S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX
MLPs needed a chance to catch their breaths. The index slipped 1 to the 290s, roughly where it's been for 2 days. The REIT index was up a fraction. Junk bond funds were little changed while the yield on the Treasury bond rose 1 basis point to 3.76%. At this level, higher interest rates are of greater concern.
Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks
Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks
10-Year Treasury Yield Index - YTD
Oil had another nice gain as 75 is providing more support while gold was about even.
|CLH10.NYM||...Crude Oil Mar 10||...78.11 ||... 0.78 |
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The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3%in Jan, for a 10th straight month, but the pace of growth is slowing according to
Wholesale prices shot up at double the expected pace in Jan, but this is viewed as a temporary blip & not the start of inflation problems. The Labor Dept reported wholesale prices rose 1.4% last month, reflecting higher costs for gasoline & other energy products, economists had expected a 0.7% increase. Core inflation, excluding energy & food prices, rose 0.3%, above the 0.1% increase predicted. Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are up 4.6%, the largest 12-month increase since a 5.2% rise in the 12 months ending in Oct 2008. Price pressures are coming primarily from big increases in the cost of energy.
Wal-Mart (WMT), Dow stock & Dividend Aristocrat, posted a 21% increase in fiscal Q4 profits, international growth offset a sluggish US economy, as they earned $1.22 a share, up from 97¢ last year. Revenue came in at $112.8B, up 4.6%. On an adjusted basis, WMT earned $1.17 a share, the average estimate was $1.12 on revenue of $113.8B (WMT was a little light). Sales in the U.S. fell 0.5% to $71B. On a comparable-store basis, sales excluding fuel fell 1.6 %, but international sales rose 19.5% to $29.6B. In the U.S., same-store sales were below expectations, largely due to deflation in grocery & electronics. WMT forecast fiscal 2011 earnings from continuing operations to be in the range of $3.90-$4 a share & for Q1, earnings from continuing operations are expected to be 81¢ to 85¢. The stock dropped 1 to 53. It was best performing Dow stock in 2008 followed by a flat performance last year.
•Wal-Mart Quarterly Sales Trail Forecast on Grocery, Electronics Price Cuts
Wal-Mart --- 2 years
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Stocks continue to meander. looking for direction. The dreary report by WMT for its US stores is a worrisome indicator for the rest of the economy.
Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks