August 31, 2012
Between 9:45 and 10 o’clock this morning, we’ll hear three reports updating business conditions in the Midwest, the state of factory orders in July and the University of Michigan’s final verdict on August Consumer Sentiment.
But make no mistake, traders are focused on what begins AT 10 o’clock. That would be Ben Bernanke’s speech at the Fed’s economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Additional “quantitative easing” may already be baked into the cake of stock prices, on the widely held belief that the only reliable direction of Government policy is a direction “taken too far.” Should Bernanke throw some snow-melt on that idea, we could see the bulls in the cavalry beat a hasty retreat.
Meanwhile, stock prices had their worst day in a month yesterday on extremely light volume, essentially giving back most of their gains for August.
Asians markets were mixed overnight, but Europe has turned nicely higher. Our futures are suggesting that most of yesterday’s losses could be recovered shortly after we open today. Right now, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by about 9 points, the Dow futures are up 81 and NASDAQ futures are almost 22 points above fair value.
It’s a week for big speeches, and no disrespect to Chris Christy or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, but the speech that traders are awaiting is tomorrow’s speech from Ben Bernanke. The big annual boondoggle for economists at Jackson Hole, Wyoming will put Bernanke front and center tomorrow. Mario Draghi, the ECB bigwig, decided to stay home in Europe, rather than distract from Big Ben’s big moment.
Pandora, the internet music purveyor, had a big moment this morning. Pandora announced break-even results and sees increasing sales. Traders see an internet company that might actually be worth buying, as Pandora shares are bid about 13 percent higher premarket.
Since the S&P 500 Index was cobbled together in 1957, Sears has been a member of that index. Until now, that is. Sears was booted from the S&P yesterday and replaced by a foreign based chemical firm Lyondell Basel. Sear shares are looking to open 5% lower.
Looking to open 5% higher is TIVO. TIVO lost 23 cents per share last quarter, but that was less of a loss than expected.
Jobless Claims at 8:30 are expected to be stuck at the level of about 370,000 new claims which we haven’t been able to much improve on for the last six months.
Overseas markets are generally lower, and our futures are hurting as well, although they’ve perked up a bit over the past ten minutes. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 6 points, the Dow futures are down 40 and NASDAQ futures are about 12 points below fair value.
Those few stock traders who are not on vacation this week seem to be pretty well satisfied with stock prices as they are. Yesterday was yet another very low-volume day in what is traditionally the lowest volume month of the year.
A little later we’ll see if a little fresh economic data shakes things up a bit. At 8:30, we’ll get the second of three guesses at the level of second quarter Gross Domestic Product. Expect that number to improve a bit to 1.7% from the advance number of 1.5%. Unfortunately, that’s still nothing to write home about.
Then at 2 o’clock, the Federal Reserve will release its twice-quarterly survey of regional economic conditions, known as the “Beige Book.”
In the meantime, the ketchup continues to sell at Heinz, whether or not you can get it out of the bottle. Heinz fought off some adverse foreign currency translation and reported operating earnings of 87 cents per share, which was seven cents better than expected. Heinz affirmed their full-year outlook and the shares are a little more than one percent higher pre-market.
Oil prices are slipping a bit this morning on word that damage to production facilities in the Gulf from Hurricane Isaac will not be as severe are feared.
Overseas markets are mixed, but mainly to the downside. Our futures are once again about as sleepy as can be. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about a point, the Dow futures are down 8 and NASDAQ futures are just about even with with fair value.
We’ll get a steady stream of economic data mid-week. But traders are focused on Ben Bernanke’s speech this coming Friday from the annual banker’s conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
At nine o’clock this morning the Case-Shiller Home Price Index is expected to reflect a gain of only four-tenths of a percent. I say “only” because the last three monthly reports have shown 7, 8 and 9 tenths of a percent increase, as home prices are finally showing some signs of life.
Then at 10, we’ll find out if the Conference Board is finding any signs of life in Consumer Confidence. However, the August Index is expected to be pretty much unchanged from July’s 65.9.
Shares of printer-maker and supplier Lexmark, which have been pretty much cut in half over the past six months are under a little more pressure this morning. Lexmark is looking to find a way out of the inkjet business. They will restructure, shed 1,700 jobs worldwide and add 100 million dollars to their stock buyback program.
Overseas markets are mostly lower, but they really haven’t moved very much. Don’t expect fireworks in our market either. Yesterday was the lightest trading volume day of the year so far, as many, many folks are away enjoying the last week before Labor Day.
August 27, 2012
The big legal story from Friday becomes the big stock story this morning. Shares of Samung lost over 12 billion dollars of market capitalization in Asian trading overnight. That’s about 7 ½ percent of Samsung’s value on the heels of Friday’s 1 billion dollar verdict in favor of Apple. Samsung was found guilty of violating multiple Apple patents. Apple shares, on the contrary, are bid about 3 percent higher pre-market
They tried this a couple of years ago unsuccessfully, but it looks like the second time will be the charm as Hertz is buying Dollar Thrifty for $87.50 per share, which is a modest premium to Friday’s closing price of about 81 bucks. Hertz says that they expect about $160 million per year of “cost synergies,” which likely translates into a big increase in future unemployment insurance claims. Also, Hudson City Bank is being bought by M&T Bank.
Tiffany reported 72 cents in profit this morning, which was a 2 cent miss. AOL will pay a special $5.15 per share dividend and accelerate their stock buyback program as they attempt to protect some tax-loss carry-forwards by fending off any potential takeover attempts.
There is no trading in London today due to a bank holiday. Asia was generally lower overnight, but Europe is generally higher and our futures have been rising most of the morning.
At this point, the S&P futures are higher by more than 5 points, Dow futures are up 38 and NASDAQ futures, fueled by Apple, are 18 points above fair value.
August 24, 2012
Traders were keying of whatever news came from this morning’s meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and Angela Merkel in Germany. While expectations were high, the delivered statement was simply more of the same old same-o.
Namely, Germany says it wants to help. Germany says they want Greece to stay in the euro. Germany says that Greece must live up to its commitments to austerity. And that, of course, is the rub.
Shares of Eli Lilly are bid about 3 percent higher this morning on mixed results for their new Alzheimer’s drug. The drug didn’t really pass its test with flying colors, but did show signs of slowing the disease’s progress.
If you own shares of restaurateur Brinker, your current dividend will increase by 25 percent.
At 8:30 this morning, the July Durable Goods Orders are expected to have risen around 2 percent.
Overseas, we’re seeing red arrows across the board. We should start off to the downside as well, but not by much. At this point, the S&P futures are down less than 2 points, Dow futures are off 3 and NASDAQ futures are about a point below fair value.
Stock prices slid for most of the day yesterday. Then, at 2 o’clock, the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee were released. Those minutes revealed a lot of discussion regarding more quantitative easing. Stock prices pulled a hard U-turn into the close and finished pretty much unchanged on the day. That positive momentum should carry over into this morning, although tempered by the early earnings news.
Guess lowered its earnings guidance for the second time in three months. Hewlett-Packard reported operating earnings of a dollar per share last night. Although that beat the 98 cent estimate, GAAP results showed an overall loss due to impairment charges. Deutsche Bank is out with one of those extremely helpful predictions. They lowered their price target on H-P to 15 dollars per share from 20. Of course, H-P shares are indicated at $18.35 pre-market and heading south.
Call Big Lots the Big Loss of the morning. They earned 36 cents per share last quarter. That was a five cent miss on a nearly 2 percent decline in same store sales. The stock is indicated about 20% lower pre-market.
Oil and gold are both higher again this morning on the threat of more quantitative easing. Overseas markets are mainly a little higher. We are mainly still asleep.
At this point, the S&P, Dow and NASDAQ futures are all within a few points of fair value.
Our old friend Greece is back in the forefront this morning, and as usual, it’s giving traders the jitters. Greece’s Prime Minister is meeting with the head of the Eurogroup. From there he’ll go on to meet with German leaders on Friday. The next tranche of Greek bailout funds is due shortly, and at issue is whether the Greeks have given a full pound of flesh in the form of economic reform.
News out of the Far East wasn’t much help overnight as Japan announced an 8 percent decline in exports, which included a 25 percent decline in exports to Europe.
Dell shares are indicated about 5 percent lower this morning. Dell beat the earnings bogey last night, but lowered guidance for the year. On the famous other hand, Williams-Sonoma shares are looking about 10 percent higher. The earned 43 cents per share, which was a 2 cent beat and they raised guidance. Home builder Toll Brothers doubled the 18 cent estimate on the strongest demand they’ve seen in many years.
The star of the morning may be shares of Sunrise Senior Living. They will be bought by Health Care REIT for $14.50 per share, which is more than a 60 percent premium to yesterday’s closing price.
Existing Home Sales come at 10, and the Fed’s latest meeting minutes will be released at 2 o’clock.
Stock futures continue to hover just barely below the flat-line. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about 2 points, the Dow futures are down a point, and the NASDAQ futures are about 3 points below fair value.
August 21, 2012
We expected that yesterday would be a pretty sleepy day for stock prices and sleepy is what we got. Today we may be starting off slightly to the upside, although we should continue to have a pretty quiet week.
One of the early investors in Facebook is evidently NOT seeing the upside. Word is that Facebook Director Peter Thiel dumped 20 million of his roughly 25 million shares, when the first lock-up expired. Twenty million shares at 20 buck per isn’t chump change, so shed no shares for Thiel. For those that bought into the Facebook story at the IPO, well maybe a tear or two is well placed as the share price hovers around 20 bucks or so.
A little later today, Atlanta Fed President Lockhart will give a speech. Traders will be watching for any clues about the duration of the Fed’s “free money” policy. It’s no secret that without the Fed’s accommodation stock prices would be a heck of a lot lower. How soon the punch bowl runs dry is valuable information.
Best Buy just reported a quarterly profit of only 20 cents. That missed estimates by 11 cents, and comparable store sales were down 3.2 percent.
European markets are a little higher, as are our futures. At this point, S&P futures are higher by about a point, the Dow Jones futures are up 15 and the NASDAQ futures are about 5½ points above fair value.
Stock prices have now seen six consecutive weeks of gains, with prices up about 4 percent over that stretch. We’ll see what happens during the next two vacation-laden weeks, when volume thins and price swings can be a little misleading, due to the low trading volume.
Shares of Coventry Health will swing sharply higher this morning on word that Aetna will acquire Coventry in a 5.7 billion dollar deal, and at a 20 percent premium to Friday’s closing price.
Heading in the other direction price-wise will be a couple of retailers. Best Buy shares are indicated almost 6 percent lower. Best Buys named a new CEO this morning, its founder continues his quest to take the company private.
Home Depot reported great numbers last week. However, this morning its chief rival Lowe’s checked in with 65 cents in operating profit, which was a nickel per share short of estimates. Lowe’s shares are ‘low-er,” pun intended, by more than 7 percent premarket.
It’s the dog days of summer for economic news, with very little on the calendar this week. Overseas markets are a mixed picture.
Our futures turned lower during the past hour. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about 2 points, the Dow futures are down 20, but the NASDAQ futures are now just about even with fair value.
Yesterday’s slow but steady rally in stock prices has shifted into neutral this morning as we await a couple of key economic reports.
At 9:55 the University of Michigan will give us their first reading on July Consumer Sentiment. Most expect little change from the June number of 72. Perhaps more importantly, at 10 o’clock the index of Leading Economic Indicators, that dipped by three-tenths of a percent in June, is expected to have turned positive in July, but only by two tenths of a percent.
The price of oil is lower this morning on a rumor that the Obama Administration is considering release of oil from the country’s Strategic Oil Reserve. That kind of action is usually reserved for an incredibly dire emergency situation, like, for instance, an upcoming election
Smucker’s and Foot Locker both beat earnings estimates.
And in case you didn’t notice, Facebook shares lost another 6 percent yesterday as a whole bunch of shares that were in speculator prison were allowed to come to market, but there was a lot of internet pain to go around. Groupon is now quoted below 5 bucks, and Zynga is less than 3 dollars per share. Zynga traded at 16 dollars less than 6 months ago.
Asia was mixed, Europe is a little higher. We are uncommitted. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about a point, the Dow futures are down 5, and the NASDAQ futures are now a point above fair value.
Traders took some solace overnight on comments by China’s Premier suggesting that there is room for China’s Central Bank to easy monetary policy.
Helping rein in that enthusiasm a little is this morning’s earnings report from Walmart. Although profit was nearly 6 percent higher than a year ago, the $1.18 of operating profit beat estimates by a penny. However, sales were not up to expectations and Walmart admitted that second quarter profit was aided by currency translation. They did raise third quarter earning guidance to a couple pennies above the average analyst expectation, but Walmart shares are looking to shed about 3 percent in the early going.
At 8:30, the Weekly Jobless Claims Report is expected to stubbornly stick around 365,000 new claims. June Housing Starts are also announced at 8:30, and then at 10 o’clock, watch for the Philadelphia Fed Index, which is expected to read a negative 5, which is not good, but would be an improvement from last month’s negative 12.9.
Facebook shares will be fun to watch today as a lockup expires on 371 million shares. We’ll see how many of those shares try to catch a bid.
Overseas markets are mixed and we’ll likely go nowhere fast at 9:30.
At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are up 2½ points, the Dow futures are up 8, and the NASDAQ futures are about 11 points above fair value.
There’s a little a bit all kinds of news out this morning. On the earnings front, Target beat the estimate of $1.01 by 11 cents per share and raised 3rdquarter guidance. Stapes missed the 22 cent target by 4 cents. Deere & Company blamed weak international sales for a 33 cent miss off the $2.31 estimate. Traders are rewarding that wonderful news, as Deere shares are off over 5% pre-market.
In case you missed this bit of guidance yesterday, a major brokerage house lowered their rating on Groupon from a “buy” to “neutral” and lowered their price target to 9 dollars from 19. The stock closed yesterday at $5.50. Sounds to me like going from 5½ to 9 bucks would be about a 63% gain. So why have we shifted into “neutral?” No wonder the individual investor is confused.
At 8:30, the July Consumer Price Index is expected to perk back up to two-tenths of a percent from June’s flat reading. We’ll also get a view of manufacturing activity in the New York region as the Empire Index is expected to inch up to 7.39 from 7.
Overseas markets are mixed, but the big boys are mainly a bit lower, as are our futures, so we’re looking for slightly lower price at the open, pending any surprises at 8:30. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down 2 points, the Dow futures are down 21, and the NASDAQ futures are about 3 points below fair value.
The contrast between far Eastern economies and European economies is fairly stark this morning. While recently, the Chinese economy “cooled” to growth in the 7 to 8 percent range. The “good” news out of Europe this morning is that second quarter German GDP was higher by three-tenths of one percent and French GDP was at a big fat standstill. As weak as that is, it’s better than expected and is giving overseas markets a boost.
Of course, not all European businesses are struggling. Porsche reported this morning that July sales are up 16 percent from a year ago.
On the earnings front, Michael Kors earned 34 cents on the quarter, which was well above the 20 cent estimate. Home Depot also beat estimates and raised guidance. Groupon reported and 8 cent per share profit, and while that was well above expectations, revenue and the forecast were not up to snuff and Groupon shares are off about 20 percent off sale pre-market. That would bring Groupon shares down to under 6 bucks per share. Those Groupon shares sold for about 30 dollars less than a year ago.
Major markets overseas are pretty much all higher this morning. We should recover yesterday’s losses in the early going, unless we get some ugly numbers at 8:30 when we’ll hear about July Retail Sales and Producer Prices.
At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by 4½ points, the Dow futures are up 33, and the NASDAQ futures are about 7 points above fair value.
Asian markets did not win any gold medals overnight, as Chinese Central Bankers took no action to ease monetary policy. They evidently stayed up all weekend waiting to see the Spice Girls, and didn’t have much time for anything else. Many traders expected some easing after a fairly cool Chinese GDP Report last week.
Not to be out-cooled this morning, the Japanese announced that their second quarter GDP was 1.4 percent. That’s about half of what was expected and WAY off of the 1stquarter number of 5.5 percent.
Word this morning is that the G20 nations are talking about setting up a meeting in September or October to discuss just how to feed the rest of the world at a reasonable price in light of the severe drought we’ve suffered in the U.S.
Oil is up almost a dollar per barrel this morning. Gold is higher for the fourth day in a row. Of course, stock prices have been quietly higher five weeks in a row now, and we could get off to a higher start this morning, but not by much. China down a percent and a half overnight. Europe has reversed earlier losses. At this point, S&P, Dow and NASDAQ futures are all essentially even with fair value.
Yesterday morning, a report that suggested a mild slowdown in the Chinese economy gave markets a boost on hopes of some Chinese monetary easing. Well, sometimes you can get a little too much of a good thing. Overnight, the Chinese import/export numbers for July came in way lower than expected. Exports rose only 1 percent, versus the expected 8 percent. Imports were up less than 5 percent, instead of the 7 percent expectation. So, the slowdown in China may be a little too severe for comfort, and Asian markets sold off overnight in sympathy.
JC Penney shares don’t really need any more bad news this year, but sometimes you get what you don’t need. A wider than expected quarterly loss announced this morning has Penney shares about 11 percent lower pre-market. JC Penney stock has lost more than half of its value over the past six months.
Research in Motion, another company desperately in search of good news, is trading about 6 percent higher pre-market as a California judge has overturned a 147 million dollar patent infringement award against the company. Also trending higher this morning is Nvidia. Lowered profits still beat analyst forecasts.
Not much of great import on the economic calendar today, but in the early going our stock prices should follow the rest of the world lower.
Right now, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about 4½ points, the Dow futures are down 34, and the NASDAQ futures are about 7 points below fair value.
The good news of the morning is born out of economic weakness, rather than strength. Word is that Chinese Industrial Output is at a 30 month low, which may well be that result of the Chinese Central Banks efforts to cool off the economy over the past couple of years. Now, with Chinese consumer inflation down to only 1.8 percent, the hope is that the Chinese Government will say “mission accomplished” and will start to take steps to stimulate their economy.
At 8:30 this morning, we’ll find out how many Americans were stimulated into taking a trip to the Unemployment office last week. Expect a tick up in this constantly depressing report, to the 370,000 level for new Unemployment Claims.
Kohl’s and Brinker are both out with better than expected earnings this morning. Wendy’s reported in line with estimates. And surprise, surprise, surprise: JP Morgan Chase will restate its first quarter earnings report, lowering income by 459 million dollars.
Oil is edging a little higher once again this morning, now nearing 94 dollars per barrel.
Asian markets were mostly higher overnight, on the Chinese economic data. Europe has turned a bit lower. Our futures have been waffling around the flat line much of the morning. Right now, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about 2 points, the Dow futures are down 12, and the NASDAQ futures are a half point below fair value.
Disney shares are looking to open a dollar or so lower this morning. Last night, Disney reported $1.01 in quarterly operating profit. That was 8 cents better than expected on outperformance by “The Avengers” and the theme-park business. However, total revenue was lower than expected, and hence the pullback in the shares. Sodastream International shares are indicated about 9 percent higher, on a rather bubbly earnings release. Ralph Lauren is also out with a better-than-expected report.
There was a big pullback in U.S. worker productivity in the first quarter of the year. At 8:30 we’ll find out about the second quarter. Expect a 1.3% increase in productivity and a nine-tenths of a percent increase in unit labor costs.
A little later in the morning, the Energy Information Agency releases the weekly oil inventory report, which will carry a bit more interest than normal due to the recent spike in gasoline prices and yesterday’s refinery fire in California.
Asian markets were mixed overnight, on the eve of a lot of Chinese economic data that is due for release tomorrow. Europe has turned a bit lower. Our futures have hovered at mildly lower levels all morning and continue to slip. Right now, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are down about 5 points, the Dow futures are down 51, and the NASDAQ futures are about 9 points below fair value.
There’s another potential self-induced black eye for the banking industry this morning. New York’s banking regulator is accusing Standard Chartered PLC with being a “rogue bank” that had forbidden dealings with Iran and has hidden a quarter of a trillion dollars of transactions. If the accusations are true, it’s kind of hard to imagine that they’ll be able to hang it all on one or two “rogue traders.” IN London trade today, Standard Chartered shares about 24% lower than yesterday’s closing price.
Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson share may be under some pressure this morning as the companies have abandoned development of their shared research on a new Alzheimer’s drug. J&J will take a 300 to 400 million dollar charge.
CVS Caremark, Marsh & McLennan and Tenet Healthcare all beat earnings estimates this morning on revenue than was a little lighter than expected. We’ll hear from Disney after 4 o’clock this afternoon.
Overseas markets are mixed, but markets that have been most troublesome lately are getting the biggest boosts this morning, including Italy, Spain, Greece and India.
All major overseas markets are higher. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by 5 points, the Dow futures are up 38, and the NASDAQ futures are 13 points above fair value.
Friday’s much improved Job creation number certainly boosted stock prices. The number was surprising, especially in light of a report from the statisticians at TrimTabs, who reported declining payroll tax withholdings last month. Not that the Labor Department would puff-up the numbers, mind you. Just keep an eye on prior period “revisions” in the future. The Unemployment Rate continued to rise, to 8.3 percent.
Knight Capital, the high-frequency stock trading firm proved last week that they can not only trade quickly, they could lose $400 million dollars in the blink of an eye. Yesterday, they evidently found a knight in shining dollars. They’ve reportedly sold $400 million dollars in 2% convertible stock in order to save the firm.
The bulk of second quarter earnings are behind us now, but there will still be a few interesting reports today, including Chesapeake Energy and Cognizant Technology. Late Friday, Berkshire Hathaway beat their estimated earnings number by a mile. This morning, Tyson Foods reported a disappointing 50 cents adjusted. That’s a four cent miss, with the blame falling on rising grain costs.
All major overseas markets are higher. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by about 5½ points, the Dow futures are up 29, and the NASDAQ futures are 11½ points above fair value.
It’s another first Friday, which usually means that stock futures wait until 8:30 to establish a direction. Not so today, as the primary spotlight remains on Europe.
Nevertheless, the Jobs Report is important, especially as it might impact the upcoming November elections. Since April, the economy has reportedly added 68,000, 77,000 and 80,000 jobs. The July number is expected to be 100,000. So the trend is positive, but it’s still not strong enough to absorb the growth in number of available workers. Accordingly, even at the 100,000 level, the unemployment Rate is expected to hold at 8.2 percent.
Then at 10 o’clock the ISM non-0manufacturing number is expected to tick up to 52.1 from last month’s 52. That would reflect very slow growth in the services sectors of the economy
Kraft and Procter & Gamble both reported better than expected earnings this morning, although Kraft sales were on the light side.
Some Asian markets sparked, others fizzled overnight. But European markets are firing, and some on all cylinders. Italy higher by about 4 percent, Spain is 3 percent higher. Unless we get a real stinker out of the Labor Department at 8:30, we’ll head higher as well. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by more than 13 points, the Dow futures are up 103, and the NASDAQ futures are 25 points above fair value.
Our monetary chieftains at the Federal Reserve pretty much sat on their hands yesterday, not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, right on cue, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank announced no change in interest rates this morning.
As the morning rolls on, we’ll learn what changed regarding sales at major retailers in July. This far, we’ve heard a few encouraging numbers. Costco same store sales were up 5 percent, sales at Limited were up 12 percent. TJX sales were up 7 percent. All of those were better than expected.
On the famous other hand, a couple companies reported better than expected earnings on sales that came up a little short of expectations. Namely, General Motors and Cardinal Health. General Motors adjusted earnings number of 90 cents per share easily beat the 74 cent estimate. European losses of 361 million are the mirror image of last year’s second quarter profit of 100 million, but were much less than some feared. GM shares are indicated a couple percent higher pre-market.
At 8:30 the weekly Jobless Claims number is expected to check in at 370,000, which is roughly the level we’ve seen for the past year and a half.
Asia was mixed, but mostly lower. Europe is mostly higher. At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by more than 6 points, the Dow futures are up 61, and the NASDAQ futures are 9 points above fair value.
Welcome to August. It’s a month that hasn’t been particularly kind to stock prices of late. In fact, August has been the worst month of the year for the S&P 500 since 1990. Over that 22 year stretch, the index has declined an average of nine-tenths of a percent. However, as they say – past performance is no guarantee of future results. And not only is that a legal disclaimer you hear at the free dinner investment sucker seminars – it’s true.
At 2:15 this afternoon, we’ll get the Fed’s Statement on monetary policy, and Speculation on the Fed’s next move is rampant. However, we may well hear the Committee all simply stand up sing a chorus of “See you in September.”
Earnings reports continue to flow with better than expected numbers from Comcast, Time Warner and Harley Davidson. The miss of the morning would be Avon Products. They posted 20 cents of profit, a penny short of estimates.
The automakers will be posting July sales numbers all day long and the hope is that growing incentive programs may have offset flagging consumer confidence to drive sales a bit higher. The ADP Employment Report was a pleasant surprise just two minutes ago with 169,000 new private sector jobs.
Overseas markets are mixed, but our futures are perking up a bit.
At this point, adjusted for fair value, S&P futures are higher by more than 4 points, the Dow futures are up 38, and the NASDAQ futures are almost 13 points above fair value.
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