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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.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TODAY'S MARKET: Expect a Technical Test of Old High

bulls versus bears
The day ahead for the S&P 500 is one that appeared to be clear of obstacles, so passive investment interests in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) would seem set to strike higher. However, at 6:30 AM ET when I surveyed the wire, S&P 500 futures were fractionally lower and volatility measures like the iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN (NYSE: VXX) was higher in premarket trading by 1.1%. My resulting survey of the geopolitical wire found nothing that seemed especially threatening to stocks this morning, though the news of an Islamic State beheading of an American journalist raised my blood pressure and led to a headache from the clenching of my teeth in anger. Also, fighting resumed in Israel, and Ukraine continues to bear down on rebels in Russian separatist held strongholds. You know, it’s the usual ‘end of world’ sort of terror we’ve grown accustomed to, including ebola news, but nothing especially extraordinary to affect stocks in these extraordinary times. Europe was lower, but since when does the U.S. take lead from European markets? Not today anyway. So I’m going to go ahead and call this a technical test, which seems to be also supported by the 6-month chart of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) here. Therefore, it would appear that we are our own worst enemy today.

6 month spy chart
6-monthChart of SPY ETF at Yahoo

International Markets (Premarket US)

iShares Europe (NYSE: IEV)
Japan Equity (NYSE: JEQ)
WisdomTree UK (Nasdaq: DXPS)
China Fund (NYSE: CHN)
Societe Generale ADR (OTC: SCGLY)
Asia Tigers (NYSE: GRR)
WisdomTree Germany (Nasdaq: DXGE)
Korea Equity (NYSE: KEF)
National Bank Greece (NYSE: NBG)
India Fund (NYSE: IFN)

US Market

Market ETF
08-20-14 Premarket
Vanguard S&P 500 (NYSE: VOO)
iShares Dow Jones (NYSE: IYY)
Fidelity NASDAQ  ETF (Nasdaq: ONEQ)
ProShares Ultra Gold (NYSE: UGL)
ProShares Ultra Real Estate (NYSE: URE)
ProShares Ultra Oil (NYSE: UCO)
WisdomTree US$  Bullish (NYSE: USDU)
iShares 20+ Yr. Treasury (NYSE: TLT)

The economic report schedule is especially light today, though including the shadow of the recent Fed meeting. The FOMC meeting minutes will be released at 2:00 PM ET, and always carry the risk of revealing something we do not want to know about how the Fed discussed important matters related to its plans for interest rates. Out of sight, out of mind is kind of the way traders would like it, but the Fed will be in our face today, haunting us with this shadow of a meeting now past.

Economic Data Point


-Crude Oil Inventory
+1.4 MB
-Gasoline Inventory
-1.2 MB

Otherwise, the regular Mortgage Application Data is due. The MBA’s report on applications has not been especially fiery lately, though housing stocks have been. That is thanks to two strong data measures showing builders are really happy these days and that housing starts are on the rise. I recently asked if builders had any right to be popping corks and toasting the future given the Fed’s rate outlook for a creeping higher Fed Funds Rate sometime in 2015; I’m on the record calling for it in the first quarter of 2015, which is too soon for unsettled market stomachs. Meanwhile, the SPDR Homebuilders (NYSE: XHB) is up 3.9% over the last two trading sessions. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself homebuilders, and maybe that is exactly what is happening today for stocks broadly speaking as well.

Commodities (Premarket)

United States Oil (NYSE: USO)
iPath SP Crude Oil (NYSE: OIL)
U.S. Natural Gas (NYSE: UNG)
U.S. Gasoline (NYSE: UGA)
SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD)
Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSE: GDX)
iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV)
iPath DJ UBS Industrial Metals (NYSE: JJM)
Teucrium Corn ETF (NYSE: CORN)
Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSE: WEAT)
Teucrium Soybean Fund (NYSE: SOYB)
iPath DJ-UBS Cocoa (NYSE: NIB)
iPath DJ-UBS Sugar (NYSE: SGG)
ICE Orange Juice Conc.
CME Lumber
CME Live Cattle

The EIA’s Petroleum Status Report should garner a ton of attention today, given the catalysts and potential catalysts for volatile energy prices in play today. Let’s list them shall we?

  • European economic issues could weigh on demand
  • Rub-off from the EU to the Far East and the U.S. is possible
  • A radical group of terrorists united under a black flag seems capable of threatening long standing nations in the oil rich Middle East
  • Energy rich Russia, which supplies Europe, is acting aggressively toward Ukraine sovereign territory, and an economic war seems to be in progress
  • Iran is still developing nuclear energy and/or weapons

If I’ve forgotten anything, please feel free to remind and frighten us all via the comment tab below. Oil prices have been weakening, in my opinion on the dollar strength resulting from the flight to quality arising from Ukraine / Russia fear. The iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil TR Index (NYSE: OIL) is markedly lower of late as the dollar buys more of the commodity. I know, I know, domestic energy supply gut as well needs to be mentioned.

6 month oil chart

The earnings front is serving as a positive driver for the market these days, with Home Depot (NYSE: HD) supporting the S&P 500 yesterday on its solid EPS report. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) excitement has provided uplift as well, as the heavyweight stock surges to highs on anticipation of new products. Today’s corporate drivers show Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) down in the premarket after reporting its results, but traders will call out company specifics given the latest housing data and HD report, so Lowe’s is no broader threat to stocks today. Surveying my weekly accounting of events, we see that a handful of companies are scheduled to report today, including Target (NYSE: TGT), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), and J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) , but none of them are relevant to the broader market trade today in my view.


America’s Car-Mart
Nasdaq: CRMT
American Eagle Outfitters
Nasdaq: ALOT
CACI Int’l
Nasdaq: CACI
Citi Trends
Nasdaq: CTRN
Eaton Vance
Eaton Vance Senior Income Trust
Nasdaq: GLOG
Hain Celestial
Nasdaq: HAIN
International Rectifier
J.M. Smucker
L Brands
Lowe’s Cos.
Madison Square Garden
Nasdaq: PETM
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Nasdaq: PLKI
Raven Industries
Nasdaq: RAVN
Nasdaq: SMTC
Nasdaq: SPLS
Nasdaq: SNPS
ValueVision Media
Nasdaq: VVTV

% Gain
Newcastle Investments (NYSE: NCT)
Digital Ally (Nasdaq: DGLY)
China HGS Real Estate (Nasdaq: HGSH)
Aquasition (NYSE: AQU)
Skilled Healthcare (NYSE: SKH)
Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO)
Vringo (Nasdaq: VRNG)
American Woodmark (Nasdaq: AMWD)
Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP)
Cover-All Technologies (Nasdaq: COVR)
% Drop
Elizabeth Arden (Nasdaq: RDEN)
Oncothyreon (Nasdaq: ONTY)
Signal Genetics (Nasdaq: SGNL)
Perfect World (Nasdaq: PWRD)
Broadway Financial (Nasdaq: BYFC)
Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE)
Jumei International (Nasdaq: JMEI)
Quotient (Nasdaq: QTNT)
Achaogen (Nasdaq: AKAO)
Pacific Booker (NYSE: PBM)

In conclusion, I think the coast is clear for a successful test of the historical high here for the S&P 500, but the market will worry intraday about geopolitical issues, Thursday’s Leading Economic Indicators data and Janet Yellen’s keynote speech scheduled for Friday’s Jackson Hole event. However, I see no threat from any of these issues, save the ever present danger from Russia’s Putin in Ukraine. So, with an eye on Donetsk, you’re probably free to buy the SPY on the dip today in anticipation of good news Thursday and Friday. Enjoy, and feel free to follow along for more fodder from this freelancer.

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 store

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday's Premarket Slate

business report
A heavy hitting economic data point meets the market first thing Monday morning. Retail Sales data will be reported for the month of September at 8:30 AM ET. Autos are expected to give a lift to sales, as economists see a 0.7% increase in overall sales, but a 0.5% gain for sales ex-autos. That sort of a pace would be down a notch from August, when gains of 0.9% and 0.8% were reported respectively. When excluding autos and gasoline, sales are expected higher by 0.5%, versus the 0.1% gain marked in August. Motor vehicle sales have already been reported for September, so this is less likely to move autos stocks and more likely to move retail stores generally. The long-term trend of sales seems to show the data at a point of inflection, so the latest report will either reinforce concern or spell relief for it.

New York area manufacturing was reported poor in September, with the Empire State Manufacturing Survey showing its General Business Conditions Index down to negative 10.4. Economists see improvement for August, with the consensus expectation set at negative 3.0. Some of the more recent data has indicated stabilization, especially the ISM Manufacturing Index, which marked 51.5% for September. However, we expressed healthy skepticism of the message offered by ISM when it was reported last week. The New York area measure might offer a sort of test of truth here.

Business Trade data will be reported at 10:00 AM, measuring the sales and inventories of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Inventories increased by 0.8% in July, as sales gained by 0.9%, so the inventory-to-sales ratio improved to 1.28, from 1.29 the month before (on an adjusted basis). Economists’ projections are only available for inventories, and those are seen rising by 0.5% in August. The data is old and shouldn’t prove important, except in the case of a significant surprise.

Federal Reserve representatives William Dudley, Jeffrey Lacker and James Bullard are addressing three separate audiences Monday. Overseas, Finance ministers from Asia and Europe are meeting in Bangkok. China will publish monthly data on consumer and producer prices. Portugal issues its draft budget for 2013, which should show a smothering austerity program.

The United Nations Security Council begins discussion on the Middle East.

The corporate wire has Citigroup (NYSE: C) on the marquee, with reports also expected from Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG), WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC), Art’s Way Manufacturing (Nasdaq: ARTW), Brown & Brown (NYSE: BRO), Educational Development (Nasdaq: EDUC), ICU Medical (Nasdaq: ICUI), Joe’s Jeans (Nasdaq: JOEZ), Premier Exhibitions (Nasdaq: PRXI) and Uranium Energy (NYSE: UEC).

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 store

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Stock Market Outlook Weighed by North Korea, Europe and DC

stock market outlookThe mood was set sour Monday morning in Asia, though a sketchy start still had European shares in the green. North Korean state television reported the death of its leader Kim Jong Il, and considering the age of the leader’s youngest son and expected successor, Kim Jong Un, uncertainty rules today. The NIKKEI 225 Index and Hang Seng Index were down over a full percentage point on those concerns. Last week, Fitch Ratings followed Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) downgrade of Belgium with a warning that it may downgrade the debt ratings of European nations soon. The S&P 500 Index was up 0.3% Friday despite ratings threats, and so American shares may take a different direction than Asia. Still, the North Korean uncertainty dictates a wary market at best. The dollar is stronger against the euro, as capital seeks safety.

stock market strategistOur 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.

Stock Market Outlook

American trading may also take its lead from Washington D.C. Monday. House Majority Leader Boehner said his GOP colleagues would reject the bill that passed the Senate in overwhelming fashion. The bill extends tax policy for two months, allowing Congress to avoid the year-end deadline and take off for the holidays. Depending on how the bill does in the House, we may see the payroll tax and unemployment extension debate run up to Christmas Eve. The uncertainty in Washington is likely to weigh on the tone of trading Monday morning, though I suspect traders expect Congress to come to a deal before the deadline. After all, that is the precedent. However, given the fact that the rhetoric from House Republicans does not match the agreement of the Senate GOP members, there is some question as to whether the New Year will come first. If that happens and taxes rise and unemployment benefit extensions expire, the market will pay a penalty.

Just one relatively insignificant economic data point reaches the wire Monday, with the reporting of the Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI, produced by the National Association of Home Builders, measures the mood of the home construction industry. The index improved to a mark of 20 in November, mostly on builders’ better though questionable expectations given what appeared an improving housing market. However, given that housing recovery faces new economic threat, and with continued strife around Europe, we suspect there will be little to no more positive change here. Still, builders may not yet see the economic issues we see ahead.

China reported that home prices had fallen in November in 49 of the 70 cities it monitors, compared to the 33 cities showing drops in prices in October. If the Chinese real estate market is about to collapse, global confidence could likewise be completely lost, in my view. I’ll have more to say about China later this week. Other international data reaching the wire Monday includes November unemployment for Hong Kong, November export and import data for Thailand, and October industrial production and retail sales for Colombia.

The global finance wire has a trilateral meeting of U.S., Indian and Japanese representatives in Washington D.C. Some $1.22 billion of Greek debt comes due Monday. The U.K. will respond to its banking commission’s recommendations.

The corporate wire has Russell adding 31 recent IPO offerings to its Global Index, perhaps giving lift to some as index funds add them to holdings. IPO lockup restrictions expire on Vanguard Health Systems (NYSE: VHS). The International Trade Commission will rule on Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) patent case against HTC. Monday’s earnings schedule includes Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), Shiloh Industries (Nasdaq: SHLO), Park Electrochemical (NYSE: PKE), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) for certain, and possibly from Brooklyn Federal Bancorp (Nasdaq: BFSB), China Direct Industries (Nasdaq: CDII), China Holdings Real Estate (Nasdaq: HGSH), Citizens Community Bancorp (Nasdaq: CZWI), CPI Corp. (NYSE: CPY), CSP Inc. (Nasdaq: CSPI), Dynasil Corp. of America (Nasdaq: DYSL), Emcore (Nasdaq: EMKR), Ennis (NYSE: EBF), Good Times Restaurants (Nasdaq: GTIM), Integrated Electrical Services (Nasdaq: IESC), Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals (OTC: JGBO.PK), MVC Capital (NYSE: MVC), Pansoft (Nasdaq: PSOF), Seanergy Maritime (Nasdaq: SHIP) and VCG Holding (Nasdaq: VCGH).

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 festivals and events Washington DC

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday's Market - All Eyes on Italy

Mario Monti Italian PMAll eyes will be on Italy Monday morning as a post-Berlusconi era welcomes in new austerity. Wait a second, is that really good news to be celebrated on the streets of Italy by the Italian masses, or is it a disguised surprise pinned to the exiting Prime Minister, leaving his replacement clear of blame? Or it is more likely that the technocrats now leading Italy and Greece aren’t so interested in political futures, and are willing or ignorant to their new status as economic sacrificial lambs.

Italy will now move forward with an issuance of about 1.5 to 3.0 billion euros worth of five-year bonds, supposedly and hopefully to a receptive marketplace Monday. I suppose short-sighted markets will rally on this “change,” but keep an eye on the Italian bond yields, as they must come down from the 7% range reached last week for this to have a chance. Greece too awakens to a new leader this week, so a new day dawns for Europe. Here’s hoping it won’t rain fire as usual.

Keeping with international news, the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators, excluding Dennis Ross, will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials as the region boils over. Iran is still at the forefront of the geopolitical wire, with the latest Republican presidential debate keying on the issue. Interestingly enough, the fellas with the hardest game plans for Iran, Romney and Gingrich, scored best.

There’s no major economic data set for release in the U.S. Monday. However, the Financial Executives Conference convenes, with accounting officials keying on financial reporting issues. Meanwhile, at some point this week we’ll hear more with regard to the imperfect reporting at Olympus (OCPNY.PK), as its lenders confront the company.

Look out, LinkedIn’s (Nasdaq: LNKD) IPO lockup curbs expire, so more pressure could drive against the shares this week. Look for investor and/or analyst meetings at Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI), Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR) and QEP Resources (NYSE: QEP).

Some of the noteworthy earnings reports for Monday include Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN), J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), American Midstream Partners (Nasdaq: AMID), Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO), Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), Varian Semiconductor (Frankfurt: VSE.F), Avatar Holdings (Nasdaq: AVTR), Banks.com (AMEX:BNX), China Auto Logistics (Nasdaq: CALI), China Ceramics (Nasdaq:CCCL), China Natural Gas (Nasdaq: CHNG), China Shengda Packaging (Nasdaq: CPGI), Chinanet Online (Nasdaq: CNET), Craft Brewers Alliance (Nasdaq: HOOK), Dynegy (NYSE: DYN), eDiets.com (Nasdaq: DIET), Michael Foods (Nasdaq: MIKL), Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR), SORL Auto Parts (Nasdaq: SORL), Towerstream (Nasdaq: TWER), Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE), VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN) and several others.

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.

Baptism favors

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wall Street Planner - 10-18-11

Wall Street planner

Tuesday’s Wall Street planner includes the Producer Price Index, the Housing Market Index, Treasury International Capital Report, same-store sales data, discussions with the Fed and Treasury Chiefs, notice of yet another Republican presidential debate and a slew of major EPS reports, including from the likes of Apple, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Intel and Coca-Cola. Your full Wall Street planner follows.

Greek AmericansOur 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.

Wall Street Schedule

Inflation Deflation?

Fresh pricing data reaches the wire Tuesday morning, with the release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) for September at 8:30 AM. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see prices up 0.3% at the producer level in September, following no change in August. When excluding food and energy, the economists’ outlook is for a lesser 0.1% rate of growth, matching the prior month rate. Demand destruction is in play as economic forecasts cloud over.

Fed Speak

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke addresses a conference hosted by the Boston Fed Tuesday. Chairman Bernanke will discuss the long-term effects of “The Great Recession.” Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Geithner testifies before the Senate Small Business Committee on the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speaks to the economic outlook before a CFA society in Tennessee.

International Trade

The Treasury International Capital (TIC) data is due for the month of August at 9:00 AM Tuesday. Last month’s data showed a modest net increase in foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities (+$24.6 billon).

Real Estate

The latest Housing Market Index is up for report at 10:00 AM ET Tuesday. This metric is a barometer of the homebuilder mood, and economists on average see the index moving up to a mark of 15 in October, up from 14 in September. Keeping in mind that a mark of 50 separates good and bad moods, it would seem builders have been near suicidal.

Retail Sector

The latest take on retail same-store sales will reach the wire before the market open Tuesday. Last week’s reports from the ICSC showed week-over-week sales fell 0.1% in the period ending October 8. The year-over-year sales change was down to +2.8%, versus +3.7% the week before. Redbook showed year-over-year sales at 4.8% (Redbook is always higher).

Political and Geopolitical

Yet another Republican debate dots the calendar for Tuesday evening. Overseas, the Bank of England ‘s Mervyn King presents policy before the Institute of Directors.

Corporate Calendar

The corporate calendar has Zeltiq Aesthetics likely to price its IPO Tuesday. Big earnings reports are scheduled for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO). Also look for reports from Ameriserv Financial (Nasdaq: ASRV), Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI), Check Point Software (Nasdaq: CHKP), Cree (Nasdaq: CREE), Crown (NYSE: CCK), CSX (NYSE: CSX), Cybex Int’l (Nasdaq: CYBI), Dominos Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), EMC (NYSE: EMC), Flexsteel (Nasdaq: FLXS), Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX), FSI Int’l (Nasdaq: FSII), Fulton Fin’l (Nasdaq: FULT), Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC), Harley Davidson (NYSE: HOG), Hawaiian Holdings (Nasdaq: HA), Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN), Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG), JAKKS Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), Lakeland Bancorp (Nasdaq: LBAI), Linear Technology (Nasdaq: LLTC), Manhattan Associates (Nasdaq: MANH), Marten Transport (Nasdaq: MRTN), Mercantile Bank (Nasdaq: MBWM), New Oriental Education & Technology (NYSE: EDU), Omnicom (NYSE: OMC), Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH), Pinnacle Financial Partners (Nasdaq: PNFP), Platinum Underwriters (NYSE: PTP), Polaris (NYSE: PII), Renasant (Nasdaq: RNST), RLI (NYSE: RLI), Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC), Sonoco Products (NYSE: SON), State Street (NYSE: STT), Unifirst (NYSE: UNF), United Rentals (NYSE: URI), UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH), W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW), Waste Connections (NYSE: WCN), Werner Enterprises (Nasdaq: WERN) and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO).

Find your Wall Street daily planner here at the Wall Street Greek blog each morning.

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.

Christening favors

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