Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Markets fluctuate, awaiting news on extending Greek bailout

Dow fell all of 16, advancers & decliners were equal, & NAZ was off 5.  The MLP index was fractionally higher in the 431s & the REIT index lost 2+ to the 328s.  Junk bond funds were mixed to lower & Treasuries ran into selling.  Oil is back over 60 (see below) & gold inched higher.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLN15.NYM....Crude Oil Jul 15...60.69 Up ...0.49 (0.8%)

GCM15.CMX...Gold Jun 15.....1,192.80 Up ...4.50 (0.4%)

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Ford (F) May monthly sales declined 1% from the year-ago period.  Retail sales were down 2% during the period, while fleet sales remained flat.  "We continue to see strong consumer demand for our newest products, including Edge, F-150, Mustang, Transit Vans and Lincoln MKC," said Mark LaNeve, Ford VP, US Marketing, Sales & Service.  "Our all-new F-150 is still turning on dealer lots in 26 days against tight supply, and F-150 average transaction prices set a record in May, as customers continued buying a rich mix of high-series pickups."  Meanwhile, Chevy saw its best May sales since 2007 & its best month since Aug 2008. The automaker’s total sales jumped 3% from a year ago, while retail sales rose 7% from last month.  "Chevrolet has the hot hand in the pickup market thanks to our three-truck strategy," said Kurt McNeil, General Motors' (GM) US VP of Sales Operations.  "Our market share is growing and our strategy is to retain these customers with the best overall ownership experience."  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) US auto sales rose 4%, as continued strength in its Jeep brand helped propel its best May sales in a decade.  The growth came despite one less selling day compared with last May, which is expected to result in slight year-over-year declines for most major manufacturers.  Still, the US auto industry is on its way to delivering 17M new vehicles this year, not seen since 2001.  Overall, truck sales slipped 2% to 151K vehicles, while car sales jumped 27% to 51K vehicles.  Fiat Chrysler projected total industry sales in the US to be a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 17.9M units, while Edmunds.com forecast a rate of 17.4M units.

FCA, Chevy May Sales Rise, Ford Sales Fall

Greece & its creditors are exchanging documents on reforms that need to be implemented in exchange for more funds & talks are continuing at technical level because the 2 sides have not yet reached agreement, the European Commission said.  A new, comprehensive Greek plan of reforms was sent to the creditors late on yesterday:  A spokesperson said, "Many documents are being exchanged between the institutions and the Greek authorities to clarify how to implement the February 20 Eurogroup agreement. The fact that documents are being exchanged is already a good sign."  Technical talks continue, whatever that means.

Greece, Creditors Trade Documents to Reach Deal

Oil prices were higher as the dollar weakened & investors felt more confident that the OPEC would maintain its production goal at its Fri meeting.  OPEC sent oil prices plunging in Nov when it opted not to cut its production to raise prices.  The global crude market has become increasingly oversupplied since then, as oil output has risen around the world.  However, prices have climbed in recent weeks on optimism that the global glut of oil is due to shrink as companies pull back on new spending, even if OPEC stays the course on maximizing its own production.  The market consensus is that the oil cartel will maintain its production ceiling at 30M barrels a day, as producers like Saudi Arabia continue their strategy of defending their market share.  That strategy is working, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said on Mon.  He said that oil demand is picking up & the flow supply is slowing down, but he also acknowledged that there is still a problem of an oil surplus.

Saudi Oil Minister's Remarks Boost Oil Prices

Stocks are meandering, looking for direction.  The Greek debt mess is getting the most attention & that remains stuck in the mud.  At least Dow is managing to remain above 18K while NAZ is over 5K, both near record levels.

Dow Jones Industrials

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