Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dow reaches a new high for no good reason

Dow gained 79, advancers ahead of decliners 2-1 & NAZ added 26.  The MLP index was off 1 to the 459s & the REIT index rose 1+ to over 310, another multi year high.  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries were a little higher.  Oil & gold were flattish.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLM13.NYM...Crude Oil Jun 13...94.89 Down  ...0.28  (0.3%)

GCK13.CMX...Gold May 13...1,425.90 Down .....8.60  (0.6%)

U.S. President Barack Obama

Photo:   Bloomberg

The pres told a crowd of supporters that Rep “hyper-partisanship” is to blame for holding up his 2nd-term agenda.  Speaking to a group of Dem donors in NYC, Obama pledged to find ways to work across the aisle, even as he faulted Reps for creating gridlock in DC.  “My thinking was after we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever,” he told donors.  “It’s not quite broken yet, but I am persistent and I am staying at it.”  Obama called accusations that the White House sought to cover up a terrorist link to the Benghazi attack a “sideshow” that “defies logic.”  This is his idea of how to solve problems, blame the Reps for everything & they will fall into line.  The last few weeks have not been good for the White House.  More importantly, the fiscal debt mess continues.

EU govs want to shift the cost of rescuing troubled banks from taxpayers to the banks' creditors, including the holders of large deposits as a last resort.  The finance ministers from the 27-nation bloc met to hammer out the new rules on how to fund bank rescues as part of their wider project to set up a banking union.  The union is key to their plans to strengthen the financial sector avoid a repeat of the crisis.  "This is at the moment the biggest project for Europe," said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.  "It's absolutely important to get it right."  The bloc should move swiftly and get all elements of the banking union running by 2015, well before the initial deadline of 2018, added Dijsselbloem.  The ministers said holders of deposits of over €100K ($130K), the EU's deposit insurance ceiling, could be asked to suffer losses.  They said, however, that depositors would only be asked to take losses as a last resort & that there could be exceptions.  All deposits below €100K must & will be "sacrosanct," insisted EU Commissioner Michel Barnier.

EU to shift bill for bank failures to creditors AP

<p> A state school teacher shouts slogans, in front of a banner that reads "No to The Civil Mobilization" during a peaceful protest in central Athens on Monday, May 13, 2013. Greece's conservative-led government has issued a civil mobilization order forcing state school teachers to work during university entrance exams later in May. Teachers' unions had been planning strikes during the exams, to protest planned increases in working hours and involuntary staff transfers _ as part of the financially-distressed country's austerity and reform program. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

Photo:   Yahoo

Greece saw the interest rate it has to pay to get investors fall further after its European creditors backed the release of the country's next batch of rescue loans.  The Public Debt Management Agency said it raised €1.3B ($1.7B) from the sale of 13-week loans at an interest rate of 4.02%, that's the lowest rate since Apr 2011 & the 2nd lowest in 28 equivalent auctions that started that year.  Finance ministers from the EU approved the release of €7½B ($10B) in loans to Greece, to be paid out in May & Jun.  They cited "further substantial progress" in Greece's deficit-reduction program. With unemployment up to a record high above 27%, public servants' unions held a 24-hour strike, protesting gov plans to use emergency powers & force state school teachers to call off a strike timed to coincide with annual school-leaving exams.  But the protest failed to make any visible impact on gov run services & was criticized as a token gesture of solidarity by teaching unions which refused to join the walkout.

Greece sells debt cheaper as loan gets disbursed AP

Stock buyers keep coming out.  Maybe they are encouraged by Obama's speech last night.  As politics overwhelms DC, less time is spent meddling with the economy.  That's sort of good although budget cuts & higher taxes on just about everybody continue.  The popular averages keep rising as if they don't have a care in the world.  My portfolio likes higher numbers, but I keep wondering how long this up market will last.  Dow is up more than 2K YTD, a staggering gain! 

Dow Jones Industrials

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