Friday, June 27, 2014

Markets fluctuate as consumer confidence improves

Dow fell 22, advancers ahead of decliners 3-2 & NAZ went up 2.  The MLP index was off pennies from its record close in the 518s & the REIT index rose 1+ to the 302s.  Junk bond funds inched higher & Treasuries saw buying.  Oil & gold had little movement.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLQ14.NYM...Crude Oil Aug 14...106.08 Up ...0.24 (0.2%)

GCN14.CMX...Gold Jul 14..........1,317.20 Up ...0.80 (0.1%)

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Consumer sentiment improved in Jun as higher stock prices & an improving labor market helped bolster Americans views of the economy.  The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final sentiment index climbed to 82.5 from 81.9 in May.  The forecast called for an increase to 82 after a preliminary Jun reading of 81.2.  More employment opportunities, record stock prices & improved property values are giving consumers cause for enthusiastic attitudes, reducing the odds that consumers will retrench.  At the same time, Americans are paying more at gas pumps & grocery-store checkout lines, underscoring the need for bigger wage gains.  The Michigan sentiment survey’s index of current conditions, which measures Americans’ views of their personal finances, increased to 96.6 this month from 94.5 in May.  The preliminary reading was 95.4.  The gauge of expectations 6 months from now was little changed at 73.5 after 73.7 the prior month.  The initial reading was 72.2 for Jun.

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Increased in June From Month Earlier

Nike posted Q4 profit that topped estimates as running & basketball gear drove sales in North America.  EPS rose 78¢ cents a share from 73¢ a year ago.  The estimate was 75¢.  NKE is benefiting from consumers increasingly buying athletic apparel & gear for everyday wear, not just when working out or playing sports.  The trend has helped the company generate growth in mature markets such as North America, where sales gained 10% to $3.29B, topping the $3.13B estimate.  Orders for the NKE brand for delivery from Jun-Nov rose 12%, excluding the effects of foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations.  Analysts estimated an 11.7% gain.  Total sales rose 11% to $7.43B versus the $7.34B estimate.  Revenue in the Greater China division increased 3.5% to $702M, topping $666M estimate.  The company had been struggling to maintain growth in China, its 2nd-largest market, as shoppers there became choosier about which brands they buy.  Futures orders in the unit advanced 6%, more than double the 2.5% projection.  In Mar, NKE said sales would increase at a high single-digit percentage rate, with results hampered by a strong dollar that reduces the value of its intl sales.  But NKE said that currency reduced pretax income by $30M. The stock jumped 1.57.  If you would llike to learnn more about NKE,
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Nike Profit Tops Estimates as North American Sales Gain

Nike (NKE)

General Motors is betting on the latest installment of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to help jump-start Chevrolet sales in China.  The reboot of the movie franchise, which features battling robots that convert into cars & trucks, opening in China & the US, includes vehicles such as the Chevrolet Camaro sports car & Trax small sport-utility vehicle.  The 4th movie in the series gives GM, 2nd to Volkswagen in sales among foreign automakers in China, a marketing tool as it introduces 6 Chevrolets in the country this year.  The goal “is to use it as a springboard for launching new products,” Tim Mahoney, the global chief marketing officer for the Chevrolet brand, said.  The brand could use a boost in China.  Chevrolet last year failed to keep pace with the nation’s 16% growth for passenger vehicles, with sales rising 8.5% to 652K.  Transformers has melded the summer spectacle with US car culture in a way that has resonated in China, where its middle class has been fueling the world’s largest auto market.  Mahoney said he’s seen the effect of the movie on the streets of China, where more than 70% of Camaro sports cars are purchased in the same color as the character. In the US, it’s just 5%.  “The yellow is pretty well associated with Chevy and I think a lot of it, I can’t prove it, but I suspect a lot of it has to do with the role Bumblebee played,” he said.  GM plans to use Chevrolet to expand into China’s smaller cities & the country’s western region.  The stock was of a dime.  If you would like to learn more about GM,
Click here for a FREE analysis of GM and be sure to notice the intermediate time frame

GM Chases China Sales With Camaros Turning Transformer Robot

General Motors (GM)

Stocks are kind of on holiday with little going on again.  Dow is down a tad form where it was on Jun 6.  It set a new high last week but since then has been stumbling around, trying to crack the 17K ceiling.  The 2nd week of Jul brings the start of earnings season, but a lot could happen between now & then (especially on the intl front).

Dow Jones Industrials

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