Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Higher markets led by energy stocks

Dow went up 48, advancers ahead of decliners 3-2 & NAZ rose 14.  The MLP index rose 1+ to the 442s while the REIT index lost 1+ to the 262s.  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries pulled back, taking the yield on the 10 year Treasury towards 2.8%.  Oil had another good day, closing near 110 while gold remained 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


CLV13.NYM...Crude Oil Oct 13....110.00 Up ...0.99 (0.9%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Photo:    Bloomberg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to pin the blame for the euro-region’s debt turmoil on her Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, saying he should never have let Greece into the single currency area.  Merkel, at a campaign rally, said the debt crisis that emerged in Greece in late 2009 & dominated her 2nd term had been “brewing for many years” going back to the euro’s inception.  “For example, Greece shouldn’t have been allowed into the euro” at the time of its admission in 2001, Merkel told supporters.  “Chancellor Schroeder accepted Greece in and weakened the Stability Pact and both decisions were fundamentally wrong, and one of the starting points for our current troubles.”  Merkel, by apportioning blame for the havoc caused across the 17-nation euro region on her SPD predecessor, may be seeking to deflect attacks on her crisis policy leveled by Peer Steinbrueck, her Social Democratic challenger in the Sep 22 federal elections.  While polls suggest voters approve of her crisis handling, Steinbrueck has ramped up his criticism in recent days that Merkel isn’t being straight over the full costs due to German taxpayers.  Their opposing positions will be tested on Sep 1 in Berlin during the only televised debate of the campaign.  Support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc was unchanged at 41%.  While her Free Democratic coalition partner dropped a percentage point to 5%, their combined tally of 46% should be enough for a rerun of the current coalition.  Steinbrueck’s SPD held at 22% & its Green party ally dropped two points to 11%.  The Left Party had 10%, up 2 points.

Merkel Blames SPD’s Schroeder for Greece’s Euro Entry

Williams-Sonoma, owner of its namesake, Pottery Barn & West Elm home-goods chains, posted Q2 profit that topped estimates as strength in the US housing market helped sales.  EPS advanced to 49¢ from 43¢ a year earlier.  The estimate called for 47¢.  It has been benefiting from the housing recovery.  Americans are rushing to buy homes & related goods now that house prices are climbing, including a 12% gain in Jun.  They’re also rushing to beat an expected rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve curtails economic-stimulus measures.  Revenue rose 12% to $982M, ahead of the $939M forecast.  EPS excluding some items in the current fiscal year will be as much as $2.79, the company said, up from a previously projected maximum of $2.77, but trailed the $2.81 estimate of analysts.  The stock lost 2.53 after a good run in the last year.

Williams-Sonoma Profit Tops Estimates

Williams-Sonoma (WSM)

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Apple Said to Plan First Tokyo Retail Store Opening Since 2005

Photo:   Bloomberg

Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo's upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as Mar, adding its first outlet in the city in years as Japan’s economy recovers.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by Feb.  The store would be its first opening in Tokyo in 8 years, according to the company’s website, which is advertising jobs for a new store in the city.  Prime Minister Abe has promised to loosen business regulations & increase government support to help the country’s industry as part of the “third arrow” plan, following fiscal & monetary stimulus.  The land costs about $164M & a completed store with AAPL as tenant could value the property at around ¥25B.  Earlier this year, the company moved its Tokyo headquarters to the Roppongi Hills complex from the Shinjuku neighborhood to take advantage of lower rents.  The stock rose 2.11.

Apple Said to Plan First Tokyo Retail Store Since 2005

Apple (AAPL)

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Oil is back where it was in early 2012, a plus for energy stocks.  That accounts for the bulk of the excitement in the markets.  Volume is light & markets will slow further over the next 2 days.  With many politicos away on holiday, the strike on Syria may postponed for some time & many question, what would be its purpose?  Aside from that, the big events next month will probably be the goings on in DC such as: raising the debt ceiling, funding gov spending for the next year & trying to figure out what's going on with Obamacare.

Dow Jones Industrials

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