Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Markets pull back ahead of minutes from Fed meeting

Dow dropped 52, decliners over advancers 5-2 & NAZ lost 31.  The MLP index rose 1+ to the 511`s & the REIT index was flattish in the 318s.  Junk bond funds were mixed & Treasuries retreated.  Oil has a tiny rebound on hopes of production cuts by OPEC & gold drifted lower.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLK15.NYM...Crude Oil May 15...75.53 Up ....0.41 (0.6%)

GCX14.CMX...Gold Nov 14......1,194.00 Down ...2.70  (0.2%)

3 Stocks You Should Own Right Now - Click Here!

Housing Starts
Photo:    Bloomberg

Residential-construction permits in the U.S. climbed in Oct to a 6-year high, pointing to a pickup in homebuilding after activity cooled because of a slowdown in multifamily projects.  Groundbreakings for single-family homes, condominiums & apartments fell 2.8% to a 1.01M annualized rate following the Sep 1.04M pace, which was stronger than previously reported by the Commerce Dept.  Permits for future projects rose to the highest level since Jun 2008.  Construction began last month on the most single-family homes in a year, indicating a strengthening job market & cheaper borrowing costs are helping revive residential real estate.  However builders remain challenged by slow wage growth & tight credit, which have put homeownership out of reach for some Americans.  Work on single-family properties rose 4.2% to a 696K rate in Oct, the most since Nov 2013, from 668K a month earlier.  Construction of multifamily projects such as condominiums & apartments dropped 15% to an annual rate of 313K.  3 of 4 regions showed a decrease in groundbreaking last month, led by an 18.5% drop in the Midwest.

Permits Rise to Six-Year High as U.S. Housing Starts Decrease

Target, a Dividend Aristocrat, Q3 earnings beat estimates after US sales grew faster than the company expected & its money-losing expansion into Canada showed signs of improvement.  EPS amounted to 54¢, excluding some items, topping the prediction  of 47¢.  US comparable-store sales increased 1.2%, helped by online orders.  TGT had projected growth of as much as 1%.  The results signal that the company is rebounding under new CEO Brian Cornell.  He has been working to boost US traffic, repair the company’s botched expansion into Canada & regain shoppers’ trust after hackers stole millions of customers’ credit-card numbers last year.  Q3 net income rose more than 3% to 55¢ from 54¢ a year earlier.  Revenue climbed 2.8% to $17.7B.  EPS will be $1.13-$1.23 in Q4, excluding some costs, TGT said.  That compares with an estimate of $1.23.  “We’re encouraged by the improving trend we’ve seen in our U.S. business throughout the year, and our fourth-quarter plans are designed to sustain this momentum,” Cornell said.  “In Canada, we’ve made improvements to our operations, pricing and assortment in time for the holiday season, and we’re eager to measure how our guests respond.”  The stock jumped 3.39.  If you would like to learn more about TGT, click on this link:

Target Third-Quarter Profit Tops Analysts’ Estimates After Sales Recover

Target (TGT)

Staples said it can’t yet “reasonably” estimate the potential losses & expenses it will incur in connection with the possible credit-card data breach disclosed last month.  While the company said it believes the malware used in the intrusion has been identified & eliminated, the investigation is still in the early stages.  The retailer said its network-security insurance may help reduce any financial impact.  SPLS potential data theft is among a wave of breaches at prominent retailers.  The stock rose 1.22.  If you would like to learn more about SPLS, click on this link:

Staples Says It Can’t Yet Estimate Potential Losses From Breach

Staples (SPLS)

Stocks are taking a breather after an enormous run since mid Oct.  Actually Dow has only been crawling higher for more than a week.  This rally looks to be tired, especially without significant supporting economic data.  Janet's comments will drive the market in the PM & they can be expected to be more of what we've heard for years.

Dow Jones Industrials

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