Financial Review

The Good, the Bad, and the Depressing

DOW + 129 = 16,956 SPX + 13 = 1973 NAS + 50 = 4458 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.56% OIL – .13 = 105.24 GOLD – .80 = 1327.10 SILV + .02 = 21.08   Record high closes for the Dow and the S&P.   The record setting bull market run refuses to stumble. The S&P 500 has not seen a correction, a drop of 10%, for 1,002 days, and counting. This marks the fifth longest stretch without a correction since 1928. The average time between corrections is about 18 months; we’ve now gone 33 months without a 10% pullback.   The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index registered 55.3% in June, down slightly from May’s reading of 55.4%. Any number above 50% signals expansion. Separately, the research firm Markit said its final reading of US manufacturing conditions in June totaled 57.3, compared with a preliminary reading of 57.5; still the highest reading since May 2010. So the manufacturing sector has expanded for 13 consecutive months, but it wasn’t a month over month increase, and we have to remember that manufacturing was expanding in the first quarter as the broader economy was contracting by 2.9%. Today’s reports were decent news for manufacturing, but hardly great.   The Commerce Department reports construction spending increased 0.1% in May, following a 0.8% increase in April. Construction activity totaled $958 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in May, up 6.6% from a year ago. Single-family home construction was …

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Financial Review

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 – The Good, the Bad, and the Depressing

The Good, the Bad, and the Depressing by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 129 = 16,956 SPX + 13 = 1973 NAS + 50 = 4458 10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.56% OIL – .13 = 105.24 GOLD – .80 = 1327.10 SILV + .02 = 21.08   Record high closes for the Dow and the S&P.   The record setting bull market run refuses to stumble. The S&P 500 has not seen a correction, a drop of 10%, for 1,002 days, and counting. This marks the fifth longest stretch without a correction since 1928. The average time between corrections is about 18 months; we’ve now gone 33 months without a 10% pullback.   The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index registered 55.3% in June, down slightly from May’s reading of 55.4%. Any number above 50% signals expansion. Separately, the research firm Markit said its final reading of US manufacturing conditions in June totaled 57.3, compared with a preliminary reading of 57.5; still the highest reading since May 2010. So the manufacturing sector has expanded for 13 consecutive months, but it wasn’t a month over month increase, and we have to remember that manufacturing was expanding in the first quarter as the broader economy was contracting by 2.9%. Today’s reports were decent news for manufacturing, but hardly great.   The Commerce Department reports construction spending increased 0.1% in May, following a 0.8% increase in April. Construction activity totaled $958 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in …

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Financial Review

Friday, June 27, 2014 – Biscuits on the Table

Biscuits on the Table by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 5 = 16,851 SPX + 3 = 1960 NAS + 18 = 4397 10 YR YLD  + .01 = 2.53% OIL – .10 = 105.74 GOLD – 1.80 = 1316.10 SILV – .25 = 20.97   The major stock indices traded lower for most of the day, and only in the final minutes turned to positive territory. For the week, the Dow slipped 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 declined 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.7 percent. Volume spike today as the Russell Indices were reconstituted.   The Russell Indices are compiled by Russell Investments. The Russell 3000 is an index of the 3000 largest stocks in the US. The Russell 2000 is the 2000 smallest stocks in the Russell 3000. Once a year, the Russell indices are reconstituted, to reflect changes such as acquisitions, bankruptcies, or just changes in the size of the companies listed in the index. The reconstitution probably explains the increase in volume and the last minute increase in prices today.   Some things we need to know heading into the weekend; including Ukraine, Iraq, and Argentina. We’ll start with the situation in Ukraine. The European Union signed a free-trade pact with Ukraine today and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday. Georgia and Moldova signed similar deals, holding out the prospect of deep economic integration and …

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Financial Review

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – What Could Go Wrong?

What Could Go Wrong? by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 27 = 16,808 SPX + 4 = 1941 NAS + 16 = 4337 10 YR YLD + .06 = 2.65% OIL – .30 = 106.60 GOLD un = 1272.70 SILV + .09 = 19.86 The FOMC, the Federal Open Market Committee started two days of meetings today; tomorrow they are expected to announce more of the same. The FOMC is largely expected to taper its asset purchase program by $10 billion to $35 billion. Effective July 1, the Fed is expected to lower its asset purchases to $15 billion in agency mortgage backed securities (MBS) and $20 billion in Treasuries. The Fed is also expected to maintain its current forward guidance language on federal funds rate support; in other words, they will keep telling us that rates might increase sometime next year.   The committee is likely to make some upgrades to its description of the economic outlook in its economic projections. The committee will probably need to reduce its 2014 real GDP growth forecast to take into account the Q1 disappointment, and we can probably expect the committee to reduce its unemployment rate forecast and lift its inflation forecast slightly.   The consumer-price index climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in May from a month earlier. It marked the fastest increase since February 2013 and doubled the pace of economists’ forecasts. Excluding food and energy components, so-called core prices increased 0.3%, the fastest pace since August 2011. From a year …

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Financial Review

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 – Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide by Sinclair Noe DOW – 102 = 16,843 SPX – 6 = 1943 NAS – 6 = 4331 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.64% OIL + .14 = 104.49 GOLD + .70 = 1261.60 SILV un = 19.30 The US posted a $130 billion budget deficit in May and the smallest shortfall for the first eight months of a fiscal year since 2008. The deficit last month was about $9 billion less than May of last year. For the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the government is running a budget deficit 30% smaller than it was a year earlier; or about $436 billion compared with $626 billion. Revenues for that period are 7% higher than a year earlier and outlays are 2% lower.   The Congressional Budget Office in April projected that the federal deficit will decline to $492 billion this fiscal year, the smallest in six years; down from $680 billion in 2013 and down from a record $1.4 trillion in January 2009. The CBO estimates that next year, the shortfall will decline further, to $469 billion. The 2014 deficit will be 2.8% of gross domestic product, compared with 4.1% of GDP in 2013.   The World Bank has cut its global growth forecast, predicting the world economy will grow 2.8% this year, below its previous forecast of 3.2% made in January. In its twice-yearly Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank said tensions between Ukraine and Russia hit confidence worldwide.   The bank …

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Financial Review

Friday, May 23, 2014 – Always Check Your Spreadsheets

Always Double Check Your Spreadsheets by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 63 = 16,606 SPX + 8 = 1900 NAS + 31 = 4185 10 YR YLD – .02 = 2.54% OIL + .67 = 104.41 GOLD – .80 = 1293.90 SILV – .01 = 19.58   The S&P 500 Index closed at a record high of 1900.53. It was a record high close but not a record high considering intraday pricing. The S&P hit an intraday high of 1902 on May 13, however it closed on that day at 1897. Today, the intraday high was 1901, but I’ve always considered the close to be a more significant number than the intraday high. Since the start of the year we’ve been on a roller coaster ride in the markets, but as of today the Dow is up 0.2% year to date, the Nasdaq is up 0.2% for the year, and the S&P is up 2.8% since the start of the year.   If you are a regular, you might wonder why we aren’t celebrating a record high. The first answer is that 1900 is just a number with no special significance; the second answer is that we only celebrate when the Dow Industrial Average hits a record high, and the last record high close on the Dow was May 13 at 16,715. We don’t celebrate S&P records, and like so many things, the reasoning is entrenched in archaic traditional dogma.   An example would be Memorial Day, which started after …

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Financial Review

Thursday, May 22, 2014 – A Heckuva Business Model

A Heckuva Business Model by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 10 = 16,543 SPX + 4 = 1892 NAS + 22 = 4154 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.55% OIL – .31 = 103.76 GOLD + 1.80 = 1294.70 SILV + .10 = 19.59   Yesterday we told you Russia and China had signed a 30 year, $400 billion dollar deal for Russia to deliver natural gas to China. Today, both countries vetoed a United Nations Security Council Resolution seeking to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes. In the short-term, the Russia-China gas deal won’t have a big impact. The deal will not be in place until 2018 and even then will only see Russia selling a fraction of its gas exports to China every year, exports to the EU could still well be two to four times the size.   The economic links between Russia and Europe will continue to be significant and they will continue to be reliant on each other when it comes to energy; the former to sell the latter to buy, but this link gives an advantage to Russia, especially when the weather turns cold. At least symbolically the deal highlights Russia’s desire to move away from links with Europe. Combine this with Europe’s desire to increase energy security and the relations between the two sides could become increasingly cold and distant. Although, some countries due to geographical proximity, such as Bulgaria or Hungary; or due to long standing …

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Financial Review

Monday, April 28, 2014 – But Our Bankers Aren’t Oligarchs

But Our Bankers Aren’t Oligarchsby Sinclair Noe DOW + 87 = 16448SPX + 6 = 1869NAS – 1 = 407410 YR YLD + .01 = 2.67%OIL – .03 = 100.57GOLD – 7.50 = 1297.30SILV – .16 = 19.67 This should be an interesting week. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, the FOMC, will meet to determine monetary policy; a statement will be issued Wednesday. On Friday, we’ll have the monthly jobs report. The market is jittery. The Dow fell 140 points on Friday, rose 139 on Monday morning, and gave it all back Monday afternoon, then recovered at little at the close. Investors are worried about the Ukraine crisis, the Fed’s tapering, peak earnings, high PEs, low GDP, inflation, deflation, and of course, their own shadows. So far, the stock market has merely been sluggish to start the year; no big crash, no big gains. Last week, the big 3 indices were down a little, while the indices are in negative territory year to date, that could change with one good week of trading. After doubling or tripling since 2009, stocks aren’t cheap any more. Companies, meanwhile, are finding it harder to keep raising earnings in a period of soft economic growth. This makes investors more cautious, but because speculative excess still hasn’t reached the extremes of past bubbles, and because the Federal Reserve is determined to sustain the recovery, there is less fear of a big decline. The Fed has started slowly rolling back its quantitative …

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Financial Review

Friday, April 25, 2014 – Don’t Hold Your Breath

Don’t Hold your Breathby Sinclair Noe DOW – 140 = 16,361SPX – 15 = 1863NAS – 72 = 407510 YR YLD – .02 = 2.66%OIL – 1.25 = 100.69GOLD + 9.90 = 1304.80SILV + .07 = 19.83 Consumer sentiment rose in April to a nine-month high as views on current and near-term conditions surged. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 84.1, up from 80 the month before. Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll shows more Americans are optimistic about the job market this month than at any time since the 2008 financial crisis, with 30% saying now is a good time to find a quality job. That marks a significant improvement from the 8% who said they were optimistic about the job market in 2010, but it’s still a drop from the pre-2008 highs of almost 50%. And even though almost a third of Americans are optimistic, two-thirds still say the job market is lackluster; 66% of Americans say it’s not a good time to hunt for employment. Next week’s economic calendar includes a two day Federal Reserve FOMC meeting. Next Friday, we’ll have a monthly jobs report; the current estimates call for 215,000 net new jobs in April and the unemployment rate dipping to 6.6% from 6.7%. Also, the Commerce Department will release its first guess of first quarter GDP; the consensus estimate on the initial estimate is that the economy grew about 1%. The situation in Ukraine …

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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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