Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Higher markets on durable goods orders and consumer confidence

Dow went up 69, advancers over decliners 2-1 & NAZ surged a big 51.  The MLP index slid a fraction to 491 (still near its record high) & the REIT index rose 2+ to just over 300.  Junk bond funds were mixed while Treasuries pulled back.  Oil declined from a 5-week high on speculation that US inventories are sufficient to meet increasing fuel demand & gold dropped as stocks rose.

Dow Jones Industrials

CLH15.NYM....Crude Oil Mar 15....95.93 Down ...0.42  (0.4%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

China's internet sales are surging as Alibaba Group  & rivals lure more of the 618M users to shop online, suggesting conventional retail-sales figures understate the strength of consumer demand.  Online retail sales, first reported by the statistics bureau in Apr, jumped 52% in the first 4 months of 2014 from a year earlier, compared with a 12% gain in the broader gauge that represented the weakest start to a year since 2004.  iReasearch Consulting sees annual growth of 20-30% in internet purchases over the next 3-4 years.  The data, a bright spot for an economy projected to grow this year at the weakest pace since 1990, also help to improve the reliability of Chinese consumption statistics that some are questioning.  The numbers underscore the shift in citizens’ spending habits as Alibaba, the world’s biggest online bazaar, prepares for a US IPO with an estimated market value of $168B.  IResearch measured a 40% increase last year to about 1.84T yuan ($295B) in online retail sales, including purchases on mobile devices.  China’s online shoppers reached 302M in 2013 & more than double that number were using the internet, according to China Internet Network Information Center figures.

China Online Spending Power Unmasked

Home prices in 20 US cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended in Mar as the housing market began to weaken at the start of 2014.  The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 12.4% from Mar 2013, the smallest 12-month gain since Jul, after rising 12.9% in the year ended in Feb.  Still-tight lending standards for some Americans & a rise in mortgage rates since mid-2013 have slowed demand, limiting the ability of sellers to keep asking even higher prices.  An increased availability of cheaper properties, faster job & income growth, & a sustained drop in borrowing costs this year would help draw more buyers into the market.  Today’s report also included quarterly figures for the market nationally.  Prices covering all of the US climbed 10.3% in Q1 from the same period in 2013, down from an 11.4% year-over-year gain in last year’s Q4, which was the biggest increase since Q1-2006.  Home prices adjusted for seasonal variations increased 1.2% in Mar from the prior month, exceeding the 0.7% estimate.  All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by a 21.2% increase in Las Vegas & a 20.9% in San Francisco.

Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rise at Slower Pace in March

Intel, a Dow stock, is teaming up with China's Fuzhou Rockchip on a new product for mobile devices.  The chipmakers signed an agreement to jointly offer a quad-core processor & integrated modem called Sofia, which will be available in the first half of 2015, INTC said.  Rockchip will market the chip to its Chinese customers & the US company isn’t investing in Rockchip or providing financial support.  INTCs partnership with Rockchip is an effort to jump-start its entry into the growing market for tablets in China, now dominated by smaller local companies including Rockchip & Allwinner Technology.  The agreement will produce chips designed for inexpensive tablets running the Android operating system.  Of the 88.3M tablet processors shipped in Q4, Rockchip sold 9M, according to market researcher IDC.  Allwinner accounted for 18.2M, more than 3 times what INTC, the world’s largest chipmaker, shipped in the same period.  INTC stock rose 42¢.  If you would like to learn more about INTC:
(Click here for a FREE analysis of INTC and be sure to notice the intermediate time frame

Intel Teams Up With China’s Rockchip on Chips for Tablets

Intel (INTC)

stock chart

Traders were feeling good today.  Economic data was favorable & caution on intl news was thrown to the wind.  The VIX, volatility index, is at a multi year low under 12 as investors do not know fear.  After struggling all year, Dow is finally up 100 YTD.  That's not saying much considering how many were painting another glorious year before the year started.  For the time being, the bulls are in command

Dow Jones Industrials

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