S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX
The MLP index fell 1½ while the REIT index gained 1½. Junk bond funds inched higher as did Treasuries.
Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks
Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks
10-Year Treasury Yield Index --- 2 weeks
Oil fell to its lowest level in almost * weeks on signals that the economies of the US & UK U.K. are struggling to recover. Gold hit its lowest level since Oct (100 below the recent record) as traders dumped the metal forcing gold to test a key support level.
|CLH11.NYM||...Crude Oil Mar 11||86.72 ||.... 1.18||(1.3%)|
|GCF11.CMX||...Gold Jan 11||....1,326.90 ||... 17.60||(1.3%)|
Gold Super Cycle Link! Click Here
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased to 60.6 from 53.3 in the prior month & above the estimate of 54. Growing optimism, an improving labor market & tax relief may combine to help spur consumer spending. But at the same time, the absence of a sustained housing rebound & unemployment above 9% are among reasons the Federal Reserve may announce tomorrow it will stick to a plan for more stimulus. The share of Americans who said jobs were plentiful rose to the highest level since May 2009, while those expecting an increase in incomes climbed to an 8 month high.
Consumer Confidence in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast
DuPont (DD), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) & Verizon (VZ), all Dow stocks, reported earnings. Kimberley Clark (KMB), a Dividend Aristocrat (like JNJ), also reported & shot up $2 on a good report. DD posted Q4 that beat estimates as paint-pigment & solar-materials jumped & taxes plunged & raised its 2011 profit forecast. Net income fell 15% resulting in EPS of 40¢. Profit was 50¢ after excluding gains related to tax accruals & restructuring & costs for a licensing accord & debt refinancing. That topped the 31¢ average estimate. DD said EPS this year will rise to $3.45-3.75, compared with its Dec forecast of $3.30-3.60 according to CFO Nicholas Fanandakis. JNJ reported a 12% decline in Q4 earnings & issued a forecast for 2011 that fell short of expectations. It posted back-to-back years of sales declines, the first time since it went public in 1944. J&J had previously posted 3 consecutive years of sales declines in the early 1930s. VZ, 2nd-largest US phone company, forecast revenue growth this year that topped estimates, as it sells more smartphones including the iPhone. The company will increase revenue 4-8% this year, according to Fran Shammo, CFO (beating estimates of 2%). KMB reported flat Q4 net income & unveiled restructuring plans to deal with rising costs tied to its pulp & tissue business. In addition, it raised its dividend 6% & expects to buy back $1.5B in shares during 2011. It predicts 2011 adjusted EPS of $4.95.05 per share, excluding costs related to the restructuring. JNJ fell $1.25, but the other 3 stocks are doing well.
DuPont --- 1 Year
Johnson & Johnson --- 1 Year
Verizon --- 1 Year
Kimberley-Clark --- 1 Year
After starting lower, stocks are making a comeback. If the bulls regain control, they will take the Dow above the magical ceiling of 12K.
Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks
Find out what's inside Trend TV
Get your favorite symbols' Trend Analysis TODAY!