Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Higher markets on DC budget confusion

Dow rose 62, advancers over decliners 5-2 & NAZ jumped 46, helped by a good day for Apple (AAPL).  The MLP index went up 4 to 451 & the REIT index rose 3+ to 272.  Junk bond  funds lost ground & Treasuries pulled back.  Oil continued weak from the AM posting & gold futures posted the biggest loss since Jul, dropping to a 7-week low, on bets that a US gov closure will be short-lived, damping demand for the metal as a haven.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLX13.NYM...Crude Oil Nov 13...101.88 Down ...0.45  (0.4%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Reps in the House are floating a plan to reopen some shuttered federal agencies by passing small, individual funding bills for them.  The plan, which would ease some of the pain of a gov shutdown that began this AM when spending authority expired, was presented to Reps at a meeting in the Capitol.  "Selective funding" measures could be as small as funding budgets for individual monuments, or to full gov departments such as the Veterans Administration.  This is how a Scotch Tape fix would work!

U.S. Republicans Float Plan to Fund to Some Government Agencies Reuters

  • President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, about the government shutdown. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a protracted dispute over Obama's signature health care law reached a boiling point, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Photo:   Yahoo

Obama labeled the shutdown as a "Republican shutdown."  He said by closing much of gov an out-of-control faction of House Republicans was putting the nation's fragile recovery at risk of an "economic shutdown."  "They've shut down the gov over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health care to millions of Americans," Obama said in a Rose Garden speech.  He called on lawmakers to pass a budget & end the shutdown, saying, "We're better than this."  On Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., portrayed the situation as the fault of stubborn Dem senators who refuse to consider the House's proposals for delaying "Obamacare."  "None of us want to be in a shutdown," Cantor told reporters.  "And we're here to say to the Senate Democrats, 'come and talk to us."  Meanwhile, the health care law itself remained unaffected as enrollment opened for millions shopping for medical insurance.

Obama hits GOP 'ideological crusade' in shutdown Associated Press

Walgreen Profit Rises 86% as Loyalty Card Program Boosts Sales

Photo:   Bloomberg

Walgreen, a Dividend Aristocrat, said fiscal Q4 profit rose 86% after its customer-loyalty card boosted sales.  EPS rose to 69¢ in Q4 from 39¢ a year earlier.  Excluding certain items, EPS was 73¢, matching the average estimate.  Sales rose 5.1% to $17.9B.  CEO Gregory Wasson has used data from loyalty-card holders’ purchases to improve the selection of merchandise in the front of the stores.  Sales at locations open at least 12 months advanced 4.6% as the average purchase size increased 3.6%.  But the number of customers slipped 1.9%.  The stock shot up 2.44 on the report.

Walgreen Profit Rises 86% as Loyalty Cards Boost Sales

Walgreen (WAG)

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Some of the buying in stocks today was based on the thinking that more bad economic news will give Big Ben courage to keep interest rates low.  That kind of thinking is worrisome.  Obama's speech put the blame of the fiscal mess entirely on a group of Reps (Tea Party people).  In his speech, Rep was used at least twice each minute & never once was it flattering.  Look for the Reps to come out fighting even harder.  This is far from the unity he has talked about in the past.  The US needs an increase in the debt ceiling right behind solving the budget mess (which seems far, far away).  Dow is still only 500 below the record high reached last month.  Hard to believe.  The pres is fighting mad after backing down from tough talk about striking Syria last month.

Dow Jones Industrials

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