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Daily Reports @ WJR

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WJR March 2016 Reports

March 31, 2016 It’s the last trading day of what’s been a remarkably good month for stock prices. The S&P 500 Index (not even counting dividends) is almost 7 percent higher for the month and closed yesterday at its high point of 2016. It should be a good morning for shares of MetLife. MetLife went to court, arguing that they’re not really as systemically important to the financial system as the Government had claimed. The judge agreed that they aren’t too big to fail and shouldn’t be subject to so much Government oversight. Expect that a number of other big insurers will be sending their lawyers to court, also hoping to be declared systemically insignificant. Weekly Jobless Claims came in at 276,000 for last week. That’s a bit higher than expected, but perhaps more importantly at 9:45 the March Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is expected to recover to a positive reading above 50 from February’s...
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WJR February 2016 Reports

February 29, 2016 What started as a horrible day for Chinese stocks moderated a bit by the close of trading there, and a post-market cut in the reserve requirement by China’s Central Bank may steady the ship tomorrow. But in the meantime, keep an eye once again on the price of oil. Our futures have improved a good bit from lower levels as West Texas Intermediate has recovered its earlier losses. At 9:45 we’ll hear about the February Chicago Purchasing Managers Index. The January number surged very unexpectedly to a reading of 55.6.  Most expect a much more subdued reading of 52.9 this time around. Anything above 50 indicates economic expansion, and the higher the number the better. By 10:30, we’ll also get the Pending Home Sales Index and the Dallas Fed survey.  One stock on the move this morning is Federal-Mogul. Carl Icahn who effectively owns 82 percent of the company already, has offered...
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WJR January 2016 Reports

Ron will be away due to a death in the family.  He'll be back on Tuesday, February 2nd.January 22, 2016 The logical construct was that better than expected corporate earnings reports would help support higher stock prices. So much for logic. Earnings reports have generally been better than the lowered consensus estimates. However, whether it’s the algorithms that drive high frequency trading machines or the hedge funds or something else, stock prices continue to be driven almost exclusively by monetary policy and the price of oil. Yesterday’s dovish monetary comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi rescued our market from another leg lower. This morning, oil futures are pricing the stuff at more than 31 bucks per barrel. That’s higher by more than 5 percent, and that has the stock futures off on another tear. This morning, shares of Starbucks, American Express and General Electric are all lower, in spite of the uptick in...
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WJR December 2015 Reports

December 2, 2015 - Ron's away at a seminar. See you Thursday! December 1, 2015 The S&P 500 held on to a slim gain for the month of November, even after sliding yesterday on some lousy regional economic data. But, it’s a new day and a new month and we’ll look at a new set of manufacturing industry reports this morning. From those who manufacture automobiles, the November auto sales numbers will be rolling off the line today, and the consensus estimate calls for an annual run rate of over 18 million units. Shortly after the market opens, the PMI Manufacturing Index is expected to dip a bit to a reading of 52.6, which would be a couple of points lower than the October reading. Then at 10 o’clock, the ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to rise a bit, but only to a relatively anemic 50.5. Thor Industries shares are...
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WJR November 2015 Reports

November 30, 2015 With the vast majority of earnings reports in the rear-view mirror, global economic news and a couple of Janet Yellen speeches will likely draw traders’ attention as will build up to the Labor Department’s Employment Report on Friday. Fifteen minutes after the market opens, we’ll find out about business conditions in the Chicago Region. The November Chicago PMI is expected to dip a bit to a reading of 54. That would be down a couple of points from October. And a little later on the Dallas Fed’s Manufacturing survey is expected to improve, but just a bit to a pretty lousy reading of minus 11. Microsoft gets a broker upgrade this morning. Oil is higher by about a half percent, but certainly not enough to challenge the wonderfully low gasoline prices we’ve been enjoying. OPEC holds a big meeting later this week to see if anyone can...
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WJR October 2015 Reports

October 30, 2015 We’ve arrived at the last trading day of what has been a very good month for stock prices – the best in fact in four years, as the market recovers from the September correction. And it looks as though we may head yet a little higher at the open today. Last night, LinkedIn announced a GAAP loss of 31 cents per shares versus last year’s loss of 3 cents per share. You might think that’s BAD news. However, the expanded accounting loss was due to increased expenses for building out their rapidly expanding business. ADJUSTED earnings (which means you don’t talk about extraordinary stuff) were 78 cents per share, well ahead of the 46 cent estimate. LinkedIn shares are indicated almost 14 percent higher pre-market. Starbucks matched the earnings estimate last night, although Chinese sales were a little weak. Abbvie shares are almost 5 percent higher on...
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WJR September 2015 Reports

  September 30, 2015 I can tell you that September 30this clearly a great day to get married. Historically, however, it’s been a pretty lousy day for the stock market. Since World War II, September 30thhas only been a positive day for stock prices about 38 percent of the time. Nevertheless, it looks like we’ll see rising prices in the early going today. Costco’s quarterly sales were hurt by a strong dollar and declining gas prices. But nevertheless, earnings of $1.73 were better than the consensus estimate by 6 cents per share. Profits in the year-ago quarter were $1.58. Costco shares are indicated about a percent and a half higher pre-market.  Not doing quite as well this morning are shares of retailer Gap. A little tsunami of broker downgrades has the shares at a seven percent discount. And not to be outdone, Barracuda Networks reported lousy earnings last night and issued downbeat guidance. Barracuda shares are taking a...
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WJR August 2015 Reports

August 31, 2015 Welcome to the last day of a month that only a thrill seeker could love. This morning, our futures are off their overnight lows, but are still weak on word that the Chinese Government may not have its stock market’s back after all. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is backing off their estimate for China’s 2016 Gross Domestic Product. They lowered the estimate from 6.7 percent growth to 6.3 percent. While traders continue to fixate on China, we still have an economy over here that may be worth considering. At 9:45 we’ll consider the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index for August. Expect improvement to a reading of 54.9 from July’s 54.7. Then at 10:30, the Dallas Fed Survey will give us an idea of just how tough things are in the oil patch. July’s reading of minus 4.6 is expected to improve to a minus 2.5. Still negative, but by...
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WJR July 2015 Reports

July 31, 2015 We’re one trading day away from saying goodbye to July, and contrary to the way a lot of people are feeling, July looks like it will go down in the books as being a positive month for stock prices. With the bulk of big company earnings reports now in the rear-view mirror, it turns out that second quarter earnings (outside of oil companies) wasn’t all that bad. About 80 percent of reporting companies met or beat expectations for operating profit, and that’s pretty much in line with recent quarters gone by. Exxon, by the way, just reported a dollar per share in profit, 11 cents below estimates. The Federal Reserve considers a lot of statistical data in evaluating the level of interest rates, and one that holds a lot of sway is the Employment Cost Index. The rise in employment costs for the second quarter will be...
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WJR June 2015 Reports

June 30, 2015 It’s the last day of the second quarter and the first half of the year and it’s also deadline day for two sets of negotiations that appear to have limited hope of a successful conclusion. This as we come off the worst day that our stock market has suffered in over a year. The Greek Government has announced that they will not make their scheduled payment to the International Monetary Fund today, after showing up at the debt negotiation poker game without any cards. Over in Iran, it’s deadline day for the nuclear power program negotiations, which are making the Greek talks look like a piece of cake. July should get off to an interesting start. Speaking of cake and food of all sorts, ConAgra Foods reported in-line profits of 59 cents per share and their shares are almost 3 percent higher this morning on word that...
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