Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lower markets on threat of Russian sanctions

Dow dropped 70 closing at the low, decliners over advancers almost 3-2 & NAZ slid 2.  The MLP index fell 3+ to 519 & the REIT index was off 1+ to 307.  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries rose taking the yield on the 10 year Treasury to 2.46%.  Oil declined & gold is now back under 1300.

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Corning profit missed estimates as demand for Gorilla Glass, the hard cover glass used for smartphones & tablets, was weaker than the company expected.  Q2 EPS, excluding some items, of 37¢ fell short of the estimate by a penny.  But core net sales rose 28% to $2.58B, slightly ahead of the $2.53B estimate.  Weaker than expected demand for Gorilla Glass for tablets hurt sales.  The company lowered its forecast for cover glass shipments, now projected to rise 20% for the year, down from a prior projection of more than 24% growth.  “We just got that really wrong about what was happening in the tablet market, and we have adjusted down our forecast for that dramatically compared to our original expectations,” CFO Jim Flaws said.  “That is overwhelmingly the impact in the reduction of what we expected for growth for Gorilla this year.”  Specialty materials, including cover glass, make up about 15% of sales & Gorilla Glass is the highest-margin product the company sells.  GLW also said LCD glass price declines are moderating in Q3 & expected to return to 2013 levels.  The volume of glass sold rose more than the company anticipated because of retail TV sales in Europe & South America, likely bolstered by viewing of the World Cup.  The stock dropped 2.05.  If you would like to learn more about GLW, click on this link:

Corning Misses Analysts’ Profit Estimates on Weak Demand for Gorilla Glass

Corning (GLW)

The homeownership rate in the US fell to a 19-year low as rising prices & tight credit kept many first-time buyers out of the property market.  The share of Americans who own their own homes was 64.7% in Q2, down from 64.8% in Q1, according to the Census Bureau.  The rate matched the level in Q2 1995.  Housing has become less affordable & more difficult to finance for entry-level buyers, even as mortgage rates have held close to record lows.  First-time purchasers accounted for 28% of all sales of previously owned homes in Jun, compared with about 40% historically, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Home prices increased 9.3% in the 12 months through May.  The homeownership rate for all Americans peaked at 69.2% in Jun 2004 & plunged as the housing market crashed.

U.S. Homeownership Falls to 19-Year Low Amid Credit Crunch

Pfizer, a Dow stock, CEO Ian Read said failing to buy AstraZeneca (AZN hasn’t stopped him from looking far & wide for acquisitions.  “We continue to look at all types of business development regardless of size that we believe would add value to shareholders,” Read said after the company announced Q2 results.  A tax inversion, which would move New York-based the legal address abroad, helped drive the bid for AZN.  It’s a consideration in any large deal, given high US corp rates, Read said.  “Tax inversion is one part of the value equation.”  Investors are watching as patents end on older drugs & sales of newer products fail to offset the losses.  For example, Viagra, has mostly lost patent protection in Europe.  Earlier, PFE reported earnings that beat estimates.  Excluding certain items, Q2 EPS was 58¢, a penny better than the estimate.  Revenue declined 2% to $12.8B, with Viagra recording a 28% drop outside the US.  Revenue also beat estimates of $12.5B as demand for the company’s biggest products grew, partially offsetting its other losses.  Sales of the pain pill Lyrica, its top medicine last year, increased 16% to $1.32B.  Prevnar, a vaccine for pneumococcal diseases, grew 13% to $969M.  PFE is in the midst of a strategic & structural transformation as he is looking for a deal that would return the drugmaker to its status as the biggest in the world, possibly move its legal address abroad & lower its tax rate & eventually split into 2 or 3 separate companies.  The stock dropped 37¢.  If you would like to learn more about PFE, click on this link:

Pfizer CEO Still Hunting for Deals and Willing to Go Big

Pfizer (PFE)

The threat of more sanctions on Russia are unnerving the stock market.  It has a big, booming economy & that could affect the global economic recovery, although the euro zone would feel its effects in a larger way than the US.  Meanwhile, fighting in Gaza is continuing with no sign of ending soon.  That's stirrring up a lot of hatred, not good for economic activity anywhere.  But tomorrow, Janet will speak & the markets will pay attention to her every word.  GDP numbers for Q2 will also be released, before the market open tomorrow.
Dow Jones Industrials

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