Monday, June 15, 2015

Markets decline on Greek debt concerns and weak manufacturing data

Dow dropped 107 (off the AM lows), decliners over advancers 2-1 & NAZ fell 21.  The MLP index gained 5+ to the 421s & the REIT index went down 1+ to 310.  Junk bond funds were weak & Treasuries rose.  Oil back off to 60 & gold had a modest gain.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CL.NYM....Crude Oil Jul 15....59.61 Down ...0.35  (0.6%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

The Greek gov's only plan is to reach a deal with its intl creditors, according to a gov spokesman, after talks in Brussels between the 2 sides collapsed.  The breakdown in negotiations over the weekend has raised fears of a default on the country's debt & a possible exit from the currency bloc.  Euro officials insisted they want Greece to stay in the eurozone.  The European Commission's quick dismissal of what it called the gov's "vague and repetitive" latest proposals on Sun suggested that Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is placing all of his bets on appealing for better terms to German Chancellor Merkel & the 17 other eurozone leaders at a Brussels summit on Jun 25.  A spokesman said that the only deadline in negotiations is the day that a viable solution is found.  "We don't want to talk about a deadlock [in negotiations]," he said.  "Nobody can blame the Greek government that it came to the negotiations' table without the intention to reach a deal."  After a flurry of meetings aimed at mending Greece's moribund €245B ($275B) intl bailout, the Commission, which has been leading the negotiations, sent out a brief statement, saying the gap between the 2 sides over what spending cuts & other concessions Greece would have to make was still as high as €2B of budget revenues annually.

Greece Still Committed to Deal With Creditors

CVS & Target, a Dividend Aristocrat, announced today they have entered into an agreement for CVS to acquire TGT pharmacy & clinic businesses for about $1.9B.  As a part of the deal, CVS will acquire more than 1.6K pharmacies across 47 states & operate them thru a store-within-a-store format, branded as CVS/pharmacy.  A CVS/pharmacy will also be included in all new Target stores that offer pharmacy services.  In addition, nearly 80 TGT clinic locations will be rebranded as MinuteClinic, & CVS will open up to 20 new clinics in TGT stores within 3 years of the close of the transaction.  The new clinics will be part of CVS/minute clinic's plan to operate 1500 clinics by 2017.  CVS & TGT also plan to develop 5-10 small, flexible format stores over a 2-year period following the deal close, which will each be branded as TargetExpress & include a CVS/pharmacy.  CVX stock went up 36¢ & TGT stock rose 98¢.  If you would like to learn more about CVS, click on this link:

If you would like to learn more about TGT, click on this link:

CVS Hits Its Target With Pharmacy Deal

CVS Health (CVS)

Target (TGT)

New York state business conditions in Jun are contracting for the 2nd time in 3 months, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  Hiring, however, is picking up.  The Empire State's business conditions index unexpectedly dropped to -1.98 in Jun from 3.09 in May & -1.19 in Apr.  The forecast was for an increase to 5.4.  A reading above 0 indicates expansion.  The New York Fed report--while covering a small geographical area--runs counter to recent very upbeat data on the nationwide Q2 economy, including solid numbers on retail sales & employment.  The New York Fed said that the weak readings in its top-line factory index suggest "that activity has remained flat since April."  According to the New York Fed, demand has tapered off sharply.  The new orders index for state manufacturers declined to -2.12 in Jun from 3.85 in May.  Other readings, however, are not so bad.  The shipments index slowed slightly to 12.01 from 14.94 & NY state manufacturers are hiring more workers.  The employment index increased to 8.65 from 5.21 in May.  The workweek index jumped to 3.85 this month from -2.08 in May & -4.26 in Apr.  Pricing power remains elusive for state manufacturers, even as costs rise.  The prices-received index fell to 0.96 in Jun from 1.04 & the prices-paid index was little changed at 9.62 from 9.38 in May.  "The index for future general business conditions retreated in June, suggesting that optimism about future business conditions waned," the report said.  The general business conditions expectations index for the next 6 months eased to 25.84 from 29.81.  New orders expectations also slowed to 26.10 from 33.94.  The employee expectations fell again to 13.46 this month from 16.67 in May which was down from 22.34 in Apr.

N.Y. Fed Manufacturing Index Falls to -1.98 in June

The chaos from Europe is weighing down the markets.  Now they are throwing around another Greek debt deadline, Jun 25.  Don't expect anything to happen (other than a lot of hot air) until then.  Chances are great that deadline will be pushed back to Jun 30 in the final hour at a minimum.  In the meantime, US manufacturing data is drab indicating that Q2 may be another qtr showing less than robust growth.  With half the year over, it will be difficult for the US economy to show growth significantly above 2%.  Dow is in the red YTD.

Dow Jones Industrials

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