June 27th 2014 – Second Weekly Gain For Nasdaq In Choppy Trading

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Market View:

Well, my thinking on another move up today proved correct, but it wasn’t looking that way for a while.  There is a real battle between the bulls and the bears at these uncharted all time highs in the market.  The bulls seem content to continue despite the selling pressure that came this week.

We may be approaching a intermediate-term top though, it has risen so much so quickly that a correction , even a small one is due, possibly early in July.  Although, let’s hope that when the inevitable comes that it is a small one!

Market News:

U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday, cutting weekly losses for the Dow industrials, after DuPont trimmed its earnings forecast, leading a retreat in the materials sector.

Investors were little moved by a report that had consumer sentiment climbing in June, with the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index on consumer sentiment rising to 82.5, up from 81.9 in May.

The confidence report comes a day after weaker-than-expected consumer spending prompted economists to cut their growth forecasts for the second quarter.

After a 71-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ended up 0.1 percent, with DuPont pacing blue-chip losses and Nike its gains. The Dow was off 0.5 percent from a week ago, and up 0.8 percent for June.

Down 0.1 percent on the week and up 1.9 percent this month, the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, with materials falling the most and technology the best performing of its 10 major industry sectors.

The Nasdaq turned higher, up 0.4 percent, up 0.7 percent for the nearly ended week and 3.7 percent for June, with one session remaining in the month.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor uncertainty, fell 2.7 percent to 11.32.

International markets: Asian stocks finished the day mixed, with Chinese and Indian stocks closing slightly higher. European markets closed mixed today.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 26th 2014 – S&P 500 Slides For Third Day In Four

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Market View:

Yet another impressive bullish recovery in stocks that may signal a move higher tomorrow.  Typically, after such a strong response to a morning sell off continues the following day.  I think also given the fact that the market has closed negative the last 3 out of 4 days indicates that another push higher is on the cards.  We shall see.

Market News:

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as government data prompted downward revisions to U.S. economic growth in the second quarter and after James Bullard, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said interest rates could increase sooner than expected.

And, while the market was rattled by comments from Bullard, Several market observers pointed out that the Fed official’s comments were not new in the sense he has offered a similar take before.

Bullard, a non-voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, on Thursday told Fox Business Network the Fed’s first interest rate hike could come at the end of the first quarter of 2015, reiterating what he told reporters following a May 16 speech in Little Rock, Ark.

Financials were among the hardest shares hit in the wake of a fraud lawsuit against Barclays, with U.S.-listed shares of the British bank falling sharply. GoPro rallied in the wearable sports camera maker’s market debut; and ConAgra Foods rose after the maker of Hunt’s tomato ketchup and Slim Jim beef jerky posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Goldman Sachs reduced its second-quarter GDP tracking estimate by five-tenths to 3.5 percent after Thursday’s reports.

Another report had U..S. jobless claims declining by 2,000 to 312,000 last week, in line with expectations.

Friday:

Earnings: Commercial Metals, KB Home

8:30 a.m.: Personal income

8:30 a.m.: Consumer spending

9:55 a.m. Consumer sentiment index

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 25th 2014 – Bouncing Back: US Stocks Finish Higher

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Market View:

Well, we got the bounce I was expecting, and it was a good one.  The S&P is just shy of a new all time high.  I suspect that we will see little movement tomorrow after a rebound like this one.  Jobless claims report at 8:30am may help dictate the market direction in the morning.

The market could have very easily fallen over again today.  It is somewhat impressive that this bull just wants to keep on marching higher.  We may flatten out a bit here for a few days.

Market News:

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 bouncing back after a two-day decline, as Wall Street wagered the economy is rebounding from its worst quarterly performance in five years

Equities had initially fluctuated amid data that had June expansion in the service sector countering worse-than-anticipated reports on the economy’s performance and an unexpected drop in orders for durable goods in May.

Another report had durable goods declining 1.0 percent last month.

Also helping sentiment, a survey found the U.S. services sector in June expanded at its fastest clip in more than four years.

International:  The Dubai stock market suffered a dire tumble to start the week, as concerns about continued turmoil in Iraq damaged investor confidence and one of Dubai’s biggest construction companies reported trouble. However, the benchmark Dubai Financial General Market Index recovered about 6% on Wednesday.

Russia’s main Micex index declined by over 2% on reports that the West might slap more sanctions on Russia.

The Micex has been on a wild ride this year, dropping by over 20% and then fully recovering as worries about the Ukraine crisis and sanctions intensified and then receded.

All major European markets closed lower Wednesday. Asian markets ended in negative territory.

Thursday

Earnings: Accenture, ConAgra Foods, Lennar, McCormick & Company,Winnebago Industries, Nike, Shaw Communications,Steelcase,Worthington Industries

8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 24th 2014 – Dow Hit Hard On Iraq Concerns

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Market View:

So the reports were good, but the market is looking for a reason to do some profit taking.  The Nasdaq led the rally earlier, however the DOW did not take part and eventually the sentiment turned sour.

So that is the 3 day in a row that the DOW is showing weakness, so my expectation is a little bounce tomorrow, but worries have switched from the Ukraine to Iraq.  We shall just have to see how that turmoil play out on the market in the coming days.

Market News:

U.S. stocks declined on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 retreating from a record for a second day, as geopolitical concerns overshadowed better-than-expected reports on housing and consumer confidence.

The CBOE Volatility Index, one measure of investor uncertainty, spiked nearly 11 percent to 12.16.

In Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iraqi leaders to form a united front against insurgents now in control of portions of the second-largest oil producer in OPEC.

After rising to within 9 points of its intraday record, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 119.13 points, or 0.7 percent, at 16,818.13, with Exxon Mobil pacing blue-chip declines that reached 26 of 30 components and marked the benchmark’s worst day in more than a month.

After rising to an intraday record of 1,968.18, the S&P 500 fell 12.63 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,949.98, with energy falling the hardest and utilities faring best among its 10 major sectors.

The Nasdaq dropped 18.32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,350.36.

Gold futures rose $2.90, or 0.2 percent, to $1,321.30 an ounce, and crude futures fell 14 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $106.03 a barrel.

The Case-Shiller index of home prices rose 10.8 percent in April from the year earlier, and 1.1 percent from the prior month.

New-home sales for May jumped to a six-year high in May, up 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units. The number, better than the 440,000 forecast by economists, comes a day after a report that had existing-home sales rising more than expected last month.

Also, the consumer confidence index for June came in at 85.2, beating estimates of 83.

Speaking in New York on Tuesday, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser said the economy is nearing the central bank’s targets more quickly than expected, and could have the Fed increasing interest rates sooner than anticipated.

Abe lets another arrow fly in Japan: Japan’s government has released details on the third and final phase of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambitious plan to jolt the country’s economy out of stagnation. Companies may pay less tax as a result, but the response in the stock market was muted. The Nikkei ended flat.

European markets ended mixed.

The ruble and Moscow stock index were stronger, continuing their recovery from sharp losses earlier this year as fears about an escalation of the crisis in Ukraine fade. A ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russian separatists declared last Friday appears to be holding.

Wednesday:

Earnings: General Mills, Monsanto, Apollo Educations Group, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Herman Miller

8:30 a.m.: GDP revision

8:30 a.m.: Durable goods orders

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 23rd 2014 – Dow Retreats For First Time in 7 Sessions

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Market View:

Well it was the first official day of summer today and it’s raining outside and the clouds were also over Wall St.  We are still in the overbought territory and seem to have leveled out over the last couple of trading days, yet we could still see the market go higher.

US housing numbers were very encouraging, but geo political events in Iraq are weighing on the markets after such a big run up.

Market News:

U.S. stocks declined on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average halting its longest win streak this year.

The National Association of Realtors reported the sale of previously-owned homes rose 4.9 percent in May to an annualized rate of 4.9 million, versus a 1.5 percent gain the month before.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Baghdad on Monday, where he pushed the Iraqi prime minister to form a more inclusive government as it attempts to stem a Sunni insurgency across much of the northern and western parts of the country.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 0.1 percent, with Pfizer and General Electric pacing blue-chip losses, which included 18 of 30 components. GE declined after sealing a $17 billion deal for Alstom’s energy assets.

The S&P 500 finished little changed, just points from its all-time high of 1,963.91 hit on Friday. Industrials paced sector declines and energy fared the best among the S&P’s 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq ended about half a point higher.

Still trading near seven-year lows, the CBOE Volatility Index, one measure of investor uncertainty, rose 1 percent to 10.96.

Stock futures were mixed ahead of the open after weak readings on business activity in Europe countered upbeat manufacturing data in China.

The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.8 in June from May’s 49.4, while the Markit’s Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for the euro zone dropped to 52.8 from May’s 53.5.

Markit’s flash PMI reading for the United States for June rose to 57.5 in June from 56.4, with the latest read beating expectations for 56.5.

International Markets: Argentina’s benchmark Merval index, which is pretty volatile lately, surged more than 8.5% today on news that the country may be able to reach a settlement with its holdout creditors that would avoid a default.

European stocks are largely down, with the FTSE 100 closing 0.36% down. Asian markets are also a mixed bag. Chinese stocks did well after the country’s manufacturing sector showed its first expansion in six months. The Hang Seng fell 1.7%, but shares traded in Shenzen were up nearly 1.1%

Earnings: Walgreen, Apogee Enterprises

9 a.m.: Case-Shiller home prices

9 a.m.: FHFA home prices

10 a.m.: Consumer confidence index

10 a.m.: New home sales

10 a.m. Richmond Fed survey

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 20th 2014 – Yet Another New Record For The S&P And The DOW

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Market View:

A quite day in terms of economic data today and apparently trading volume is down 20% from this time last year, as more and more people defy this rally and wait for a correction.

A small correction is overdue, but who knows when it will come.  In the mean time I am happy to be fully invested in what has been a very profitable 2 months.

Market News:

U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 hitting records while extending gains into a sixth session, as both benchmarks tallied their fourth weekly gain in five.

Another strategist pointed to the ongoing rise in the semiconductor sector as an illustration that market participants anticipate increased economic growth ahead.

Rising above its June 10 record close and intraday record set June 9, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25.62 points, or 0.2 percent, ending at 16,947.08, up 1 percent for the week.

Furthering its record advance, the S&P 500 rose 3.39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,962.87, up 1.4 percent for the week and 6.2 percent on the year. Energy performed the best and utilities the worst among its 10 major sectors. The session marked the S&P’s 22nd record close this year.

After a dip into negative turf, the Nasdaq gained 8.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,368.04.

For every three stocks falling, roughly four rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 878 million shares traded by 3:55 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume hit 3.1 billion.

After its biggest single-session jump in nine months, gold for August delivery on Friday turned higher, lately up $1.80, or 0.1 percent, to $1,315.90 an ounce. Crude-oil futures for July delivery rose 82 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.25 a barrel.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 19th 2014 –S&P Carves Out Another Record High

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Market View:

Another rally following the Fed new conference.  It seems that the Fed Committee is seeing enough improvement to buoy optimism, yet enough caution to have the Fed continue to support the market by taking any changes in interest rates very slowly indeed.

This was seen as very positive news by market participants as the Indexes shot up shortly after the press conference.  Now we are back to all time highs we may break out again to the upside for a few days.

Market News:

U.S. stocks on Thursday were little changed, with the S&P 500 again finishing at a record high, a day after Wall Street rallied on reassurances from the Federal Reserve that interest rates would remain low as the U.S. economy continues to recover.

Leading indicators were up 0.5 percent in May, versus a 0.6 percent estimate, while a separate report had the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s June business index at 14.5, down from the prior month’s reading of 15.4.

And, in another illustration of an improving labor market, the government reported fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week, with applications falling by 6,000 to 312,000.

Stock indexes had held modest losses as President Barack Obama reiterated during a televised news conference Thursday afternoon that U.S. troops would not be returning to Iraq, but the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military action in the country if warranted.

Gold futures gained over 3.5% to trade at $1,318 per ounce, the highest level since April. Investors who believe Fed policy will undermine the dollar view gold as an alternative currency. In addition, gold prices often rise during times of political and military uncertainty.

Most European markets closed higher. Despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Russian stocks have been on a tear. The benchmark Micex index has erased its losses for the year and the rubel is also back near pre-crisis levels. Asian markets were mixed.

Friday

Earnings: Darden Restaurants

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 18th 2014 – S&P Ends At Record High After Fed Statement

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Market View:

Another rally following the Fed new conference.  It seems that the Fed Committee is seeing enough improvement to buoy optimism, yet enough caution to have the Fed continue to support the market by taking any changes in interest rates very slowly indeed.

This was seen as very positive news by market participants as the Indexes shot up shortly after the press conference.  Now we are back to all time highs we may break out again to the upside for a few days.

Market News:

U.S. stocks climbed on Wednesday, lifting the S&P 500 to a record finish, after the Federal Reserve continued to taper its asset purchases, as expected, and said the economy is rebounding.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen reiterated the central bank’s commitment to essentially go easy for some time; and that very understandably supports the equity markets.

The Federal Open Market Committee cut its monthly asset purchases by another $10 billion to $35 billion, as expected.

Fed Chairman Janet Yellen told a news conference that inflation was expected to move gradually back to the central bank’s 2 percent target.

Wednesday’s economic reports included a sharp drop in mortgage applications last week, while the Commerce Department said the U.S. current account deficit widened in the first quarter.

U.S. stocks have risen in recent days as M&A and upbeat data on manufacturing offset worries about violence in Iraq and rising energy costs.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported the head of Iraq’s state-run South Oil Company Dhiya Jaffar as saying ExxonMobil had carried out a “major evacuation” of staff and BP had evacuated 20 percent of its workers from the country.

International News:  European stock markets finished mixed.

Russia’s main index rose almost 1.5% after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed the possibility of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The ruble made similar gains versus the U.S. dollar.

Asian markets ended with mixed results. The Nikkei in Japan rose by nearly 1%, but markets in India and China were in negative territory.

Investors will continue to watch Argentinian markets, since many fear the country could be close to defaulting on its debt. The Argentine stock market has rebounded strongly the past two days.

Thursday

Earnings: Oracle, Blackberry

8:30 a.m.: Initial claims

10:00 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed survey

10:00 a.m.: Leading indicators

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 17th 2014 – Stocks rise for third day with Fed decision ahead

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Market View:

Nice rally led by the tech stocks managed to steady the ship despite tentions from other parts of the world.

There actually is a thing called a world cup rally, perhaps the USA team doing well will help the market, who knows?  It’s possible.  Amazingly, the USA V Ghana game was the most watched sporting event in the history of US sports.

Anyway, back to the market…the Fed will release its statement tomorrow and no changes of any significance to the usual taper are expected, but you just never know.

Market News:

U.S. stocks on Tuesday extended gains into a third session after a May rise in consumer prices came in larger than expected, with the data coming a day ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy decision.

E-Trade Financial rallied as investors saw little reason to believe market rules for the brokerage and others would change as a result of a Senate panel hearing on high-frequency trading. Edwards Lifesciences jumped after garnering regulatory approval for a heart device. Expedia and Netflix both gained as analysts advised buying shares of the online travel site and video-streaming service.

The Labor Department’s consumer price index jumped 0.4 percent in May, with the report coming as the Fed starts a two-day monetary-policy session.

An increase in inflation reduces the risk of an extended decline in prices that crimps economic growth, and offers the Fed a reason to maintain their program of scaling back monetary easing.

The Commerce Department reported housing starts declined 6.5 percent in May, versus 12.7 percent in April.

The White House on Monday said President Barack Obama was deploying about 275 U.S. troops to guard the American embassy and staff in Baghdad.

Emerging market investors kept an eye on Argentina’s stock market after yesterday’s 10% drop. The benchmark Merval index closed 4.25% higher.

The US Supreme Court declined to hear a major part of the country’s appeal of a lower court ruling ordering it to pay creditors from a 2001 default who are seeking full payment. Many fear the decision may push Argentina close to another default.

Elsewhere in the world, Asian stocks were mixed, with Chinese stocks lower, India’s Sensex closing 1.3% higher and Japanese stocks positive. European stocks were also mixed, with the FTSE 100 index closing a hair higher.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


June 16th 2014 – Stocks Hold on M&A News, Despite Iraq Worries

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Market View:

With the troubles flaring up in Iraq and the Russians cutting of the gas supply to the Ukraine, geo-political events are having an impact on the market again.

Just how much is yet to be determined.  My estimation for the S&P 500 for was a dip to around 1910/1920, but it hasn’t got there yet and in fact has held these last 2 trading days.    Perhaps the Fed meeting this week and the statement that will be made on Wednesday will decide whether we go higher or whether we need to come down a little more before we have the beginning of the next up leg.

Market News:

U.S. stocks on Monday managed to end mildly up for a second session as unease over escalating unrest in Iraq curbed enthusiasm over upbeat economic reports and activity on the corporate deal-making front.

Monday’s economic data had the New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State index of business conditions in June rising to its best reading since June 2010; industrial production for May up 0.6 percent and a gauge of builder sentiment jumping in June.

The Iraqi government is trying to fend off Sunni Islamist insurgents who took control of the north of the nation during the past week, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying in an interview with Yahoo! News that the White House is willing to talk to Iran over the deteriorating security conditions in Iraq.

Investors also monitored geopolitical unease in Ukraine after Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom reduced supplies to Ukraine after the Ukrainian government did not meet a deadline to pay its gas debts in discord that could hinder gas exports to Europe.

The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, with the FOMC expected to reduce its growth forecast for 2014 in light of the negative 1 percent first-quarter GDP.

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth outlook for the U.S. economy and said the Federal Reserve could hold interest rates at zero for longer than investors anticipated.

Tuesday

FOMC meeting begins

8:30 a.m.: CPI

8:30 a.m.: Housing starts

8:30 a.m.: Building permits

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money