Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Friday, July 25, 2008

USRant: Welcome Friday Tedium

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

I'm prepared to bet that there are an awful lot of people who were more than happy to have a typically dull Friday. It the Dow had finished the day within a few points either side of unchanged, folks would have been counting their blessings.

It is screamingly obvious that the US media will be absolutely full to bursting this weekend with the usual Pavlovian/Orwellian/Rovian spinning, in a bid to generate the usual Monday Morning Orgasm as folks return to the market grateful that the world made it through another weekend without being plunged into a Cheney-orchestrated hell of fire and death.

Still, the US economy is in dire shape, and it's not entirely due to housing or the mortgage market. It is due to an appalling lack of fiscal discipline on the part of the US government, and a mindbogglingly inept Federal Reserve under the stewardships of Greenspan and Bernanke.

Economic News

Overall, a mixed bag -

  • Durable Goods Orders for June rose 0.8% - consensus had been for a contraction of 0.3%. The only important number in the report - non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft - rose 1.4%, which is actually pretty good if it is to be believed.
  • New Home Sales for June fell to 530K consensus of 505K; youmight have thought that 530k is an increase from the prior reportedfigure for May (512k) but May was revised upwards to 533k. So themagnitude of the 'beat' depends on how consensus estimates were arrivedat, and how consensus should be changed given the change to history.Should consensus of 505k be read as expectation of "a decline of 7kfrom what we were told last month" (512-505), or an absolute level of505k? In the former case, the actual number was only 4k higher than'consensus post-revision';
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment indexwas revised upward to 61.2 from its previously-released 'advance'reading of 56.6; the market had expected there to be a very slightdeclie from the advance estimate.
Fed Open Market Operations

The Fed's Open Market Operations desk performed a singlerepurchase today - a 3 Day (weekend) repurchase totalling $7.5bn, with$4.833bn in Treasury-backed collateral and undertaken at a weightedaverage rate of 2.035%.

Headline Indices

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 21.41 points (0.19%) to 11370.69 points. The indexhigh for the day was 11443.81, just after 10 a.m. NY time, while thelow was 11325.10 at 2:45 p.m. Total volume traded in the index was540.08m units. Within theindex, 17 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 245.58m units; 12issues fell, with aggregate volume of 254.96m units.

The best performers in the advance were -

  • Microsoft (MSFT) +0.72 (2.8%) to $26.16 on volume of 55.89mshares;
  • Boeing (BA) +1.3 (2.1%) to $63.83 on volume of 4.54m shares;
  • Alcoa (AA) +0.53 (1.7%) to $31.81 on volume of 4.96m shares;
  • United Technologies (UTX) +1.03 (1.6%) to $65.23 on volumeof 2.54m shares; and
  • Intel (INTC) +0.34 (1.6%) to $22.01 on volume of 38.32mshares.

The S&P500 Index advanced +5.22points (0.42%) to 1257.76 points; total volume traded in theindex was 2666.09m units. Within theindex, 266 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 1256.42m units; 224issues fell, with aggregate volume of 1329.09m units.

Contributing to the advance were -

  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) +4 (17.7%) to $26.57 on volume of44.04m shares;
  • IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) +11.88 (13.1%) to$102.9 on volume of 2.79m shares;
  • Massey Energy Company (MEE) +7.35 (11.7%) to $70.19 onvolume of 3.3m shares;
  • National City Corp. (NCC) +0.43 (9.2%) to $5.1 on volume of20.27m shares; and
  • MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) +3.24 (7.7%) to $45.47 onvolume of 4.5m shares.

Overall, 3435 issues traded today on the NYSE; total volumewas 2.86 billion shares. A total of 1872 counters posted gains for theday, with aggregate volume of 1.28 billion shares trading to theupside. Exerting downwards pressure on the index were the 1459 losers,which accounted for a total volume of 1.52 billion shares. 27 stocksmade new 1-year highs on the NYSE, while 117 shares plumbed new 52-weekdepths.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced +30.42points (1.33%) to 2310.53 points and the Nasdaq100 advanced +29.57 points (1.63%) to 1846.55 points. Total volume tradedin the Nasdaq100 index was 845.15m units. Within theindex, 69 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 616.05m units; 30issues fell, with aggregate volume of 207.62m units.

Major Nasdaq100 advancers included -
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) +4 (17.7%) to $26.57 on volume of44.04m shares;
  • Joy Global (JOYG) +4.61 (6.9%) to $71.05 on volume of 3.37mshares;
  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) +1.48 (5.3%) to $29.49 onvolume of 2.77m shares;
  • NII Holdings (NIHD) +2.63 (5%) to $55.46 on volume of 4.49mshares; and
  • NVIDIA (NVDA) +0.53 (4.8%) to $11.56 on volume of 25.58mshares.

A total of 2998 tickers traded today on the Nasdaq, and totalNasdaq volume was1.96bn shares. A total of 1759 stocks posted gains for the day,with aggregate volume of 1.33bn shares trading to the upside. Thered zone of the Nasdaq exchange was populated with 1104 losers, whichaccounted for a total volume of 600m shares. 69 Nasdaq-listedstocks hit new 52-week highs, while 109 shares dipped to new 1-yearlows.

The CBOE Volatility Index lost 0.76points (3.24%) to 22.68 points, and the CBOE Nasdaq100Volatility Index lost 1.3 points (4.67%) to 26.53 points.

Major Market Statistics
Dow Jones Industrial Average 11370.69+21.410.19%
S&P500 Index 1257.76+5.220.42%
Nasdaq Composite 2310.53+30.421.33%
Nasdaq100 1846.55+29.571.63%
CBOE Volatility Index 22.68-0.76-3.24%
CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index 26.53-1.30-4.67%

The nine-stock group that makes up the Rant bellwethersdeclined on average by 0.5%. The fallout occurred as follows:

  • General Electric (GE) -0 (0%) to $28.71on volume of 39.54m units.
  • Citigroup (C) -0.21 (1.1%) to $18.85 onvolume of 77.97m units.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) -0.14 (0.25%) to $56.83on volume of 8.49m units.
  • IBM (IBM) -1.47 (1.13%) to $128.53 onvolume of 6.33m units.
  • Intel (INTC) +0.34 (1.57%) to $22.01 onvolume of 38.32m units.
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO) +0.67 (3.08%) to$22.43 on volume of 61.29m units.
  • Google (GOOG) +16.36 (3.44%) to $491.98on volume of 3.06m units.
  • Fannie Mae (FNM) -0.47 (3.91%) to $11.55on volume of 72.49m units.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) -0.54 (6.13%) to $8.27on volume of 61.56m units.
Precious Metals

Precious metals futures advanced with the exception ofPalladium -

Precious Metals Futures

The Gold Bugs index (XAU) contains 16components; the total volume traded in the index was 38.99m units.Within the index, 13 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 32.37munits; 3 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 6.62m units.

Today the index rose by 1.31 points (0.76%) to 173.52 points.Contributing to the advance were -

  • Coeur d'Alene (CDE) +0.13 (5.4%) to $2.53 on volume of 4.3mshares;
  • RandGold Resources (GOLD) +1.86 (4%) to $48.56 on volume of0.51m shares;
  • AngloGold Ashanti (AU) +0.7 (2.1%) to $33.74 on volume of0.48m shares;
  • Royal Gold (RGLD) +0.68 (2%) to $35.4 on volume of 0.46mshares; and
  • Freeport McMoran (FCX) +1.68 (1.8%) to $96.26 on volume of3.62m shares.
Energy Complex

Energy futures continued weak - over the weekend I will post afull technical appraisal for subscribers...

Energy Futures
Crude Oil123.36-2.13-1.7
Heating Oil3.554-0.0406-1.13
Natural Gas9.075-0.248-2.66
Gasoline RBOB3.0326-0.0268-0.88

The Oil Services index (OSX) contains 15components; the total volume traded in the index was 48.56m units.Within the index, 12 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 36.8m units;3 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 11.77m units.

Today the index rose by 2.82 points (0.92%) to 309.25 points.Contributing to the advance were -

  • Noble Corp (NE) +2.15 (4.2%) to $53.65 on volume of 3.37mshares;
  • Nabors Industries (NBR) +1.35 (3.5%) to $39.63 on volume of4.16m shares;
  • National Oilwell Varco (NOV) +2.06 (2.8%) to $74.74 onvolume of 2.75m shares;
  • Rowan Co (RDC) +1.11 (2.8%) to $41.31 on volume of 2.87mshares; and
  • Weatherford International (WFT) +0.89 (2.5%) to $36.78 onvolume of 4.78m shares.
Other Indices of Interest...

The Banks index (BKX) contains 24components; the total volume traded in the index was 578.15m units.Within the index, 7 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 73.18m units;17 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 504.98m units.

Today the index fell by 0.59 points (0.92%) to 63.22 points.The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -

  • Regions Financial (RF) -1.08 (10.6%) to $9.08 on volume of25.08m shares;
  • Wachovia (WB) -1.19 (7.6%) to $14.5 on volume of 84.19mshares;
  • Washington Mutual (WM) -0.19 (4.7%) to $3.84 on volume of158.1m shares;
  • New M&I Corporation (MI) -0.61 (4.1%) to $14.41 onvolume of 3.65m shares; and
  • Bank Of America (BAC) -1.06 (3.5%) to $29.58 on volume of75.14m shares.

The Semiconductor index (SOX) contains18 components; the total volume traded in the index was 178.38m units.Within the index, 14 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 144.82munits; 4 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 33.56m units.

Today the index rose by 2.03 points (0.6%) to 337.62 points.Contributing to the advance were -

  • Infineon Tech (IFX) +0.4 (5.3%) to $7.9 on volume of 2.37mshares;
  • ST Microelectronic (STM) +0.35 (3.2%) to $11.33 on volumeof 1.08m shares;
  • Marvell Technology (MRVL) +0.32 (2.2%) to $14.79 on volumeof 17.66m shares;
  • Altera (ALTR) +0.39 (1.8%) to $21.53 on volume of 8.14mshares; and
  • Xilinx (XLNX) +0.39 (1.6%) to $24.5 on volume of 6.2mshares.

The ChildKiller ("Defence") index (DFX)contains 17 components; the total volume traded in the index was 57.22munits. Within the index, 13 issues rose, with aggregate volume of15.17m units; 3 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 2.52m units.

Today the index rose by 5.65 points (1.57%) to 364.97 points.Contributing to the advance were -

  • ITT Corporation (ITT) +4.01 (6.4%) to $66.68 on volume of2.47m shares;
  • Gencorp (GY) +0.25 (3%) to $8.65 on volume of 0.12m shares;
  • Teledyne Tech (TDY) +1.73 (2.7%) to $65.17 on volume of0.34m shares;
  • Northrop Grummanl (NOC) +1.81 (2.7%) to $68.63 on volume of1.53m shares; and
  • General Dynamics (GD) +2.13 (2.4%) to $89.19 on volume of1.11m shares.
Currency Futures

Currency futures performed as follows -

Currency Futures
U.S. Dollar Index73.05-0.075-0.1
Euro FX1.56530.00370.24
Swiss Franc0.96480.00020.02
Australian Dollar0.9502-0.0007-0.07
Canadian Dollar0.98-0.0064-0.65
Japanese Yen0.9293-0.0049-0.52
New Zealand Dollar0.73640.00120.16