Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mixed markets on mixed news

Stocks began higher but are floundering around, not far from break-even. Dow is up 23, advancers & decliners are even while NAZ is up 2. Banks were up taking the Financial Index just over 200.


% Change

The Alerian MLP Index fell 2 to the 294s. I just published an article at about the index & how it could become range-bound in the 270-300 zone for some time. Failing to crack thru 300 yesterday (2nd attempt this year) may be significant going forward. The REIT index is up a fraction in the 182s. Junk bond funds were mixed, still at lofty levels. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell 2 basis points to 3.60%.

Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks

Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks

Oil pulled back but is managing to hanging there above 80, barely. Gold also settled back but this follows a nice run in the last month.

CLJ10.NYM...Crude Oil Apr 10...80.17 ...Down 0.70

GCH10.CMX...Gold Mar 10...1,139.00 T...Down 3.70

Gold Super Cycle Link! Click Here

The number of buyers agreeing to purchase homes fell sharply in Jan, demand for housing is weak & sinking this winter. The National Association of Realtors reported its index of sales agreements fell 7.6% from Dec to a Jan reading of 90.4, the lowest reading since last Apr. A figure of 97.6 had been expected. The index is considered a barometer for future sales & a reading of 100 is equal to the average level of sales activity in 2001, when the index started. The root for the decline in agreements is unemployment, adding to the importance of the jobs report tomorrow.

Pending Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Declined 7.6% in January

Index of home purchases - 1 year

New claims for jobless benefits fell last week. The Labor Dept said initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 29K to 469K nearly matching estimates of 470K. The 4-week average fell 3K to 471K. Despite the drop, the average has risen by about 20K since the beginning of the year. Another sign that companies are raising output without adding many jobs was in a separate report that said productivity rose 6.9% in Q4, higher than expectations of a 6.3% rise.

Pending Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Declined 7.6% in January

Weekly jobless claims - 1 year

Photo: Bloomberg

Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup (C), gave thanks for the $45B bailout that allowed Citi to stay in business. He will answer more questions today about the gov assistance. Of course the gov has become the largest shareholder in Citi.

Pandit Thanks Taxpayers for Citi ‘Bridge’ Over Crisis

Citigroup --- 3 years

Find out what's inside Trend TV!! Click Here

Not a lot going on in the markets once again while the looming jobs report is on everybodys' minds. Greece is selling $6B in bonds to help it get thru its financial crisis. But locals are not taking the cutbacks in gov spending well. The € is doing a little better, up to $1.36. Spain is considered the next weak link which can give more problems in Euro Zone. Economic reports in the US are not consistent with a strong economic recovery keeping buyers away & is why Dow is struggling to get back to break even for 2010.

Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks

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