Monday, May 11, 2015

Markets drift lower on Greek debt concerns

Dow tumbled 85, decliners over advancers 2-1 & NAZ went down 9.  The MLP index was off 3+ to 436 & the REIT index lost 4+ to 319.  Junk bond funds were mixed to lower & Treasuries fell.  Oil & gold fluctuated with little change.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLM15.NYM...Crude Oil Jun 15...59.19 Down ...0.20  (0.3%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Home prices climbed in 85% of US metropolitan areas in Q1 as low mortgage rates & the strongest labor market in almost 7 years spurred demand.  The median price of an existing single-family home rose from a year earlier in 148 of the 174 areas measured, according to the National Association of Realtors.  51 areas had price gains of 10% or more, compared with 24 regions Q4.  Prices declined in 25 areas.  The housing market is benefiting as employment returns to pre-crisis levels.  Contracts to buy homes rose in Mar to the highest level for the month since 2005.  The unemployment rate was 5.5% in Feb & Mar, a level the Federal Reserve defines as full employment, meaning anyone who wants a job has one.  The rate dropped to 5.4% in Apr.  Low borrowing costs are bolstering affordability for buyers.  The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.71% this year thru Apr, compared with 4.36% in the same period of 2014, according to Freddie Mac data, & for all of 2015, the rate probably will average 3.9%, down from 4.2% last year.  The number of markets with price gains in Q1 was little changed from the previous 3-month period.  The median price for an existing single-family home in Q1 was $205K, up 7.4% from Q1-2014.  Prices probably will gain 5.9% in 2015, compared with 5.7% in 2014.  Sales of existing homes this year probably will rise 6.8% to 5.3M after dropping about 3% in 2014.  That would be the most since 2013, the first year of the housing recovery.

Home Prices Increase in 85% of U.S. Cities, Realtors Say

Dish Network (DISH) lost 134K pay-TV subscribers in Q1 as the rate of cancellations increased, though the company's profit doubled from a year earlier.  It has struggled to boost its subscriber numbers amid what executives have said is a negative pay-TV industry, pressured by a weak economy & heavy promotions from competitors.  In part to offset losses, DISH rolled out a new online video-streaming service called Sling TV in the US, featuring a slimmed down subset of channels, culminating a 3-year effort to create an inexpensive streaming TV service to reach a younger generation of viewers.  At the end of Q1, the pay-TV service had 13.8M subscribers, down from 14.1M a year earlier.  Gross pay-TV additions were 554K, compared with 639K a year earlier.  The subscriber churn rate, or the rate at which people terminated service, was 1.65%, compared with 1.42% a year earlier.  The satellite broadband customer growth slowed to 14K net subscriber additions, down from 53K additions in the previous year's qtr.  Overall profit was $351M, compared with a year-earlier profit of $176M, & revenue grew to $3.7B from $3.6B a year earlier.  Analysts had projected revenue of $3.74B.  The stock lost 48¢.  If you would like to learn more about DISH, click on this link:

Dish Profit Doubles Though Subscriber Loss Continues

DISH Network (DISH)

If a small Frappuccino seems like too much of an indulgence, Starbucks is now selling a more petite version of the sugary coffee drink.  The coffee chain says it will start selling a "Mini Frappuccino" thru Jul 6.  The new size is just 10 ounces, compared with 12 ounces for the company's "tall" or small size.  Katie Seawell, senior VP of category brand management at SBUX, said the Mini Frappuccino helped lift overall store sales in the select regions where it was tested last year.  Without providing specifics, she said it attracted new customers & got existing customers to come back more frequently.  Calories in a Mini Frappuccino vary depending on the flavor.  For the regular coffee with no whipped cream, it'll have 120 calories & 24 grams of sugar.  That compares with 180 calories & 36 grams of sugar for a small (tall) & 240 calories & 50 grams of sugar for a medium (grande).  A large (venti) Frappuccino has 350 calories & 69 grams of sugar.  The "mini" should cost about 20-30¢ less than a small.  The stock fell 28¢.  If you would like to learn more about SBUX, click on this link:

Starbucks Thinks Small to Woo New Customers

Starbucks (SBUX)

There was little going on today which gave traders more time to think about the looming Greek debt disaster.  The bullish reaction to the jobs number on Fri was also forgotten, or maybe more analysis showed there was less to cheer about.  Dow is still above 18K (where it has been for months) & NAZ is back under 5K.

Dow Jones Industrials

3 Stocks You Should Own Right Now - Click Here!

No comments: