Thursday, June 16, 2011

Markets edge higher on an improving outlook for Greek debt

Stocks are gaining, trying to push the Dow back over 12K.  Dow rose 80, advancers over decliners a mild 5-4 & NAZ was up 9.  Bank stocks are also rebounding.

S&P 500 Financials Sector Index

Value 199.72 One-Year Chart for S&P 500 Financials Sector Index GICS Level 1 (S5FINL:IND)
Change     1.86     (0.9%)

The MLP index was down a fraction in the 359s while the REIT index added 2+ to the 234s.  Junk bond funds were mixed to lower & Treasuries gained on the turmoil in Greece.  The yield on the 10 year Treasury bond fell to the lowest level in more than 6 months.  Oil & gold were little changed, influenced by Greek uncertainties & the jobless data.

JPMorgan Chase Capital XVI (AMJ)

stock chart

Treasury yields:

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U.S. 10-year


CLN11.NYM....Crude Oil Jul 11...94.77 ...Down 0.04  (0.04%

GCM11.CMX...Gold Jun 11.....1,522.00 ...Down 3.60  (0.2%)

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Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell 16,000 Last Week

Photo:    Bloomberg

Jobless claims declined 16K to 414K last week according to the Labor Dept, a little better than expectations of 420K.  The number continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped 21K 3.68M, the lowest since Apr.  Any improvement is welcome, but this only represents a bump on a long road.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell 16,000 Last Week

Photo:   Yahoo

The IMF will release crucial loans to save Greece from default despite a likely delay by the European Union in agreeing on a 2nd bailout.  Meanwhile Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was planning to reshuffle his cabinet & drive through a draconian austerity plan to meet EU/IMF terms.  With financial markets unnerved by a deteriorating political situation in Greece & a lack of agreement on a new rescue plan, a top EU official said he expected Greece will get the desperately needed aid in next month.  A senior IMF official said the IMF was deeply concerned by the latest turmoil in Athens but stood ready to help if the gov can win consent for its package of spending cuts, tax rises & state asset sell-offs.  The IMF had made the release of the €12B ($17B) aid due on Jun 29, conditional on euro zone states agreeing to meet Greece's funding needs for the next 12 months.  It is believed that a political pledge would be enough.  The drama plays on & the clouds remain dark.

Greece likely to get next loan but outlook is dark AP

Photo:   Yahoo

Kroger reported double-digit gains in Q1 revenue & net income, as KR drew more frequent shoppers with loyalty rewards while gas & grocery prices rose.  KR also raised full-year earnings guidance after the strong results.  EPS rose to 70¢ (beating expectations of 64¢), up 16% from 58¢ a year ago.  Revenue rose 11% to $27.5B.  Revenue at supermarkets open at least 5 qtrs, rose 4.6% (excluding fuel sales).  Strong sales were boosted by store gas stations, more new & frequent shoppers.  KR now expects EPS for 2011 of $1.85-$1.95, up from an earlier projection of $1.80-$1.92, & said it expects to be near the high end of the range. Analysts are expecting $1.92 on revenue of $87.6B.  KR also raised outlook for revenue at stores open at least 5 qtrs to 3.5-4.5% for the year, up from 3-4%.  "Our guidance for the year reflects the balance we strive to achieve across our business -- including strong identical sales growth and outstanding cost control, as well as increased earnings and earnings per share," said CEO David B. Dillon.  The stock was up 96¢.

Kroger 1Q profit, revenue jump; raises outlook AP

Kroger Company (The) (KR)

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The economic news was so-so, stocks are looking for an excuse to go up in an oversold market.  The gains today are not impressive with poor breadth.  MLPs keep struggling, trying to find their footing after last month's sell-off.  The Dow chart looks dreary.  Stock have seen a lot of selling in the last hour trading.  Watch for that today.. 

Dow Industrials (INDU)

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