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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, June 29, 2011

Wall Street News Summary 06-29-11

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Today's Wall Street News Summary highlights the passage of Greek austerity legislation against the backdrop of massive Greek protests opposing the measure and the Hellenic Republic's government. The day also offered data on home sales and mortgage activity, as well as oil and gasoline inventory. On the corporate front, Bank of America and BJ Wholesale Club headed the wire.

stock market 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: NYSE: BAC, NYSE: BJ, NYSE: KSU, NYSE: CSX, Nasdaq: SYMC, Nasdaq: DELL, Nasdaq: ADSK, NYSE: AZO, NYSE: GIS, NYSE: AYI, AMEX: API, NYSE: AM, Nasdaq: CJJD, Nasdaq: DSWL, NYSE: FDO, NYSE: FC, NYSE: GIS, NYSE: KBH, NYSE: LNN, NYSE: MON, Nasdaq: RLOG, NYSE: UNF, Nasdaq: VIMC, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: ETFC, Nasdaq: SCHW, Nasdaq: AACC, NYSE: AMG, NYSE: AMP, Nasdaq: AMTD, Nasdaq: BGCP, NYSE: BK, NYSE: BLK, NYSE: CIT, Nasdaq: CLMS, NYSE: CME, NYSE: CNS, Nasdaq: COWN, Nasdaq: DHIL, Nasdaq: DLLR, Nasdaq: DUF, Nasdaq: ECPG, Nasdaq: EF, NYSE: EFX, Nasdaq: EPHC, NYSE: EVR, Nasdaq: EZPW, Nasdaq: FBCM, Nasdaq: FCFS, NYSE: FII, NYSE: FMD, NYSE: FNF, Nasdaq: FNGN, Nasdaq: FXCM, NYSE: GBL, Nasdaq: GCAP, Nasdaq: GDOT, Nasdaq: GFIG, NYSE: GHL, Nasdaq: GLCH, NYSE: GS, Nasdaq: IBKR, Nasdaq: INTL, Nasdaq: INTX, NYSE: ITG, NYSE: IVZ, NYSE: JEF, NYSE: JMP, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: KBW, NYSE: KCG, NYSE: LAZ, NYSE: LM, Nasdaq: LPLA, AMEX: LTS, NYSE: MA, NYSE: MCO, NYSE: MF, NYSE: MGI, Nasdaq: MKTX, Nasdaq: MRLN, NYSE: MS, Nasdaq: MSCI, NYSE: MTG, Nasdaq: NEWS, NYSE: NFP, NYSE: NNI, Nasdaq: NTRS, Nasdaq: NTSP, NYSE: OCN, NYSE: OPY, Nasdaq: OXPS, Nasdaq: PICO, NYSE: PJC, NYSE: PMI, Nasdaq: PNSN, Nasdaq: PRAA, NYSE: RJF, Nasdaq: SEIC, NYSE: SF, NYSE: SFE, NYSE: STT, NYSE: SWS, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: V and Nasdaq: VRTS.

Wall Street News Summary



Greece Passes Austerity Measures
The Greek Parliament voted for the five-year austerity plan pushed upon them by the IMF and EU, despite incensed protests by the Greek people outside the building. It was a $40 billion value creating measure, raising taxes and cutting spending. The passage of the legislation allows the IMF/EU to release the next tranche of aid to Greece to allow it to remain solvent. It’s not over though, as Thursday brings a vote on the implementation procedures of the austerity measures. Meanwhile, Greeks are increasingly opposing their government, which they do not believe is representing their interests.

Mortgage Activity Eases
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) produced its weekly Mortgage Activity Report Wednesday in the premarket. This week’s data, covering the period ending June 24, showed mortgage activity eased despite rate improvement. The MBAs Market Composite Index dropped by 2.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis, while contracted 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates dropped moderately.

Pending Home Sales Turn Around in May
The Pending Home Sales Index was reported for the month of May at 10:00 AM this morning. The data, produced by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), showed the Pending Home Sales Index rose 8.2% on a month-over-month basis, to a level of 88.8 in May. Pending Home Sales is a forward looking measure, which measures contract signings, so more good news for housing. Also, each region reflected the improvement seen overall.

Oil & Gasoline Inventory Data
The EIA Petroleum Status Report, released at 10:30 AM, showed both crude oil and gasoline stores experienced draws from inventory in the period ending June 24. Crude oil inventory fell by 4.4 million barrels and remains at a level above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. These draws do not include draws from the strategic petroleum reserve. Total Motor Gasoline inventory decreased by 1.4 million barrels and fell to the middle of the average range for this time of year.

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin is giving a speech on rebuilding the American economy in Washington D.C. at 12 PM ET.

Farm Prices, which covers all agricultural products, will be reported at 3:00 PM.

Wall Street was in focus, as Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) came to a settlement agreement and has set aside $14 billion dollars to reimburse those harmed by mortgage backed securities it and its subsidiaries (Merrill Lynch) sold. Of this amount, $8.5 billion will be immediately paid out to heavy hitter investors like PIMCO.

BJ Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) agreed to be taken private today by Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners at a price of $2.8 billion. That translates into $51.25 per share for shareholders of BJ.

Meeting with Wall Street analysts or shareholders, Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), CSX (NYSE: CSX), Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) and Autozone (NYSE: AZO).

The earnings schedule highlights data from General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), Advanced Photonix (AMEX: API), American Greetings (NYSE: AM), China Jo Jo Drugstores (Nasdaq: CJJD), Deswell Industries (Nasdaq: DSWL), Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO), Franklin Covey (NYSE: FC), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), K.B. Home (NYSE: KBH), Lindsay (NYSE: LNN), Monsanto (NYSE: MON), Rand Logistics (Nasdaq: RLOG), UniFirst (NYSE: UNF) and Vimicro International (Nasdaq: VIMC).

Article should interest investors in Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), E*Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC), Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW), Asset Acceptance Capital (Nasdaq: AACC), Affiliated Managers (NYSE: AMG), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), TD Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), Calamos Asset Management (Nasdaq: CLMS), CME Group (NYSE: CME), Cohn & Steers (NYSE: CNS), Cowen Group (Nasdaq: COWN), Diamond Hill Investment (Nasdaq: DHIL), Dollar Financial (Nasdaq: DLLR), Duff & Phelps (Nasdaq: DUF), Encore Capital (Nasdaq: ECPG), Edelman Financial (Nasdaq: EF), Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Epoch (Nasdaq: EPHC), Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR), EXCorp. (Nasdaq: EZPW), FBR Capital Markets (Nasdaq: FBCM), First Cash Financial (Nasdaq: FCFS), Federated Investors (NYSE: FII), First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD), Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF), Financial Engines (Nasdaq: FNGN), FXCM (Nasdaq: FXCM), Gamco Investors (NYSE: GBL), GAIN Capital (Nasdaq: GCAP), Green Dot (Nasdaq: GDOT), GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG), Greenhill (NYSE: GHL), Gleacher (Nasdaq: GLCH), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), INTL FCStone (Nasdaq: INTL), Intersections (Nasdaq: INTX), Investment Technology (NYSE: ITG), Invesco (NYSE: IVZ), Jefferies (NYSE: JEF), JMP Group (NYSE: JMP), Janus Capital (NYSE: JNS), KBW (NYSE: KBW), Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG), Lazard (NYSE: LAZ), Legg Mason (NYSE: LM), LPL Investment (Nasdaq: LPLA), Ladenburg Thalmann (AMEX: LTS), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Moody’s (NYSE: MCO), MF Global (NYSE: MF), Moneygram (NYSE: MGI), MarketAxess (Nasdaq: MKTX), Marlin Business Services (Nasdaq: MRLN), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), MSCI (Nasdaq: MSCI), MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG), NewStar Financial (Nasdaq: NEWS), National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP), Nelnet (NYSE: NNI), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), NetSpend (Nasdaq: NTSP), Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), Oppenheimer (NYSE: OPY), optionsXpress (Nasdaq: OXPS), PICO (Nasdaq: PICO), Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC), PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN), Portfolio Recovery (Nasdaq: PRAA), Raymond James (NYSE: RJF), SEI Investments (Nasdaq: SEIC), Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF), Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), State Street (NYSE: STT), SWS (NYSE: SWS), T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW), Visa (NYSE: V) and Virtus Investment Partners (Nasdaq: VRTS).

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.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Global Market Demise and I Know Why

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Thursday’s global market demise had plenty good reason why investors might head for the door. The NIKKEI narrowed 0.34%, the DAX was down 1.8% and the FTSE fell 1.7%. On any given day there are a slew of reasons why stocks and the broader market might rise or fall, so looking across the globe for a common denominator can be difficult. However, we’re relatively confident we’ve identified the culprit for you.

famous 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.

Relevant tickers: NYSE: DB, NYSE: STD, Nasdaq: ITUB, NYSE: UBS, NYSE: WBK, NYSE: LYG, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: CS, NYSE: AIB, NYSE: BLX, NYSE: NBG, NYSE: RY, NYSE: BFR, NYSE: IRE, NYSE: BMO, NYSE: CM, NYSE: ING, NYSE: C, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: ETFC, Nasdaq: SCHW, Nasdaq: AACC, NYSE: AMG, NYSE: AMP, Nasdaq: AMTD, Nasdaq: BGCP, NYSE: BK, NYSE: BLK, NYSE: CIT, Nasdaq: CLMS, NYSE: CME, NYSE: CNS, Nasdaq: COWN, Nasdaq: DHIL, Nasdaq: DLLR, Nasdaq: DUF, Nasdaq: ECPG, Nasdaq: EF, NYSE: EFX, Nasdaq: EPHC, NYSE: EVR, Nasdaq: EZPW, Nasdaq: FBCM, Nasdaq: FCFS, NYSE: FII, NYSE: FMD, NYSE: FNF, Nasdaq: FNGN, Nasdaq: FXCM, NYSE: GBL, Nasdaq: GCAP, Nasdaq: GDOT, Nasdaq: GFIG, NYSE: GHL, Nasdaq: GLCH, NYSE: GS, Nasdaq: IBKR, Nasdaq: INTL, Nasdaq: INTX, NYSE: ITG, NYSE: IVZ, NYSE: JEF, NYSE: JMP, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: KBW, NYSE: KCG, NYSE: LAZ, NYSE: LM, Nasdaq: LPLA, AMEX: LTS, NYSE: MA, NYSE: MCO, NYSE: MF, NYSE: MGI, Nasdaq: MKTX, Nasdaq: MRLN, NYSE: MS, Nasdaq: MSCI, NYSE: MTG, Nasdaq: NEWS, NYSE: NFP, NYSE: NNI, Nasdaq: NTRS, Nasdaq: NTSP, NYSE: OCN, NYSE: OPY, Nasdaq: OXPS, Nasdaq: PICO, NYSE: PJC, NYSE: PMI, Nasdaq: PNSN, Nasdaq: PRAA, NYSE: RJF, Nasdaq: SEIC, NYSE: SF, NYSE: SFE, NYSE: STT, NYSE: SWS, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: V and Nasdaq: VRTS, NYSE: LEN, NYSE: CAG, NYSE: WLP, NYSE: DFS, Nasdaq: CSCO, Nasdaq: ORCL, NYSE: ACN, Nasdaq: CYAN, Nasdaq: FINL, NYSE: HRB, NYSE: MU, NYSE: RAD, Nasdaq: TIBX.

Global Market Demise – We Know Why



After taking back significant ground at the close, the Dow (NYSE: DIA, NYSE: DOG) was still down 0.5% and the S&P 500 Index (NYSE: SPY, NYSE: SDS) was short 0.3%. The slide in American stocks followed declines in Asia and Europe. After searching for drivers, I lean heavily towards Europe this time, given its degree of decline versus Asia. If the declines were equal between Asia and Europe, I would have pinned President Obama with the blame, and considered that his statement Wednesday evening with regard to nation building at home (versus in Afghanistan) took away a degree of certainty global markets have grown quite used to regarding the United States’ willingness to police the world. However, it looks as though this was not the case, despite my feeling that it should be considered overseas. We have evidence of it in Libya and now Afghanistan.

Given that the decline started before American markets opened, we can rule out the possibility of new labor market data in the U.S. driving it. Weekly Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims increased by 9K in the latest reported period, taking new benefits filers up to 429K. That certainly didn’t help matters, but it is not the source of the day’s demise either.

Thus, the day’s dastardly driver must have originated in Europe, and we can be fairly certain of that thanks to the decline of the euro as well. Europe’s most significant market moving news derived from the European Banking Authority (EBA). The EBA warned area banks to be more realistic about their Greek debt holdings. In other words, most of Europe’s financial institutions with exposure to Greece have not accounted adequately for the possibility of a Greek default. You can bet they have not even pondered a Portuguese pitfall.

The EBA will be announcing results to its latest stress testing of 91 European banks around July 13. The regulator said it had given its banks guidance to “address inconsistencies and excessive optimism” on sovereign exposures. If that did not feel like a slap to the face, we suppose European investors might still get it when they reach home this evening to their portfolio perusing wives.

The EBA test will consider how its banks might fair through a two-year recession. What’s new about the situation is that previously European politicians and also regulators like the EBA have not even given sovereign default a note of consideration. Given the latest uproar around the release of the current tranche of support to Greece, and debate about how well Greece is managing austerity (you should be envisioning rioting now), it would seem default is becoming digestible among despots. Its repercussions had neither been accounted for completely by trusting investors, and so the day drew market ire and capital withdrawal. More bad breath was borne from the mouth of the European Central Bank head, Jean-Claude Trichet. The ECB chief raised alarm in Europe when he said financial stability for the region was “flashing red.”

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The day’s earnings included Lennar (NYSE: LEN), ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG), WellPoint (NYSE: WLP), Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Cyanotech (Nasdaq: CYAN), Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL), H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), Micron Technology (NYSE: MU), Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD), TIBCO Software (Nasdaq: TIBX), Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), Banco Santander (NYSE: STD), ITA (Nasdaq: ITUB), UBS (NYSE: UBS), Westpac Banking (NYSE: WBK), Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG), Barclays (NYSE: BCS), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), Allied Irish Bank (NYSE: AIB), Banco Latinamericano (NYSE: BLX), National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG), Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY), BBVA Banco Frances (NYSE: BFR), The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE), Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM), ING Groep (NYSE: ING), Citigroup (NYSE: C), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), PowerShares QQQ Trust (Nasdaq: QQQ), ProShares Short Dow 30 (NYSE: DOG), ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 (NYSE: SDS), ProShares Ultra QQQ (NYSE: QLD), NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX), The NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ), Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), E*Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC), Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW), Asset Acceptance Capital (Nasdaq: AACC), Affiliated Managers (NYSE: AMG), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), TD Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), Calamos Asset Management (Nasdaq: CLMS), CME Group (NYSE: CME), Cohn & Steers (NYSE: CNS), Cowen Group (Nasdaq: COWN), Diamond Hill Investment (Nasdaq: DHIL), Dollar Financial (Nasdaq: DLLR), Duff & Phelps (Nasdaq: DUF), Encore Capital (Nasdaq: ECPG), Edelman Financial (Nasdaq: EF), Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Epoch (Nasdaq: EPHC), Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR), EXCorp. (Nasdaq: EZPW), FBR Capital Markets (Nasdaq: FBCM), First Cash Financial (Nasdaq: FCFS), Federated Investors (NYSE: FII), First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD), Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF), Financial Engines (Nasdaq: FNGN), FXCM (Nasdaq: FXCM), Gamco Investors (NYSE: GBL), GAIN Capital (Nasdaq: GCAP), Green Dot (Nasdaq: GDOT), GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG), Greenhill (NYSE: GHL), Gleacher (Nasdaq: GLCH), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), INTL FCStone (Nasdaq: INTL), Intersections (Nasdaq: INTX), Investment Technology (NYSE: ITG), Invesco (NYSE: IVZ), Jefferies (NYSE: JEF), JMP Group (NYSE: JMP), Janus Capital (NYSE: JNS), KBW (NYSE: KBW), Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG), Lazard (NYSE: LAZ), Legg Mason (NYSE: LM), LPL Investment (Nasdaq: LPLA), Ladenburg Thalmann (AMEX: LTS), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Moody’s (NYSE: MCO), MF Global (NYSE: MF), Moneygram (NYSE: MGI), MarketAxess (Nasdaq: MKTX), Marlin Business Services (Nasdaq: MRLN), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), MSCI (Nasdaq: MSCI), MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG), NewStar Financial (Nasdaq: NEWS), National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP), Nelnet (NYSE: NNI), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), NetSpend (Nasdaq: NTSP), Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), Oppenheimer (NYSE: OPY), optionsXpress (Nasdaq: OXPS), PICO (Nasdaq: PICO), Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC), PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN), Portfolio Recovery (Nasdaq: PRAA), Raymond James (NYSE: RJF), SEI Investments (Nasdaq: SEIC), Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF), Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), State Street (NYSE: STT), SWS (NYSE: SWS), T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW), Visa (NYSE: V) and Virtus Investment Partners (Nasdaq: VRTS).

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.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Stock Market Drivers 06-01-11

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Wednesday's stock market drivers were concentrated in more soft economic data, especially from the United States. ADP offered a very low forecast for Nonfarm Private Payroll growth for May. ISM produced a Manufacturing Index that illustrated a significant slowdown in segment expansion. Across China, India and the United Kingdom, economic reports echoed the U.S. message for a softening manufacturing sector. This report offers more data on the global economy and corporate wire as well.

stock market reporterOur 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: GM, NYSE: M, Nasdaq: GOOG, Nasdaq: AMSC, NYSE: MRO, NYSE: NBL, NYSE: SEE, Nasdaq: DELL, NYSE: MRK, NYSE: EMC, NYSE: AXP, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: MCD, Nasdaq: CSCO, NYSE: BAC, OTC: AXAHY.PK, NYSE: MWE, Nasdaq: TRGP, NYSE: CHD, Nasdaq: CWTR, NYSE: ESL, Nasdaq: JOSB, NYSE: NQ, Nasdaq: ADGE, Nasdaq: ATAI, Nasdaq: CEDU, Nasdaq: CPRT, Nasdaq: DAKT, NYSE: DG, NYSE: REX, Nasdaq: GAME, Nasdaq: VRA, NYSE: VIP, Nasdaq: WEST, AMEX: SGS, Nasdaq: MATR, Nasdaq: RADA, NYSE: RTSA, Nasdaq: FCVA, NYSE: KV-B, Nasdaq: TLVT, Nasdaq: OREX, Nasdaq: LZEN, AMEX: LEI, Nasdaq: SYMS, Nasdaq: HMNF, Nasdaq: SGRP, Nasdaq: LTRX, Nasdaq: HOLI, Nasdaq: AUTH, Nasdaq: KIPS, Nasdaq: SPU, Nasdaq: NAII, Nasdaq: ENMD, NYSE: NLS, Nasdaq: VRNG, Nasdaq: INOC, Nasdaq: GOLF, Nasdaq: PERF, Nasdaq: SQNS.

Stock Market Drivers



Debt Ceiling Politics
After soundly defeating a bill to raise the debt ceiling sans any tax cuts, House GOP members are off to the White House today to have a heart to heart with the President. Republicans are expected to demand trillions in spending cuts from the Obama Administration in exchange for consolation on the debt ceiling hike.

ADP Private Employment Data
ADP (NYSE: ADP) published its estimate today for a 38K private nonfarm payroll increase in May. It’s a miniscule increase, especially when compared to the still mediocre gain of 177K ADP saw for April. The Labor Department reports on total nonfarm payrolls and unemployment Friday. The DOL’s April report showed private nonfarm payrolls increased by 268K. This latest estimate is especially concerning, given recent economic red flags.

Challenger Announced Job-Cuts
Challenger Gray & Christmas’ tally of announced layoffs showed little change in May, with planned firings marking 37,135, up just slightly from the 36,490 declared in April. For the year-to-date, announced layoffs are down 21%.

US Manufacturing Lull
ISM reported its Manufacturing Index this morning, and it offered concerning data. The ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index fell 6.9 points to 53.5 in May. While a reading above 50 still signifies economic expansion, the deceleration of expansion is at this point clear and deep.

Global Manufacturing Lull
The U.K., China and India all reported slower manufacturing activity in May. The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index eased to 57.5, from 58 in April. Two separate surveys in China, one government tally and the other produced by HSBC (NYSE: HBC), both showed a moderation of manufacturing expansion. Both China and India are attributing a controlled deceleration to inflation fighting efforts the two nations’ central banks have been engaged in. The U.K.’s CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers Index posted its fourth consecutive drop in overall activity, and its New Orders Index dropped below 50 in May, marking contraction.

Construction Spending
The Census Bureau reported construction spending increased 0.4% in April, against a March revision. April spending was still 9.3% short of the prior year period. This year’s activity is weighed by lower public construction spending, down 7.5% against the prior year and 1.9% short of March. Total private construction was up 1.7% in April, though still down 10.3% against the prior year period. Clearly new home construction is mired by the heavy inventory flood of distressed properties that remains in the market.

Mortgage Activity
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 4.0% decrease in its Market Composite Index for the week ending May 27. The Purchase Index was about unchanged while the Refinance Index fell 5.7%, despite a drop in fixed mortgage rates.

Greece Gets Lift on German Comments
Berlin corrected a newspaper report that previously stated the IMF might not be committed to any future aid package for Greece. German officials said the IMF and EU were committed to together provide additional funding to Greece. A team from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) are in Athens now deciding whether to release a tranche of 12 billion euros to Greece next month. It seems clear Greece will continue to find support for now.

Timothy Geithner is testifying today before the House Financial Services Committee on the state of the international financial system.

The Bank of Japan kicks off its international conference on monetary policy.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported a 2.8% year-over-year increase in same-store sales for the May 28 ending period. Redbook noted sales increased 3.6% for the same period.

Corporate Wire

GM (NYSE: GM) reported its May US sales slipped 3.5% against the prior year, where economists were looking for growth. GM predicted the total US industry annualized sales rate for May should range from 12 to 12.1 million. Reuters reports economists were looking for about 12.6 million. GM shares are down more than 2% on the news.

Macy’s (NYSE: M) reported its same-store sales rose 7.4% in May, meeting the company’s own aggressive expectations. However, the shares are down a half of a percent today on its failing to satisfy a greedy market.

American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC) shares are down 20% at midday, after the company delayed its 10K on its review of revenue from customers in China. Before the day started, the shares had shed 63% of their value year-to-date. The company said it would be reversing recognition of a material amount of revenue over several quarters of data.

Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) made a $3.5 billion acquisition of Texas located oil and natural gas fields. As of May 1 the fields were producing 7K barrels of oil equivalent per day, but Marathon expects to boost production to 80K per day by 2016.

Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) reported an oil discovery in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico. The project is the first to receive a permit since the disaster at the BP (NYSE: BP) rig. It’s kind of funny that NBL shares are down about 1.9% on the news. Perhaps the market would have preferred the project be a no go.

Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE) said it will buy Diversey Holdings for $4.3 billion. The deal takes SEE into commercial cleaning and sanitation businesses. SEE shares were down 3% on the news.

A New York court is holding a hearing today on Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) settlement with publishers over digitizing books; the court had rejected the settlement.

Presenting at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decision Conference: Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Merck (NYSE: MRK), EMC (NYSE: EMC), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD). Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) is presenting at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch tech conference (NYSE: BAC). Meeting investors or analysts today, AXA SA ADR (OTC: AXAHY.PK), Mark-West Energy Partners (NYSE: MWE) and Targa Resources (Nasdaq: TRGP). Splitting today, Church & Dwight (NYSE: CHD).

The corporate earnings wire includes Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR), Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL), Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq: JOSB), NetQin Mobile (NYSE: NQ), American DG Energy (Nasdaq: ADGE), ATA Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAI), ChinaEdu (Nasdaq: CEDU), Copart (Nasdaq: CPRT), Daktronics (Nasdaq: DAKT), Dollar General (NYSE: DG), REX American Resources (NYSE: REX), Shanda Games (Nasdaq: GAME), Vera Bradley Designs (Nasdaq: VRA) and Vimpelcom (NYSE: VIP).

The day’s most active stocks include – Gainers – Westinghouse Solar (Nasdaq: WEST), Stream Global Services (AMEX: SGS), eLoyalty (Nasdaq: MATR), Rada Electronics (Nasdaq: RADA), iPath Short Extended Russel 20 (NYSE: RTSA), First Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: FCVA), KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-B), Telvent (Nasdaq: TLVT), Orexigen Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OREX), Lizhan Environmental (Nasdaq: LZEN), Lucas Energy (AMEX: LEI), Syms (Nasdaq: SYMS), HMN Financial (Nasdaq: HMNF), SPAR Group (Nasdaq: SGRP), Lantronix (Nasdaq: LTRX), Hollysys Automation (Nasdaq: HOLI), Authentec (Nasdaq: AUTH), Kips Bay Medical (Nasdaq: KIPS) – Losers – SkyPeople Fruit Juice (Nasdaq: SPU), Natural Alternatives (Nasdaq: NAII), EntreMed (Nasdaq: ENMD), Nautilus (NYSE: NLS), Vringo (Nasdaq: VRNG), Innotrac (Nasdaq: INOC), Golfsmith International (Nasdaq: GOLF), Perfumania (Nasdaq: PERF), Sequans Communication (Nasdaq: SQNS).

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.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Market News - Data Disaster Strikes

market news
A positive start to global trading was promptly dampened this morning by a trio of dire economic data points. Home prices effectively double-dipped today, reaching a new low for the housing recession. Consumer confidence collapsed thanks to expensive gasoline prices that plagued the month of May. Chicago area business expansion, or the manufacturing base of the nation, dropped sharply. The Dow is still up about a half of a point, but there are three solid hours of trading time for that to change.

MarkosOur 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: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: NOK, NYSE: WMT, NYSE: EJ, NYSE: LGF, NYSE: PVH, Nasdaq: CRIC, Nasdaq: ELTK, NYSE: LAS, Nasdaq: XING, NYSE: FTE, NYSE: NLC, NYSE: TEX, Nasdaq: TRGL, NYSE: ENB, Nasdaq: USTR, Nasdaq: LECO, Nasdaq: SHOO, Nasdaq: YONG, Nasdaq: AGYS, NYSE: CV, Nasdaq: ELTK, Nasdaq: FCEL, NYSE: FBP-PB, Nasdaq: SQNS, Nasdaq: ZNWAZ, Nasdaq: RBNF, Nasdaq: FTWR, Nasdaq: MERU, Nasdaq: HEAT, Nasdaq: BOVA, Nasdaq: FTLK, Nasdaq: INOC, AMEX: AXK, AMEX: CGL-A, Nasdaq: NBIX, AMEX: KBX, NYSE: ASH, NYSE: ARL, Nasdaq: VLYWW, Nasdaq: TBET, Nasdaq: TTHI, Nasdaq: RITT, NYSE: NOK, Nasdaq: CBLI, Nasdaq: DHRM, NYSE: RLD, Nasdaq: BKOR, Nasdaq: MPET, Nasdaq: CBPO, Nasdaq: CFBK, AMEX: URG, NYSE: CEU, NYSE: LAS, Nasdaq: FCVA, AMEX: YMI, Nasdaq: ECTY, Nasdaq: FCCO, AMEX: URZ, AMEX: UEC, AMEX: ORS, Nasdaq: URRE.

Market News - Data Disaster Strikes



Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence dropped precipitously at the end of May, acting as the final, yet most sure nail, in hammering down earlier enthusiastic stock trading. The metric of the consumer mood had stagnated after showing months ago that the recovery would not be a smooth one. However, over the past several months, the index had inched ahead. This latest measure marked a 5.2 point collapse, and really raises significant concerns about how deeply high gasoline prices have impacted consumer spending. At 60.8, the monthly mark missed by far the economists’ consensus set at 66.5, as tallied by Bloomberg. The index represents a disappointing state of affairs, and one worse than an already concerning state in April.

Home Prices

The S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index for March marked a new recession level low, effectively recording a double-dip in housing prices. For the first quarter, housing prices fell 5.1% against the prior year, taking prices back to their mid-2002 levels. 12 of 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) hit new lows, and 18 were down from February.

Midwestern Economy

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), reported today for the month of May, showed the pace of business expansion slowed in the Midwest this month. The Business Barometer Index fell to a mark of 56.6, from 67.6 in April. While a reading above 50 still marks economic expansion, the rapid drop in pace reinforces our concerns about economic slippage and downturn.

Investor Confidence

State Street’s (NYSE: STT) Investor Confidence Index gained in May. Amid many varied economic concerns, somehow global investor confidence still managed to improve this last month. Global confidence improved 6.8 points to an index reading of 104.1. The U.S. market was no drag either, as confidence in North American markets increased 7.7 points to 106.3. Even Europe gained 5.2 points to 79, though that absolute level of confidence illustrates recent months of decline.

Greece Uncertainty Cleared

Global markets got a boost this morning thanks to European official commentary regarding the possibility of its issuing additional aid to Greece. The euro gained on the news and markets across the board rose, including U.S. stocks ahead of the later reported poor economic data here at home.

Debt Limit Vote Today

A vote today to raise the debt limit is expected to fail, as it will include no cost cuts. The move to vote on the “clean” bill is a Republican political effort to paint the Democrats in a bad light. Tomorrow, the President meets with the entire GOP representation of the House.

Commodities and Currency

Oil is gaining today on a weakening relative dollar, which is weighed on by the debt dilemma in the States and the day’s European confidence building. WTI Crude Futures are up 1.75% to $102.35. Gold is about flat, while Wheat Futures are down about 3.8% in Chicago. The euro has gained 0.6% on the dollar, to $1.4374.

Corporate Wire

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) issued an earnings warning and its shares are down 15% as a result through midday. Nokia cited intense competition and tough pricing.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) had its South African acquisition of Massmart approved subject to certain conditions, though no further information was given. Wal-Mart was also in the news because it filled two open top executive spots in China after being hit by surprise resignations earlier this month.

The Corporate earnings wire includes news from E-House (China) Holdings (NYSE: EJ), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF), Phillips Van Heusen (NYSE: PVH), China Real Estate Information (Nasdaq: CRIC), Eltek (Nasdaq: ELTK), Lentuo International (NYSE: LAS), Qiao Xing Universal Resources (Nasdaq: XING). Holding meetings or calls, look for reports from France Telecom (NYSE: FTE), Nalco Holding (NYSE: NLC), Terex (NYSE: TEX), and Toreador Resources (Nasdaq: TRGL). Splitting shares today 2:1 Enbridge (NYSE: ENB), United Stationers (Nasdaq: USTR) and Lincoln Electric (Nasdaq: LECO); 3:2 Steve Madden (Nasdaq: SHOO).

Most Active Stocks

Biggest Gainers: Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG), Agilysys (Nasdaq: AGYS), Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV), Eltek (Nasdaq: ELTK), FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL), First BanCorp Preferred (NYSE: FBP-PB), Sequans Communications (Nasdaq: SQNS), Zion Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ZNWAZ), Rurban Financial (Nasdaq: RBNF), FiberTower (Nasdaq: FTWR), Meru Networks (Nasdaq: MERU), SmartHeat (Nasdaq: HEAT), Bank of Virginia (Nasdaq: BOVA), Funtalk China (Nasdaq: FTLK), Innotrac (Nasdaq: INOC), Accelr8 Technology (AMEX: AXK), Cagle’s (AMEX: CGL-A), Neurocrine Biosciences (Nasdaq: NBIX), Kimber Resources (AMEX: KBX), Ashland (NYSE: ASH).

Biggest Losers: American Realty Investors (NYSE: ARL), Valley National Bancorp (Nasdaq: VLYWW), Tibet Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TBET), Transition Therapeutics (Nasdaq: TTHI), RIT Technologies (Nasdaq: RITT), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Cleveland BioLabs (Nasdaq: CBLI), Dehaier Medical Systems (Nasdaq: DHRM), RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD), Oak Ridge Financial (Nasdaq: BKOR), Magellan Petroleum (Nasdaq: MPET), China Biologic Products (Nasdaq: CBPO), Central Federal (Nasdaq: CFBK), UR Energy (AMEX: URG), China Education Alliance (NYSE: CEU), Lentuo Int’l (NYSE: LAS), First Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: FCVA), YM BioSciences (AMEX: YMI), Ecotality (Nasdaq: ECTY), First Community Corp. (Nasdaq: FCCO), Uranerz (AMEX: URZ), Uranium Energy (AMEX: UEC), Orsus Xelent (AMEX: ORS), and Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE).

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.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Pre-Market Report - Fed Minutes, ISM Nonmanufacturing, ICSC Sales Data

Pre-Market Report

Wake Up Call


Tuesday's focus should be on the Fed Minutes release and ISM Nonmanufacturing Index. Also look for weekly same-store sales data this morning and within this pre-market report. The corporate newswire highlights EPS from K.B. Home (NYSE: KBH) and International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA).


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: NYSE: EFC, Nasdaq: GEDU, NYSE: SSL, Nasdaq: DELL, NYSE: ANF, NYSE: CRM, NYSE: UBS, Nasdaq: EDS, Nasdaq: ISCA, Nasdaq: VRNT, NYSE: ZEP, Nasdaq: ANGO, NYSE: KBH, Nasdaq: LAYN, Nasdaq: MIND, NYSE: MBT, Nasdaq: LEDS, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: NDAQ


Pre-Market Report


In the early AM, look for the International Council of Shopping Centers' (ICSC) Weekly Same-Store Sales Report. Last week's data covering the period ending March 26 showed same-store sales increased just 0.2% on a week-to-week basis, but that was an improvement from the prior week's 0.1% weekly sales decline. On a year-to-year basis, sales increased 2.6%, which compared to the prior week's 3.0% annual growth. Redbook reported a 2.6% yearly gain, versus the 2.4% gain it reported the week before. Look for the latest data before the opening bell Tuesday.


ISM's Nonmanufacturing Index for March will be published at 10:00 AM Tuesday. Bloomberg says economists are looking for a mirror image of February, with the index sticking at 59.7, which by the way was its six-year high. Economists' forecasts range from 57.7 to 68.8. Any reading above 50 still signifies economic expansion for the all important services sector of the American economy.


The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases its meeting minutes for its March gathering at 2:00 PM. Fed chatter is getting less predictable as we approach an inflection point, where the Fed will move from dovish to hawkish, barring new economic downtown. That is a possibility that is not out of the question. As it becomes less predictable, the FOMC releases have the ability to shock an uncertain marketplace.


Several Fed-Heads are due to speak Tuesday. Look for Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart's morning address at the Atlanta Bank's Financial Markets Conference. During the lunch hour, catch Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota's address at her bank's workshop on homeownership. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser is up to moderate a panel on weathering the financial crisis at 1:30 PM at the Atlanta Fed event.


In overseas news, look for markets to be closed in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Reserve Bank of Australia has a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. GFMS will publish its 2011 copper survey.


On the corporate wire, look for IPO lockup curbs to expire on Ellington Financial (NYSE: EFC) and Global Education (Nasdaq: GEDU). Sasol (NYSE: SSL), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) will be speaking with analysts and investors. Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) takes part in the Cloudforce Paris 2011 event and the UBS Investment Bank Bus Tour Tuesday (NYSE: UBS).


The day's EPS schedule highlights news from Exceed (Nasdaq: EDS), International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA), Verint Systems (Nasdaq: VRNT), Zep (NYSE: ZEP), Angiodynamics (Nasdaq: ANGO), K.B. Home (NYSE: KBH), Layne Christensen (Nasdaq: LAYN), Mitcham Industries (Nasdaq: MIND), Mobile Telesystems (NYSE: MBT), Semileds (Nasdaq: LEDS) and some 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.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Business News: Jobs Data, FDO, CEPH, QE3, Mortgages, Japanese Autos, Canadian Inflation, Oil Inventory

business news summary Today's Coffee


Today's Business Summary highlights economic data and business news from: ADP on Private Payrolls, Challenger on Job Cuts, the Mortgage Bankers Association on Mortgage Activity, Fed indications toward QE3 completion, Family Dollar's strong quarter, Cephalon's intriguing trading and its hostile bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, logistical issues at Japanese automakers, Obama's energy push, the EIA Petroleum Status Report, Canadian inflation, the repercussions of Japan's disaster, Salesforce.com's acquisition and more.


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: Nasdaq: CEPH, NYSE: VRX, NYSE: FDO, NYSE: TM, NYSE: HMC, Nasdaq: NSANY, NYSE: BP, NYSE: F, NYSE: GM, NYSE: WMT, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TSN, NYSE: AYI, Nasdaq: AETI, NYSE: AMN, Nasdaq: AMCF, AMEX: BNX, Nasdaq: CWS, OTC: CDELB, Nasdaq: DSCI, AMEX: DRJ, Nasdaq: DRYS, Nasdaq: DIET, AMEX: LZR, NYSE: ES, Nasdaq: ENMD, AMEX: EVK, Nasdaq: VIFL, NYSE: GMR, Nasdaq: GAI, AMEX: GRZ, NYSE: GU, AMEX: INV, Nasdaq: JOSB, Nasdaq: LACO, NYSE: LNN, Nasdaq: MERR, NYSE: MOS, Nasdaq: PTIX, NYSE: SIG, NYSE: UNF, Nasdaq: UNTK, Nasdaq: VCGH, AMEX: WTT, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: NDAQ


Business News: ADP and Challenger Jobs Data, FDO, CEPH, QE3, Mortgages, Japanese Autos, Canadian Inflation, Oil Inventory


By "The Greek"


ADP Private Employment Report


ADP published its best estimate today for March Nonfarm Payrolls, seeing a 201K net increase in private market jobs. The result was just slightly less than the revised February net addition of 208K jobs. ADP reports that the result was in line with consensus expectations for ADP's data and for the government's data, due on Friday. The pace of job increase was significantly better through the first quarter of 2011, versus the last quarter of 2010.


Challenger Announced Corporate Layoffs


After a spike up in February, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that Announced Corporate Layoffs fell 18% in March, to 41,528. First quarter job cuts, at 130,749, were the lowest measured since 1995. Job cuts were still much improved from the prior year period, down 39%. However, the public sector saw job cuts increase by 17%, as municipalities and federal government budget cutbacks force layoffs. That said, even government layoffs were down from a year ago, falling by 62%.


Mortgage Activity Eases


As rates moved back up on easing concerns about the Middle East and Japan, mortgage refinancing activity led overall mortgage activity lower. For the period ending March 25, the Market Composite Index of mortgage activity fell 7.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The Refinance Index dropped 10.1%, as contracted rates on fixed rate mortgages of 30-year and 15-year durations increased to 4.92% (from 4.8%) and 4.16% (from 4.02%), respectively. Purchase activity also eased, but by just 1.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis, as the spring buying season is getting underway.


Fed Men Support Completion of Quantitative Easing


business newsTwo Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, Boston's Eric Rosengren and Chicago's Charles Evans, voiced support for the full completion of the Fed's $600 billion quantitative easing program scheduled to last through June. The argument by some Fed men that the economy is on "firmer footing," and so might not need the full program, is coming into question of late, given new economic data and developments in the marketplace and global economy. The duo of Fed Presidents intimated that it was likely still too early to pull stimulus and that it appears the target figure of $600 billion is appropriate.


Obama Pushing Energy Today


President Obama is delivering a speech today to promote energy independence in the wake of disruptions abroad which highlight the vulnerability of supplies. The goal is to reduce oil imports by one-third over the next decade through the development of alternative fuels and energy. In a teaser last night, the President said, "Let's actually have a plan. Let's, yes, increase domestic oil production, but let's also invest in solar and wind and geothermal and bio-fuels and let's make our buildings more efficient and our cars more efficient."


Japan Might be Bigger Problem than Experts Suggest


Reports that the nuclear situation could drag out like the BP (NYSE: BP) oil spill did have many quick-to-speak market strategists looking foolish today. Japan's nuclear experts are now saying that it could take a substantial amount of time to stabilize Fukushima. As this catastrophe drags out, it weighs on the world's third largest economy. Uncertainty is a heavy weight for markets to bear, and it appears gurus were wrong in their overlooking what is a very complex and unique situation in Japan.


Portugal Says A-Okay for 2011


Despite bearing a downgrade by credit rating bully S&P on Tuesday, Portugal's Secretary of State for Treasury and Finance, Carlos Costa Pina, said Portugal is in position to meet its bond obligations for 2011, especially the redemptions of long-term debt that will take place in April and June. Costa Pina suggests his country will do all it can to avoid taking foreign aid, as it is viewed internally as a great burden on both public and private sector growth. Indeed, Greece also tried to avoid taking help, but the markets forced it to by pressuring its cost of borrowing beyond its ability. The recent government turnover only increased uncertainty in Portugal and pushed bond yields higher. The outlook is not a bright one for Portugal and so credit-rater S&P is probably right, but after the fact as is proving a trend on Water Street (i.e. US MBS).


Canada Contributes to Inflation Fears


Canada reported its industrial product and raw materials prices increased more than expected in February. The North reported that industrial product prices increased 0.7% in February, against expectations for a 0.3% increase. The gain followed a 0.4% rise in January and a 0.8% increase in December. Prices were up 3.4% year-to-year. The Raw Materials Price Index rose 1.8% in February, and was three times more than economists foresaw.


EIA Petroleum Status


With Saudi Arabia on its horse to make up for the supply disruption from Libya, oil inventory increased again by 2.9 million barrels in the latest week. However, for the period ending March 25, total motor gasoline inventory again dropped precipitously, by 2.7 million barrels this time. The Saudis are saying they will send more oil conducive to gasoline refining to make up for the loss of high quality oil usually delivered from Libya. Indeed, US interests are at stake in Libya, as the price of gasoline is growing intolerable to American consumers.


Corporate News Wire


Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) reported a penny better quarterly EPS than analysts had forecast on average (even after their adjustment higher in early March), and FDO forecast annual income ahead of analysts' estimates. As a result, its shares are higher today, but down from their premarket scramble. Family Dollar sees full year EPS at $3.13 to $3.23, ahead of the analysts' consensus for $3.12.


Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH) is trading at a $75 and change today, above the $73 per share hostile takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX), Canada's largest drugmaker. Valeant's bid marked a 24% premium to CEPH's closing price Tuesday. Valeant is an aggressive acquirer, and it looks like the market is anticipating Cephalon's playing hard to get might work in its shareholders' favor. Or, investors may be indicating the possibility of a bidding war. Otherwise, if the deal were accepted, CEPH's shares would be trading at a slight discount to the bid price.


Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) is adding a social media aspect through its acquisition of private firm Radian6, announced Wednesday. The deal, costing $326 million in cash and stock, is seen as an asset to the cloud software writer's clients ability to track customer trends on social media sites.


Japanese automakers Toyota (NYSE: TM), Honda (NYSE: HMC) and Nissan (Nasdaq: NSANY) are experiencing logistics issues tied to car parts deliveries from shutdown plants in Japan. Toyota has reportedly told its US dealers to stop ordering certain parts, for fear it will run out. Meanwhile, testing for radiation at foreign locations poses threat to further taint the Japanese automakers' brands and deliveries.


Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is holding an international conference today for the investment community. The J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) Global Protein Conference highlights a presentation by Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN). The earnings schedule highlights reports from Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), American Electric Technologies (Nasdaq: AETI), Ameron International (NYSE: AMN), Andatee China Marine Fuel Services (Nasdaq: AMCF), Banks.com (AMEX: BNX), China Wind Systems (Nasdaq: CWS), Citadel Broadcasting (OTC: CDELB), Derma Sciences (Nasdaq: DSCI), Dreams (AMEX: DRJ), DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS), Ediets Com (Nasdaq: DIET), Emergent (AMEX: LZR), EnergySolutions (NYSE: ES), Entremed (Nasdaq: ENMD), Ever-Glory (AMEX: EVK), Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO), Food Technology Services (Nasdaq: VIFL), General Maritime (NYSE: GMR), Global-Tech Advanced Innovation (Nasdaq: GAI), Gold Reserve (AMEX: GRZ), Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE: GU), Innovaro (AMEX: INV), Jos. A. Banks (Nasdaq: JOSB), Lakes Entertainment (Nasdaq: LACO), Lindsay (NYSE: LNN), Merriman (Nasdaq: MERR), Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), Performance Tech (Nasdaq: PTIX), Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG), Unifirst (NYSE: UNF), UniTek Global (Nasdaq: UNTK), VCG Holding (Nasdaq: VCGH), Wireless Telecom (AMEX: WTT) and 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.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekly Jobless Claims Enthuse Stocks – March 12 Period

weekly jobless claims enthuse stocks
Job Market

Weekly jobless claims improved further in the latest measured period, and likely without coincidence, the Dow Jones Industrials Average is up over 1.0% through morning trading.


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: NYSE: RHI, NYSE: KFY, NYSE: MAN, NYSE: MWW, Nasdaq: KELYA, Nasdaq: JOBS, NYSE: JOB, Nasdaq: CECO, Nasdaq: PAYX, NYSE: ASF, Nasdaq: KFRC, NYSE: TBI, NYSE: DHX, NYSE: SFN, NYSE: CDI, Nasdaq: CCRN, Nasdaq: ASGN, NYSE: AHS, Nasdaq: BBSI, Nasdaq: HHGP, NYSE: SRT, Nasdaq: RCMT, Nasdaq: VSCP, OTC: ASRG.OB, OTC: MCTH.OB, OTC: IGEN.OB, OTC: STJO.OB, OTC: TNUS.OB, Nasdaq: TSTF, OTC: STTH.OB, OTC: PSRU.OB, OTC: CRRS.OB, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: MS, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, NYSE: GE, NYSE: WMT, NYSE: MCD, NYSE: AA, NYSE: AXP, NYSE: BA, NYSE: CAT, Nasdaq: CSCO, NYSE: CVX, NYSE: DD, NYSE: DIS, NYSE: HD, NYSE: HPQ, NYSE: IBM, Nasdaq: INTC, NYSE: JNJ, NYSE: KFT, NYSE: KO, NYSE: MMM, NYSE: MRK, Nasdaq: MSFT, NYSE: PFE, NYSE: PG, NYSE: T, NYSE: TRV, NYSE: UTX, NYSE: VZ, NYSE: XOM, NYSE: DE, NYSE: TIF, NYSE: CO, NYSE: FRO, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: NDAQ

Weekly Jobless Claims Enthuse Stocks



labor analystOver recent months, we've highlighted the sensitivity of the market to weekly jobless claims data and the labor market generally. It was long ago understood that there existed a divide between economic recovery as defined by GDP and the economic situation as felt on Main Street. That has a lot to do with near double-digit unemployment and mid-teens under-employment, which lead to tempered spending and a shift in the outlets of spending toward the discount stores (NYSE: WMT, NYSE: DG, NYSE: FDO, Nasdaq: DLTR, Nasdaq: COST).

The market is having a good day today, which represents a change for recent times, and it likely has a lot to do with the day's economic data, starting with Weekly Jobless Claims. Unemployment Claims were reported for the March 12 period, and they were improved by 16,000, to a weekly rate of 385K.

Over recent months, as we approached the 400K threshold, the market grew increasingly enthusiastic. We now seem to have solidly breached that mark, and the continued improvement toward a level (about 300K) that supports reduction to the unemployment rate rightly serves to solidify stocks. Unemployment was reported at 8.9% in February, though we estimate it is closer to 9.4%. Under-employment remains in the mid-teens, though is improving as well.

The four-week moving average also highlights the trend, and shows a decrease of 7,000 claims this week, to a level of 386,250. This data offers something more bankable, as weekly rates fluctuate more readily on noise or irrelevant factors. The four-week moving average serves to weed out noise, and so clearly shows the improving and stock market enthusing trend.

Insured unemployment through the March 5 period improved by 80,000, to a level of 3.71 million after seasonal adjustment. Some 3.0% of the labor force fell into this pool, unchanged from the week prior. The unadjusted rate was 3.4%, down two-tenths of a percent from the prior week's measure. This rate was 4.1% a year ago. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, including the extension programs, for the week ending Feb 26 was 8,953,610.

Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, during the week ending Feb 26.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Feb. 26 were in Alaska (6.7 percent), Rhode Island (5.5), Montana (5.4), Pennsylvania (5.3), Idaho (5.1), Oregon (5.1), Puerto Rico (5.0), Wisconsin (4.9), New Jersey (4.8), and Connecticut (4.7).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 5 were in New York (+17,926), California (+13,388), Illinois (+4,514), Pennsylvania (+3,907), and Texas (+2,828), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-2,482), Oregon (-1,680), Rhode Island (-1,120), Connecticut (-838), and Florida (-687).

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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), SFN Group (NYSE: SFN), 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.OB), 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). The day’s earnings included Deere (NYSE: DE), Tiffany (NYSE: TIF), China Cord Blood (NYSE: CO) and Frontline (NYSE: FRO).

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.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Addicted Market Could Crash Off High

addicted market could crash off highs
Coming Down Off Liquidity High

Wall Street Greek Technical Strategist Steven Ferguson offers a fresh look at the perilous technical high wire act the market seems to be performing, and he warns again of serious trouble signs in the charts.


Relative Tickers: NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: BX, NYSE: BLK, Nasdaq: ETFC, Nasdaq: TSCM, Nasdaq: AMTD, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

Addicted Market Could Crash Off High



technical strategistFor a market propelled to new recovery highs by the same liquid(ity) drug that has fueled every major asset bubble in the past, and that has led to the current credit crisis hangover, the moment of truth has arrived. Either a correction will begin this week, or it will be postponed to another date several weeks or even months in the future, with the potential for drop only becoming more dramatic as that date with destiny is forestalled.

Either the S&P will fall below key support at 1260 or it will rise a minimum of 30 points higher. Should the S&P remain above 1291, I believe traders should cover open short positions.

Major indices closed Friday at the top of a trend-line that forms the upper boundary of a bearish rising wedge, depicted in the chart below. The rising wedge has formed within a larger trend channel. The more times that prices traverse between the lower and upper boundary of that channel, the weaker market internals have become. It is under these circumstances that we most often observe the Hindenburg Omen indicator.

S&P 500 large cap index rising bearish wedge

As well, the Elliot Wave structure, depicted in the chart below, now satisfies pattern identification rules for completion of the rally. Note that the entire rally is comprised of an A-B-C wave structure, where the index is presently completing wave C. Wave C is annotated in blue, with the five sub-waves each depicted individually. Importantly, the magnitude and duration of the move accomplished by the fifth wave in a five wave pattern now satisfies optimal criteria for pattern completion. And although Elliot Wave rules would have allowed the fifth wave to terminate at any time, such a pattern rarely truncates before the length of wave five equals that of wave one. Such is now the case, as can be seen through visual comparison of sub-waves 1 and 5 in the chart below.

S&P 500 Large Cap Index Elliot Wave Count

We also note that an important and reliable Phi Turn window has now passed. The clock is ticking on a confirmed Hindenburg Omen. Credit turmoil continues to churn even as the upchuck is swabbed down the financial drain. If markets continue to rise significantly above Friday's close, the next target is 2.5% higher again at the top of the trend channel. For a correction to begin in earnest, support levels must be penetrated. Greek readers must remain vigilant.

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Disclosure: I am short S&P 500 Index Futures

Article may interest investors in NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: BX, NYSE: BLK, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

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.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spike in Jobless Claims Could Mark a Market Top

spike in jobless claims could mark market top, stop sign
Sell Catalyst

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims spiked higher in the latest check, stopping a recent burst in a medium-term market rally that began at the close of last summer. The rally ignited on GOP momentum that gave investors hope for a more hospitable business and tax environment. The market has gained new energy over recent weeks on decent consumer relative reports and on an important dive in jobless claims below the psychological threshold just developed of 400K. However, as we laid out in recent coverage, the dive was anomalous, due to seasonal factors that have effectively reversed through the latest data-point. Given technical omens overhanging, and restored bricks in the wall of worry, including unemployment and inflation, I think there is a good possibility that we have marked a near-term top for stocks. So, this appears to be a smart time to reduce risk.


Relative Tickers: NYSE: RHI, NYSE: KFY, NYSE: MAN, NYSE: MWW, Nasdaq: KELYA, Nasdaq: JOBS, NYSE: JOB, Nasdaq: CECO, Nasdaq: PAYX, NYSE: ASF, Nasdaq: KFRC, NYSE: TBI, NYSE: DHX, NYSE: SFN, NYSE: CDI, Nasdaq: CCRN, Nasdaq: ASGN, NYSE: AHS, Nasdaq: BBSI, Nasdaq: HHGP, NYSE: SRT, Nasdaq: RCMT, Nasdaq: VSCP, Nasdaq: TSTF, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: MS, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, NYSE: GE, NYSE: WMT, NYSE: MCD, NYSE: AA, NYSE: AXP, NYSE: BA, NYSE: CAT, Nasdaq: CSCO, NYSE: CVX, NYSE: DD, NYSE: DIS, NYSE: HD, NYSE: HPQ, NYSE: IBM, Nasdaq: INTC, NYSE: JNJ, NYSE: KFT, NYSE: KO, NYSE: MMM, NYSE: MRK, Nasdaq: MSFT, NYSE: PFE, NYSE: PG, NYSE: T, NYSE: TRV, NYSE: UTX, NYSE: VZ, NYSE: XOM, NYSE: DE, NYSE: TIF, NYSE: CO, NYSE: FRO, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, Nasdaq: QQQQ, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: NDAQ, Nasdaq: INTC, NYSE: CRAI, Nasdaq: CBSH, Nasdaq: INFY, NYSE: ZZ, NYSE: SJR, Nasdaq: SHFL, Nasdaq: TSTF, Nasdaq: ABMD, Nasdaq: ARNA, Nasdaq: MYGN, Nasdaq: CLDA, Nasdaq: ELGX, Nasdaq: AFFX, Nasdaq: AFAM, Nasdaq: GIVN, Nasdaq: VITA, Nasdaq: BCRX, Nasdaq: ISIS, NYSE: WTW, Nasdaq: HNSN, Nasdaq: PRXL, Nasdaq: BIOD, Nasdaq: CRA, Nasdaq: ERES, Nasdaq: GTIV, Nasdaq: CALP, Nasdaq: SRCL, NYSE: TMH, Nasdaq: ABCO, Nasdaq: ANTH, Nasdaq: CPHD, Nasdaq: SKH, Nasdaq: URBN, Nasdaq: CBOU, Nasdaq: FNGN, Nasdaq: GTLT, Nasdaq: PMFG, Nasdaq: TRID, Nasdaq: TRMB, Nasdaq: WBMD, Nasdaq: LTXC, Nasdaq: MDSO, Nasdaq: POWI, Nasdaq: RMBS, Nasdaq: SPEC, Nasdaq: DAKT, Nasdaq: AONE, Nasdaq: SCOR, Nasdaq: DDIC, Nasdaq: FSII, Nasdaq: SWKS, NYSE: QTM, Nasdaq: SDBT, Nasdaq: UTKE, Nasdaq: CRAY, Nasdaq: FEIC, Nasdaq: TINY, NYSE: HPQ.

Spike in Jobless Claims Could Mark a Market Top



Wall Street AnalystWeekly Jobless Claims for the week ended January 8 climbed by 35,000 to a stock stymieing 450K mark. Between this week's data and last week's, in which weekly claims reemerged above the psychological 400K level (from 391K), it's become clear that seasonality was behind the dulling of unemployment claims in December, which we outlined in several articles.

Over the last few months, we have paid attention and detailed for you growing market enthusiasm as claims moved toward 450K and then toward 400K. There was a direct, though unscientifically defined here, correlation between the two, at least for short-term trading. We noted then expectations that a solid rally could gain fuel from ongoing improvement in the market's greatest area of concern, unemployment.

However, this week's report sort of kills that hope, or at least stymies it in the short term. The four-week moving average of jobless claims moved up by 5,500, which is a significant increase, to 416,500. The insured unemployment rate, which is supposedly seasonally adjusted, was reported today for a lagged period (January 1), and so is not consistent with the other data noted here. Insured unemployment improved by two-tenths of a point to 3.1%, but look for this rate to rise next week.

We again suggest that just as everything else outside of shopping slows in December, so did layoffs and new filings for unemployment. This post holiday season spurt to 450K though, could also be somewhat reactionary, and lifted by pent-up demand for unemployment checks. So, we may not see claims spike higher, or they could even ease a bit from here, but claims seem likely to hold above the 400K mark in the near-term. Given that the market seems to need claims below 400K for confirmation of labor market improvement, stocks should express some disappointment.

The unemployment rate improved in December, but was highly suspect, given the disappearance of twice as many unemployed Americans than the number of newly employed citizens. Given this fact and a smaller than expected increase in nonfarm payrolls, we saw an implication that many Americans had fallen into despair over the holidays and were not counted as unemployed for whatever reason. We look for the unemployment rate to increase again in January as a result.

According to our Technical Analyst Steven Ferguson, several measures show a market fully exploited, and while he notes this does not signify market crash is imminent (though the Hindenburg Omen implies one could be near), he certainly sees a strong likelihood for at least a rounded top in the near-term. Given the technical environment, and the labor market catalyst defined above in the unemployment data, and with increasing worry about global commodity inflation and its potential to infect other goods, too many signs offer wisdom for risk reduction today. Are you paying attention? We just made a broad market call.

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FYI:

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Dec. 25 were in Alaska (7.5 percent), Oregon (5.2), Idaho (5.1), Montana (4.9), Wisconsin (4.8), Pennsylvania (4.7), Puerto Rico (4.6), Nevada (4.5), Illinois (4.4), and Michigan (4.3).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Jan. 1 were in Georgia (+11,997), Michigan (+10,129), Pennsylvania (+9,004), New York (+8,379), and Wisconsin (+7,236), while the largest decreases were in California (-13,694), Florida (-1,867), Nevada (-972), Kansas (-841), and New Mexico (-721).

The day's corporate schedule Intel's EPS report (Nasdaq: INTC), and reports by Charles River Associates (NYSE: CRAI), Commerce Bankshares (Nasdaq: CBSH), Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY), Sealy (NYSE: ZZ), Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR), Shuffle Master (Nasdaq: SHFL), TeamStaff (Nasdaq: TSTF) and more.

The JP Morgan Health Conference offers presentations by Abiomed (Nasdaq: ABMD), Arena Pharm (Nasdaq: ARNA), Myriad (Nasdaq: MYGN), Clinical Data (Nasdaq: CLDA), Endologix (Nasdaq: ELGX), Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX), Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM), Given Imaging (Nasdaq: GIVN), Orthovita (Nasdaq: VITA), BioCryst (Nasdaq: BCRX), Isis (Nasdaq: ISIS), Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW), Hansen Medical (Nasdaq: HNSN), Parexel (Nasdaq: PRXL), Biodel (Nasdaq: BIOD), Celera (Nasdaq: CRA), eResearch Technology (Nasdaq: ERES), Gentiva (Nasdaq: GTIV), Caliper Life Sciences (Nasdaq: CALP), Stericycle (Nasdaq: SRCL), Team Health (NYSE: TMH), Advisory Board (Nasdaq: ABCO), Anthera (Nasdaq: ANTH), Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD), Skilled Healthcare (Nasdaq: SKH), . The XChange Investor Conference produces reports from Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) and Caribou Coffee (Nasdaq: CBOU) and others. The Needham Growth Conference offers a slew of presentations, including Financial Engines (Nasdaq: FNGN), Global Telecom (Nasdaq: GTLT), Peerless (Nasdaq: PMFG), Trident Microsystems (Nasdaq: TRID), Trimble Navigation (Nasdaq: TRMB), WebMD (Nasdaq: WBMD), LTX-Credence (Nasdaq: LTXC), Medidata Solutions (Nasdaq: MDSO), Power Integrations (Nasdaq: POWI), Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS), Spectrum Control (Nasdaq: SPEC), Daktronics (Nasdaq: DAKT), A123 (Nasdaq: AONE), comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR), Ddi (Nasdaq: DDIC), FSI Int'l (Nasdaq: FSII), Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS), Quantum (NYSE: QTM), Soundbite (Nasdaq: SDBT), Ultratech (Nasdaq: UTKE), Cray (Nasdaq: CRAY), FEI (Nasdaq: FEIC), Harris and Harris (Nasdaq: TINY) and many others. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has its Technology Series conference focused on "Changing the Rules of Networking."

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), SFN Group (NYSE: SFN), 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).

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.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Imminent Stock Market Decline

imminent stock market decline
The Long and Short of It

In his last article, Wall Street Greek Technical Analyst Steven Ferguson outlined several ominous technical indicators that point to a change in market direction. In this piece, he clarifies and further details how the turn might play out given various factors at play. Ferguson says a "rounded top" is more likely in the near-term, which supports the exit from long positions at this point, while not necessarily directing immediate aggressive shorting.


Relative Tickers: NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: BX, NYSE: BLK, Nasdaq: ETFC, Nasdaq: TSCM, Nasdaq: AMTD, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

Imminent Stock Market Decline: The Long and Short of It



econometricsAt present, it would appear that the market turning point is indeed at hand. The Greek exposited the real unemployment situation in his recap of Friday's labor report, which as usual, was meant to obscure the truth. Here in the Midwest, most of those I know on unemployment rolls have given up looking for work and would prefer to continue receiving their perpetual entitlement. And those who could offer them employment are uncertain about capital expenditures in the future, so they continue to do more with less while they still have more to do.

Do these signs of an enervated economy mean a stock market crash (or worse, a bond market crash!) is imminent? Did any of the technical indicators reviewed in "Who You Callin Short?" suggest a 20% decline should occur over the next five trading sessions? Certainly not. And just in case there might be any confusion as to the nature of the prediction offered by the previous article, here are some key clarifications:

  • None of the cited technical indicators suggested that there would be any dramatic sell-off occurring on or about January 6, 2011. Instead, the Phi Turn date predicts a turning point in market action, probably containing an intraday high that would last for many weeks if not months/years (depending on whether the Phi Turn event marks THE top). The Phi Turn date has a tolerance of a few days in either direction. The presence of two Phi Turns within the past 6 trading session suggests that the turn may have occurred on Thursday.

  • However, given the strong uptrend that has led to this point, the actual reversal is more likely to form a "rounded top" than a sharp ski slope. There remains a possibility within the Elliot Wave count (five of five) that the DOW could reach back to the 11750-11775 range, corresponding to 1280-1291 on the S&P. This would allow for one more intraday high early this week without violating the rules of the wave pattern. After that, a return to higher volatility is to be expected as the VIX appears ready to break out.

  • Still, we note that the S&P cash index dropped ten points intraday on Friday to a very important line of technical support, 1260. A break below this support early this week would solidify the case for the market reversal. A convincing break back above 1291 would signal several more weeks of uptrend, with the projected price 2.5% above the previous 52-week high.

  • Last, the confirmed Hindenburg Omen does forebode a steep decline but not necessarily an imminent one. In the last 25 years, Dr. Robert McHugh of Main Line Investors, Inc. found that 28 "officially" confirmed Hindenburg Omen signals have occurred. In all but one of those cases, a decline of at least 5% followed. In almost a third of those cases, a crash of 15-20% or more occurred. The precipitous decline could start at any time and could last any number of trading sessions.

Based on the above, this author recommends that readers take profits from long positions. More aggressive traders may weigh short positions in index ETFs, sectors or individual stocks that are highly correlated with the market at large. That's the long and the short of it.

Disclosure: I am short S&P 500 Index Futures

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Article may interest investors in NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, NYSE: JNS, NYSE: BX, NYSE: BLK, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

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.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Short the S&P 500 Index in Early 2011

short the S&P 500 Index in early 2011 stock market
Who You Callin Short?

This Wall Street Greek author is now short the market, specifically the S&P 500. In my view, we have reached the tipping point in a rally that has lasted almost two years on borrowed money and borrowed time. Time is growing short and I am afraid smart money is about to do the same.


Relative Tickers: NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

Short the S&P 500 Index and the Market in Early 2011



technical analystIn previous articles, I have recommended that readers take cash out of any long positions at key junctures. In each of these articles, I have presented a case that the technical formation in the market at that particular point in time represented the top of the bear market rally. As is always true with such technical indicators, even with the market in general, any bearish or bullish outlook always comes with associated statistical probabilities. So it is up to the reader to judge in accord with a recent WSG article whether I was "wrong or early?"

In this particular case, many technical indicators suggest that odds are high a decline is about to occur and that the current formation represents the top of the bear market rally:


  • According to Elliot Wave (EW) theory, the current five wave structure, which is in turn a sub-structure of the final leg in the rally that began in March 2009, logically completes the retracement of bull market highs from 2007. Of course, the uncertainty with application of Elliot Wave is that many such structures are possible within the fractal wave patterns defined by EW rules. Since these patterns are completely recognizable only in retrospect, rules offer contingency outcomes if and when those rules are broken.

  • This same five wave structure forms a classic "bearish rising wedge" on the S&P. A break below 1255 on the S&P Cash Index would suggest that prices are beginning to deteriorate, with a short-term technical target at around 1180.

  • Any previous technical target associated with the bullish (inverse) head and shoulders which formed with the market bottom has been fully achieved.

  • Index retracement is above the key Fibonacci level of 61.8% and is now at around two-thirds or 66.7% of the drop from bull market highs. Some view this level as technically important though it does not correspond to a Fibonacci ratio.

  • Two key Phi Turn dates occur within a one week trading window: Dec 29th 2010 and Jan 6th 2011. Phi Turn dates are calculated using Fibonacci ratios applied to the time period between key market reversals. The calculated dates have proven very meaningful, often identifying market bottoms and tops to the day.

  • Cyclic indicators, particularly the weekly stochastics indicator shows the market is overbought and topping.

  • We now have a confirmed Hindenburg Omen, which suggests a very high probability of market decline. The first omen was observed on August 20th, 2010, with unofficial confirmation on Dec 14th and official confirmation on Dec 15th. The probability that a stock market crash occurs is higher than normal, and the probability of a severe decline is quite high. This Omen has appeared before all of the stock market crashes, or panic events, of the past 25 years - all of them. No panic selloff (greater than 15 percent) occurred over the past 25 years without the presence of a Hindenburg Omen.

  • Most of this rally, particularly in the waning stages, has occurred on very light and decreasing volume, very likely supported by POMO operations. This leaves the market susceptible to flash crash conditions at any time.

model based controls designAs The Greek often points out, technical indicators should not be viewed outside of the context of underlying economic conditions, particularly when attempting to use these indicators to identify a reversal. In my estimation and based on my experience as a small business owner, the economic recovery is farcical and is not supportive of the capital investment necessary to restore real growth.

Despite suspect reports, unemployment remains up while banks are reluctant to invest in low yield US businesses. Instead, they continue to chase emerging markets with balance sheets repaired by taxpayer money, and in the process, are creating even more dangerous bubbles abroad. In my travels during 2010, I have found that even those people who are benefiting from the investments see the growth as unsustainable.

More importantly, we remain in the midst of a bond market bubble that dwarfs any other problem on the economic landscape. Any temptation to declare "mission accomplished" with the recovery would only increase headwinds in the form of inflation and higher interest rates. Any drop in the highly suspect dollar accomplishes the same. For this reason, I remain convinced that the Federal Reserve will be forced to keep interest rates low, not through QE3 and QE4, but through the deflation of higher risk assets. This will keep investors in the bond market for the foreseeable future, ensuring that bank balance sheets are protected from further, more devastating loss.

Disclosure:I am short S&P 500 Index Futures

short stock market forum message board chat

Article may interest investors in NYSE: GS, NYSE: C, NYSE: BAC, NYSE: WFC, NYSE: MS, NYSE: JPM, NYSE: TD, NYSE: PNC, Nasdaq: TROW, NYSE: STT, NYSE: STD, NYSE: DB, NYSE: BCS, NYSE: NBG, Nasdaq: MEMKX, Nasdaq: GECMX, Nasdaq: JEVOX, Nasdaq: PEMAX, NYSE: EEM, NYSE: VWO, Nasdaq: VEIEX, Nasdaq: ADRE, Nasdaq: PEBIX, Nasdaq: GMCEX, NYSE: MSF, NYSE: EEV, Nasdaq: REMGX, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EDZ, AMEX: ETF, NYSE: FEO, NYSE: ESD, NYSE: MSD, NYSE: EMF, NYSE: TEI, Nasdaq: EMIF, NYSE: EFN, NYSE: EMT, NYSE: PCY, NYSE: PXH, NYSE: GMF, NYSE: GUR, NYSE: GML, NYSE: GMM, NYSE: EWX, NYSE: GAF, NYSE: EUF, NYSE: EET, Nasdaq: ABEMX, Nasdaq: AEMGX, Nasdaq: APERX, Nasdaq: PMGAX, Nasdaq: PMCIX, Nasdaq: AOTAX, Nasdaq: AOTCX, Nasdaq: AOTDX, Nasdaq: AEMPX, Nasdaq: AOTIX, Nasdaq: AEMEX, Nasdaq: AAMRX, Nasdaq: AEMFX, Nasdaq: AAEPX, Nasdaq: AEMMX, Nasdaq: ACKBX, Nasdaq: ACECX, Nasdaq: AMKIX, Nasdaq: TWMIX, Nasdaq: NDAQ, NYSE: PIZ, NYSE: PIE, NYSE: PDP, NYSE: DIA, NYSE: SPY, NYSE: NYX, NYSE: DOG, NYSE: SDS, NYSE: QLD, NYSE: IWM, NYSE: TWM, NYSE: IWD, NYSE: SDK, NYSE: ICE, Nasdaq: QQQQ, Nasdaq: HTOAX, Nasdaq: HTOTX, Nasdaq: HTOBX, Nasdaq: JTCIX, Nasdaq: JTCNX, Nasdaq: JTCAX.

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.

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