Monday, October 14, 2013

Markets edge higher as new DC talks begin

Dow rose 64, advancers over decliners 5-4 & NAZ went up 23.  The MLP index jumped 3 to the 446s while the REIT slid a fraction in the 274s.  Junk bond funds were mixed & oil went higher.  Gold advanced the most in a week as lawmakers struggled to reach an accord on raising the nation’s debt limit, increasing demand for the precious metal as a haven.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

stock chart

CLX13.NYM...Crude Oil Nov 13...102.27 Up ...0.25 (0.3%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters during a visit to Martha's Table, a kitchen which provides meals for the needy, in Washington October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Photo:   Yahoo

A meeting between the pres & congressional leaders to discuss progress toward a deal to re-open the gov & raise the debt ceiling has been postponed to give the Senate more time, the White House said.  Obama had been due to meet with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner & Nancy Pelosi at 3:00PM.  "The president's 3:00 p.m. meeting with the bipartisan leadership has been postponed to allow leaders in the Senate time to continue making important progress towards a solution that raises the debt limit and reopens the government," the White House said.  White House officials said the postponement should be seen as positive, but there was no indication that the meeting would be rescheduled for later on Mon.

Meeting to Give Senate More Time Reuters

Reid-McConnell Debt Talks Clouded by Past Stumbles on Agreements

Photo:   Bloomberg

The drive to avert a US default hinges on talks between 2 top Senate leaders who have a mixed record of brokering 11th-hour agreements & find themselves increasingly at partisan loggerheads.  Harry Reid, a Dem, & Rep Mitch McConnell continued talks today on a deal to reopen the gov & raise the debt ceiling before Fri.  Reid said the 2 are “closer” to an agreement though they haven’t reached one yet.  They negotiated a last-minute end to 2011’s debt-limit fight & helped revive the 2008 financial bailout after the House rejected it.  At times, however, others had to step in to complete the deal.  McConnell worked with VP Joe Biden to close a 2012 agreement that preserved most of the Bush-era tax cuts.  During a fight this year over presidential appointments, McConnell said Reid might well “be remembered as the worst leader of the Senate ever” if he changed long-standing Senate rules.  Reid didn’t.  “Both these guys know how to cut deals, but I don’t see it right now -- no,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to Reid.

Twitter added a feature to let marketers schedule their posts, as the company moves to make it easier for advertisers to use its products ahead of a more than $1B IPO.  The new tool works for both regular 140-character posts, "tweets", & ones that brands pay for to promote their message to a larger audience, the company said.  It will help companies schedule their content up to a year in advance, making it easier to plan advertising campaigns around a new product or holiday.  Twitter is trying to make it simpler for advertisers to use its platform, as ad agencies continue experimenting with the microblogging service.  The company said in its S-1 prospectus, made public earlier this month, that releasing new advertising products & features will be crucial to its ability to increase revenue & achieve profitability.  Twitter users who aren’t advertisers have long been able to schedule their free content using other applications.

Twitter Adds Feature for Marketers to Schedule Posts

Stocks fluctuated while they watch the goings on in DC.  As has been the case for the past month, Dow is taking all this uncertainty with a sense of calm.  Dow is only 400 below its record high reached last month, although yield sensitive securities are down 5-10% from their peaks.  The Federal Reserve is also watching the fiscal mess & the outcome.could affect its decision about tapering the bond buying program.  Stocks will probably rally when some sort a solution is announced.  But this is no way to run an almost $4T business & the unintended consequences can be negative.

Dow Jones Industrials

stock chart

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