Wednesday, August 19, 2015

$winging Stock Market

Related: A Big Hole in the Globe's Coverage of China

Good thing the U.S. economy is on track:

Nasdaq logs best week in nearly nine months as Google jumps

Did you see who got even richer?

"Investors have been second-guessing the strength of company results this week and they found more reasons to do so on Thursday. Disappointing earnings and outlooks from several big companies, including American Express, Caterpillar, and 3M, helped drag US stocks lower for a third day in a row. The losing streak has nudged the Dow Jones industrial average into negative territory for the year. While companies have mostly reported better-than-anticipated profits since the start of the month, many have fallen short when it comes to revenue. 

That's the key. If less money is coming in....

Others have issued cautious outlooks. What investors need in order to push stocks higher again is ‘‘true revenue growth from the corporate sector, which we just haven’t seen,’’ said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab & Co. Amazon bucked the trend, jumping 17 percent in after-hours trading following better-than-expected earnings. Bond prices rose as investors shifted money from stocks into bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.27 percent. A slide in the price of oil deepened on concerns that global crude supplies continue to outpace demand."

They are no longer part of the herd?

"The US stock market capped a four-day losing streak with its biggest drop of the week. Disappointing quarterly results and outlooks from several companies pulled the major stock indexes sharply lower on Friday. New signs pointing to a slowing of China’s economy also added to investor jitters, bringing down the price of oil and other commodities. While corporate profits have mostly exceeded Wall Street’s expectations so far this earnings season, investors have grown uneasy as many companies provided cautious outlooks or weak sales. ‘‘The revenue numbers have been very shaky,’’ said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist. ‘‘After next week, we’ll have a much better picture overall how the earnings season was. But right now, that’s the theme that I’m seeing, and it’s not a healthy one.’’


State Street profit down 35 percent as legal costs rise

Visa surges after saying it may reunite with Visa Europe

I didn't LinkIn to Twitter (meaning I didn't read them). 

Ford’s profits surge 44 percent

So much for all the recall problems.

Strong earnings help lift stocks

"Stocks rose after Federal Reserve policy makers voted to keep interest rates unchanged and gave no indication a rate hike was imminent. The Fed signaled it wants to see further economic gains and higher inflation before raising rates. A modest rebound in Chinese stocks also helped push the US market higher. A strong batch of corporate earnings also helped. Northrop Grumman led defense companies higher after it posted a stronger-than-expected profit and raised its outlook. The price of oil rose."


"Lockheed Martin Corp. has agreed to buy United Technologies Corp.’s Sikorsky unit, adding the largest maker of military helicopters to a lineup that includes warplanes and missiles, a person familiar with the talks said. The deal is to be announced Monday, said the person, who asked not to be identified. Sikorsky had sales of about $7.45 billion last year. Reuters reported the price will exceed $8 billion. With a deal, Lockheed would extend its status as the world’s largest defense contractor and widen its lead over Boeing Co. in the United States. It would be the biggest aerospace acquisition since 2012, when United Technologies bought Goodrich Corp. for more than $16 billion, according to Bloomberg data. The companies declined to comment. Selling Sikorsky would let UT focus on divisions making jet engines, air conditioners, and elevators while exiting the business of supplying rotary-wing aircraft to US and foreign armed forces."

"United Technologies Corp says the Justice Department has launched a criminal probe into allegations that subsidiary helicopter maker Sikorsky and two subsidiaries overbilled the Navy on a contract. The aerospace and building systems conglomerate said in a regulatory filing Friday that Sikorsky and its subsidiaries will cooperate fully. United Technologies says the federal government filed a complaint last October in US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin that Sikorsky and subsidiaries, Derco Aerospace and Sikorsky Support Services Inc., violated the False Claims Act in connection with the 2006 Navy contract. The government says accuses Derco of adding profit and overhead costs to the price of spare parts. United Technologies announced Monday the sale of Sikorsky for $9 billion to Lockheed Martin."

They also stole your Social Security money, and if that is the kind of workmanship that seems to be a standard bu$ine$$ practice.... stay out of the chopper.

"Lockheed Martin will spend $9 billion to acquire the maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft, from United Technologies Corp. The conglomerate wants to focus on high-technology systems and services for the aerospace and building industries. Sikorsky also makes the presidential helicopters; its craft have also returned astronauts home after they have splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at the end of their space travels. UT will use the sale’s proceeds to buy back stock."

Oh, that should really help!

Related: Raytheon Stock Rising

Seems like "defen$e" companies always fly high.

Back to the $tock $wings:

"The economy still faces an array of threats, from subpar US manufacturing output and business investment to troubles in Europe and Asia, and while the unemployment rate is nearly normal, other gauges of the job market remain less than healthy. Pay growth remains generally sluggish, for example, and many people are working part time because they can’t find full-time jobs. The Fed is closer to achieving its main goal: maximizing employment. The unemployment rate is at a seven-year low, and over the past three months, US hiring has averaged a robust 221,000 a month. There’s also some concern that prolonged ultra-low rates may have begun to inflate dangerous bubbles in stocks, bonds, or other assets. Policy makers [need] to see how forthcoming events unfold, including two US monthly jobs reports and economic turmoil in China and Greece."

"Orders to US factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a sizable gain in June, reflecting a surge in demand for commercial aircraft. Meanwhile, a key category that reflects business investment rebounded after two months of declines. The 3.4 percent gain was the best result since March. Manufacturers have struggled this year from the effects of a strong dollar and a plunge in energy prices. The higher value of the dollar against foreign currencies makes US goods more expensive and less competitive in major export markets. The big drop in oil prices has led energy companies to cut investment plans."

Are you tired of the mixed me$$ages yet?

US stocks eke out tiny gains after erasing an early loss

Mass. economy grows far faster than US’s

For a $elect few anyway.

"Stocks fell Friday as oil titans Exxon Mobil and Chevron led a slump in energy stocks. Shares of the two largest publicly traded energy companies fell roughly 5 percent each after both giants posted major declines in their year-over-year profits, largely due to the big drop in the price of oil. Exxon earnings fell 52 percent from a year earlier, while Chevron reported its lowest profit in 13 years. Energy companies have been a major drag on corporate earnings in the second quarter. And benchmark US crude continued its fall, dropping $1.40 to $47.12 a barrel. A report that US wages and benefits grew at their slowest pace in 33 years in the spring also weighed on markets. The Labor Department report provided stark evidence that the improving job market is having little impact on paychecks for most Americans."


Related: EPA Should Have Mined Its Own Business 

That should boo$t the energy sector!

As for the "job market just demonstrated that it may be nearing full health, but the share of adults working has fallen to 59.3 percent, the lowest level in 31 years."

Your real unemployment rate, and does that look a recovery to you?

Does this?

"Demand still rising at nation’s food banks" by Scott McFetridge Associated Press  August 14, 2015

DES MOINES — Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

This is such a feudali$tic $ociety now it isn't even funny.

US food banks are expected to give away about 4 billion pounds of food this year, more than double the amount provided a decade ago, according to Feeding America, the nation’s primary food bank network. The group gave away 3.8 billion pounds in 2013.

While reliance on food banks exploded when the economy tanked in 2008, groups said demand continues to rise year after year, leaving them scrambling to find more food.

‘‘We get lines of people every day, starting at 6:30 in the morning,’’ said Sheila Moore, of The Storehouse, the largest pantry in Albuquerque, where food distribution has risen 15 percent in the past year.

Across the country in Gloucester, Mass., The Open Door food pantry has given away 7.6 percent more food this summer than last, said the organization’s executive director, Julie LaFontaine. ‘‘There’s always a real hustle and bustle,’’ she said. ‘‘People coming and going.’’

James Ziliak, who founded the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky, said the increased demand is surprising since the economy is growing and unemployment has fallen from 10 percent during the recession to 5.3 percent last month.

Is it really a surprise, or do some just not want to SEE?

Yet, many people who have found jobs are working only part time or for low wages, and others have stopped looking for work. ‘‘People who have low-wage jobs, who aren’t receiving regular raises, are finding those earnings stretched thin,’’ Ziliak said.

Me. I look at the job ads in the local paper on Saturdays, but there is nothing.

The drop in food stamp rolls by nearly 2.5 million people from recession levels could be contributing to the food bank demand, he said, because people who no longer qualify for the government aid may still not earn enough to pay their bills. According to the US Labor Department, wages and salaries rose only 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the year.


That was the food stamp cut deal from a while back!

Feeding America spokesman Ross Fraser said a recent study by the group estimated 46 million people sought food assistance at least once in 2014.

You hungry for more?


Feast on these:

Stocks slip as oil prices fall again
Consumer spending edges up just 0.2 percent in June
Weak profits weigh on market
Royal Bank of Scotland profit improves
Santander falls as profit under pressure
Freddie Mac to pay $3.9 billion dividend
Fannie Mae posts $4.6 billion quarterly profit

"The latest batch of corporate results helped nudge the stock market to a slight gain Wednesday, snapping a three-day slump. But another drop in oil prices held the indexes back. Oil turned lower after the Energy Department reported an increase in gasoline inventories. Priceline Group climbed 5 percent after the online-booking service posted profit and revenue that easily beat analysts’ forecasts, helped by rising reservations for hotel rooms and rental cars. Walt Disney dropped 9 percent, however, weighing on the Dow; its sales fell short. The company also said a decrease in subscribers to ESPN could hamper its profit in coming years. The market has looked listless in recent weeks as investors have traded one set of concerns for another. Worries about Greece have faded, said Burt White, at LPL Financial. But concern about China’s economy and the Fed’s next interest-rate increase remain, he noted."

US consumer borrowing hits another record in June

I'm told that is good news for the American economy. More debt is good. 

After all, you're working, right? 

The banks are $wimming in loot and and I don't see anything that could spoil things, do you?

"The Fed, even moving at such a slow pace, would become the world’s only central bank raising interest rates. Bankers in other countries are either holding the line on low rates, moving them even lower, or focusing on ways to stimulate their economies by purchasing assets. “Around the world, interest rates remain at zero or close to zero,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco. Those bankers are sticking with very low interest rates because most of their economies need the help. “If you look at what’s going on in the rest of the world, the picture doesn’t look very good,” said Nigel Gault, cochief economist at the Parthenon Group in Boston. That picture? China devalued its currency this month. Japan’s economy, which had appeared to be improving, took a big step back. Growth in Europe is very slow. Weak economies like that mean very low interest rates will remain in place around the world for some time. Other factors, such as very low oil prices, only help keep inflation low."

I'm starting to think those damn doom-and-gloom bloggers may be right after all.

Homebuilders gauge lifts stocks

And yet Citigroup is in crisis.

I gue$$ your be$t bet is to buy some gold:

"Gold falls to 5-year low amid dollar’s rise" by Marley Jay and Steve Rothwell Associated Press  July 21, 2015

NEW YORK — Investors are running out of reasons to own gold.

The price of the metal, which is often seen as a hedge against inflation and a weak dollar, slumped to its lowest in five years on Monday.

From what I hear and see, the market is being ma$$ively manipulated on this issue.

The dollar has rallied in recent months, diminishing the allure of holding gold. The US economy has been on firmer footing, and tumult in China’s markets and Greece’s debt crisis have failed to restore the metal’s appeal as a haven from global turmoil.

Is that ever possible when gold is concerned? My eyes are glazing over as I type.

The price of gold had surged in the years immediately after the 2008 financial crisis, topping out at nearly $1,900 an ounce in August 2011, as investors anticipated that the Federal Reserve’s ultra-low interest rate policy and huge bond-buying program would undermine the dollar and lead to inflation.

That scenario didn’t pan out.

Not yet, but it might be real soon.

Instead, inflation has remained subdued and the economy maintained its recovery, albeit at an uneven pace. That has boosted demand for the dollar.

‘‘It’s the strength of the dollar, that’s what’s been drilling gold down this year,’’ said Jim Steel, chief -metals analyst at HSBC in New York.

Once it is no longer the reserve currency those days are over.

When investors are worried about the outlook for the US and the global economy, they tend to favor gold, Steel said. But when the US stock and bond markets are strong, as they are now, investors don’t see a reason to hold gold, which, unlike stocks and bonds, doesn’t produce any income.

The dollar is strengthening as the Fed moves closer to raising interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. The prospect of rising interest rates and higher-yielding US assets has boosted the allure of the US currency against other major currencies such as the euro and the Japanese yen.

The dollar has surged 21 percent against a basket of major currencies over the last year as central banks in both Europe and Japan have kept using economic stimulus to try and strengthen their economies. While the Fed is considering rate increases, interest rates probably will stay low in these regions for some time to come.

Fed chair Janet Yellen has maintained that the central bank will probably raise its benchmark interest rate later this year if the economy continues to improve. She reaffirmed that view during a report to Congress last week. The Fed’s benchmark interest rate has been near zero since December 2008.

Gold’s allure as a store of value in times of crisis also appears to be fading. Neither the recent stock market crash in China nor the Greek debt crisis succeeded in restoring the appeal of gold.

Because a gold-based system would leave everyone nearly penniless -- except that upper crust that controls and owns the gold. We need a return to the Constitution, with the Treasury regulating the money supply for the good of the public, not the private central banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve loaning it out at intere$t. 

Of course, that German fella with the short mustache did that and you saw what happened to him in the history books.

Still, now may not be the best time for investors to dump their gold holdings, said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Fargo Asset Management.


The price of gold is falling in part because many investors are becoming overconfident in the resilience of the stock market and the US economy. That’s exactly the time when investors should start being more cautious.

We are $winging back the other way now!

‘‘One of the reasons that [gold] is attractive is that nobody thinks it’s worthwhile anymore,’’ said Paulsen. ‘‘That says that probably people have become complacent, which is exactly when you need gold.’’

Paulsen also said that a further strengthening of the dollar isn’t a given. If the economic stimulus in Europe and Japan starts working, then the euro and the yen could actually reverse some of their losses against the dollar, damping the appeal of holding dollar-denominated assets....


I didn't check today's swing, and I'm done talking about all the bad new$ I've mi$$ed. 

Time to stop swinging and prepare for tomorrow.


Fed still cautious on rate increase, panel notes show

Markets snapshot: Mixed Fed signals send stocks down

Here are some more things you can talk over:

Oil firms’ stocks slide as prices continue to fall

Yup, inventories are building when they shouldn't be during this wonderful economy, meaning you were fed a whole load of carbon monoxide (breathe deeply, please), motorists. Now move along.

Alibaba joins forces with arms maker

Well, since the Jack Ma lost a boodle in the Chinese market crash, and given the way the world is headed now, looks like a $hrewd inve$tment.

American Express adds cash back to prepaid cards

Chump change kickback after all the loot they stole from you, or another scam?

Aussies, Canadians dominate livable cities list
European bailout fund approves Greece funds
Agency orders Mass. firm to refund loans
More than 100 airport workers strike at Logan

It's at the backend of the terminal.

Staples reports decline in profits

Maybe Cuba can help.

Target raises profit outlook

I guess the hacking really didn't hurt, huh?

Student loan debt hanging over many Mass. residents

Here is how you fix that:

"The ins and outs of choosing a checking account for your college kid" by Jonnelle Marte Washington Post   August 14, 2015

Choosing the right checking account for your college student may be mostly about avoiding traps at first.

Fees can pile up, and a credit or debit card in the hands of an untrained college student can make him or her spend too much and save too little. But if you do the research, you might be able to find an account that actually offers perks and helps your kid establish healthy financial habits. Here are some options.

First, it’s worth knowing that some colleges receive kickbacks for steering students to certain cards.

An option is to use a mobile bank, which can be convenient for young consumers who are comfortable with banking through their smartphones.

Really makes you wonder about the hackers, doesn't it?


For some families, the best bet will be to use a traditional checking account. As Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary wrote, parents need to do the research to find a checking account and debit card that’s affordable for them. 

Should be fun watching the kid trying to balance it, or fret about them being sent home.

That may mean using a bank that has branches on or near campus so that students can avoid paying out-of-network ATM fees. Some parents may also want to open an account at that bank to make it easy to deposit and transfer money, she says.

Many banks waive monthly fees and other costs for college students, and others will pay interest on balances for customers who meet certain requirements....

The bottom line is: Do your research. You’re bound to find something that’s a good fit for your family.

And this isn't it.


Also seeHow to fix the college debt crisis

RelatedMass. unemployment rate remains steady at 4.7% in July

I've stopped believing them, kids.


Friday, Aug. 21: 

There is literally nothing to see in the bu$ine$$ $ection today. The goings on in China receive only a snapshot plus:

"The environmental consequences of the blasts are only beginning to become apparent. The Chinese state news media on Thursday published photos of scores of dead fish that had washed up on the shores of Bohai Sea, which borders Tianjin. Officials said that they were investigating the situation but that there could be a variety of causes, not just the recent explosions. Wu Yixiu, an activist with Greenpeace in China, said there was most likely an array of toxic chemicals in the water that had yet to be detected. Chinese officials are contending with a public that is increasingly losing its patience. In recent days, residents have staged protests demanding compensation for damaged homes."

I will be looking at some blogs later to see what the situation over there looks like, but for now I'm going to put in park. The Games are the thing, and I'm my interest is falling despite the titillation (yes, those are the same $cum lecturing you about your morality) on the front page of the C section (I will be cutting other coverage as well) -- as if it could be kept secret. NSA and the Israeli government use it to blackmail the politicians.

Sorry for not wanting to talk about any of those worthle$$ things; however, the Globe certainly wants to have a conversation about $ome things. I noticed the theme cycling through it.

A quick stop at home.... 

"The slow six-year recovery from the Great Recession has finally revitalized the housing market. Home sales have soared in recent months, as more current homeowners have returned to the real estate market for an upgrade or to downsize as they approach retirement. Yet the upswing also reflects increasing problems with affordability that have left first-time buyers on the sidelines."

and yet.... US home sales strongest in eight years

How sad then. Two of the three indicators are bad, and the lone good one is only applicable to the top 10% or so, if that.

I then went to grab some breakfast, and if you can believe it, the pro-pesticide, pro-herbicide, pro-GMO, propaganda pre$$ fertilizer spoiled it.

At least the slot parlor is doing well, as you kids head back to school this fall.

Well, time to hit the road, readers.


Stocks nosedive for second straight day

Gee, all of sudden a $torm kicked up.

J.C. Penney’s 2Q results show turnaround gaining traction 

They are still losing money, but....

TJX tops forecasts for second quarter

Walmart cuts annual profit outlook as costs rise