Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Markets decline on growing Syrian tensions

Dow dropped 110, decliners over advancers 4-1 & NAZ fell 45.  The MLP index was off 1+ to 440 & the REIT index lost 1+ to the 263s.  Junk bond funds were fractionally lower & Treasuries rose on news from the MidEast.  Oil rose to a 5-week high on speculation that tension in Syria will disrupt MidEast supplies.  Gold climbed to the highest since Jun as political tension over Syria increased demand for the precious metal as a store of value.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

stock chart

Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLV13.NYM....Crude Oil Oct 13...108.56 Up .....2.64 (2.5%)

GCQ13.CMX...Gold Aug 13.......1,419.80 Up ...26.80 (1.9%)

Chemical-Attack Scientists Seek Evidence in Syrian Blood

Photo:   Bloomberg

Syria vowed defiance as Britain’s Parliament was recalled to discuss possible military action over a chemical attack near Damascus & Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said US forces are “ready to go.”  Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the gov won’t surrender & its defenses will “surprise” if there are military strikes by the US & its allies.  Prime Minister David Cameron announced that UK lawmakers will be summoned back from their summer recess 4 days early on Aug 29.  Hagel said that US has “assets in place” to fulfill whatever orders the president might give.  Cameron’s “view is that it’s important that when we see a crime of this sort, the use of chemical weapons against a regime’s own people, that there needs to be a response, & that response needs to come from the international community,” the premier’s spokesman told reporters, & no final decision on the nature of the response has been taken.  British armed forces are making contingency plans following the attack in the Ghouta area outside Damascus on Aug 21 that opposition groups say killed more than 1300.  The UK & US have said they are convinced chemical weapons were used & that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is responsible.  This situation has become very serious.

Syria Vows Defiance as U.K. Commons Recalled Over Attack

A customer shops at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Photo:    Yahoo

US consumer confidence rose in Aug as consumers' outlook for the future improved.  The Conference Board's index of consumer attitudes rose to 81.5 from 80.3 in Jul, beating expectations of 79.0.  The expectations index rose to 88.7 from an upwardly revised 86.0.  Consumers, however, were less optimistic about their current standing, with the present situation index slipping to 70.7 from a more than 5-year high of 73.6 in Jul.  Today’s report showed Americans expected more employment opportunities & income gains in the next 6 months.

Consumer Confidence Index in U.S. Increased to 81.5 in August

Amazon is introducing a feature that will let people shop for goods from within mobile applications.  Software developers will be able to create games, sports, weather & other apps that sell products from Amazon, either inside the app or by linking to the Web store.  While consumers could buy digital goods such as game features & magazines via in-app purchasing, AMZN has only previously tested the sale of physical products thru the same channel.  The new initiative gives AMZN more opportunities to sell merchandise while letting software developers earn a commission of up to 6 percent from the online retailer for any sales they generate.  “Imagine a developer of a nutrition and fitness app can now offer their customers the ability to purchase vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app, directly from Amazon,” Mike George, Amazon’s VP in charge of games, app store & cloud drive, said.  The stock fell 4.

Amazon Adds Ability to Buy Merchandise From Within Mobile Apps

Amazon (AMZN)

stock chart

This traditionally quiet week in the stock market is becoming exciting very quickly.  There is a game of brinksmanship being played with Syria & nobody knows where it go.  The consumer confidence data should have been a plus for the markets, but not today.  There is not much to do but watch what happens in the MidEast.  Egypt has been pushed on a back burner, but it represents another powder keg ready to explode at any time.

Dow Jones Industrials

stock chart

No comments: