US - Economic Data & News 01 (May 08 - Jul 08)

Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:23 am

dont read this ruling wrongly hor...it just means, that within this week, if you wana short, make sure you confirmed borrowing first....it does NOT say, you cannot short these counters...

many of these counters are very very LIQUID....it is not difficult to borrow the stocks to short...
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:50 pm

Mortgage Applications Fall 6.2 Percent In Week Ending July 18
7/23/2008 8:38 AM ET


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(RTTNews) - The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 18 Wednesday morning. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 489.6, a decrease of 6.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 522.2 one week earlier.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6.1 percent compared with the previous week and was down 19.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The survey, which covers approximately 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, signals that the beleaguered US housing sector remains seriously distressed.
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US - Market Direction

Postby ishak » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:25 am

CNBC.com
23 Jul 2008 | 01:07 PM ET

In what some feared would be a bloody earnings season, Wall Street so far has not merely survived but has thrived as banks largely lived up to lowered expectations and confidence grew that the worst may be close to passing.

Major stock indexes have registered gains of about 3 percent and the battered and bloodied financial sector has staged a turnaround thought impossible as mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac looked at one point to be in danger of failing.

But investors plowed through and market pros have taken away some lessons from what could be a pivotal time for stocks.

1) Living With Lowered Expectations
While there have been companies that have come out with robust figures--Pfizer most recently comes to mind--much of the excitement has come in the form of earnings that weren't necessarily good but rather not as bad as expected.

Citigroup was among the leading examples, as the biggest bank in the US reported a stunning $11.7 billion of writedowns related to credit issues and an overall loss of $2.5 billion--news that lifted the spirits of Wall Street because it beat the already lowered bar. The result has been a nearly 20 percent surge in Citi shares that has coincided with a similar run-up in banks stocks overall.

"The overriding theme is the majority of earnings are beating the muted expectations, which is a good sign for the market," says Charles Massimo, head of CJM Fiscal Management. "The turnaround in the market has to start somewhere, and the first place it is going to start is a reversal of psychology. Beating these muted expectations brings a change to the market as a whole."

Massimo says it's unclear whether the optimism regarding earnings will make a long-term swing for the market, but says an influx of hedge fund money into stocks shows confidence is growing.

"Hedge-fund managers and big-money managers are going to book profits when they see an opportunity to go back into the equity market. You're starting to see speculative money flow out of the oil market and back into equities," he says. "They more than anyone else are looking for the right opportunity. They're going to spot it before the average investor."

2) It's the Oil, Stupid

Credit it all to better-than-expected earnings if you like, but there's a pretty straight line to draw between the plunge in oil prices and the surge in the stock market. The oil-stocks inversion is nothing new, and it's become particularly pronounced as Wall Street has digested both lower losses and the long-awaited drop in energy costs.

The two have proved to be a powerful tandem, like a Batman who has found his Robin.

"Having had a significant drop in the oil price at the same time as various earnings have been disclosed has made a huge difference," says Diane de Vries Ashley, managing partner at Zenith Capital Partners in Coral Gables, Fla. "Other circumstances would not be providing this subliminal euphoria we're seeing. Without that kind of move (in oil) you really can't get people to focus on anything but, frankly, their gas tanks."

De Vries Ashley sees this round of earnings more closely reflecting reality, something needed from a market that was riding an untenable wave for too long.

"It's very hard to sit back and say 'I'm only down 57 percent from last year.' Think about that for a second," she says. "Your cup is half-empty and half-full simultaneously. It's really quite an accomplishment with a sleight of hand."

3) Consumers Go Low-Tech

Large names in technology have been bitten by consumers who have less to spend on big-ticket items for their cell phones, digital cameras and computers.

Blame the the credit crunch and inflationary pressures from $4 a gallon gas and less money available from banks to borrow and finance large purchases.

Companies like Microsoft , Intel and Apple have suffered and predicted lowered profits in their futures.

"When we had the double-bottom in March and April, all the tech companies reported and the earnings were pretty good. Now I think we're seeing the total opposite," says Dave Rovelli, head of US equity trading at Boston-based Canaccord Adams. "The consumer's getting squeezed now."

Rovelli notes a conference call Tuesday with American Express had the credit card leader saying the middle class was suffering especially and had cut back its spending.

The fallout from the consumer getting pinched will be felt across the economy and the stock market, Rovelli warns.

"I think we're going to be in a trading range because even if oil is still coming in you still have inflationary problems with food and energy," he says.

4) Getting Bad News Out

Despite the ups and downs of any earnings season, market volatility has remained low.

The market's main measure of fear, the Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index , has held in the low 20s after eclipsing 30 during the apex of the Fannie-Freddie scare. That indicates that even with the worst of the news, the market is generally taking things in stride.

One of the reasons may be that Wall Street actually is welcoming the kind of full disclosure it got from Wachovia, which reported Tuesday that it suffered an $8.9 billion net loss in the second quarter.

That's the kind of number that under normal circumstances would have sent the market into a frenzy. Instead, investors pushed the stock up substantially higher.

"They got all the bad news out when they reported ... or what we're hoping is all the bad news," Rovelli says. "People took that as a great sign."

Consequently, investors are sitting tight until things shake out, without showing tangible signs of fear.

"We've got to keep in mind the long term," says Bruce Fenton, president of Atlantic Financial in Norwell, Mass. "A couple weeks does not a great market make."

5) Foreign Exposure Helps

Pfizer, DuPont and McDonald's each sang the same song when reporting earnings Wednesday—that strong foreign sales were helping boost earnings.

They joined a growing chorus of firms running the gamut in industries that have used robust demand overseas to offset changing consumer habits in the US. It's a trend expected to have a long shelf life.

"The world hasn't stopped turning, and companies with a foreign exposure seem to continue to surprise to the upside," says Jordan Kimmel, a hedge fund manager at Magnet Investing of Randolph, N.J. "It's clear that the US is in a slowdown and it's just as clear that the standard of living around the world is rising. When the US catches cold the rest of the world doesn't, in fact, get pneumonia anymore."

Yet Kimmel calls the market "stock-specific" and warns against jumping back in with both feet as stocks continue to look for solid ground.

"I definitely like to see companies with a great deal of foreign exposure," he says. "I wouldn't start jumping in with abandon. There's a lot more issues in financials and I think the market has a lot of confidence that it still needs to earn back. But this is definitely constructive. It's one step forward."
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:51 am

Hurricane Dolly Hits Texas Coastline
7/23/2008 1:47 PM ET



thanks to mm for this picture (actually took without asking...but now 150am..tot of calling him though :lol: )
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(RTTNews) - Hurricane Dolly has made landfall in southern Texas and the coasts of Mexico on Wednesday morning and is lashing the region with heavy downpours and strong gusts of about 120 mph, said officials.

National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded the Hurricane Dolly to a Category 2 storm after it gathered steady winds of 100 mph and gusts reaching 120 mph, just before making land fall.

The weather agency also issued a category two hurricane warning for the Texan coast from Brownsville to Corpus Christi and northward from Rio San Fernando in Mexico.

Forecasters said that the storm, which is the second of the Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to bring in 6 to 10 inches of rain, with up to 15 inches in some isolated areas, rising fears of widespread flooding in the area.

"Preparation to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," NHC in Miami warned.

The storm has already disrupted the power supply in the region and the heavy downpours are threatening to breach the levees, officials said.
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby millionairemind » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:24 pm

Wall Street's big bet on oil, bank shares falls apart
By Herbert Lash and Matthew Robinson - Analysis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The big momentum trade of 2008 is unwinding fast, helping to push battered banking shares upward while adding downward pressure to tumbling oil prices.

The trade, which bet energy prices would go higher and bank stocks would crater, has created huge volatility on financial markets and helped wreak havoc on pocketbooks and retirement accounts around the world.

When trouble erupted last summer in the U.S. market for home loans and related securities, investors bet Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be forced to cut interest rates to ease a fast-developing credit crunch.

They also reckoned lower rates would weaken the U.S. currency and prop up the price of dollar-denominated commodities like oil. And investors bet the credit crisis would simmer for a long time, to the detriment of banks and brokerages.

The bet was dead-on -- crude more doubled from last August as it hit a lifetime high of $147.90 two weeks ago and banking shares such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch tumbled 70 percent.

"A lot of the buying that we had seen from late August and until early September was all predicated on Ben Bernanke's 'new transparency,' basically telling everyone he would cut interest rates early and often," said Peter Beutel, president of trading consultancy Cameron Hanover in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The trade seemed linked, like a seesaw; when oil surged, banking shares fell. But two events -- one affecting oil and the other banks -- have come to the fore to snap the popular trade.

CRACKS APPEAR

The first crack appeared after U.S. government data began to show demand for energy was waning, a clear warning that oil prices could not climb forever.

Then on Sunday, July 13, the Treasury Department and the Fed moved to shore up Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a series of proposals to rescue the two struggling mortgage finance companies.

The trade started to unravel later that week after the Securities and Exchange Commission cracked down on short selling in financial shares, causing bank stocks to soar.

An unexpected jump in U.S. crude supplies also caused oil prices to fall sharply, forcing traders to reverse bets that oil prices would rise further.

The KBW Bank Index .BKX soared 17.3 percent, by far the biggest single-day gain since it was launched in May 1992.

Brian Gendreau, an investment strategist for ING Investment Management Americas in New York, said the trade got "killed."

A reversal of the trade has accelerated the recent surge in financial shares and the decline in oil prices, even in the face of some dismal bank results this week.

"A lot of hedge funds, particularly those involved in short trading, had the long-oil/short-financials trade for some time," said Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"So once that trade started to reverse, it has provided particularly strong support even to banks that have had weak quarterly results," he added.

Crude prices have shed nearly 15 percent since the price for a barrel of oil peaked while the KBW Bank Index of mostly big U.S. banks has shot up more than 45 percent after sliding to a multi-decade low.

The about-face can be seen in the amount of open interest in crude oil futures, which has tumbled to its lowest level since January 2, 2007. Open interest refers to contracts that have not been exercised, closed out or allowed to expire.

Open interest for all oil futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell to 1.217 million on Tuesday, down from 1.36 million contracts on July 11, when crude hit its all-time high.

The drop came as prices for September crude CLc1 settled down $3.98 at $124.44 a barrel on Wednesday, amid growing indications high fuel prices are driving down U.S. demand.

"It is a sure sign of long liquidation, certainly the unwinding of length is pretty obvious," said Mike Fitzpatrick, vice president of energy risk management for MF Global.

Hedge funds have aggressively driven oil's rise this year, but institutional investors have gone in the opposite direction, taking profits on equity stakes in energy when prices surged, said Saul Henry, head of U.S. equity strategy at State Street Global Markets.

But in recent weeks, both hedge funds and institutional investors have seemed to anticipate the trend of higher oil prices and sliding bank stocks would reach a limit.

In the six weeks through last week, "hedge funds have not been very aggressively putting those shorts back on in financials," said Henry, who pores over $14 trillion in trading volume at State Street to analyze the market.
"If a speculator is correct half of the time, he is hitting a good average. Even being right 3 or 4 times out of 10 should yield a person a fortune if he has the sense to cut his losses quickly on the ventures where he has been wrong" - Bernard Baruch

Disclaimer - The author may at times own some of the stocks mentioned in this forum. All discussions are NOT to be construed as buy/sell recommendations. Readers are advised to do their own research and analysis.
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:32 pm

831pm +8GMT 24Jul

US Jobless Claims

UP 34K to 406K


******

Weekly Jobless Claims Jump To 406,000
7/24/2008 8:42 AM ET


(RTTNews) - Thursday morning, the Department of Labor released its report on initial jobless claims in the week ended July 19th, showing that jobless claims for the week increased by much more than economists had been anticipating.

The report showed that jobless claims jumped to 406,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 372,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to increase to 380,000 from the 366,000 originally reported for the previous week.
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:30 pm

830pm +8 GMT 25Jul08

June Durable Goods (up 0.8% overall vs negative expectations)

good numbers... !!! CNBC poon this as a tremendously good numbers...

beat market expectations by a large margin

ex-transportations UP 2%
ex-Defence UP 0.1%


*********

Durable Goods Orders Unexpectedly Jump 0.8% In June
7/25/2008 8:37 AM ET


(RTTNews) - Orders for durable goods unexpectedly increased in the month of June, according to a report released by the Department of Commerce on Friday, with the growth reflecting a notable increase in orders for primary metals.

The report showed that durable goods orders rose 0.8 percent in June following a revised 0.1 percent increase in May. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected orders to decrease by about 0.3 percent.

**********
greenback rallies as durable goods orders rise unexpectedly in June
7/25/2008 8:36 AM ET


(RTTNews) - The dollar gained on other majors Friday morning after the release of a stunning report on durable goods orders for June. Durable goods rose 0.8 percent on-month, smashing expectations of a 0.4 percent decline. Ex-transportation, durable goods spiked higher by 2 percent.

The dollar rose to 1.5702 versus the euro, paring its early losses. The dollar also improved versus the sterling, rising to 1.9912. Against the yen, the buck rallied to 107.74 and is approaching a multi-week high of 107.97.
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Re: US Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:34 pm

New Home Sales Edge Down 0.6% In June
7/25/2008 10:13 AM ET


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(RTTNews) - Friday morning, the Department of Commerce released its report on new home sales in the month of June, showing that new home sales decreased modestly but came in well above economist estimates due to an upward revision to the previous month's data.

The report showed that new home sales edged down 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 530,000 in June from the revised May rate of 533,000. Economists had expected new home sales to slip to 505,000 from the 512,000 originally reported for the previous month.

.....

The report also showed that the median sales price of new houses sold in June was $230,900, which represents a 1.4 percent increase compared to the previous month but is down 2 percent year-over-year. The average sales price in June was $298,600.

Additionally, the Commerce Department said the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 426,000. This represents a supply of 10.0 months at the current sales rate, which compares to 10.4 months of supply at the end of May.
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Re: US - Economic Data & News

Postby kennynah » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:03 pm

july consumer confidence 51.9

better than expected

1st +ve since jan08

***********************
Consumer Confidence Index Rises To 51.9 In July
7/29/2008 10:08 AM ET





(RTTNews) - Consumer confidence unexpectedly increased in the month of July, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday, with the increase reflecting a modest improvement in consumers' expectations.

The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index edged up to 51.9 in July from an upwardly revised 51.0 in June. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected to index to slip to a reading of 50.0 from the 50.4 originally reported for the previous month.
Last edited by kennynah on Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US - Economic Data & News

Postby millionairemind » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:06 pm

Big jump in US indices after results are released.

Lets see how the mkt lasts throughout the night... some of us here are hoping for a nice follow thro'...

Please please Mr. Market.. lets give all a chance make some good money on the LONG SIDE... :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
"If a speculator is correct half of the time, he is hitting a good average. Even being right 3 or 4 times out of 10 should yield a person a fortune if he has the sense to cut his losses quickly on the ventures where he has been wrong" - Bernard Baruch

Disclaimer - The author may at times own some of the stocks mentioned in this forum. All discussions are NOT to be construed as buy/sell recommendations. Readers are advised to do their own research and analysis.
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