Thursday, August 8, 2013

Markets crawl higher on mixed econmic data

Dow rose 27, advancers ahead of decliners 2-1 & NAZ added 15.  The MLP index slipped 2 to 445 & the REIT index was down pocket change in the 274s.  Junk bond funds edged higher & treasuries were mixed with modest buying in the 10 year Treasury.  Oil fell & gold had a good day, going back over 1300..

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

stock chart

Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLV13.NYMCrude Oil Oct 13102.81 Down 1.10 (1.1%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

<p> FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, McDonald's signs sprout from the restaurant's parking lot in New York. McDonald’s says a key sales figure edged up modestly in July, 2013, as the Dollar Menu and Big Macs in the U.S. helped offset declines in other parts of the world. The world’s biggest hamburger chain says global sales rose 0.7 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months. That included a 1.6 percent increase in the U.S., where it said “everyday value offerings,” breakfast and staples such as the Big Mac drove up results. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

Photo:   Yahoo

McDonald's, a Dow stock & Dividend Aristocrat, said a key sales figure edged up modestly in Jul, as a bigger push behind its Dollar Menu & Big Mac in the US helped offset declines in other parts of the world.  Global sales rose 0.7% at restaurants open at least 13 months, including a 1.6% increase in the US., where "everyday value offerings," breakfast & staples such as the Big Mac drove up results.  The company is trying to juggle a variety of challenges.  With people being careful about their spending, the chain has aggressively promoted its Dollar Menu & other deals to bring in customers.  To shake its fast-food image, it's also offering options people see as healthier or fresher such as chicken wraps & the option to substitute egg whites in breakfast sandwiches.  At the same time, the company is trying to remind people of longtime favorites & has been featuring its Big Mac in TV and online ads.  It also recently expanded its lineup of Quarter Pounders, saying it wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the burger.  Still, the company warned last month that it expected global sales to be relatively flat in Jul & that the rest of the year would be challenging.  For Jul, global sales were dragged down by a 1.9% decline in Europe & the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East & Africa.  Results were negative in Germany, France, Japan, Australia & China.  CEO Don Thompson said the company is working on adjusting to local conditions, whether it's by emphasizing deals more or extending the hours of operation.  The stock was down all of 2 bits.

McDonald’s July Sales Top Estimates as New Items Lure Americans

McDonald's (MCD)

stock chart

U.S. Jobless Claims Fell Over Past Month

Photo:   Bloomberg

Prices for single-family homes climbed in 87% of US cities in the Q2 as the national housing recovery accelerated amid competition for a limited number of properties on the market.  The median transaction price rose from a year earlier in 142 of 163 metropolitan areas, as measured by the National Association of Realtors.  A year earlier, 75% of regions had gains.  Values are increasing as homebuyers, encouraged by improving employment, compete for a tight supply of listed properties.  At the end of  Q2, 2.19M previously owned homes were available for sale, 7.6% fewer than a year earlier.  “There continue to be more buyers than sellers, and that is placing pressure on home prices, with multiple bids common in some areas of the country,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said.  The median price for an existing single-family home was $203K nationally in Q2, up 12% from a year earlier.  That was the biggest gain since Q4 2005.  The housing recovery is strengthening amid a drop in the unemployment rate, which fell to 7.4% in Jul from 7.6% the previous month, according to Labor Dept.  But rising borrowing costs may hurt future demand.  Mortgage rates for 30-year loans have climbed from a near-record low of 3.35% in early May, rising to 4.4%, according to Freddie Mac.

China July Exports and Imports Exceed Estimates, Surplus Trails

Photo:   Bloomberg

China’s exports & imports rebounded by more than estimated last month, adding to signs that the economy is stabilizing following a 2-qtr slowdown.  Shipments abroad rose 5.1% from a year earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs beating the estimate for a 2% increase, after a 3.1% drop in Jun.  Imports gained 10.9%, leaving a trade surplus of $17.8B.  Exports to the US & EU, China’s biggest markets, increased for the first time in 5 months.  Improved trade may bolster China's chances of achieving the year’s 7.5% target for expansion, after official manufacturing & service-industry indexes rose in Jul.  The volume of crude imports rose to a record high as Sinopec, the country’s largest refiner, cut maintenance plans by 40% in Q3.  Oil’s $19.4B accounted for 11.5% of total imports, compared with 11.1% in Jun.  China also imported 74 aircraft in Jul, up from 58 a year earlier.  Trade data had shown a slowdown starting in May after the gov cracked down on fake invoices that inflated figures earlier in the year.

China Trade Rebounds in Further Sign Economy Stabilizing

Stocks continued stumbling around looking for direction.  US data is generally favorable, but lacks oomph that should come after a severe recession.  The rest of Aug may be quiet in the markets with many players away on holiday & DC pretty much closed.  When DC reopens after Labor Day, deeply divided politicos will face major challenging issues (funding the gov & raising the debt ceiling).  Sep is the worst month for the stock market & it may live up to its reputation this year.

Dow Jones Industrials

stock chart

Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of INO, and from what I have seen so far, their service Marketclub!  This isn’t a stripped down version, everything in MarketClub is available to you. I don’t want to give everything away, but you’ll have unlimited access to my favorite three tools: Trade Triangles, Smart Scan, and Alerts!  The best part is that the MarketClub customer support team will be providing UNLIMITED support!  You can call or email for an instant response to any question, comment or concern.

Here’s that link:

No comments: