Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stocks decline on dismal housing data

Dow lost 22, decliners ahead of advancers 2-1 & NAZ fell 10. The S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX advanced to another interim high while the Senate debates a major financial overhaul that banks are fighting.

% Change

The Alerian MLP Index dropped 1+ to the 298s. It's had a bumpy go of it lately. But the REIT index rose 2 to the 202. Junk bond funds are up a fraction. Treasury bonds sold off big time. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose 8 basis points to 3.76%. Oil fell taking it near $80 & gold was off 12 to 1091.

Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks

Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks

Photo: Bloomberg

Sales of new homes fell for a 4th straight month to a record low in Feb. The Commerce Dept reported sales of new single-family homes fell 2.2% to a 308K unit annual rate from 315K in Jan. Sales have barely responded to the extension & expansion of a popular tax credit, which boosted purchases in the 2nd half of 2009, raising concerns over the fragile housing market's recovery just as a key pillar of support is being dismantled. The housing market is struggling & has a bearish short term outlook.

Sales of New U.S. Homes Drop to Lowest on Record on Job Concerns, Weather

Sales of new homes

Starbucks (SBUX) declared its first div, stockholders will be paid 10¢ quarterly. In addition the company will buy back 15M shares, above the 6.3M it has remaining from a previous authorization. The stock was up 19¢ to $25.61.

Starbucks sets first dividend, new stock buybackReuters

Starbucks --- 2 years

Fitch lowered Portugal's credit rating because it said the country's recovery will be slower than other countries that in the Euro Zone. Greek debt problems drone on. The € sank again, down to $1.33½ on this dreary news. Today's housing data did not help the markets. However, the spike up in Treasury interest rates can be very worrisome. So far this is just mild profit taking.

Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks

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