Well, how to dissect this. Inflation blows the doors off (bad) but those who want to delude themselves got something on which to concentrate.
If you don't eat, and don't drive, and you don't use anything that is produced by people who eat or drive, and you don't consume anything that is transported using fuel, then guess what? Inflation is way tame.
But if there are things in your consumption basket that rely on food'n'crude, inflation is at the highest level in 17 years.
But on the plus side, loads more people got sacked. That's gotta be good, right? Doesn't it mean that the Fed will cut rates?
What? Inflation? Inflation means they might raise rates? Jillikers, mister... this stuff is parr-ful confusin'.
You must excuse the rather 'listing like a half-sunk galleon' quality to today's witticisms, Dearest Reader. I think some of the grape juice I had with dinner might have... gasp... fermented in the bottle.
We went to the de Lavernay's house for a very nice dinner (the second this week) with the twins (Veronique and Marie-Joseph), Marie-Jo's delightful daughter Appoline, and Bertin and Valentine who are friends of the family from Paris. tomorrow is the start of the annual town fete, which goes for three days and culminates on Sunday with a whole bull roasted on a spit. Sadly Bertin and Valentine and their 3-year-old - who has the face of an angel, but whose name might be Howard or Harold... couldn't make it out - depart tomorrow and will miss it.
There was paté and sausage and roast pork and a really nice gratin dauphinoise, accompanied with a very nice Sancerre (a light red, not the usual white)... then cheese, then apple tart and another tart made with green plums that I've seen (they always look unripe to me - but they were delicious).
What? Oh... yes. Economic news.
CPI was twice as large as expected and jobless claims were 450k which was worse than expected. There. Happy now?
Now let's talk about dinner some more.
Bertin is Richard Branson's publisher (in French) as well as some others (like Mark Steyn who used to be way cool but now is a neocon suckhole). Very nice bloke.
OK... bored with dinner stories? Off to the indices then, with a brief stop in Fed-land.
Fed Open Market Operations
The Fed's Open Market Operations desk performed 3 repurchase operations:
- a 1 Day repurchase totalling $ 9.25bn, with $6.546bn in Treasury-backed collateral. This repo was undertaken at a weighted average rate of 2.109% - that is, a premium to the Fed Funds rate.
- a 7 Days repurchase totalling $8bn, with $7.989bn in Treasury-backed collateral at a weighted average rate of 2.080% (again, a premium to FF).
- a 14 Days repurchase totalling $5bn, with $3.238bn in Treasury-backed collateral at a weighted average rate of 2.060%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 82.97 points (0.72%) to 11615.93 points - but that's less that half the gain that it was showing just before 1 p.m., when it hit its intraday high at 11718.28. The session low was 11450.89 just prior to 10 a.m. NY time.
The 30 Dow components traded a total volume of 601.14m units. Within the index, 23 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 471.09m units; 6 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 81.13m units.
The S&P500 Index advanced +7.10 points (0.55%) to 1292.93 points.
The total volume traded in the index was 2836.66m units. Within the index, 355 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 2096.78m units; 137 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 630.71m units.
Today the index rose by 7.1 points (0.55%) to 1292.93 points. Contributing to the advance were -
- MBIA Inc. (MBI) +1.57 (17.9%) to $10.32 on volume of 19.11m shares;
- Estee Lauder Cos. (EL) +6.29 (14%) to $51.25 on volume of 11.52m shares;
- Liz Claiborne Inc. (LIZ) +1.54 (11.7%) to $14.72 on volume of 4.58m shares;
- Gannett Co. (GCI) +2.05 (10.6%) to $21.31 on volume of 9.87m shares; and
- General Motors (GM) +1.09 (10.6%) to $11.35 on volume of 30.62m shares.
The Nasdaq Composite advanced +25.05 points (1.03%) to 2453.67 points, and the Nasdaq100 advanced +22.36 points (1.15%) to 1964.38 points.
Total volume traded in the Nasdaq100 was 799.85m units. Within the index, 81 issues rose, with upside volume of 652.42m units; 16 issues fell, and downside volume totalled 93.23m units.
Today the index rose by 22.36 points (1.15%) to 1964.38 points. Contributing to the advance were -
- Hansen Natural (HANS) +2.99 (11.1%) to $29.98 on volume of 11.67m shares;
- SanDisk (SNDK) +1.55 (9.5%) to $17.82 on volume of 14.02m shares;
- Lamar Advertising (LAMR) +2.79 (7.6%) to $39.29 on volume of 3.05m shares;
- Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) +2.06 (6.3%) to $34.6 on volume of 3.38m shares; and
- NVIDIA (NVDA) +0.74 (6%) to $13 on volume of 40.65m shares.
The CBOE Volatility Index lost 1.21 points (5.61%) to 20.34 pointsand the CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index lost 2.1 points (8.55%) to 22.47 points.
A Total of 3473 issues traded today on the NYSE; today's total volume was 3.62 billion shares. A total of 2124 counters posted gains for the day, with aggregate volume of 2.45 billion shares trading to the upside. Exerting downwards pressure on the index were the 1233 losers, which accounted for a total volume of 1.13 billion shares. 30 stocks made new 1-year highs on the NYSE, while 83 shares plumbed new 52-week depths.
Over on the Nasdaq 3012 tickers traded today; total Nasdaq volume was 1.81 billion shares. A total of 1752 stocks posted gains for the day, with aggregate volume of 1.39 billion shares trading to the upside. The red zone of the Nasdaq exchange was populated with 1144 losers, which accounted for a total volume of 0.35 billion shares. 80 Nasdaq-listed stocks hit new 52-week highs, while 86 shares dipped to new 1-year lows.
|Major Market Statistics|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||11615.93||+82.97||0.72%|
|CBOE Volatility Index||20.34||-1.21||-5.61%|
|CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index||22.47||-2.10||-8.55%|
- General Motors (GM) +1.09 (10.6%) to $11.35 on volume of 31.1m units
- Bank Of America (BAC) +1.32 (4.6%) to $30.18 on volume of 62.2m units
- American Express (AXP) +1.31 (3.6%) to $38.2 on volume of 11.1m units
- AIG (AIG) +0.77 (3.5%) to $22.82 on volume of 29.5m units
- Home Depot (HD) +0.65 (2.5%) to $27.17 on volume of 13.8m units
- Alcoa (AA) -0.39 (1.2%) to $31.86 on volume of 9.8m units
- Exxon-Mobil (XOM) -0.72 (0.9%) to $77.45 on volume of 23.9m units
- AT&T (T) -0.18 (0.6%) to $31.12 on volume of 23.4m units
- Coca-Cola (KO) -0.19 (0.3%) to $55.02 on volume of 7.2m units
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) -0.11 (0.2%) to $45.5 on volume of 9.2m units
Most Traded Dow stocks
- Bank Of America (BAC) +1.32 (4.6%) to $30.18 on volume of 62.2m units
- Citigroup (C) +0.27 (1.5%) to $18.08 on volume of 58.9m units
- Intel (INTC) +0.24 (1%) to $24.36 on volume of 50.2m units
- Microsoft (MSFT) unchanged at $27.91 on volume of 48.9m units
- JPMorganChase (JPM) +0.9 (2.4%) to $37.81 on volume of 39.2m units
Precious metals futures did pretty much as I foretold yesterday: that is, they gave the folks who bought yesterday something to think very hard about. Expect these newcomers to be shaken (and stirred) some more.
|Precious Metals Futures|
The Gold Bugs index (XAU) contains 16 components; the total volume traded in the index was 86.2m units. Every singel one of those components fell today. The index itself fell by 6.46 points (4.33%) to 142.62 points. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- GoldCorp (GG) -2.27 (6.8%) to $30.92 on volume of 9.68m shares;
- Pan-American Silver (PAAS) -1.85 (6.7%) to $25.79 on volume of 1.55m shares;
- Yamana Gold (AUY) -0.72 (6.6%) to $10.23 on volume of 11.22m shares;
- Kinroos Gold (KGC) -0.94 (5.7%) to $15.56 on volume of 6.75m shares; and
- Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) -2.88 (5.4%) to $50.6 on volume of 3.74m shares.
Energy futures didn't finish as soft as they looked when I checked before going to dinner chez les de Lavernay: atthat point OIl was down over 2% and I was looking forward to beating you over the head with yesterday's wisdom. The rebound will not happen until I declare it is to be so. That will be soon.
The Oil Services index (OSX) contains 15 components; the total volume traded in the index was 64.51m units. Within the index, 2 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 11.66m units; 13 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 52.85m units.
Today the index fell by 3.53 points (1.2%) to 290.1 points. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- Global Industries (GLBL) -0.34 (3.7%) to $8.76 on volume of 4.08m shares;
- National Oilwell Varco (NOV) -1.67 (2.3%) to $70.87 on volume of 5.01m shares;
- Schlumberger (SLB) -1.86 (1.9%) to $94.05 on volume of 6.63m shares;
- Transocean Inc (RIG) -2.23 (1.7%) to $129.2 on volume of 5.57m shares; and
- Nabors Industries (NBR) -0.58 (1.7%) to $33.92 on volume of 5.13m shares.
The nine-stock group that makes up the Rant bellwethers advanced on average by 2.4%. The fallout occurred as follows:
- General Electric (GE) +0.21 (0.72%) to $29.52 on volume of 30.11m units.
- Citigroup (C) +0.27 (1.52%) to $18.08 on volume of 58.87m units.
- Wal-Mart (WMT) +0.22 (0.38%) to $58.10 on volume of 26.1m units.
- IBM (IBM) +1.14 (0.91%) to $126.94 on volume of 6.39m units.
- Intel (INTC) +0.24 (1%) to $24.36 on volume of 50.21m units.
- Cisco Systems (CSCO) +0.36 (1.48%) to $24.67 on volume of 37.49m units.
- Google (GOOG) +5.46 (1.09%) to $505.49 on volume of 2.92m units.
- Fannie Mae (FNM) +0.59 (7.72%) to $8.23 on volume of 30.5m units.
- Freddie Mac (FRE) +0.39 (7.03%) to $5.94 on volume of 40.59m units.
Other Indices of Interest...
The Banks index (BKX) contains 24 components; the total volume traded in the index was 389.04m units. All index components rose. The index rose by 2 points (3.16%) to 65.22 points. Contributing to the advance were -
- Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) +0.68 (9.6%) to $7.8 on volume of 9.75m shares;
- Wachovia (WB) +1 (6.8%) to $15.81 on volume of 55.06m shares;
- Regions Financial (RF) +0.52 (6.2%) to $8.88 on volume of 9.4m shares;
- Washington Mutual (WM) +0.24 (5.8%) to $4.36 on volume of 32.18m shares; and
- Suntrust Banks (STI) +2.22 (5.6%) to $42.14 on volume of 5.7m shares.
The Semiconductor index (SOX) contains 18 components; the total volume traded in the index was 183.76m units. Within the index, 14 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 148.28m units; 4 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 35.47m units.
Today the index rose by 3.99 points (1.07%) to 377.08 points. Contributing to the advance were -
- Sandisk (SNDK) +1.55 (9.5%) to $17.82 on volume of 14.02m shares;
- Micron Technology (MU) +0.27 (5.3%) to $5.37 on volume of 16.49m shares;
- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) +0.15 (2.9%) to $5.3 on volume of 18.83m shares;
- Broadcom (BRCM) +0.52 (2%) to $27.17 on volume of 6.85m shares; and
- Marvell Technology (MRVL) +0.3 (1.9%) to $16.32 on volume of 8.52m shares.
The ChildKiller ("Defence") index (DFX) contains 17 components; the total volume traded in the index was 57.27m units. Within the index, 13 issues rose, with aggregate volume of 49.07m units; 4 issues fell, with aggregate volume of 8.2m units.
Today the index rose by 0.84 points (0.22%) to 379.02 points. Contributing to the advance were -
- Esterline Tech (ESL) +0.58 (1.1%) to $53.2 on volume of 0.2m shares;
- Gencorp (GY) +0.08 (0.9%) to $8.67 on volume of 0.56m shares;
- Boeing (BA) +0.51 (0.8%) to $64.77 on volume of 8.6m shares;
- General Electric (GE) +0.21 (0.7%) to $29.52 on volume of 30.11m shares; and
- Embraer Empresa (ERJ) +0.23 (0.7%) to $32.35 on volume of 0.52m shares.
Currency futures continued their USD bid, which I think is really quite funny. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will jump short when the ducks are all lined up... and not a moment before.
|U.S. Dollar Index||76.835||0.45||0.59|
|New Zealand Dollar||0.6965||-0.005||-0.71|