Monday, March 2, 2015

Dow vaults to a new record

Dow rose 155, advancers over decliners a mild 3-2 & NAZ added 44 (going over the magical ceiling of 5K).  The MLP index sank 6+ to the 441s, finding it tough to get above 450, & the REIT index climbed 1+ to the 337s.  Junk bond funds drifted lower & Treasuries retreated.  Oil bounced off earlier lows, finishing with a modest loss, & gold pulled back.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLJ15.NYM....Crude Oil Apr 15....49.57 Down ...0.19  (0.4%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Greece could need a 3rd bailout deal when its current program expires in Jun because markets may still not be prepared to lend to its gov, even with a euro-area credit line, European Commission VP Valdis Dombrovskis said.  Prime Minister Tsipras said his gov won’t need another bailout.  Greece has received pledges of €240B ($269B) in aid from its 2 rescue packages, & the gov must meet creditor demands to tap remaining funds.  Speculation over whether Greece would need a 3rd bailout has been swirling for a year or more.  German Finance Minister Schaeuble said in Aug 2013 that a new aid program would be needed to help Greece meet its debt obligations & estimates of the country’s needs have ranged from €12-50B.  The gov will have to meet the requirements of its current program in coming weeks, & then see what market conditions will dictate.  “Greece may need an additional arrangement after this program expires,” said Dombrovskis.  He said Tsipras faces different conditions from his predecessor, Antonis Samaras, & may not have the same range of options.  “With the previous government, we were discussing how Greece would move back to the market financing with the help of a precautionary arrangement or enhanced-conditions credit line,” Dombrovksis said.  “Now this scenario, however, seems less likely, given recent financial instability.”  Tsipras won time to sell his policy program to creditors, while trying to keep his party at home on board, when euro-area finance ministers signed off on a bailout extension last month.  Dombrovskis said Greece’s future aid needs are linked to its performance in the current review, which is due to wrap up in Apr. “If we see that the negotiations, as regards the completion of the current program, are moving forward successfully and actually Greece is sticking with its commitments and implementing the necessary reforms, I think it will also be easier to negotiate the next possible package,” Dombrovskis said.  “It also will be easier for Greece to return to market financing.”

Greece May Need Third Rescue, EU Says

Google plans to offer US mobile-phone services on a limited basis & said it will launch solar-powered planes in the coming months to bring wireless-Web access to unconnected areas elsewhere in the world.  “We’re working hard to create a backbone to provide connectivity,” Senior VP Sundar Pichai said.  Building on the success of its Android operating system, selling its own wireless service could enable GOOG to add mobile-device subscribers & make it easier to serve those users ads via smartphones & tablets.  GOOG also is working with mobile carriers to “push the boundaries” of data services in the US, Pichai said.  The initiative will be on a small scale, Pichai said, comparing it to GOOG's fiber broadband project.  He also said GOOG also is working on a service to compete with new payment platforms from Apple (AAPL) & Samsung.  The new Android Pay service will enable other companies to tap into the software platform to help make buying items simpler on smartphones & tablets.  The solar-plane project, called Project Titan, follows Project Loon, a system of high-altitude balloons that carry wireless antennas; & Project Link, another initiative to help bring internet connections to some of the 4B people globally who don’t have access.  “It’s the kind of approach we’ve always done at Google, enabling platforms to make a big difference in people’s lives,” Pichai said.  The is investing more in mobile software & services as consumers increasingly access the internet & digital features through wireless devices.  Android dominates the smartphone industry, with more than 75% of the market, according to researcher IDC.  The stock rose 12+.  If you would like to learn more about GOOG, click on this link:

Google Unveils Plan to Offer Wireless Services in the U.S.

Google (GOOG)

Hewlett-Packard agreed to acquire wireless-networking company Aruba Networks in a deal valued at roughly $2.7B, expanding it's capabilities in the mobile market.  HPQ is offering $24.67 a share, a 1% discount to Aruba Network's close on Fri, when the stock reached the highest level in nearly 2 years following a report about a possible deal.  Including cash & debt, the companies valued the deal at roughly $3B.  CEO Meg Whitman said the deal will combines Aruba's wireless mobility solutions with HPQ's switching portfolio, allowing the company to offer most secure networking solutions to help enterprises easily deploy next-generation mobile networks.  Aruba Networks reported revenue of $729M in fiscal 2014.  The combined operation will be led by Aruba CEO Dominic Orr & Chief Strategy & Tech Officer Keerti Melkote.  They will report to Antonio Neri, head of HPQ Enterprise Group.  Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal.  HPQ in Oct unveiled plans to separate its PC & printer businesses from its corp hardware & services operations, which has been billed as the growth engine.  The stock inched up pennies.  If you would like to learn more about HPQ, click on this link:

H-P to Buy Aruba Networks for $2.7B

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)

Stocks had another good day, with the highlight - NAZ.  It finally topped 5K, not seen in 15 years ago (in Mar).  Of course, this is a much different NAZ.  Dot com stocks have come & gone.  A good chunk of the advance is attributable to AAPL & to a lessor extent, GOOG.  The MLP chart is interesting.  After dropping 20% from its peak last year.  It has been trending sideways for 3 months & 1-2% daly swings have become common.  Weakness in the energy business is bleeding thru to MLPs.  MLPs can be expected to tread water for another year, at least.

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