Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Higher markets on earnings optimism

Dow was up 61, advancers ahead of decliners 2-1 & NAZ added 14.  The Financial Index pulled back 1 to the 228s, ahead of bank earnings announcements in the next few days.  The MLP index rose another 2+, needing just another 3 to reach a new record, & the REIT index rose 1 to the 273s (3 short of a multi year high).  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries found buying after recent selling.  Oil was even & gold lost a little ground.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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CLG13.NYM...Crude Oil Feb 13...93.15  ...0.00  (0.00%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

EU PresidentHerman Van Rompuy  said the euro-area economy is likely to resume growth this year after slipping into a recession in 2012.  "There are increasing signs that 2013 is likely to mark the end of the recession in the euro area, but unemployment levels across the union are unacceptably high,” Van Rompuy said.  “As growth returns, it also takes time before perceptible effects on employment start kicking in.”  Economic confidence in the euro area rose to a 5-month high in Dec, the EC said yesterday  But European leaders are tackling the sovereign- debt crisi & the unemployment rate is at a record 11.8% & the euro-area economy is estimated to have contracted for a 3rd straight qtr in Q4.  Last year “marked a turning point in the crisis: the euro zone is no longer in ‘existential threat’ mode,” Van Rompuy said. “The gloomiest of expectations are slowly fading, and the integrity of our monetary union is no longer called into question, whether by the media or the markets.”  Van Rompuy said European leaders “have made clear their commitment to step in when necessary, to help countries under market pressure withstand short-term shocks while they carry out much-needed reforms.”  He pointed to “steadily decreasing” budget deficits and borrowing costs “going down substantially in almost all euro-area countries” as positive indications.  Optimistic words from the top, no surprise.

Samsung, the world’s 2nd-largest semiconductor maker, showed off a speedier & more powerful processor, seeking a bigger stake of the surging smartphone market.  The company will begin selling a chip that has 8 processors built into the same piece of silicon, announced at CES in Las Vegas.  4 of the processors are designed to run fast when the device needs operating power & the rest are engineered to help conserve battery life.  Samsung is following announcements this week by other chipmakers, including Dow stock Intel (INTC), with new processors designed to make handheld devices more powerful.  The South Korea company is trying to build on its position as a supplier for the smartphone market & its own handset division by winning orders with a full range of integrated components including processors, memory chips & screens.  Nobody stands still in the technology world.

Samsung Debuts New Chip for Smartphones as Mobile Processor Race Heats Up

Merkel Economy Shows Neglect Amid Concern Over Sick Man’s Return

Photo:   Bloomberg

Angela Merkel's economic machine is beginning to show signs of neglect.  As the continent’s growth engine & self-appointed fiscal paragon orders budget cuts for its peers, policy makers are starting to warn that Germany is turning a blind eye to its own weaknesses.  The drive to rescue Europe has distracted her from signs of economic drift at home as labor costs rise at the fastest pace in a decade, erasing most of the progress made under predecessor.  The unemployment rate sank to the lowest since east & west were reunited in 1990 as companies helped Germany maintain its place as the world’s largest exporter after China.  The German economy is critical to a recovery for the euro zone region.  If it stumbles, euro zone recovery will also stumble.

Merkel Economy Shows Signs of Neglect Amid Concern Over Return to Sick Man

After beginning the year with a big gain, stocks have been treading water.   Ahead of the start of earnings season there has been a lack of significant news to drive the markets.  However, no news about progress in reaching a compromise to raise the debt ceiling, deal with federal budget cuts starting in a few weeks & then the possibility of shutting down the gov because of a lack of funding can be viewed as discouraging.  Actually, shutting down gov for awhile could bring out more stock buyers.  Dow needs another 300 to reach a new 4+ year high, but that seems far away for the moment.

Dow Jones Industrials

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