Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Markets fall on sluggish retail store sales

Dow dropped 94 (closing near the lows again), decliners over advancers 3-2 & NAZ fell 8.  The MLP index was off fractionally to 451 & the REIT index slipped a fraction to 263.  Junk bond funds crawled higher & Treasuries rose after recent selling.  Oil was up to a one-month high after TransCanada said it will begin operating the southern leg of its Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico in Jan.  Gold retreated to the lowest since Jul on speculation that the Federal Reserve will start slowing the pace of monetary stimulus on signs of an improving US economy.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

stock chart

Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLF14.NYM....Crude Oil Jan 14....95.89 Up ....2.07 (2.2%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Photo:   Yahoo

Despite the launch of the holiday shopping season, retail sales fell 2.8% last week.  Sales however, were up 2.5% over the year ago period, & most holiday shopping is still to be completed.  This is called a sluggish start to the holiday season.  Many retailers opened Thanksgiving & early on Black Friday or offered heavy discounts to entice shoppers.  "Consumers have completed 37% of their holiday gift buying, which means there is a lot left to do over the upcoming weeks, and the early performance typically is no bellwether of the season as a whole," said the International Council of Shopping Centers (ISCS) VP Michael Niemra.  For all Nov, ISCS projects that sales increased 3.5-4.5% compared to a year ago.

Retail sales fall despite holiday kickoff

U.S. Capitol Building

Photo:   Bloomberg

The budget negotiators may be near a deal to ease automatic spending cuts that congressional aides say could boost user fees rather than end corp tax breaks.  Negotiators are “down to the last few items,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of a 29-member committee aiming to reach an agreement by Dec 13 that sets federal spending levels for this year & next.  Both parties are “careful to say they don’t have a deal,” Cole said.  “It’s not the grand bargain but it’s a workable deal,” Cole said after a meeting of Reps.  “In this environment, that’s something to be proud of.”  Cole said the deal would probably cap spending at about $1T, instead of $967B, thru mandatory spending cuts (sequestration) & endorsed by House Rep.  Dems set a $1.058T cap in their plan.  But lawmakers from both parties doubt the possible budget deal would have the votes to pass Congress.  Dems have insisted that Reps agree to end at least some corp tax breaks to reach a deal while Reps probably will balk at a spending levels than exceeds a 2011 budget compromise.  Some of the ideas could help form the basis of a stopgap spending measure ahead of the Jan 15 expiration of gov funding.  Rep Steny Hoyer, #2 House Dem, said he opposes a spending plan favored by Reps that allows all of the scheduled automatic cuts to take effect in Jan.  These talks remain fluid, don't hold your breath.

Budget Negotiators Seen Near to Deal to Ease U.S. Cuts

Apple Store

Photo:   Bloomberg

Apple purchased data-analytics firm Topsy Labs, giving it new tools to spot trends as they emerge on Twitter’s (TWTR) social network.  The price is believed to be more than $200M.  The company’s service is used by companies to analyze consumer sentiment on TWTR, be it responses to TV shows or politics.  Topsy is one of a few partners that has real-time access to the messages that roll across the microblogging service, & can search through every tweet published since 2006.  Access to information about what is being discussed on TWTR can be integrated in any number of ways.  The underlying technology is often used to enhance existing services or for future products.  AAPL last year purchased fingerprint-security firm AuthenTec, whose technology was recently incorporated into the new iPhone 5s.  Purchases of navigation companies have been used to improve its mapping software.  AAPL stock shot up $15 after having a good run since Jul.

Apple (AAPL)

stock chart

It looks like there may some profit taking after the markets have had one of their best years in history.  Dow is still up a massive 2.8K (21%) YTD, hardly chump change by any standard!  Since the economic news behind the rise has been drab at best, credit has to be given to Big Ben who made money cheap & then began a massive bond buying program which looks like it will lumber on for some time.  Every time there is just a whisper about taper the bond purchases, the bulls panic & the markets sells off for a short while.  In meantime, retail sales (in traditional stores) look to be soggy as the important (& shortened) holiday season begins.  Then there is the budget battle in DC.  Those guys are trying to get something done, but both sides have dug in making compromise difficult to imagine.  On top of all that, the Obamacre debacle makes  matters worse for consumers & execs who are planning the new year.  There could be more profit taking in Dec.

Dow Jones Industrials

stock chart

I’m a huge fan of INO & from what I have seen so far, their service Marketclub!  This isn’t a stripped down version, everything in MarketClub is available t &o you.  I don’t want to give everything away, but you’ll have unlimited access to my favorite 3 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:


I’ll get you more info a little bit later, but I’d recommend you jump on this now.

No comments: