Monday, September 9, 2013

Markets rise for a fifth day

Dow jumped 140 (closing near the highs), advancers over decliners better than 3-1 & NAZ added 46.  The MLP index rose 5+ to the 439s & the REIT index was up 5+ to the 267s.  Junk bond funds were generally higher & Treasuries had a good day.  Oil slid lower & gold was flat.

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....109.49 Down ...1.04  (0.9%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Americans cut back on using their credit cards in Jul for the 2nd straight month, while taking on more debt to buy cars & attend school.  The Federal Reserve says consumers increased their borrowing $10.4B in Jul from Jun to a record high of $2.85T.  That followed an $11.9B gain in Jun.  But a measure of borrowing that includes credit card debt fell $1.8B following an even larger $3.7B decline in Jun.  The category that includes auto loans & student loans increased $12.3B after an even larger $15.6B gain in Jun.  The reduction in credit card debt suggests that consumers remain cautious about accumulating high-interest debt which could hold back consumer spending (70% of economic activity).

US consumer borrowing rises $10.4 billion in July Associated Press

Dell logos are seen at its headquarters in Cyberjaya, outside Kuala Lumpur September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Photo:   Yahoo

Carl Icahn said he was bowing out of an effort to block founder Michael Dell's proposed buyout of Dell, determining "it would be almost impossible to win."  The move will likely put an end to a 6 month battle between Michael Dell & Silver Lake Partners.  In a letter to shareholders, Icahn cited a change in the record date for stockholders allowed to vote on the proposed takeover by Dell & Silver Lake, as well as a ruling that the gap period between the Sep 12 meeting & the annual meeting was legal.  Icahn, the 2nd-largest shareholder with an 8.9% stake, had wanted to nominate a slate of directors to replace several board members, arguing that they are not acting in shareholders' best interests in accepting the CEO's deal.  With Icahn's retreat, the odds are in favor of the CEO's deal being approved at the special meeting on Thurs.  The meeting had been postponed 3 times as Michael Dell & Silver Lake struggled to round up the needed votes or convince "no" votes to support the deal.  Icahn & Southeastern Asset Management have repeatedly argued that the $25B proposal by Michael Dell & Silver Lake  undervalues the company.  Michael Dell has said the company's shift from a computer maker to a provider of enterprise computing services is best done away from public scrutiny.  The stock was flat.

Icahn Gives Up Fight for Dell While Criticizing Founder’s Offer as Too Low

Dell (DELL)

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Microsoft, a Dow stock, is making its Xbox Music service available on Android & iOS devices to compete.  The $9.99-a-month Xbox Music Pass, which provides unlimited, advertising-free streaming, can be used for the first time on iPhones & devices running Android software, Scott Porter, principal program manager at XBox Music, said.  The expansion gives MSFT access to the biggest smartphone platforms as it guns for the leaders in digital music.  “Music needs to be something that freely connects between devices for users to be happy,” Porter said.  Windows users “spent time curating and discovering new music and we need to give them access wherever they are.”
Listeners can access Xbox Music on a smartphone, tablet, Xbox 360 or the coming Xbox One video game console, Porter added.  A free, ad-supported online version allows tracks to be shared with people who use an Apple (AAPL) PC.  New Xbox Music features will be introduced when MSFT starts selling Windows 8.1 in Oct, Porter said.  One such addition will be a Web Playlist tool that grabs all the music on a Web page to create a list of songs.  MSFT rose 50¢.

Microsoft Expands Xbox Music Service to Android, Apple Devices

Microsoft (MSFT)

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Not quite sure what's behind the buying.  But Dow is up almost 300 in 5 days while the big news was the possible bombing of Syria.  The politicos are back in DC & they will come to a decision about that this week.  Then it's back to mundane things, like funding gov spending for another year, raising the debt ceiling & last minute fine tuning for Obamacare.  Tomorrow AAPL has it iPhone announcement.  It's up 18 this month in anticipation of the product announcements.

Dow Jones Industrials

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