Monday, May 4, 2015

Markets rise on hopes for earnings

Dow gained 46, advancers over decliners almost 3-2 & NAZ added 11.  The MLP index fell 2+ to 451 & the REIT index rose fractionally to the 322s.  Junk bond funds were lower & Treasuries retreated.  Oil slid back in the PM on weak China data & gold climbed higher, trying to go over 1200.

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CLM15.NYM....Crude Oil Jun 15....59.01 Down ...0.14  (0.2%)

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Cisco, a Dow stock, said CEO John Chambers will step down this summer as head of the networking giant, after 20 years in the post, & named longtime sales executive Chuck Robbins to succeed him.  This departure as CEO will end the tenure of one of Silicon Valley's best-known executives & one of its longest-serving CEOs who wasn't a founder of the company.  He built CSC into the world's largest provider of routers, switches & other equipment that provides vital plumbing for the internet & helped fuel the extraordinary growth of the web.  Chambers will become the executive chairman where he will support Robbins, work with the company's customers & take a leading role in helping countries digitize their operations.  Robbins joined the company in 1997 & was most recently the senior VP of world-wide operations, a position that put him in charge of sales & relations with corp partners that drives $48B in revenue.  CSCO said Robbins has helped drive a series of strategy decisions at the company & recently led moves such as the company's diversification into computer-security products.  The long-anticipated succession comes as the company has been cutting jobs & overhauling its flagship line of networking hardware in response to increasing competition, reduced purchasing by telecommunications carriers & lower demand in China.  Recent technology disruptions include a move to what the industry calls software-defined networking, a trend that reduces customers' reliance on specialized hardware to connect computers to each other and to the internet.  The stock rose 4¢.  If you would like would like to learn more about CSCO, click on this link:

Cisco Names Chuck Robbins as Next CEO

Cisco (CSCO)

Dow Chemical will cut more than1.5K jobs (as much as 3% of its global workforce) as part of a broader plan to reduce costs by $1B over 3 years.  The job cuts are being made as a result of its decision to sell a chunk of its century-old chlorine business to Olin (OLN) for $5B.  The chemical maker has been shedding its low-margin commodity businesses to focus on high-growth business such as packaging, electronics & agriculture.  It will also consolidate or close some manufacturing facilities, representing less than 1% of its net property value.  The company said it would record charges of about $330-$380M in Q2 for asset impairments, severance & other costs.  The cost-cuts are expected to be completed over the next 2 years & they would help the company save $300M in operating costs yearly.  The stock lost pennies.  If you would like would like to learn more about DOW, click on this link:

Dow Chemical to Slash Up to 3% Global Workforce

Dow Chemical (DOW)

Comcast posted better-than-expected Q1 profit, driven by strong growth in its high-speed internet & business services.  It increased the stock buyback program to $10B last qtr & said it would now earmark $6.75B for 2015, higher than the $4.25B it had previously set aside for the year.  Total revenue rose 2.6% to $17.9B & EPS rose to 81¢ from a year earlier.  EPS was 79¢ after excluding items such as investments & acquisition-related items, beating estimates of 74¢.  The company, which added video customers last qtr, lost 8K subscribers in Q1, compared to 24K additions a year earlier.  The number of high-speed internet customers rose 6.2% to 407K.  Revenue from the business was up about 11% to $3.04B.  Business services revenue was up 21.4% to $1.11B.  NBC Universal revenue fell 4% to $6.6B from a year earlier, when it benefited from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  The Universal theme park business, with its popular "Harry Potter" attraction in Florida, saw revenue rise 34% to $651M.  Advertising revenue at cable networks fell 5% to $851M amid a decline in ratings that has hit networks across the TV industry.  The NBC broadcast network's ad revenue dropped 16% to $1.54B.  Revenue at the film studio rose 7% from a year earlier to $1.45B, bolstered by its blockbuster "Fifty Shades of Grey" film.  The stock went up 37¢.  If you would like would like to learn more about CMCSA, click on this link:

Comcast Profit Beats Views in the First Quarter

Comcast (CMCSA)

Little happened today in the stock market.  More economic data is coming later this week highlighted by the jobs report on Fri.  Bulls are hoping it will come in the middle zone, good enough to show growth but not good enough to give the Fed courage to raise interest rates.  Meanwhile the Greek debt situation looks very bad.  Dow & NAZ finished above their important technical support levels but off the highs with a little selling in the last hour.

Dow Jones Industrials

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