S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX
The MLP index recovered 1 to the 290s & the REIT index was up 1+. Junk bond funds were generally a little higher after selling in the last 2 weeks. The VIX, Volatility Index, dropped another 1 to the 22s, getting closer to the 18s it had been at before the spike up last week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell 2 basis points to 3.64% (little changed in the last month).
Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks
Dow Jones REIT Index --- YTD
Oil is having a modest gain considering all the cold weather out there. Gold is trying to find a footing.
|CLH10.NYM||...Crude Oil Mar 10||...74.30 ||... 0.66 |
|GCG10.CMX||...Gold Feb 10||...1,079.30 ||... 4.30 |
OIL (ETF) --- 1 year
GLD (ETF) --- 1 year
Gold Super Cycle Click Here
The economy grew faster than expected in Q4, though the engine of that growth (companies replenishing stockpiles) is likely to weaken as consumers keep a lid on spending. The 5.7% annual growth rate in Q4 was the fastest since 2003. Excluding inventory changes, the economy would have grown at a 2.2% rate, up from a 1.5% rate in Q3. Two straight quarters of growth followed a record 4 quarters of decline. But when restocking shelves slows, the recovery could stall. Contributing to growth was business spending on equipment & software jumped 13.3%. For the full year GDP declined 2.4%, the largest drop since 1946 & the first annual decline since 1991. The economy is forecasted to grow at a 2½-3%% in Q1 & a 2½% rate or below for the rest of the year, not fast enough to reduce the 10% unemployment rate in a meaningful way.
•Economy in U.S. Expanded at a 5.7% Annual Pace, Biggest Gain in Six Years
Chevron (CVX), Dow stock, reported Q4 profits fell 37% as higher crude prices led to huge losses in its refining business. The nation's 2nd-largest oil company reported earnings of $1.53 per share in Q4 (below estimates of $1.70), down from $2.44 per share last year. Revenue increased 10.3% to $47.6B. For the full year, Chevron earned $5.24 per share, substantially lower than the record setting $11.67 per share in 2008. CEO John Watson blamed the drop in profits on a weak economy & a wild swing in energy prices from 2008 to 2009. Earlier this month, CVX said it would shrink its refining business & cut jobs throughout the company. The stock rose 18¢ & yields 3.7%.
Chevron Profit Dips on $278,000-an-Hour Refining Loss
Chevron --- 1 year
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Ben Bernanke was allowed to keep his job for a 2nd term beginning Mon. But the vote was close by Senate standards & he will be under a lot of pressure when interest rates are hiked, probably later this year. The high GDP growth rate was greeted with a sigh of relief, however a majority of it was attributable to inventory rebuilding which is more of a timing issue & not recurring. Dow looks like it will be down 4% for Jan.
Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks