Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Markets rise on hopes for Greece bailout II

Stocks started strong, sagged at midday & gained in the PM to finish at their highs.  Dow rose 128, advancers over decliners 3-1 & NAZ was up 38.  There was also late day buying in bank stocks, the Financial Index finished near its daily highs (but down about 7 in May). 


Value213.09One-Year Chart for S&P 500 FINANCIALS INDEX (S5FINL:IND)
Change    2.04     (1.0%)

The MLP was up a fraction in the 367s while the REIT index was up 4 to its 2011 highs at 350.  Junk bond funds were a little lower & Treasuries gained slightly, bringing the yield on the 10 year Treasury closer to 3%.  Oil had another good day & may be heading for its 2011 highs of 107 while there was profit taking in gold.


Value367.64One-Year Chart for ALERIAN MLP INDEX (AMZ:IND)
Change   0.46    (0.1%)

Treasury yields:

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U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLN11.NYM...Crude Oil Jul 11...102.63 ...Up 2.04  (2.0%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Photo:   Yahoo

Greece appears to have agreed a tax cut with its intl lenders to avoid a debt default.  But the opposition said this would still not win its support.  Intl lenders are demanding leading Greek political parties sign up to the latest austerity & reform drive to ensure that Greece keeps tackling its huge budget deficit for years to come, whoever's in power.  A German source said European Union, IMF & ECB inspectors had struck a deal with the Socialist gov on a VAT cut.  Greece's conservative opposition demanded tax cuts, including a 15% flat rate for corp tax, as the price for a deal with the gov, which the EU has insisted on as a condition for more funds.  The VAT deal has not been officially confirmed & the timing of any cut remained unclear.  "As the negotiations are not yet over, it would be inappropriate to reveal everything I know," a gov spokesman said. "We shouldn't create expectations that may not be fulfilled."  The drama plays on, but a final deal is still down the road.

Greece Moves on Austerity Deal, Opposition Wants More- Reuters

Intel, a Dow stock, is promoting a new type of thinner laptop called an ultrabook, to help the personal-computer industry fend off a challenge from the iPad from Apple & other tablets.  The new machines will be less than an inch thick, have days of battery life on standby, start up in just seconds & retail for less than $1K according to INTC Exec VP Sean Maloney.   INTC aims to convert 40% of consumer laptops to the new category by the end of 2012.“We want to find new ways to propel the PC forward,” Maloney said.  “With what has happened in the tablet space, there is a ‘hurry-up’ to the PC industry.”  The stock was up 30¢.

Intel to Challenge Apple’s IPad With ‘Ultrabook’

Intel Corporation (INTC)

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Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs

Photo:   Bloomberg

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote speech the Apple conference next Mon. The speech will feature new Mac software, Lion, & the next version of iPhone & iPad software.  The keynote will also feature an "iCloud" service, but AAPL didn't explain what the service will do.  AAPL rose 10.42 after trading flat for most of this year.  Just hearing that Steve Jobs is back brought most of the buyers today.

 Apple’s Jobs to Unveil ICloud, New Software

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

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The price for gas at the pump fell another 3¢ but has to be near its bottom with oil well over $100 & possibly headed higher.

National Unleaded Average
Current Avg.$3.780$3.923$4.049$4.012$3.231$4.251
Yesterday Avg.$3.785$3.929$4.055$4.016$3.244$4.269
Week Ago Avg. $3.828$3.972$4.099$4.049$3.281$4.317
Month Ago Avg. $3.943$4.081$4.209$4.153$3.326$4.377
Year Ago Avg. $2.732$2.901$3.005$3.004$2.199$2.894

Source:   AAA

Stocks finished the month on a positive note, however Dow still fell 240 in May.  Last May was worse, but the chart below shows Dow has been treading water for weeks.  The MLP index rebounded off the 350 lows, considered an important technical test, but has been in a rut around around 365 since then.  Bailout II for Greece is not a done deal yet, although the markets are treating it as if it were final.  Auto sales for May should be reported tomorrow & Fri is the big unemployment report.  Expectations are for an increase of 180K jobs while unemployment is stuck at its high levels.

Dow Industrials (INDU)

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