Monday, March 9, 2015

Markets rise on the 6th anniversary of the recession low

Dow climbed 72, advancers over decliners 3-2 & NAZ added 4.  The MLP index rose a fraction to the 437s & the REIT index gained 2 to the 326s.  Junk bond funds did little & Treasuries rallied.  Oil was about even & gold crawled higher.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLJ15.NYM....Crude Oil Apr 15...49.51 Down ...0.10  (0.2%)

GCH15.CMX...Gold Mar 15....1,169.20 Up ...5.10 (0.4%)

3 Stocks You Should Own Right Now - Click Here!

Greece’s provisional agreement with creditors to avert a default started to crack as European officials said the country’s latest proposals fell far short of what was put forward 2 weeks ago & Greek ministers floated the prospect of a referendum if their reforms are rejected.  The measures Greece’s gov sent to euro-region finance ministers last Fri, including the idea of hiring non-professional tax collectors, is “far” from complete and the country probably won’t receive an aid disbursement this month, Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said yesterday.  “We definitely still have an immense path ahead of us,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.  “We obviously have the political goal to keep Greece in the euro area. But at the same time, there always are two sides to the coin: the solidarity of European partners on the one hand and the readiness to carry out reforms and commitments in one’s own country on the other.”  Greece’s anti-austerity gov has to present detailed proposals to European creditors or risk running out of cash as soon as this month.  The renewed tensions threaten to temper a rally in Greek bonds sparked by optimism over the provisional accord.  The gov said on the weekend that if the country’s creditors raise requests that aren’t acceptable to the gov, then the people of Greece may have to decide on how to break the deadlock.  Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also signaled the referendum option is being considered.

Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals

A strengthening US recovery is helping underpin China’s outlook as Asia’s biggest economy seeks to cut excess capacity & transition to reliance on domestic consumption rather than debt-fueled infrastructure spending.  China’s exports surged more than 48% in Feb from a year earlier, exceeding the forecast for a 14% jump, led by sales to the US & Europe.  While that number was skewed by distortions from the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, the combined figure with Jan still showed overseas sales rose 15%.  The gov is targeting a 6% gain in trade for 2015.  Strength in external demand may help Premier Li Keqiang achieve the economic growth target of about 7% for 2015 he announced last week.  Still, weaker import numbers reflected headwinds facing the world’s second-biggest economy  The trade surplus for Feb was $60.6B, above Jan's record of $60B, the customs administration said.  Exports to the U.S. in the first 2 months jumped 21% in yuan terms.  Shipments to Association of Southeast Asian Nations rose 38%. 

China’s February Exports Rise 48.9%

McDonald's, a Dow stock & Dividend Aristocrat, sales at established restaurants dropped for the 9th straight month, falling a steeper-than-expected 1.7% in Feb as sales in the US were hurt by "aggressive competitive activity."  Analysts had estimated a 0.7% fall & worldwide same-restaurant sales were expected to drop 0.3%.  The company has been losing market share in the US that are seen as offering fresher & higher quality products.  "Consumer needs and preferences have changed, and McDonald's current performance reflects the urgent need to evolve with today's consumers, reset strategic priorities and restore business momentum," the company said.  Feb same-restaurant sales were down 4.4% in Asia the Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA) business, which includes China.  Higher sales in China during their New Year were not enough to offset the declines from a food scandal last year in Japan.  While the decline in the entire region's sales was less than the 12.6% drop in Jan, it was steeper than the 3.1% decline expected for Feb.  Feb marked the last month of results under former CEO Don Thompson, who held the top post for 2½ years.  The stock went up 62¢.  If you would like to learn more about MCD, click on this link:

McDonald's Sales Fall More than Views

McDonald's (MCD)

Dow benefited from from the gain by MCD on disappointing sales news for Feb.  Buyers may be more considered with the change in command.  Meanwhile the Greek debt refinancing has to be considered shaky.  Apple (AAPL) is announcing the new iWatch in a few hours & Simon Property (SPG) is making a big acquisition. 

Dow Jones Industrials


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