2013 February

A Closer Look: World Markets

In mid-November, the S&P 500 ((IVV)) had just finished breaking its 200-day moving average on its way to a multi-year low at the 1343 level. Since then, the index has been on a tear, gaining over 13% in a little over 3 months. It finds itself at a critical stage though, battling to stay above .. read more

On February 24th, 2013, posted in: Markets, Weekly Update by

Sequester The Fed

“If Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness. It will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.” President Obama on .. read more

Europe’s Debtor Prison, Part 2

“According to ABI the value of total loans issued, 1.467 billion euros, represented a 2.5% drop on the December value and was largely the result of the continuing recession in Italy. “Meanwhile, for the current year ABI researchers said their forecasts of a 0.6% contraction in the economy would likely be revised for the worse .. read more

On February 22nd, 2013, posted in: Markets by Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Europe’s Debtor Prison

Last November, the Spanish government withdrew €4 billion from the state’s Social Security reserve fund to pay pension obligations. That followed a €3 billion withdrawal just two months before, in September 2012, to cover “unspecified” needs at the Spanish treasury. It was also disclosed that the Social Security fund had allocated over 90%, about €65 .. read more

A Closer Look: Market Style

The Standard & Poor’s 500 is a stock market index based on the common stock prices of the biggest 500 publicly traded American companies. The S&P 500 ((IVV)) successfully bounced off the 50-day moving average at the end of 2012 on it way to making new multi-year highs throughout January and into February.  However, while .. read more

On February 18th, 2013, posted in: Markets, Stocks, Weekly Update by 1 Comment

Goldilocks Or The Big Bad Bear?

Once upon a time in a commentary long, long ago I said that we’d know the US economy was on the right track when we saw three conditions simultaneously: rising stocks, a rising dollar and a falling gold price. Those three conditions – sustained – would indicate that the market is anticipating better growth and .. read more

Retail Sales Show the Splitting Economy

Year over year retail sales in January were the best in a few months, but on an adjusted basis were rather lackluster. Again, I don’t find the pursuit of month-to-month precision illuminating and it has clearly caused disconnects between adjusted and unadjusted data (I know, a recurring theme). The adjustment factor (the divisor) for January .. read more

Phillip Morris Earnings, Q4 & Full Year 2012

Clearly the macro story in Europe is having an impact on full results, but, outside of Europe, Phillip Morris (the international operations spun out of Altria in 2008) sees sustainable corporate advancement. Revenues in Q4 2012 were up 6.4% with organic cigarette volume growth of 2.9%. For Full Year 2012, organic volume growth was 1.3% .. read more

On February 11th, 2013, posted in: Markets by Tags: , , ,