Samsung’s New Phone & Bank Stress Tests Head Thursday’s Must Know News
Considering the news about BlackBerry’s (Nasdaq: BBRY) new record phone sales was likewise important today, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) seems threatened. The company is playing defense, a strange state of affairs for it, as it came out declaring how inferior the competitor gear is. But Apple is supposed to be about showing and stunning us, not proclaiming and reminding, so perhaps we really have entered a new phase for Apple. I think the downside could be $400 on the stock near-term, and that it will take a new product introduction into a new market like an Apple television to get it back to $700. For now, though, Apple is no longer the prettiest girl in the room.
See our latest write-up about Apple, Buffet Genius Fails Apple.
The Federal Reserve will release the second phase of its bank stress test data today after the close, but considering the first report was supportive, I think the market will not anticipate anything else. However, Citigroup (NYSE: C) and others have risen significantly this year, and might see some challenge before the close on concern and for protection of wealth. Yesterday, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA) and the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) rose fractionally, but the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ) slipped a bit. It’s hard to say the QQQ could turn it around today, considering Apple’s importance to it. I’m sensing a near-term turn around for each, but probably not today.
The Federal Reserve will release the details of its bank stress tests, or the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, formally speaking. It examines the capital planning efforts and processes of major banks and financial institutions. Also, the House Financial Services Committee will examine “too big to fail” in a public hearing.
Thursday offers the Producer Price Index (PPI) at 8:30 AM ET. The measure of inflation at the producer front is expected to show a 0.6% increase for February, versus January’s 0.2% rise in prices. However, when excluding food and energy, the Core PPI is seen rising a lesser 0.2%, matching January’s rise.
Weekly Jobless Claims is also due at 8:30 AM, but will carry little weight considering its nearness to the Employment Situation Report - we showed unemployment to be 18%. Last week’s report covering the period ending March 2 showed claims fell by 7K, to 340K. This week, economists see an increase to 350K, based on Bloomberg data. The four-week moving average fell by 7K last week to a figure of 348,750.
The Current Account report for the fourth quarter of 2012 is expected to show a deficit of $111.9 billion, versus last quarter’s $107.5 billion.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is up at 9:45 AM ET. The weekly measure of consumer views improved 0.4 points to -32.4 last week, the best point for it this year. This is certainly benefiting from new euphoria in the stock market, recovering real estate and the pushing aside of political concerns.
Look for the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report from the EIA at 10:30 AM. Last week’s report covering the period ending March 1 showed working gas in storage declined by 146 Bcf. Stocks were 361 Bcf less than last year, but 269 Bcf above their five-year average for this time of year.
The corporate wire has presentations at the Barclays Healthcare Conference by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Covidien (NYSE: COV). Inter-American Development Bank is having its annual meeting in Panama City, Panama. The earnings slate has news from Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), Airmedia Group (Nasdaq: AMCN), Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE) and Cornerstone Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRTX). Look for more earnings data from AAON (Nasdaq: AAON), ADA-ES (Nasdaq: ADES), Affinia Group (NYSE: AFN), Anacor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ANAC), ArQule (Nasdaq: ARQL), AV Homes (Nasdaq: AVHI), Bonanza Creek Energy (Nasdaq: BCEI), Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE), Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC), Cleveland BioLabs (Nasdaq: CBLI), Columbia Laboratories (Nasdaq: CBRX), Comstock Mining (Nasdaq: LODE), Core-Mark Holding (Nasdaq: CORE), Coronado Biosciences (Nasdaq: CNDO), Cosi (Nasdaq: COSI), Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX), Dot Hill Systems (Nasdaq: HILL), Dynegy (NYSE: DYN), Ebix (Nasdaq: EBIX), Edgen Group (NYSE: EDG), FX Energy (Nasdaq: FXEN), Global Partners (NYSE: GLP), GSE Holding (NYSE: GSE), Hawaiian Telecom (Nasdaq: HCOM), Health Insurance Innovations (Nasdaq: HIIQ), Integrated Electrical Services (Nasdaq: IESC), Kirkland’s (Nasdaq: KIRK), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD), Lifetime Brands (Nasdaq: LCUT), Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MACK), Molycorp (NYSE: MCP), Natural Gas Services (NYSE: NGS), Neonode (Nasdaq: NEON), Nortek (NYSE: NTK), Northern Tier Energy (NYSE: NTI), Obagi Medical (Nasdaq: OMPI), Ocean Power Technologies (Nasdaq: OPTT), Oncothyreon (Nasdaq: ONTY), ORBCOMM (Nasdaq: ORBC), ReneSola (NYSE: SOL), Research Frontiers (Nasdaq: REFR), SMTC (Nasdaq: SMTX), STEC (Nasdaq: STEC), STR Holdings (Nasdaq: STRI), Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN), Synta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SNTA), Taomee Holdings (Nasdaq: TAOM), The Buckle (NYSE: BKE), Tianli Agritech (Nasdaq: OINK), Ulta Salon (Nasdaq: ULTA), UltraPetrol (Nasdaq: ULTR) and Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ).
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