, as gasoline prices tumbled. In the 12 months …

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