S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX
The MLP index had one of its best days in awhile, up 4¾ to 323 while the REIT index rose 6½ to almost 209. Junk bond funds were generally higher, near their best levels of the year, while the VIX fell 2 to the 24s. The dollar weakened, taking the € up a penny to $1.28. Treasuries sold off. The yield on the 10 year Treasury bond rose 10 basis points to 2.57% (remaining at very lows levels).
Alerian MLP Index --- YTD
Dow Jones REIT Index --- YTD
VIX --- YTD
10-Year Treasury Yld Index --- YTD
Oil befitted from the euphoria in the stock markets. Gold held up well considering the selling in Treasury securities.
|CLV10.NYM||..Crude Oil Oct 10||..74.05 ||.. 2.13 |
|GCU10.CMX||..Gold Sep 10||..1,244.20 ||.. 4.10 |
*** Gold Super Cycle Link! ***
General Motors cars
Auto sales, once a bright spot in the economic recovery, grew fainter in Aug & the pain was widespread. Big car companies General Motors, Ford (F) & Toyota (TM) all saw sales slip. Smaller ones like Subaru suffered too, as did companies that appeal to the budget minded, such as Kia & Hyundai. Because buyers are nervous about the economy's health they stayed away from showrooms, a worrisome sign since Aug is typically a strong month. Industry sales could fall below 1M new vehicles when automakers finish reporting later this week, making it the worst Aug in 27 years. However, most automakers are making money at lower sales levels because they've cut production.
GM's Aug sales fell 7% from Jul & a sharper 25% from Aug 2009 (when sales were boosted by the Cash for Clunkers rebates). All 4 of GM's continuing brands saw sales drop from Jul with pricier Cadillac & Buick leading the way lower, down 15%. Ford saw sales slip 5% from Jul, while Toyota's fell 12%. Subaru sales fell 7.2%. Kia sales were off 8% & Hyundai sales were essentially flat. The recovery of auto sales from its depths last year has been uneven, as these figures point out.
GM, Ford Sales Slump as `Nervous' Buyers Stay Away
US auto sales - 1 year
Apple (AAPL) announced a smaller, cheaper version of its Apple TV device for streaming movies & television shows over the internet & into the living room. It also unveiled a new line of iPods, including a touch-screen Nano model. The tiny new Apple TV system will only let people rent, not buy, content. For first-run high-definition movies the day they will have to pay $4.99. High-definition TV show rentals will be 99¢. The price of the box is also being cut to $99, from $229. AAPL has been the darling of Wall Street, but has lost zest in recent months (shown in the chart below) even with the introduction of new products. Today the stock was up $7+, but at $250 it's little changed from mid Apr.
Apple Adds Social Features to ITunes, Unveils IPods
Apple --- YTD
Markets had a tremendous rally, but there was no follow thru in the PM. After the gains came in the first hour of trading, markets settled down & where they remained (closing essentially at their highs). The auto sales for Aug were sobering & will make more gains this week difficult. Fri is the big monthly jobs report for Aug & expectations are that dreary unemployment numbers will drone on.
Dow Jones Industrials --- YTD
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