Friday, December 27, 2013

Markets fluctuate ahead of the weekend

Dow slid 13, decliners over advancers 3-2 & NAZ fell 9.  The MLP index was up 1 to the 454s & the REIT index slipped 1+ to the 264s.  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries drifter lower with the yield on the 10 year Treasury at 3%.  Oil topped $100 for the first time in 2 months before a gov report that may show US supplies dropped for a 4th week.  Gold gained for a 3rd straight session, heading for the longest rally since Aug, as a weaker dollar increased demand for the precious 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


CLG14.NYM...Crude Oil Feb 14...100.17 Up ...0.62 (0.6%)

GCF14.CMX...Gold Jan 14.........1,214.10 Up ..1.90 (0.2%)

Apple is again seeking to ban sales in the US of Samsung products that were at issue in the companies’ first patent trial in California & are now no longer on the market.  The iPhone-maker asked a US District Judge to bar sales of more than 20 smartphones & tablets, such as the Galaxy S 4G & Galaxy Tab 10.1, that a jury last year found to infringe AAPL patents.  While the judge rejected the bid for a sales ban on the infringing Samsung devices after the 2012 verdict, a federal appeals court in Nov cleared the way for the iPhone maker to pursue an injunction targeting some of its rival’s products.  “Samsung’s claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple’s patents in no way diminishes Apple’s need for injunctive relief,” AAPL argued.  “Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing AAPL the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung thru products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe.  ”The US Cort of Appe3als in Washington said that AAPL could tailor its request to focus on infringement of patents covering smartphone features, such as multitouch technology, that were at issue in the 2012 trial.  The company can’t block Samsung products for infringing patented designs, according to the opinion.  AAPL lost 2 today.

Apple Renews Request With Judge for Sales Ban on Older Samsung Products

Apple (AAPL)

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Chinese mobile phone makers asked regulators to make sure Microsoft's, a Dow stock,  €5.44B ($7.5B) bid to take over Nokia’s handset business doesn’t result in higher patent fees on wireless technology.  Huawei Technologies & ZTE asked China’s Ministry of Commerce to set conditions on the deal making sure MSFT doesn’t raise patent licensing fees afterward.  The ministry is conducting an anti-monopoly review of the deal.  MSFT & Nokia announced the planned transaction in Sep as the 2 seek to join forces in the smart-phone market where both have failed to gain traction amid the dominance of the iPhone, & devices running Android.  MSFT won EU approval for the bid early in Dec while regulators said they would monitor Nokia’s licensing practices.  The European Commission “will remain vigilant and closely monitor Nokia’s post-merger licensing practices under EU antitrust rules,” the commission said .  While Samsung & AAPL dominate global smartphone shipments, Chinese vendors make up 4 of the top 7 producers worldwide, market researcher IDC reported.  Samsung had a 31% share in Q3, while AAPL accounted for 13%, according to IDC.  Huawei ranked 3rd with 4.8% & Lenovo was fourth with 4.7%.  MSFT was up pennies.

Microsoft’s Nokia Deal Said to Face China Limits on Patent Licensing Fees

Microsoft (MSFT)

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Stocks have little to do with many traders away at home, waiting for their holiday packages to arrive.  But the yield on the 10 year Treasury is significant because it will bring higher rates on mortgages next month.  Those rates will be below levels in the past, but home buyers have become used to even lower rates, so it could inhibit home buying.  Dow is still up an eye popping 3.2K YTD.

Dow Jones Industrials

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