Friday, November 30, 2012

Markets meander looking for direction from DC

Dow was up all of 3, decliners were slightly ahead of advancers & NAZ lost 1.  The Financial Index slipped a fraction to the 211s.  The MLP index inched up a fraction in the 397s & the REIT index gained 1 to the 250s.  Junk bond funds were mixed to lower & Treasuries were flattish.  Oil gained but has been stuck in the mid 80s for more than a month & gold lost ground, remaining above 1700.    

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLF13.NYM...Crude Oil Jan 13...88.86 ...Up 0.79 (0.9%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Microsoft Said to Speed Windows Upgrades to Compete With Google

Photo:   Bloomberg

Microsoft, a Dow stock, plans to overhaul how it develops the Windows operating system in a strategic shift aimed at keeping pace with nimbler rivals.  It aims to upgrade the software more frequently, about once a year, rather than every 2-3 years as it’s done in the past.  The company expects to unveil the first of these updates in 2013 after floundering as personal computers have lost ground to the smartphones & tablets.  US retail sales of PCs running Windows have declined 21%  since the company released the latest version of the operating system, Windows 8, according to NPD Group.  The decrease has been fueled by a 24% drop in sales of notebooks as many customers opt iPads or tablets.  The report compared sales from Oct 21 - Nov 17 of this year to the same period in 2011.  The stock was off 28¢.

Microsoft Said to Speed Windows Upgrades to Once a Year

Microsoft (MSFT)

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Eaton completed its acquisition of electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries, an Irish based electrical components maker in a cash & stock deal valued at about $11.5B.  With the acquisition, ETN is seeking to expand its reach in the global electrical power & distribution business.  For the previous year, the combined Cooper company posted pro forma revenue of $21.8B, Cooper said.  ETN expects the integration of the 2 companies to take 2-3, depending on business conditions.  ETN makes electrical & hydraulic components, systems & services.  It also makes aerospace fueling, hydraulic & pneumatic systems for commercial & military use as well as vehicle drivetrain & powertrain systems.  The stock slid 8¢.

Eaton completes $11.46B deal for Cooper Industries AP

Eaton (ETN)

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John Boehner

Photo:   Yahoo

John Boehner, House Speaker, said negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" are "almost nowhere."   hespoke after Reps disclosed that the administration was $1.6T (that's T as in trillion) in tax increases up front, as well as $50B in additional stimulus spending.  Boehner said the plan would be a "crippling blow" to an economy that is still struggling to find its footing.  "There's a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves," he continued.  "Right now, we're almost nowhere,"  Even so, he added, he was determined to continue working with the president.  

Boehner on Fiscal Cliff Talks: 'We're Almost Nowhere'  CNBC

This turned out to be another another lackluster day.  There was no exciting corp news & the euro powers took the day off.  Keep in mind, they are still trying to solve the ugly euro debt mess.  Nobody knows what lies ahead before there is some kind of settlement on the US budget mess.  And then there is a good chance both sides will be unhappy.  Meanwhile business execs have to make decisions about investing in next year's uncertain environment.  That is not the way to start a new year!

Dow Jones Industrials

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