Wall Street Greek

Editor's Picks | Energy | Market Outlook | Gold | Real Estate | Stocks | Politics
Wall Street, Greek

The Wall Street Greek blog is the sexy & syndicated financial securities markets publication of former Senior Equity Analyst Markos N. Kaminis. Our stock market blog reaches reputable publishers & private networks and is an unbiased, independent Wall Street research resource on the economy, stocks, gold & currency, energy & oil, real estate and more. Wall Street & Greece should be as honest, dependable and passionate as The Greek.



Wall Street, business & other videos updated regularly...

Seeking Alpha

Monday, April 30, 2012

Manufacturing Malaise

manufacturing
Over recent weeks, we’ve been concerned about seepage of European contagion and American consumer constraint infecting the American manufacturing sector. The trend of the latest flow of regional manufacturing measures seems to concur. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was reported down in April. The survey of business managers fell to a 29-week low reading of 56.2, down relatively sharply from March’s level of 62.2. The details show that production, new orders and inventories were lower. Employment improved but the segment is a lagging economic indicator.

industrial stocks analyst
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Industrial Softness

Meanwhile, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank reported its Manufacturing Survey Monday. Manufacturing activity slowed in the important state of Texas, which accounts for 9% of U.S. manufacturing production. The relative production index declined to +5.6 from +11.1 previously. Capacity utilization dropped dramatically, with a quarter of all respondents reporting decreases. New orders and shipments were both flat, reflecting the malaise seen in the Midwest measure. The regional Business Activity Index fell into negative territory in April, and surveyed managers mostly reported a deteriorated outlook.

Tuesday offers the latest Manufacturing Index Report from the Institute for Supply Management. The national measure of manufacturing was disappointing from my perspective last month. This month has economists’ expectations set low, with the Business Activity Index seen marking 53.0, which would be a decrease from March’s 53.4 reading. The range of expectations extends from 52.0 to 54.4, and the trend seems to reflect at best a flattening, stagnant environment, and at worst, the precipice of a cliff’s edge.

Greek wedding favors
Other regional indices have mirrored the morose message conveyed today. Last week, the Kansas City Fed published its manufacturing index, which produced a decline to a reading of 3, down from 9 in March and 13 in February. The bank of Richmond produced an improvement in April, with its regional measure rising to 14 from 7 the month before. However, the more widely followed Philadelphia and New York measures marked declines the week before. Philadelphia’s measure fell to 8.5 from 12.5, and New York dropped to 6.6 from 20 the month before. Each of these continues to reflect economic expansion, but it is generally seen at a slower pace. Most of the indexes are benefiting from rising employment, though this is a lagging economic indicator.

Recent declines in data out of Europe and China have many questioning the support of the global environment, which has been important in times of domestic question. Stocks are down on today’s data, following a market ride set forward by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) last week. At the close of trading, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) and the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ) were each in the red. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLI) was off even more, down about 0.9% on the day. Given the trend developing and indicated by the regional manufacturing reports, I think the industrials are lower for good reason, and we advised against them about a month ago. The top ten holdings of the XLI were down big Monday, with General Electric (NYSE: GE) cut 1.0%, United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) lower by 0.4%, United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) down 0.4%, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) off 1.7%, 3M (NYSE: MMM) ending flat, Boeing (NYSE: BA) down 0.6%, Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) down 1.3%, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) short 1.0%, Cummins (NYSE: CMI) dropped 2.1% and Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) down 0.3%.

This article should interest investors in Boeing (NYSE: BA), Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), Digital Globe (NYSE: DGI), GenCorp (NYSE: GY), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), Goodrich (NYSE: GR), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), Honeywell (NYSE: HON), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL), EMBRAER (NYSE: ERJ), FLIR Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR), BE Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV), TransDigm (NYSE: TDG), Spirit Aerosystems (NYSE: SPR), CAE (NYSE: CAE), Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI), Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL), Moog (NYSE: MOG-A), Heico (NYSE: HEI), Teledyne (NYSE: TDY), Curtiss-Wright (NYSE: CW), Cavco (Nasdaq: CVCO), Skyline (NYSE: SKY), Nobility Homes (Nasdaq: NOBH), Palm Harbor Homes (Nasdaq: PHHM), Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), Interface (Nasdaq: IFSIA), Albany International (NYSE: AIN), Unifi (NYSE: UFI), Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), Tyco International (NYSE: TYC), Cummins (NYSE: CMI), Kubota (NYSE: KUB), Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR), Dover (NYSE: DOV), ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT), Flowserve (NYSE: FLS), Pall (NYSE: PLL), Dresser-Rand (NYSE: DRC), SPX (NYSE: SPW), Gardner Denver (NYSE: GDI), IDEX (NYSE: IEX), Nordson (Nasdaq: NDSN), Graco (NYSE: GGG), Actuant (NYSE: ATU), Middleby (Nasdaq: MIDD), ABB (NYSE: ABB), Eaton (NYSE: ETN), Nidec (NYSE: NJ), Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), Ametek (NYSE: AME), Regal Beloit (NYSE: RBC), Thomas & Betts (NYSE: TMB), Woodward Governor (Nasdaq: WGOV), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Deere (NYSE: DE), CNH (NYSE: CNH), Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG), Bucyrus (Nasdaq: BUCY), Agco (Nasdaq: AGCO), Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR), Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH), Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP), Pentair (NYSE: PNR), Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Republic Services (NYSE: RSG), Fastenal (Nasdaq: FAST), Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC), MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM), Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), Valspar (NYSE: VAL), Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP), United States Steel (NYSE: X), Reliance Steel (NYSE: RS), CRH (NYSE: CRH), CEMEX (NYSE: CX), Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP), Fluor (NYSE: FLR), McDermott International (NYSE: MDR), Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT), Empresas ICA (NYSE: ICA), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Timken (NYSE: TKR), Kennametal (NYSE: KMT), Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), Masco (NYSE: MAS), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY), Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE: CBI), EMCOR (NYSE: EME), Snap-on (NYSE: SNA), Toro (NYSE: TTC), GM (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

dog daycare NYC

Labels: , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 27, 2012

Consumer Confidence is Waning

consumer
In case you missed it, the week offered several warning signs on the consumer front, with two data points indicating that consumers may go into lockdown mode soon. A third report showed institutions are exhibiting less confidence in equities and have reduced exposure of late. If confidence is truly waning, too much shouldn’t be expected of the economy or the stock market near-term.

consumer product reviewer
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Consumer Confidence

Thursday should have served a wakeup call to anyone who had blown off two of the week’s earlier sentiment data points. Bloomberg reported its weekly consumer confidence measure, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. The regular metric of the consumer mood produced its most precipitous drop in over a year’s time. The index fell to negative 35.8 in the period through April 22nd, down from minus 31.4 the week before. Bloomberg’s tally takers noted drops in the “buying climate” and in the view of household financial wherewithal.

Most certainly, the latest souring of the stock market has played a role in the mood of consumers, given the stake in it most of us have within our retirement accounts. Coincidentally, State Street (NYSE: STT) reported its latest measure of the investor mood this week, and it was consistent with our assessment here. State Street Global Markets published its State Street Investor Confidence Index (ICI) for April, showing its global ICI fell 3.9 points. Interestingly enough, neither North America nor Europe were the driving forces behind the decline, as the respective regional confidence measures fell 0.7 and 0.1 points. Rather, it was Asia that drove the global drop-off, with the Asian component measure falling 7.5 points.

The reason for the lost confidence among Asia’s institutional investors should be disturbing to the rest of the world as well. The latest economic data out of China has offered more evidence of slowing Chinese economic growth. Given that so much of the world is serving Chinese growth now, and noting that the world is likewise greatly served by China-based production, regional concerns reflect upon the world.

Sustained high gasoline prices are almost certainly annoying American consumers as well. Though, average gasoline prices at the pump have been on the decline this month. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports gas prices continued a good trend into April 23, falling to an average price of $3.87 nationally.

Brazilian blowout NYC
That said, the latest survey by the Conference Board produced just a slight change in the Consumer Confidence Index, with April’s measure declining to 69.2, down from 69.5 in March. Of course, this understates what really happened this month, because March was revised lower from 70.2. Thus, the decline was more significant than reported. Also, economists were looking for a reading of 69.7, a half point more than the realized index.

More telling information can be found in the survey details and it does not offer good news. For instance, while the overall measure of current conditions improved to 51.4 from 49.9, those claiming business conditions were “good” amounted to 15.3% of those tallied. Meanwhile, those claiming business conditions were “bad” rose to 33.5%. The Expectations Index declined to 81.1 from 82.5, as more people expected conditions to deteriorate while those seeing improvement fell in number.

With the latest labor data offering more evidence of deterioration, we found nothing inconsistent in this survey. The number of people describing the process of getting a job as difficult amounted to 37.5%, while those believing jobs were plentiful amounted to 8.4%. The outlook for the job market was mixed, but I anticipate it will deteriorate as the economic situation recesses.

The stock market blew off the bad consumer news Thursday thanks to the Apple earnings high it’s been flying on. While the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) gained 0.7%, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLY) soared by 1.25%. Likewise, the SPDR S&P Retail (NYSE: XRT) climbed 1.4%, but I would warn sector investors to pay closer attention to the mood of consumers and the flow of economic data, because it offers a different message than that offered by the tech and internet high flyers. Still, given the solid results from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) Thursday afternoon, the trend may continue through the week’s close.

Article interests investors in: S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR), Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH), Hooker Furniture (Nasdaq: HOFT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowes (NYSE: LOW), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), The Limited (NYSE: LTD), Chicos (NYSE: CHS), Ann Taylor (NYSE: ANN), The Gap (NYSE: GPS), Macy’s (NYSE: M), JC Penney (NYSE: JCP), Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), TJX Company (NYSE: TJX), Kohls (NYSE: KSS), Costco (Nasdaq: COST), Target (NYSE: TGT), Wet Seal (Nasdaq: WTSLA), Hot Topic (Nasdaq: HOTT), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Saks (NYSE: SAK), Tiffany (NYSE: TIF), Talbots (NYSE: TLB), Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL), Builders Firstsource (Nasdaq: BLDR), Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG), Tempur-Pedic International (NYSE: TPX), Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB), Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS), Sleepy’s (NYSE: ZZ), Furniture Brands (NYSE: FBN), Natuzzi (NYSE: NTZ), Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD), Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS), Bon-Ton (Nasdaq: BONT), Cost Plus (Nasdaq: CPWM), Baker’s Footwear (Nasdaq: BKRS.OB), Bebe Stores (Nasdaq: BEBE), The Buckle (NYSE: BKE), Cache (Nasdaq: CACH), Casual Male (Nasdaq: CMRG), Cato (Nasdaq: CATO), Christopher & Banks (NYSE: CBK), Citi Trends (Nasdaq: CTRN), Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS), Destination Maternity (Nasdaq: DEST), Dress Barn (Nasdaq: DBRN), DSW (NYSE: DSW), Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL), Footlocker (NYSE: FL), Gymboree (Nasdaq: GYMB), Guess (NYSE: GES), J. Crew (NYSE: JCG), Jones New York (NYSE: JNY), Jos. A Banks (Nasdaq: JOSB), New York & Co. (NYSE: NWY), Men’s Wearhouse (NYSE: MW), Syms (Nasdaq: SYMS), The Children’s Place (Nasdaq: PLCE).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

Phillies

Labels: , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jobless Claims Troubling Trend

job search
Weekly Initial Jobless Claims have been creeping higher ever since marking that now infamous “four-year record low” just a few weeks ago. We warned then, and we raise the decibel now, that we are seeing the effects of European recession hitting home on our already vulnerable economy. The result should be renewed caution in employment, which seems to be developing, and stalling consumer spending.

jobs analyst
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Relative article tickers include Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY), Manpower (NYSE: MAN), Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).

Jobless Claims

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims actually slipped by 1,000 in the week ending April 21, falling to 388,000, but that was from a prior number that was revised higher (again), to 389,000, from 386,000. Economists were again surprisingly surprised by what we’ve been forecasting from before they were even giddy about nascent improvement in the labor market. The consensus view of economists was set at 375K for this week’s number, according to Bloomberg’s survey. We’ve noted in the past that economists understandably tend to have trouble seeing change on a weekly basis, and so historically, this forecast has tended to near mirror the latest preceding result.

The four-week moving average of jobless claims better reflects true trend, and that trend is troubling. The average increased by 6,250 in the latest measuring period, rising to 381,750. It’s been creeping higher since marking that infamous low that had the major television network world news teams proclaiming great change and reporting on where the jobs were. Of course, we noted that less firing does not necessarily translate into more hiring, and that played out two days later with the monthly Employment Situation Report letdown. Perhaps we have their attention now.

The report reached the wire today in tandem with mostly poor economic news flow save a suspect housing data point, yet stocks are still celebrating on an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) high driven by the economy defying earnings heights of the technology leader. Employment services firms are mixed on the data, with the shares of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI) and Manpower (NYSE: MAN) appropriately lower while Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) treads water and Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) soars 10% on its own earnings news (at the hour of scribbling here).

The latest data from the Department of Labor (DOL) showed insured unemployment stuck at 2.6% in the week ending April 14 (note the lag in this data point). Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits of some sort, including through the benefit extensions program, dropped by 87,160 toward reaching 6.68 million poor souls. We remind the inappropriately enthused that besides that being an excessive count, it also misses all those long-term unemployed who are simply running out of benefits and falling off the radar.

Indeed, the trend is a deteriorating one in employment, with the public sector setting up to renew its leadership in layoffs after a recent short break. Reportedly, the U.S. Army may be next on the federal scale, based on the comments of a Pentagon official and the reality of budget cut driven necessity. On the municipal level, Detroit was the latest to flirt with the idea of layoffs, with its mayor talking about the millions in savings he seeks through privatization of services and the firing of some 2,500 folks. San Diego and Los Angeles are likewise looking at laying off more city workers, and they’re not alone.

On the corporate front, Wall Street is reportedly set to set some bankers free due to the drying up of the deals market. The Wall Street Journal just reported that banks including Citigroup (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) are getting ready for a new round of job cuts. The trouble should spread soon enough into the retail store marketplace and other service providers, before infecting manufacturing again if the global environment breaks as I see it (read poorly).

We’re just a week off now of the next Employment Situation Report, though perhaps still months short of when Europe really starts to impact our labor market due to the 20% of exports we ship there, its impact on the emerging world and the lag of the employment indicators. Stay tuned to our tiny little independent and insightful blog folks, as it’s getting hot in here…

This article should interest employment services firms like Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX), Manpower (NYSE: MAN), Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), 51Job Inc. (Nasdaq: JOBS), Monster World Wide (NYSE: MWW), Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Administaff (NYSE: ASF), Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX), Kelly Services (Nasdaq: KELYA), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Cross Country Healthcare (Nasdaq: CCRN), On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN), AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE: AHS), Barrett Business Services (Nasdaq: BBSI), Hudson Highland Group (Nasdaq: HHGP), StarTek (NYSE: SRT), RCM Technologies (Nasdaq: RCMT), VirtualScopics (Nasdaq: VSCP), American Surgical (OTC: ASRG.OB), Medical Connections (OTC: MCTH.OB), iGen Networks (OTC: IGEN.OB), St. Joseph (OTC: STJO.OB), General Employment Enterprises (NYSE: JOB), Total Neutraceutical (OTC: TNUS.OB), TeamStaff (Nasdaq: TSTF), Stratum (OTC: STTH.PK), Purespectrum (OTC: PSRU.OB), Corporate Resource Services (OTC: CRRS.OB).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

seminal event

Labels: ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Homebuilders Benefitting from Market Share Gains

pies NYC
The differences in economic data between and within some of the metrics of the housing industry, offer evidence of a value added trend for the publicly traded homebuilders. They are the beneficiaries of an important industry factor change, and will likely lead the real estate market in recovery as a result. This is not a new statement by your author by far, but it is the first dedicated article to the important issue.

real estate analyst
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Homebuilder Market Share


Many of the publicly traded homebuilders have and will gain market share into the next upturn of the business cycle. The benefits of such change should be akin to a nitrogen boost for a drag racer’s speed machine. That said, I continue to warn that more broader reaching market shock via an Iran event and the more easily envisioned contagion from European recession, should offer new stumbling block for the economy, for single-family housing generally and for cyclical high-beta shares especially; that is inclusive of the homebuilders and despite the important industry factor value add.

This, like all investment sectors, is a dynamic and complex environment that should never be simplified by blank statements and vague descriptions. Thus, you are wise to assess the value of your advisors and the authors of articles and reports based on how well they see the entirety of each dynamic investment option.

The complexity of the industry is why we see such ups and downs for the homebuilder shares of late. Real estate data has been mixed, and is confusing for those who do not understand the very important point being made through this report. New Home Sales data offered the latest neck jerk for shareholders of homebuilders, with the SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSE: XHB) up 1% Tuesday. The report indicated the pace of new home sales improved to 328K in March, which exceeded the consensus of economists’ forecast for 318K. Furthermore, February’s tally was ratcheted higher to 353K, up from the initially reported pace of 313K. Also, the latest count was 7.5% more than last March. The shares of PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM), K.B. Home (NYSE: KBH), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Beazer (NYSE: BZH) and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) were all higher by 2% to 4% on the news. Likewise, builder supply shares like that of USG (NYSE: USG), Masco (NYSE: MAS), Owens-Corning (NYSE: OC) and Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK) were up to a similar degree.

Yet, just a few days prior, disappointing real estate data in the form of Existing Home Sales for March sent the shares lower. Before that a tough Housing Starts report, highlighting regional variances and a multi-family drop, also weighed on housing stocks. Also last week, the Housing Market Index showed general builder sentiment had fallen after several months of improvement. What’s it all mean?

Investors in these stocks should realize that many factors will play roles in their operational performance. For instance, multi-family projects project the harsh reality that many Americans can no longer qualify for home ownership and are moving into rental property. However, this data influences overall activity positively, and while it helps support building product supply companies, it means little for the builders of single-family or other housing for home ownership.

Existing home sales data continues to reflect a difficult real estate environment on the whole, and builder confidence reflects the general level of activity and the mood of many decimated smaller undercapitalized builders. Yet, many publicly traded homebuilders like D.R. Horton, which reported this week higher revenues, earnings, closings and orders, are providing pleasing results. This is leaving many housing stock investors confused, if not suffering from whiplash.

A major driver of the differences between the performance and moods of housing segments and individual builders is the result of a shake-up that happened in the building industry through the real estate crisis. As in every cycle, highly levered and mostly overenthusiastic smaller builders found themselves in a tough spot when the market collapsed. Given the depth, degree and length of the current downturn in real estate, the shake-out has been exceptional. The result is fewer builders in position to capitalize on any new demand, and so the fewer numbers of builders are garnering a larger percentage of business. So even while the aggregate results remain depressing in real estate, the improvements are magnified within the short list of capable and capitalized builders.

Once again, it is my pleasure to make some sense of a complicated matter for my friends and followers. Please follow me here and subscribe to our email distribution at the blog, as I do my best to add value to your investment decision making and economic understanding.

Editor's Note: Article should interest investors in Investors Title (Nasdaq: ITIC), Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC.OB), Fannie Mae (OTC: FNMA.OB), UltraShort Real Estate ProShares (NYSE: SRS), Ultra Real Estate ProShares (NYSE: URE), ING Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund (NYSE: IGR), Xinyuan Real Estate Co. (NYSE: XIN), Rydex Real Estate Fund H (Nasdaq: RYHRX), T. Rowe Price Real Estate Fund (Nasdaq: TRREX), Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), Hovnanian (NYSE: HOV), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH), Lennar (NYSE: LEN), K.B. Homes (NYSE: KBH), Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM), NVR Inc. (NYSE: NVR), Gafisa SA (NYSE: GFA), MDC Holdings (NYSE: MDC), Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL), Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH), Brookfield Homes (NYSE: BHS), Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF), M/I Homes (NYSE: MHO), Orleans Homebuilders (AMEX: OHB), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYSE: VNQ), Hooker Furniture (Nasdaq: HOFT), Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR), Williams Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowes (NYSE: LOW), Nasdaq: XNFZX, Nasdaq: FSAZX, Avatar Holdings (Nasdaq: AVTR), Apartment Investment & Management (NYSE: AIV), Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), Avalonbay Communities (NYSE: AVB), UDR Inc. (NYSE: UDR), Essex Property Trust (NYSE: ESS), Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), Senior Housing Properties (NYSE: SNH), BRE Properties (NYSE: BRE), Home Properties (NYSE: HME), Mid-America Apartment (NYSE: MAA), Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS), American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), Colonial Properties (NYSE: CLP), American Capital Agency (Nasdaq: AGNC), Sun Communities (NYSE: SUI), Associated Estates (NYSE: AEC), PennyMac Mortgage (NYSE: PMT), Two Harbors (AMEX: TWO), Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

debate

Labels: , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 23, 2012

Enter Political Risk

European Union EU

Many in the media are attributing nascent softness in European and also American shares to whatever happens to be in the news that day or this week. While many of these issues are certainly important to the market, like for instance the latest Spanish bond sale or the European recession foreseen here for months now, there’s a major issue that short-sightedness has not allowed into perspective. Political risk is increasingly entering the frame, and it threatens to change the game for Europe, the United States and much of the world this year and beyond.

political pundit
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Relative tickers include: Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSE: VGK), European Equity Fund (NYSE: EEA), iShares MSCI France Index (NYSE: EWQ), Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE: GREK), iShares MSCI Spain Index (NYSE: EWP), iShares MSCI Germany Index (NYSE: EWG), iShares MSCI Italy Index (NYSE: EWI), SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) and SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA).

Political Risk of European Fascism

In times of duress, austerity stricken citizens tend to vote with more than just boisterous protesting; you know, like the now commonplace (in Greece) burning of automobiles, breaking of storefront windows and hurling of stones at your friendly neighborhood cop. While many nations have put off long awaited elections, this year, the ballots will hit the fan.

This weekend offered the first splattering in a big, bad and potentially disgusting way for investors. The French elections could break up the French-German connection lovingly known as Merkozy. French PM Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have with their concerted effort led Europe through its most difficult time since the Second World War. In fact, they have very likely kept the European Union together, though in a weakened and more fragile state. It is precisely this popular opinion that threatens to unseat the French connection, with Sarkozy expected to be overcome by Socialist Francois Hollande, who this weekend scored a first round victory over the incumbent Sarkozy. The election concludes on May 6, which is shaping up to be like a sort of doomsday for Europe.

You see, on May 6, the Greeks will also very likely unseat their leadership. The choice for Europeans continues to be represented by the same old faces from the same old political parties, which are adept at dishing out whatever the people’s palette desires on any given day. For instance, in Greece today, the New Democracy Party is talking up growth initiatives over the sour tasting austerity their socialist counterparts in PASOK have been forced to serve. Yet, it was under New Democracy that Greece forged its economic data to sneak into the euro zone. I’m not sure the Greek people are as forgetful as politicians may think.

The problem is that for Greeks, and others, there are very few alternative digestible options to choose from. Still, desperation has driven many to desperate affiliation. The communists have even found some support, but Marxism has been so effectively disproven by history that they really waste national resources by their organization. It may be a good thing, though, as their existence keeps radical opposition fragmented.

Extreme right wing radical parties have been quick to spring up across Europe with common political themes, notably anti-immigration, anti-assimilation and of course, anti-austerity. So far, these fascist parties have come up against the broadly accepted wisdom of the day, which is that globalization and common civilization lead to prosperity. However, I have to question how much longer such anchors will hold against the storm of economic recession (depression for some) that is tormenting Europeans.

More than 50% of Greece’s young adults are unemployed and tired of the old guard, which is represented for them by both of the popular parties. Youth unemployment is a common theme running across Europe, and if the young are inspired enough to assault policemen, then they’re inspired enough to vote. In France, the extreme right wing candidate Marine Le Pen received 18% of the popular vote this weekend, vividly illustrating the new found favor of fascism throughout the region. However, for France, full-blooded fascism cannot take comfort hold of the nation, due to its large immigration driven Islamic minority. Still, the fascist voice is now needed by both major parties to overcome the other, and so Madame Le Pen garners leverage which she may use to insidiously gain more power.

Those voices which would smother this argument and the threat of fascism with the usual description of the disjointed membership of the “far right,” which includes various extremists, anarchists, racists and religious conservatives, would miss the critical point. What unites these varied groups is dissatisfaction with the ruling parties, and that is a rapidly increasing commonly shared disgust throughout the streets of Europe. It will only take further strife, which is expected here, combined with sensible sounding figure heads atop these parties to drive radical change in Europe, and that is not a farfetched or distant possibility.

For now, the seemingly smartest voices continue to support the policies of the established parties. The problem is that the comfort of their seats has made these politicians too complacent. They are so sure of themselves and the ways of today, that they are likely to be overrun like deaf blind men standing before a herd of charging elephants. They are unable to clearly see that the usual lunch meetings with the usual experts providing the usual economic advice will not suffice these dynamic times.

What fascism will likely bring to Europe and eventually the world will be an undoing of civilization. The progress of the world since World War II could be undone in a decade. The European Union may hold in some form for the sake of mutual protection against the dark shadows that lurk to the east, but despite its similarly sensible economic reasoning, the euro zone would likely disintegrate.

The polar opposite direction, which I should discuss separately, could lead desperate European leaders to strike a stronger political union while they still can. Combining in such a manner, however it may make sense to the desperate, should also support the growth of the region’s cancer across now somewhat healthy states. I expect that such a unionization effort would tie the region, and drown the entire group together. That’s because I expect the European Central Bank (ECB) would then get its hands dirty, and the excessive creation of fiat currency combined with other factors I see developing geopolitically, could undo the West and the financial system entirely, and perhaps global trade as well. I will write more about this truly undesirable possibility in a dedicated article soon enough.

While economic data pointing to decline across Europe is definitely playing a key role in the day’s activity, it should have been expected by readers of my column. You read others to know what is going on today, and you read me to know what will happen tomorrow.

Today or not long from now, the realization that the people may not stand much longer behind ruling regimes, and with sloppy fascism clawing at the door, will drive concern about civilization and spread chaos across securities markets. At the hour of scribbling here, the Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSE: VGK) and the European Equity Fund (NYSE: EEA) were each down between 2% and 3%. For the nation in the news, the iShares MSCI France Index (NYSE: EWQ) was down more than 3%. The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE: GREK) was off 2.6% and the iShares MSCI Spain Index (NYSE: EWP) was lower 3.2%, as bond spreads widened across Europe. The levity of the matter is even more apparent as we view the 3.6% drop in the iShares MSCI Germany Index (NYSE: EWG) and the 3.9% collapse of the iShares MSCI Italy Index (NYSE: EWI). In my opinion, well-founded contagion concerns have the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) lower more than 1%.

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

stefana

Labels: , , , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Jobsmageddon for the Chumps!

Armageddon
It’s Jobsmageddon! yelped the popular press Thursday when Weekly Initial Jobless Claims were reported. First of all, the change in claims was hardly notable. Secondly, followers of my column were not surprised with the nascent deterioration trend from that “four-year” low the floozy newsies reported just a couple weeks ago. It would seem the herd is catching up to us dear followers, so I hope your bets are in place. Calling, all bets! All bets to the table!

Occupy Wall Street
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Don't Panic but Place Your Bets

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims were reported at 386K for the week ending April 14. That was more than the consensus expectation for 365K, and the press got to howling. The thing is (the thing reporters do not know) - is that economists hardly make an effort in estimating the weekly claims count, and so the market mostly doesn’t notice the comparison. So smart money could give a damn about what really was just a 2,000 person decline week-to-week in jobless claims from the prior week’s revised count. Granted, the prior week was revised up to 388K from its initial reporting at 380K.

What’s really disturbing our counterparts in the economic debate is that the change in the four-week moving average for jobless claims increased again this week, rising by another 5,500 folks to settle at 374,750. However, settled it most likely is not. You see the trend in economic data, even before this week’s dysfunctional flow, has indicated poorly. Even before the latest reporting of Philadelphia and New York manufacturing malfunction, with each regional index showing a slowing in growth, we were reporting trouble in manufacturing. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLI) is off 2.5% since we authored that article.

Prior to this week’s declines in homebuilder sentiment, housing starts, and the pace of existing home sales, we were pounding on the front door against the sector. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSE: XHB) is off 6.6% from its 52-week peak through the 19th of April. With regard to the labor market, we were pointing out that the employment situation is just not well and would likely get worse despite its temporary fever break. The shares of employment services firms Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY), Manpower (NYSE: MAN) and Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) were all painted deep red Thursday.

As far as the consumer is concerned, we dissected the numbers and weren’t impressed. We showed you inconsistencies in auto sales data and the fine print behind hot builder supply sales. Thursday, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLY) and the SPDR S&P Retail (NYSE: XRT) were each off near 1%. Generally, we’ve been warning for quite a while now that it seems the economy is creeping toward recession due to infection from Europe, and with an Iranian trigger cocked and a gun barrel up our throats. It seems the market is finally taking notice, with the latest several weeks’ strife reflected again in declines Thursday in the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) and the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ).

So forgive me for rolling my eyes and casting complaint as the media and market finally take notice of what I’ve been farting into the wind for weeks. Even though it stinks (the economy) I’ve recommended a few long-term ideas as an angle to deflect the darkness. We talked up five investments for a Mega Million Jackpot, including gold on a deep down day. The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) were in the green Thursday by the way. Also, we saw a catalyst driving a move in Chinese microcaps and, separately, we showed you two stories where value had been added through company specific events. Marley, my assistant editor and dear dog-friend just said, if he could, “What more can you do Pops?” All I can do is keep talking and hope you tell your friends about what you hear here. In the meantime, you had better hurry and get your bets to the table. Calling all bets? Calling all bets!

Article should interest investors in Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX), Manpower (NYSE: MAN), Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), 51Job Inc. (Nasdaq: JOBS), Monster World Wide (NYSE: MWW), Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Administaff (NYSE: ASF), Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX), Kelly Services (Nasdaq: KELYA), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Cross Country Healthcare (Nasdaq: CCRN), On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN), AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE: AHS), Barrett Business Services (Nasdaq: BBSI), Hudson Highland Group (Nasdaq: HHGP), StarTek (NYSE: SRT), RCM Technologies (Nasdaq: RCMT), VirtualScopics (Nasdaq: VSCP), American Surgical (OTC: ASRG.OB), Medical Connections (OTC: MCTH.OB), iGen Networks (OTC: IGEN.OB), St. Joseph (OTC: STJO.OB), General Employment Enterprises (NYSE: JOB), Total Neutraceutical (OTC: TNUS.OB), TeamStaff (Nasdaq: TSTF), Stratum (OTC: STTH.PK), Purespectrum (OTC: PSRU.OB), Corporate Resource Services (OTC: CRRS.OB), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), TD Bank (NYSE: TD), PNC Bank (NYSE: PNC), General Electric (NYSE: GE), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Alcoa (NYSE: AA), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Boeing (NYSE: BA), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), DuPont (NYSE: DD), Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Kraft (NYSE: KFT), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), 3M (NYSE: MMM), Merck (NYSE: MRK), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), AT&T (NYSE: T), Travelers (NYSE: TRV), United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

American Idol performances videos

Labels: , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Factors Driving Retail Sales Gains

Albert Einstein
March’s Retail Trade data showed headline sales increased 0.8% in February, better than economists foresaw (+0.3%), as activity jumped 6.5% against the prior year period. The regular adjustment made to the headline is to weed out important auto sales. When we do that, we find March sales still increased 0.8%, again better than the economists’ consensus (+0.6%). At times, gasoline prices play an important role in the sales of retailers in aggregate, and certainly for gas sellers like The Pantry (Nasdaq: PTRY). Over the last six months, gasoline has been an issue worth noting. In March, when weeding out sales of gasoline and autos, sales still rose by a robust 0.7%. Sales at gasoline stations were 1.1% higher in March and were up 7.6% against the prior year.

Wall Street whistleblower
Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

A Look at Retail Sales

But beware, because some price change is still missed, given the feed flow of petroleum and other commodity prices into goods and services generally. Back in 2007, I was warning that the then considered negligible long-term impact of changes in food and energy would become important through the next couple decades as those changes increasingly reflected evolving secular supply demand dynamics. That’s because as prices anchor higher for increasingly tighter commodities markets, they will find their way into all goods, and the core price increase will rise along with the headline… inflation thus cometh in my view. Given the nascent trend of the world’s central banks to flood fiat currency, we may see what I called back then, an “economic fishtail,” leaving us flailing at the wheel to regain control of the economy.

My warnings about price change might be playing out as early as now within the auto industry. While sales were higher in March according to the Retail Sales report, unit sales were reported lower for the same month, on an annualized basis. Domestic vehicle unit sales marked an annual pace of 10.9 million for March, which was down from the 11.4 million pace reported for February. Much depends on the basis used to annualize the sales pace, meaning how many trailing months are employed or whether it is simply annualized on the last month’s data, which could have unique influences playing upon it. Nevertheless, the data tells a story of economic value maximization and a new patience in the auto industry.

Regarding inflation, the latest CPI data for March showed a 0.3% monthly price increase and a 0.2% price increase when excluding food and energy. Producer prices were reported flat on the headline, but 0.3% higher at the core for March. The last reported Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index (for February) showed a 0.3% price increase in aggregate and a 0.1% increase when excluding food and energy. Certainly, the economic concern about Europe and the global economy have quelled price increase until now. This is the reason, after all, that world’s major central banks remain in expansionary mode. However, creeping gasoline prices have still contaminated the environment, and because of Iran, they threaten to do worse.

Building Materials & Garden Equipment & Supplies Dealers reported a 3.0% sales increase in March, and have noted a 14.1% increase over the prior year. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) marked better than 1% gains Monday as a result. This segment is significantly less important than autos these days, but is not inconsequential. The year-to-year increase likely reflects the improved economy, and within housing, the growth of multi-family projects for our developing renter nation. I wonder, though, how much spring tornado activity in the nation’s center and seasonal hurricane activity along the Southeast Coast influence this data, as they drive significant construction across vast regions of the country. Due to the earlier spring this year, based on temperatures, it seems the seasonal surge of tornadoes perhaps is making a difference for March. Certainly there are many varied factors at play for the builder supply segment and each segment within the complex retail trade.

Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores noted a 1.1% sales increase in March, which is pretty strong too. But, when insurance companies are paying, what would hold people back from restocking their homes post calamity? Let’s face it, though, while the broad housing industry continues to reel, market share eating, large publicly traded contractors like PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM) and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) are reportedly seeing good growth. That growth may be somewhat aided by pent-up demand, with fears of home price decrease fading. That said, I continue to warn investors that a nascent economic stumble should penalize the shares of market sensitive builders nevertheless.

It’s hard to argue with the Clothing and Accessories growth of 0.9%, the Electronics & Appliance Store growth of 1.0%, or the General Merchandise Stores gain of 0.7% in March, except to say that the earlier spring likely supported the month’s production. Retail industry analysts will note the importance of reading March and April together for this reason. Certainly, recent reports from the likes of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) put the economic health of consumer spending in question. However, much of the sales lost by Best Buy are gained by Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and other “nonstore” retailers (+0.7%).

Generally speaking, and based on the factors discussed here, I would have to call this latest Retail Trade data neutral in aggregate. That said, I remain cautious about the consumer segment, given my concern for the economy tied to starving Europe and stumbling China, not to mention the economically handicapped U.S., with our still too high unemployment. Finally, I remind short-sighted investors that a disruptive Iran event is lying in waiting, and should surprise nobody upon its activation. Though it will surprise most greedy hands that keep dirty seeking short-term gains.

Article interests investors in: S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR), Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH), Hooker Furniture (Nasdaq: HOFT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowes (NYSE: LOW), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), The Limited (NYSE: LTD), Chicos (NYSE: CHS), Ann Taylor (NYSE: ANN), The Gap (NYSE: GPS), Macy’s (NYSE: M), JC Penney (NYSE: JCP), Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), TJX Company (NYSE: TJX), Kohls (NYSE: KSS), Costco (Nasdaq: COST), Target (NYSE: TGT), Wet Seal (Nasdaq: WTSLA), Hot Topic (Nasdaq: HOTT), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Saks (NYSE: SAK), Tiffany (NYSE: TIF), Talbots (NYSE: TLB), Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL), Builders Firstsource (Nasdaq: BLDR), Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG), Tempur-Pedic International (NYSE: TPX), Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB), Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS), Sleepy’s (NYSE: ZZ), Furniture Brands (NYSE: FBN), Natuzzi (NYSE: NTZ), Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD), Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS), Bon-Ton (Nasdaq: BONT), Cost Plus (Nasdaq: CPWM), Baker’s Footwear (Nasdaq: BKRS.OB), Bebe Stores (Nasdaq: BEBE), The Buckle (NYSE: BKE), Cache (Nasdaq: CACH), Casual Male (Nasdaq: CMRG), Cato (Nasdaq: CATO), Christopher & Banks (NYSE: CBK), Citi Trends (Nasdaq: CTRN), Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS), Destination Maternity (Nasdaq: DEST), Dress Barn (Nasdaq: DBRN), DSW (NYSE: DSW), Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL), Footlocker (NYSE: FL), Gymboree (Nasdaq: GYMB), Guess (NYSE: GES), J. Crew (NYSE: JCG), Jones New York (NYSE: JNY), Jos. A Banks (Nasdaq: JOSB), New York & Co. (NYSE: NWY), Men’s Wearhouse (NYSE: MW), Syms (Nasdaq: SYMS), The Children’s Place (Nasdaq: PLCE).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

Greek businesses

Labels: , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Holiday in Heaven - Musical Review

heaven, angel

A Heavenly Delight

By Annie Amos

Demetria Daniels takes us on a whirlwind tour beyond the pearly gates in Holiday in Heaven, her new musical that was staged in February in NYC as part of John Chatterton’s Second Annual Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival.

A lively cast sings us into the rollicking side of angelic living. It’s the end of year 2999 and the Heavenly Council has decreed that the turn of the 3rdMillenium must be celebrated in a special way. Appointed co-chairpersons of the committee, are an unlikely pairing of angelic hosts – Aloysius and Hortense – the English Gentleman and the All-American Girl Next Door. After some friendly bickering, they decide on a Harp Contest, the proceeds of which will be sent to Earth to end homelessness, and the search begins for the perfect judge.

Bemoaning the cliquish factionalism that has been dividing Heaven as of late – what with the “intellectuals, radical religionists, third worlders, and even Mother Theresa” - Aloysius and Hortense agree that it would be much more prudent to invite a living human from Earth to judge the contest.

The heavenly computer database pulls up names like Madonna but foreseeing the disapproval of the Pope – the winged co-chairpersons set their sights instead on the mousy do-gooder with a sensitive soul, Mary Smith. Sweet Mary helps the homeless, plays the harp, and dates a boorish aloof boyfriend that forgets her birthday and ridicules her for being a dreamer. But before we are allowed enough time to hate on Hank Billings, her boyfriend from gym rat hell, or swoon too long over the shy English pianist that is also trying to hail our Mary, a burst of angelus ex machina whisks our fair lady (via car accident) into the wondrous realms of paradise.

In Heaven, it’s Fringe meets the Frogs where unicorns roam free, Matisse is the graphic designer of choice, Jesus and the Apostles chill and play card games, and the fruit trees grow cotton candy and diamonds for all. How could Mary resist the offer for a one-month holiday in Heaven, in exchange for her services as non-factional, sweet, deserving harp contest judge? Well, she doesn’t, and neither would you if on top of all that you finally met the man of your dreams, like Mary does, in the spirit of hunky Alexander the Great. On Earth, poor Mary sang songs of maidenly woe, lamenting the absence of true chivalry…but in Heaven, her long awaited hero is there, in the non-flesh, right before her eyes. But alas – what fate for the love-struck doomed to eventual separation? Will Mary’s angelic hosts be able to help? Alexander, claiming he was too busy on Earth to fall in love and get married runs to find his friends Romeo and Juliet as "they may have some ideas."

Through boisterous song and dance and witty dialogue, we are taken along on this romantic holiday adventure that asks: do you believe in miracles? And what would you do for a Holiday in Heaven?

***

Holiday in Heaven will be playing next at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, running from July 16th through August 12th in 2012, so keep an eye on the calendar for its scheduling.

The musical played at the NYC treat, the 2012 Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, which ran this year from February 13th through March 4th and showcased 29 plays at the Roy Arias Studios, at 300 W. 43rd St., 5th floor Payan Theatre.

This article should interest The New York Times (NYSE: NYT), Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI), A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), Daily Journal (NYSE: DJCO), Journal Communications (NYSE: JRN), Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE), Media General (NYSE: MEG), E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP), McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI), The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO), Dex One (Nasdaq: DEXO), Martha Stewart Living (NYSE: MSO), Meredith (NYSE: MDP), Private Media (Nasdaq: PRVT), Reed Elsevier (NYSE: ENL), Reed Elsevier Plc (NYSE: RUK), Dolan Co. (NYSE: DN), Disney (NYSE: DIS), DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA), Cinemark Holdings (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment (NYSE: RGC), RealD (NYSE: RLD), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF), Rentrak (Nasdaq: RENT), Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC), LYFE Communications (OTC: LYFE.OB), New Frontier Media (Nasdaq: NOOF), Public Media Works (OTC: PUBM.OB), Independent Film Development (OTC: IFLM.OB), Point 360 (Nasdaq: PTSX), Seven Arts Pictures (Nasdaq: SAPX), Affinity Medianetworks (OTC: AFFW.OB), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), Vivendi (Paris: VIV.PA), Liberty Starz Group (Nasdaq: LSTZA), McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP), Pearson Plc (NYSE: PSO), John Wiley & Sons (NYSE: JW-A, NYSE: JW-B), Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL), Courier (Nasdaq: CRRC), Noah Education (NYSE: NED), Peoples Educational Holdings (Nasdaq: PEDH), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Books-A-Million (Nasdaq: BAMM).

twitter Greek

Labels: , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Better Check Yourself Post Alcoa

enthusiasmAlcoa (NYSE: AA) started off the earnings season for the Dow Jones Industrials in a surprisingly positive manner. Analysts were generally looking for revenues of $5.77 billion at the mean, and Alcoa reported $6.0 billion. It represented 1% top line growth against the prior year and fractional growth over the fourth quarter, which was impressive given a 9% drop in realized aluminum prices year-to-year. The stock was up 5.4% after hours Tuesday as a result, and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLI) was plus 0.7% post the close. Operational expectations were at the opposite end of the spectrum, as evidenced by Alcoa’s 2.9% decline Tuesday, before reporting its results, and by the XLI’s 2% fall.

KaminisOur founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Temper Enthusiasm Post Alcoa



Before we get too excited about the quarterly result, though, I think we would be wise to consider the creep of global economic deterioration as the quarter progressed. While economic recession remains suspect, proclaiming all’s well on Alcoa’s news may likewise be premature. Indeed, I think it is. And even if it weren’t, Iran is about to happen, but that is supposedly not forecastable according to Wall Street. Yet, Iran just imposed “counter sanctions”, cutting off petroleum exports to starving Spain and Greece, and threatened to cut off Italy and Germany before the west’s own sanctions take effect in early July. It’s clear, at least to me, that the situation is finally coming to a head, with a powder keg now tightly squeezed between American warships and the Iranian coastline, just waiting for its spark.

Alcoa’s earnings per share also exceeded expectations, with income from continuing operations reaching $0.10 a share, against analysts’ consensus expectations for a loss of $0.04, based on Yahoo Finance’s tally. Still, you’ll find those looking to extract from Alcoa’s results pointing more to revenues than earnings, as they better reflect industry fundamentals. As we move down the income statement to the bottom line, Alcoa’s results increasingly reflect its gained efficiencies of operation.

Some would inspect Alcoa’s market segment revenues against the prior year, but the prior quarter comparison should better reflect the changes in economic health we are beginning to see, barring seasonal influences. In that regard, Alcoa saw industrial product growth of 14%, 13% increased demand from automotive, 11% more from packaging, with commercial transportation revenues up 11%. Alcoa and other materials players certainly have global development going for them as an offset against regional cyclical swings.

I would have to manufacture a negative interpretation of these numbers, as they were impressive and surely the reason for the stock’s rise after hours. But how well do they capture what could be developing in manufacturing, as seen in recent data review. How well do they reflect apparent European recession contagion into our market? How well do they reflect consumer concerns and the timid employment situation? How well do they measure the nascent stumble in housing? I say not well, and so I warn investors and econo-watchers to temper their enthusiasm today.

The shares of major industrials and the broader market look to break their slide Wednesday, and it is welcomed here but not expected to hold long based on my economic observations. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), General Electric (NYSE: GE), General Motors (NYSE: GM) and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) are all looking higher by a point or more Wednesday morning. It may serve as a blessing for some with a nose to the change I smell, a chance to take capital back.

This article should interest investors in Boeing (NYSE: BA), Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), Digital Globe (NYSE: DGI), GenCorp (NYSE: GY), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), Goodrich (NYSE: GR), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), Honeywell (NYSE: HON), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL), EMBRAER (NYSE: ERJ), FLIR Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR), BE Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV), TransDigm (NYSE: TDG), Spirit Aerosystems (NYSE: SPR), CAE (NYSE: CAE), Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI), Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL), Moog (NYSE: MOG-A), Heico (NYSE: HEI), Teledyne (NYSE: TDY), Curtiss-Wright (NYSE: CW), Cavco (Nasdaq: CVCO), Skyline (NYSE: SKY), Nobility Homes (Nasdaq: NOBH), Palm Harbor Homes (Nasdaq: PHHM), Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), Interface (Nasdaq: IFSIA), Albany International (NYSE: AIN), Unifi (NYSE: UFI), Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), Tyco International (NYSE: TYC), Cummins (NYSE: CMI), Kubota (NYSE: KUB), Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE: IR), Dover (NYSE: DOV), ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT), Flowserve (NYSE: FLS), Pall (NYSE: PLL), Dresser-Rand (NYSE: DRC), SPX (NYSE: SPW), Gardner Denver (NYSE: GDI), IDEX (NYSE: IEX), Nordson (Nasdaq: NDSN), Graco (NYSE: GGG), Actuant (NYSE: ATU), Middleby (Nasdaq: MIDD), ABB (NYSE: ABB), Eaton (NYSE: ETN), Nidec (NYSE: NJ), Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), Ametek (NYSE: AME), Regal Beloit (NYSE: RBC), Thomas & Betts (NYSE: TMB), Woodward Governor (Nasdaq: WGOV), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Deere (NYSE: DE), CNH (NYSE: CNH), Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG), Bucyrus (Nasdaq: BUCY), Agco (Nasdaq: AGCO), Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR), Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH), Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP), Pentair (NYSE: PNR), Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Republic Services (NYSE: RSG), Fastenal (Nasdaq: FAST), Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC), MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU), Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM), Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), Valspar (NYSE: VAL), Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP), United States Steel (NYSE: X), Reliance Steel (NYSE: RS), CRH (NYSE: CRH), CEMEX (NYSE: CX), Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP), Fluor (NYSE: FLR), McDermott International (NYSE: MDR), Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT), Empresas ICA (NYSE: ICA), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Timken (NYSE: TKR), Kennametal (NYSE: KMT), Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), Masco (NYSE: MAS), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY), Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR), Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE: CBI), EMCOR (NYSE: EME), Snap-on (NYSE: SNA), Toro (NYSE: TTC), GM (NYSE: GM) and Ford (NYSE: F).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

Iran leader

Labels: , , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Labor Market is Not Well

sick, ill, not wellLast Thursday, when the Weekly Jobless Claims data was reported, I was stunned by one major television network’s world news program’s reporting of job creation. They pointed to the relatively low new unemployment claim filings as a sign that jobs were being created. It was flawed, because new layoffs are not perfectly tied to new hiring. I find it karmic that just one day later, the monthly Employment Situation Report showed soft net job additions for the month of March. Indeed, the truth is, Main Street is not well. As a result, stocks generally, and the stocks of employment services firms Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY), Manpower (NYSE: MAN) and Monster World Wide (NYSE: MWW), continued their slide from last week again Monday.

famous bloggersOur founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Labor Market



Last week offered a slew of employment data that provide us an opportunity to take good measure of the labor market. Most notably of all data points was of course the Employment Situation Report. March’s publishing showed that nonfarm private payrolls rose by 120,000 jobs on net, which was about half the prior three months’ average of +246K. Most importantly, that’s not really enough to keep the unemployment rate improving. It did improve, though, in March by a tenth of a percentage point, to 8.2%. However, that gain came on the unfortunate loss of 333K people from the labor force. You can fall out of the labor force for many reasons, like retirement for instance. However, I expect too many of America’s long-term unemployed have exhausted their extended weekly unemployment benefits, and are increasingly dropping off the radar.

Some 5.3 million Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, representing 42.5% of the total unemployed pool. The number of Americans working part-time for economic reasons, meaning they would prefer full-time jobs, decreased by 447K in March. I do not believe these part-timers got lucky and found full-time work; rather, I expect they are on the leading edge of layoffs and portend trouble for the economy. The 34,000 job shedding in the retail trade would seem to say the same thing.

Brazilian blowout NYCThe latest reporting of announced corporate layoffs by Challenger, Gray & Christmas indicated something else on the headline. According to the firm, planned layoffs dropped 27% in March, to a 10-month low of 37,880. The thing is, though, that the most important employers in America are small businesses; and their activities are harder to capture. Small business confidence has been on the rise in recent months, but has remained at historically low levels. The National Federation of Independent Business measure of the group is due on April 10.

March was also the lowest of the three months of the first quarter in terms of layoff announcements. The quarter itself, however, marked a 9.4% increase in announced firings versus the prior year period. Year-to-date data indicates the most weakness in consumer products, transportation and now call centers, which are clearly economically sensitive sectors. T-Mobile contributed a bunch to March call center contribution, as did Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and QVC. An interesting contrast to 2011 and indicated by both reports, the public sector was less of a factor in March. Still, Challenger warns that significant cuts are likely at both the federal and local government levels this year.

In conclusion, I want to stress and reiterate that I believe the economic situation will deteriorate near-term, rather than improve as many believe. This forecast is what drives my jobs view, and what keeps me attuned to leading indicators. Recent economic data, including several reports from China and Europe, offer good reason for concern for the global economy to which we are tied. Indeed, recent expansionary efforts from China also point to an internal understanding of an important disruption. Government action, opening up markets for foreign investment, helped spur some excitement around Chinese firms of late, but the action was likely the result of trouble within. U.S. data around manufacturing, consumers and housing have all offered a suspect odor, and the stench of Europe threatens as well. Thus, I continue to favor investments with a long-term flavor, including the recently weakened gold as a hedge against trouble.

Article should interest investors in Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX), Manpower (NYSE: MAN), Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), 51Job Inc. (Nasdaq: JOBS), Monster World Wide (NYSE: MWW), Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Administaff (NYSE: ASF), Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX), Kelly Services (Nasdaq: KELYA), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Cross Country Healthcare (Nasdaq: CCRN), On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN), AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE: AHS), Barrett Business Services (Nasdaq: BBSI), Hudson Highland Group (Nasdaq: HHGP), StarTek (NYSE: SRT), RCM Technologies (Nasdaq: RCMT), VirtualScopics (Nasdaq: VSCP), American Surgical (OTC: ASRG.OB), Medical Connections (OTC: MCTH.OB), iGen Networks (OTC: IGEN.OB), St. Joseph (OTC: STJO.OB), General Employment Enterprises (NYSE: JOB), Total Neutraceutical (OTC: TNUS.OB), TeamStaff (Nasdaq: TSTF), Stratum (OTC: STTH.PK), Purespectrum (OTC: PSRU.OB), Corporate Resource Services (OTC: CRRS.OB).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

Phillies

Labels: , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 06, 2012

Syntagma Square Resurrection of Revolution

suicide Syntagma Square Athens GreeceIn my recent article at the Wall Street Greek blog, entitled Buy Gold on the Fed Fiddling, I referenced the ongoing weights against the economy. For one, I noted that the European financial crisis has not yet subsided, detailing the many poor economic data points and events that occurred last week. In late March, the head of Standard & Poor’s Sovereign Ratings, Moritz Kraemer, said he believes Greece will probably have to restructure its debt again, involving needed aid from its European partners. European leaders are on record saying the latest bailout would be the last for Greece; now they may be put to the test at a time when their word will be measured. Moritz noted the risk posed by upcoming elections across Europe and Greece.

Greek reformersOur founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Relative tickers: NYSE: NBG, NYSE: OTE, NYSE: CCH, NYSE: TK, NYSE: NM, NYSE: NNA, NYSE: NMM, NYSE: TNP, NYSE: OSG, NYSE: ISH, NYSE: EXM, NYSE: SB, NYSE: SEA, NYSE: GNK, NYSE: DSX, NYSE: DAC, NYSE: TNP, NYSE: SFL, NYSE: NAT, NYSE: SSW, NYSE: GMR, NYSE: DHT, NYSE: MPX, Nasdaq: DRYS, Nasdaq: TOPS, Nasdaq: EGLE, Nasdaq: SINO, Nasdaq: PRGN, NYSE: KSP, Nasdaq: ESEA, Nasdaq: SBLK, Nasdaq: ONAV, Nasdaq: VLCCF, Nasdaq: TBSI, Nasdaq: GLNG, Nasdaq: XSEAX.

Syntagma Square Revolution



The poor fellow who took his own life in Syntagma Square this past week tragically illustrated the ongoing plight of Greeks, who have been blindsided by the degree of change swiftly forced upon them through the austerity devised by a weak set of governors and their equally clueless European masters. From the very start, I have publicly offered a voice of warning regarding the poorly advised austerity plan.

Before the crisis was even born, in a private dinner with a mid-level ranking Greek economic sub-minister, I asked how Greece would handle the upcoming economic storm approaching it. This was early, before former Prime Minister Papandreou had even announced that Greece’s preceding government had cooked its books, which remained in bad shape. It was before the crisis developed, when most people, especially the politicians were still ignorant to the existence of this economic devil. The representative, who will remain nameless because I like him personally, said Greece would be fine, that it had a different type of economy than the rest of the developed West. I cringed inside, but I overlooked his naiveté, as it was (and remains) so widespread across the political sphere.

Around the same time, I sat in on a Washington D.C. meeting of Greek representatives, large telecom companies like Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTC: HLTOY.PK), and several high net worth individuals and smart men representing large investment pools. Greece was seeking capital investment to expand its broadband network to the 50 largest towns within the country. Among a group of wide-eyed, highly enthused Greeks, I asked the highest ranking representative how he could be sure the money Greece planned to supply over time to match foreign investment ($5 billion if I recall correctly) would still be available in one year’s time. The proud man looked at me with disdain, wondering who I was, as he answered, “Of course it will be available,” looking away before he had even completed his response.

I wonder if either of the two men is still employed and how they got their jobs in the first place. Of course, we cannot blame them, as they simply drank the Kool-Aid supplied by their higher ups, and sang the song yes men sing so well. A similar chorus sings a different tune today, as they blame Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Germany for their ills.

I fear that the first shot fired in Syntagma Square will not be the last, and that the next could be a burst which may be directed outward this time. The Greek government should see the sad event as a warning shot across its bow. If the government does not get creative in its economic restructuring and focus on economic growth stimulating actions, it may not enjoy a resurrection this spring. And even if it finds more aid, its death could still come by revolution, if not by election. I remain available to Greece for consultation.

Editor's Note: This article should interest investors in National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG), Hellenic Telecommunications (NYSE: OTE), Coca-Cola HBC (NYSE: CCH), Teekay Corp. (NYSE: TK), Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE: NM), Navios Maritime Acquisition (NYSE: NNA), Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM), Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (NYSE: TNP), Overseas Shipholding Group (NYSE: OSG), International Shipholding (NYSE: ISH), Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM), Safe Bulkers (NYSE: SB), Claymore/Delta Global Shipping ETF (NYSE: SEA), Genco Shipping & Trading (NYSE: GNK), Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX), Danaos (NYSE: DAC), Tsakos Energy Navigation (NYSE: TNP), Ship Finance Int'l (NYSE: SFL), Nordic American Tanker (NYSE: NAT), Seaspan (NYSE: SSW), General Maritime (NYSE: GMR), DHT Maritime (NYSE: DHT), Brunswick (NYSE: BC), Marine Products Corp. (NYSE: MPX), DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS), Top Ships (Nasdaq: TOPS), Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE), Sino-Global Shipping (Nasdaq: SINO), Paragon Shipping (Nasdaq: PRGN), K-SEA Transportation Partners (NYSE: KSP), Euroseas (Nasdaq: ESEA), Star Bulk Carriers (Nasdaq: SBLK), Omega Navigation (Nasdaq: ONAV), Knightsbridge Tankers Ltd. (Nasdaq: VLCCF), TBS Int'l (Nasdaq: TBSI), Golar LNG (Nasdaq: GLNG), Claymore/Delta Global Shipping (Nasdaq: XSEAX), European Equity Fund (NYSE: EEA), Vanguard European Stock Index (Nasdaq: VEURX), Powershares FTSE RAFI Europe (NYSE: PEF), Europe 2001 (NYSE: EKH), S&P Emerging Europe (NYSE: GUR), Ultrashort MSCI Europe (NYSE: EPV), Vanguard Europe Pacific (NYSE: VEA), Wisdomtree Europe SmallCap (NYSE: DFE), Wisdom Tree Europe Total Div (NYSE: DEB), iShares S&P Europe 350 (NYSE: IEV), Morgan Stanley Eastern Europe (NYSE: RNE), DWS Europe Equity A (Nasdaq: SERAX), DWS Europe Equity B (Nasdaq: SERBX), Fidelity Europe (Nasdaq: FEUFX), Fidelity Europe (Nasdaq: FIEUX), ICON Europe A (Nasdaq: IERAX), Pioneer Europe Fund (Nasdaq: PBEUX), ProFunds Europe 30 (Nasdaq: UEPIX), Putnam Europe A (Nasdaq: PEUGX), Rydex Europe 1.25x (Nasdaq: RYAEX).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

dog boarding

Labels: , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Buy Gold on the Fed Fiddling

gold dollarStocks are down and gold is lower on the latest Federal Reserve FOMC Meeting Minutes. The skinny is that the Fed sounded less dovish, and might be less accommodative in the future. It’s counter intuitive, because the Fed would only be less giving if the economy were solidifying. Nevertheless, stocks are lower because there could be less support from the Fed, and the market is not sure the notoriously faulty forecasters are on target. Gold is dropping, because of two reasons. If the Fed is less free with dollars, then the currency should strengthen; and if the economy is improving, than riskier assets should do better. Here’s why I suggest ignoring the Fed fiddling, and buying gold on the dip.

gold analyst precious metals bloggerOur founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

Relative tickers include: NYSE: GG, NYSE: AEM, AMEX: ANV, NYSE: AU, NYSE: AUQ, AMEX: AZK, NYSE: ABX, AMEX: BRD, Nasdaq: CTHR, AMEX: CGR, OTC: CGCO.PK, NYSE: BVN, Nasdaq: DROOY, NYSE: EGO, AMEX: EGI, AMEX: XRA, NYSE: GFI, AMEX: GRZ, Nasdaq: GORO, OTC: MYNG.PK, AMEX: GSS, AMEX: GBG, NYSE: HMY, NYSE: IAG, AMEX: THM, NYSE: JAG, AMEX: KGN, AMEX: KBX, Nasdaq: KGJI, NYSE: KGC, AMEX: MDW, AMEX: MGH, AMEX: NSU, OTC: NJMC.PK, NYSE: NEM, OTC: NBRI.OB, AMEX: NXG, AMEX: NG, AMEX: RIC, Nasdaq: RGLD, AMEX: RBY, AMEX: SA, AMEX: XPL, AMEX: TRE, OTC: THMG.OB, NYSE: UXG, AMEX: VGZ, OTC: WITM.PK, NYSE: AUY, NYSE: CDE, NYSE: EXK, NYSE: HL, AMEX: MVG, AMEX: MGN, Nasdaq: SSRI, NYSE: SLW, NYSEArca: GLD, NYSEArca: GDX, NYSEArca: SLV, NYSEArca: AGQ, NYSEArca: ZSL, AMEX: GPL, NYSE: SVM, AMEX: PZG, Nasdaq: PAAS, NYSE: AG.

Buy Gold



The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) published its meeting minutes for its March 13 meeting Tuesday afternoon. You can go ahead and read it, but all you need to know is that stocks are lower because of it. The focus of this article, though, is on gold not stocks.

As suggested in the introduction here, if the Federal Reserve parks its dollar-copter, the next step would be to look toward containing inflation. For this reason, the dollar is soaring +0.7% against the euro Wednesday through late afternoon trading hours Eastern Time. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP) is up 0.5% deep into the afternoon. Much of the foolhardy popular press is blaming the dollar move on a soft Spanish bond offering… silly short-hands…

For the same reason outlined, gold is on the deep decline. Gold futures are off roughly 3.3%; the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSE: GLD) is off 1.9%; and gold miners Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) are off between 5% and 6%. Gold should be on the rise if the global community is once again terrified about a European disintegration via Spanish debt softness and soft data. That would be the give-away for reporters with a clue… Luckily you still have The Greek to fill in the void.

Here’s Why I Would Use this as an Opportunity to Buy Gold:

  1. The geopolitical powder keg remains tightly snug between U.S. warships and the Iranian coastline. Nothing has changed with regard to the Iranian nightmare. Iran has not budged in a significant way, and the West’s sanctions are increasingly suffocating it.

  2. Recession seems to be overcoming Europe, where 20% of American exports are sold into. Wednesday, a Purchasing Managers Index for Europe was reported below 50, indicating the region is likely in recession. Also, regional retail sales fell 0.1% in volume and 2.1% year-to-year. The regional economy shrank 0.3% in Q4 2011, and seems set to mark another quarter of contraction, which would qualify it for recession. Compounding on this, unemployment for the euro zone reached a record high in February.

  3. The European financial crisis has not yet subsided. Wednesday, soft demand for Spanish debt sent the markets into a spin. In a recent interview, Standard & Poor’s Sovereign Ratings Head, Moritz Kraemer said he believes Greece will probably have to restructure its debt again, involving needed aid from its European partners. Obviously, European heads are on record saying the latest bailout would be the last for Greece; now they may be put to the test at a time when their word will be measured. Moritz noted the risk posed by upcoming elections across Europe and Greece.

  4. The American economy has been showing signs of strain, with recent manufacturing data, housing reports and consumer information indicating softness.
Thus, all the reasons gold has climbed over the last few years continue to exist, if they are not intensified. So while foolhardy capital may flow out of gold and gold relative investments Wednesday on a few words from the Fed, I suggest investors look to the weakness as an opportunity to add to positions.

Article should interest investors in precious metals stocks: Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), Allied Nevada Gold (AMEX: ANV), AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU), AuRico Gold (NYSE: AUQ), Aurizon Mines (AMEX: AZK), Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), Brigus Gold (AMEX: BRD), Charles & Covard (Nasdaq: CTHR), Claude Resources (AMEX: CGR), Commerce Group (OTC: CGCO.PK), Compania Mina Buenaventura S.A. (NYSE: BVN), DRDGOLD (Nasdaq: DROOY), Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO), Entrée Gold (AMEX: EGI), Exeter Resource (AMEX: XRA), Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI), Gold Reserve (AMEX: GRZ), Gold Resource (Nasdaq: GORO), Golden Eagle Int’l (OTC: MYNG.PK), Golden Star Resources (AMEX: GSS), Great Basin Gold (AMEX: GBG), Harmony Gold (NYSE: HMY), IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG), International Tower Hill Mines (AMEX: THM), Jaguar Mining (NYSE: JAG), Keegan Resources (AMEX: KGN), Kimber Resources (AMEX: KBX), Kingold Jewelry (Nasdaq: KGJI), Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC), Midway Gold (AMEX: MDW), Minco Gold (AMEX: MGH), Nevsun Resources (AMEX: NSU), New Jersey Mining (OTC: NJMC.PK), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), North Bay Resources (OTC: NBRI.OB), Northgate Minerals (AMEX: NXG), NovaGold Resources (AMEX: NG), Richmont Mines (AMEX: RIC), Royal Gold (Nasdaq: RGLD), Rubicon Minerals (AMEX: RBY), Seabridge Gold (AMEX: SA), Solitario Exploration and Royalty (AMEX: XPL), Tanzanian Royalty Exploration (AMEX: TRE), Thunder Mountain Gold (OTC: THMG.OB), U.S. Gold (NYSE: UXG), Vista Gold (AMEX: VGZ), Wits Basin Precious Metals (OTC: WITM.PK), Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY), Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE), Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK), Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL), Mag Silver (AMEX: MVG), Mines Management (AMEX: MGN), Silver Standard Resources (Nasdaq: SSRI), Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW), SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV), ProShares Ultra Silver (NYSEArca: AGQ), ProShares Ultra Short Silver (NYSEArca: ZSL), Great Panther Silver (AMEX: GPL), Silvercorp Metals (NYSE: SVM), Paramount Gold and Silver (AMEX: PZG), Pan American Silver (Nasdaq: PAAS) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

New York

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

free email financial newsletter Bookmark and Share