Market Recap for October 31, 2011 #market $$

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This is your Benzinga news summary and traders’ summary for Monday, October 31, 2011, covering headlines from Monday’s trading session.

Today at market close, the Dow Jones Index traded down about 276.10 points or 2.26%, the S&P 500 traded 2.47% lower, the Nasdaq Composite Index traded down 1.93%, and the U.S. dollar trades slightly higher near the $76.70 level.

Earlier today, Wedbush upgraded Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ: LAMR) to Outperform and JP Morgan upgraded Arkansas Best (NASDAQ: ABFS [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) to Neutral. View all of today’s upgrades here.

Morgan Keegan downgraded Boardwalk Pipeline (NYSE: BWP) to Market Perform and UBS downgraded Home Properties (NYSE: AIV) to Sell. View all oftoday’s downgrades here.

Overseas, European markets ended their trading session lower. Britain’s FTSE 100 decreased by 2.77%, Germany’s DAX lost 3.23% and France’s CAC 40 declined by 3.16% on the session. Asian stocks ended their session lower as well. China’s Shanghai Index lost 0.21%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid by 0.69%, and the Hang Seng index decreased by 0.77%.

On the economic calendar, the Chicago Purchasing Manager number came in at 58.4 versus an estimate of 59; the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity number came in at 2.3 versus an estimate of -5. On the commodity front, goldand silver futures traded slightly lower today, with gold trading about 1.63% lower today. Energy futures are mixed, with crude oil down over 0.7% near the $92.60 level and gasoline futures are trading lower by about 0.5%. Natural Gas futures are higher by about 0.3% and copper futures are trading over 2.6% lower.

On the earnings front this morning, Humana Reports (NYSE: HUM [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) Q3 EPS $2.54 vs $2.02 Est; Revenues $9.30 vs $9.25B Est; Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE: APC) Reports Q3 EPS $0.66 vs $0.68 Est; Revenues $3.20B vs $3.27B Est; Allstate (NYSE: ALL) Reports Q3 EPS $0.16 vs $0.13 Est; Revenues $8.24B vd $6.74B Est.

In corporate news, Boyd Gaming Corp (NYSE: BYD [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) announced that it has signed a 15 year agreement with bwin.party digital entertainment plc. The terms are undisclosed, but Boyd plans on using bwin.party’s platform to offer online poker to its clients.

Giga-tronics Incorporated (NASDAQ: GIGA) announced that it has signed a securities purchase agreement for $2.2 million by Alara Capital Partners. The strategic buyer will acquire about a 16.6% stake.

MetLife (NYSE: MET) announced that Steven A. Kandarian will be the new chairman of the board. Kandarian succeeds Robert Henrikson, and will begin the position on January 1, 2012.

Today’s movers include:

Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) +30.49% after reporting earnings on Friday.

Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MNTA) on positive preliminary injuction against makers a generic Lovenox.

VirnetX holding (NYSE: VHC) +10.57% after being initiated with Buy and $50 PT at a mid-tier analyst firm.

NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: NPSP) -32.73% after reporting deaths in an experimental drug trial.

Integra LifeSciences (NASDAQ: IART) -16.53% after reporting Q3 earnings and FY2011 guidance.

Changyou.com (NASDAQ: CYOU) -13.17% despite positive Q3 results.

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Next Week Tape $SPX $SPY #market

02

Economics and FedSpeak:

Monday

Chicago PMI

Tuesday

ISM Manufacturing for October

October auto sales

Construction spending for September

Day One of the FOMC meeting

Wednesday

ADP payrolls report for October

Day Two of the FOMC meeting

Ben Bernanke press conference!

Thursday

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart speaks

Weekly jobless claims

Third-quarter productivity

ECB interest-rate decision

ISM non-manufacturing index for October

G20 summit opens in Cannes

Friday

October jobs report

Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks

More G20 summit fun

Earnings:

Monday

Loews

HCP

Anadarko

AvalonBay

FMC

Humana

Allstate

Tuesday

Marathon Petroleum

Marathon Oil

Pitney Bowes

MetroPCS

Pinnacle West

Valero

Watson Pharmaceuticals

Tenet Healthcare

Rowan

Pfizer

Nicor

Fidelity National Information Services

FirstEnergy

Emerson Electric

CME Group

Baker Hughes

Archer Daniels Midland

AmerisourceBergen

Williams Cos.

TECO Energy

Pioneer Natural Resources

ONEOK

JDS Uniphase

Fiserv

Discovery Communications

CF Industries

American Tower

Public Service Enterprise Group

Unum

Wednesday

Becton, Dickinson

Clorox

Comcast

Devon Energy

Edison International

EOG Resources

El Paso

MasterCard

Murphy Oil

Molson Coors

MEMC Electronic Materials

Time Warner

R.R. Donnelley

Quanta Services

Marsh & McLennan

Cognizant Technology

CenterPoint Energy

CenturyLink

Hartford Financial Services

Kimco Realty

Lincoln National

Prudential Financial

Integrys Energy

Tesoro

Vulcan Materials

Whole Foods

Kraft Foods

News Corp.

QUALCOMM

Thursday

Sara Lee

Public Storage

Progress Energy

PG&E

NRG Energy

Beam

Estee Lauder

DirecTV

Teradata

Scripps Networks Interactive

Spectra Energy

PPL

Health Care REIT

Frontier Communications

Denbury Resources

CVS Caremark

Alpha Natural

Sunoco

Starbucks

PerkinElmer

Microchip Technology

Genworth Financial

Fluor

DaVita

Chesapeake Energy

CBS

AIG

NYSE Euronext

Duke Energy

Kellogg

Apache

Sempra Energy

Friday

Ameren

AES

DTE Energy

Windstream

Washington Post

NextEra Energy

Pepco Holdings

Ventas

Northeast Utilities

Via MarketBeat

Weekly Scoreboard #Market $SPX

Indices

  • S&P 500 1,285.08 +3.78%
  • DJIA 12,231.10 +3.58%
  • NASDAQ 2,737.15 +3.78%
  • Russell 2000 761.0 +6.82%
  • Wilshire 5000 13,334.20 +4.20%
  • Russell 1000 Growth 598.07 +3.70%
  • Russell 1000 Value 637.33 +4.26%
  • Morgan Stanley Consumer 743.23 +1.45%
  • Morgan Stanley Cyclical 944.73 +7.03%
  • Morgan Stanley Technology 653.60 +4.26%
  • Transports 5,011.98 +4.12%
  • Utilities 453.69 +.23%
  • MSCI Emerging Markets 42.06 +9.81%
  • Lyxor L/S Equity Long Bias Index 972.84 +.43%
  • Lyxor L/S Equity Variable Bias Index 832.92 -.08%
  • Lyxor L/S Equity Short Bias Index 625.54 -1.05%

Sentiment/Internals

  • NYSE Cumulative A/D Line 128,777 +5.24%
  • Bloomberg New Highs-Lows Index -136 +318
  • Bloomberg Crude Oil % Bulls 21.0 -53.3%
  • CFTC Oil Net Speculative Position 159,718 +10.63%
  • CFTC Oil Total Open Interest 1,388,897 -2.98%
  • Total Put/Call .98 +15.29%
  • OEX Put/Call 1.90 +175.36%
  • ISE Sentiment 126.0 +17.8%
  • NYSE Arms .88 -12.87%
  • Volatility(VIX) 24.53 -21.90%
  • S&P 500 Implied Correlation 71.18 -10.11%
  • G7 Currency Volatility (VXY) 11.99 -9.71%
  • Smart Money Flow Index 10,755.10 +1.10%
  • Money Mkt Mutual Fund Assets $2.634 Trillion unch.
  • AAII % Bulls 43.0 +19.48%
  • AAII % Bears 25.0 -27.75%

Futures Spot Prices

  • CRB Index 323.07 +3.85%
  • Crude Oil 93.32 +6.79%
  • Reformulated Gasoline 268.22 -.11%
  • Natural Gas 3.92 +2.13%
  • Heating Oil 305.92 +1.33%
  • Gold 1,747.20 +6.23%
  • Bloomberg Base Metals 216.58 +8.87%
  • Copper 370.60 +14.26%
  • US No. 1 Heavy Melt Scrap Steel 418.33 USD/Ton unch.
  • China Iron Ore Spot 116.90 USD/Ton -18.02%
  • UBS-Bloomberg Agriculture 1,592.44 +1.10%

Economy

  • ECRI Weekly Leading Economic Index Growth Rate -10.0% +10 basis points
  • S&P 500 EPS Estimates (FY 2012 Mean) 109.54 -.47%
  • Citi US Economic Surprise Index 17.80 +3.0 points
  • Fed Fund Futures imply 29.7% chance of no change, 70.3% chance of 25 basis point cut on 11/02
  • US Dollar Index 75.09 -1.62%
  • Yield Curve 203.0 +8 basis points
  • 10-Year US Treasury Yield 2.32% +10 basis points
  • Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet $2.829 Trillion -.23%
  • U.S. Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 38.30 -11.55%
  • Illinois Municipal Debt Credit Default Swap 256.0 -4.68%
  • Western Europe Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap Index 313.29 -7.33%
  • Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt CDS Index 241.83 -10.76%
  • Saudi Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 103.0 -8.46%
  • Iraqi 2028 Government Bonds 85.83 +4.76%
  • China Blended Corporate Spread Index 648.0 -110 basis points
  • 10-Year TIPS Spread 2.15% +13 basis points
  • TED Spread 43.0 +3 basis points
  • 3-Month Euribor/OIS Spread 78.0 +3 basis points
  • N. America Investment Grade Credit Default Swap Index 114.54 -12.93%
  • Euro Financial Sector Credit Default Swap Index 189.98 -14.10%
  • Emerging Markets Credit Default Swap Index 261.66 -16.39%
  • CMBS Super Senior AAA 10-Year Treasury Spread 315.0 unch.
  • M1 Money Supply $2.151 Trillion -.32%
  • Commercial Paper Outstanding 961.10 +1.20%
  • 4-Week Moving Average of Jobless Claims 405,500 +.40%
  • Continuing Claims Unemployment Rate 2.9% unch.
  • Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate 4.10% -1 basis point
  • Weekly Mortgage Applications 664.0 +4.88%
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort -51.1 -2.7 points
  • Weekly Retail Sales +4.50% -20 basis points
  • Nationwide Gas $3.45/gallon -.02/gallon
  • U.S. Heating Demand Next 7 Days 16.0% above normal
  • Baltic Dry Index 2,091 -3.24%
  • Oil Tanker Rate(Arabian Gulf to U.S. Gulf Coast) 35.0 +7.69%
  • Rail Freight Carloads 254,404 +.42%

Best Performing Style

  • Small-Cap Growth +7.38%

Worst Performing Style

  • Large-Cap Growth +3.70%

Leading Sectors

  • Steel +17.43%
  • Gold & Silver +12.50%
  • Oil Service +11.73%
  • HMOs +11.66%
  • Networking +10.25%

Lagging Sectors

  • Telecom +1.62%
  • Wireless +1.18%
  • Utilities +.23%
  • Education -.21%
  • Retail -.85%

Forget ATM’s…The Bank will help you dig yourself further into debt $GLD $GC_F

P66

Leverage yourself…. And buy gold.

As I was walking down in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, I noticed this advertisement by the City of Buenos Aires’ Bank. It is part of an advertising campaing recently were the bank is in fact offering loans at a “preferred” rate to buy gold.

The public AD states:

Gold Loan, as unique as your investments

Buy Gold, pay in installments

Some of the terms of the loan offering:

– No credit screening

-180 day term loan

– Maximum laon to an amount of the equivalent 25,000 US Dollars

– 19% APR

Looks like a sweet deal…. for the Bank.

You can find further info at Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires’ website (in spanish)

Although ultimately I think the barbaric relic will probably reach higher prices, I aIso couldn’t help to think that when things are starting to get so widespread and eventually out of control, something is definitely not in the right place.

Let me explain my point: the mayority of Argentina’s economy in is cash-based. That means there’s little/no credit available. Financing is only available to a few. With the exception of Consumer credit thru credit cards (it is also important to note that only a small percentage of the population is bancarized) it is nearly impossible in Argentina to buy a house, for example, by applying for a loan. Loans are very difficult to obtain, and almost non-existent.

You can get “payment plans in installments” backed by a mortgage thru the owner/developer but most of them are locked in Foreing currency -US Dollar, generally- The Peso trades 0.24 to the US Dollar, currently

The same occurs when buying a vehicle, although to a lesser extent. It is really concerning to me to see this type of “products” targeted towards the general public, which smells like bubble to me.

Alternatively, those gold permabulls could argue that, provided what have been happening over the last few years, gold has certainly has became an asset class in itself.

I couldn’t help to think about someone who assumes a loan, locks the price thinking that the only way for the price of gold is up and -suddenly- gets also locked in into an important retracement or correction of the asset. They will be exposed to a loss-loss situation.

Real Estate anyone?

#Argentina: President Cristina Fern??ndez de Kirchner???s gets reelected by huge margin

Encuentro-argentina

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s landslide victory, with which she will begin a second term until 2015. 

International media has had a widespread coverage of the Elections, currently beign held.

The Guardian reports:

Yes, it’s the economy. Since Argentina defaulted on $95bn of international debt nine years ago and blew off the International Monetary Fund, the economy has done remarkably well. For the years 2002-2011, using the IMF’s projections for the end of this year, Argentina has chalked up real GDP growth of about 94%. This is the fastest economic growth in the western hemisphere – about twice that of Brazil, for example, which has also improved enormously over past performance. Since President Fernandez or her late husband Nestor Kirchner, who preceded her as president, were running the country for eight of these nine years, it shouldn’t be surprising that voters will reward her with another term.

The benefits of growth don’t always trickle down, but in this case, the Argentine government has made sure that many did. Poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced by about two thirds since their peak in 2002, and employment has increased to record levels. Social spending by the government has nearly tripled in real terms. In 2009, the government implemented a cash transfer program for children that now reaches the households of more than 3.5 million children. It is probably the largest such program, relative to national income, in Latin America.

 

However, Argentina’s stil faces important issues that the President will need to face in her second term: Inflation has been rampant, projected 25-30% for this year, lack of adequate institutitional framewrok, endless and widespread corruption and lack of confidence in the banking system -there has been an an important drain from deposits in the banking system over the last few months and the slowdown that Brasil  -Argentina’s biggest commercial partner- has been experiencing.

You can find info in english @ The Buenos Aires Herald

In “Turbulent Forecasts for Victorious Fernandez“, The Financial Times also sheds light in some of the issues that Argentina might be facing in the following years that might create a more turbulent period for CFK

Argentina has to thank both China and Brasil for quite a few of the growth it has experienced over the last few years

The country has been losing competitiveness as the economy of Brazil – its top trading partner and a key market for its manufacturing exports – has slowed. But Argentina cannot make any sudden changes to the exchange rate for fear of stoking inflation, already widely believed to be running at about 25 per cent.

That, combined with a faster-paced depreciation than the rate of about 7 per cent seen to date – currency futures suggest the market is pricing in a gradual devaluation of 15 to 20 per cent – could mark a shift towards tighter monetary and looser currency policy in future.

Furthermore, as previously noted, inflation has been rampant and the Peso has been steady for more than 4 years at rate of 4:1. This is creating a huge obstacle for the competitiviness of the country

…it’s clear that Argentina is heading for a peso problem. There are two ways to deal with this – accelerate devaluation or reduce inflation. But there are problems with both,” said one chief economist at a large think-tank, who asked not to be named. The government has slapped hefty fines on economists for contradicting the official, discredited, inflation figures which show a much rosier picture.

Subsidies and political clientelism are also matters that CFK’s second term will have to face

The government has also been quietly signalling possible cuts in the heavy subsidies it dishes out to keep public utilities’ rates at about a third of those in neighbouring countries, and public transport cheap – about 26 US cents for an underground train ride, for example.

Finally, Argentina -at some point- will have to face the foreign debts markets, which have been absent after defaulting in 2001.

Argentina, which remains cut off from international financial markets since its 2001 default on nearly $100bn, has financed debt payments with central bank reserves and receipts from the state pensions agency. Although it can keep doing so for a while, it is likely to need to return to capital markets during the new Fernández term, analysts say.

 

 

Volcker: If #banks think it’s too complex, ???they have no one to blame but themselves,??? $XLF $GS & the usual suspects

Insidejobpaulvolckerchairmanfederalreservecarterreagan

The NYT article draws upon the drastic change that has been experienciing  “Volcker Rule” since its proposal, almost a year ago.

The measure, named for Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who proposed it, that aims to restrict the ability of banks whose deposits are federally insured from trading for their own benefit.

Last year, when the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act went to Congress, theVolcker Rule that it contained took up 10 pages.

Last week, when the proposed regulations for the Volcker Rule finally emerged for public comment, the text had swelled to 298 pages and was accompanied by more than 1,300 questions about 400 topics.

Wall Street firms have spent countless millions of dollars trying to water down the original Volcker proposal and have succeeded in inserting numerous exemptions. Now they’re claiming it’s too complex to understand and too costly to adopt.

The article also touches on the issue of Bank conglomerates, lack of competition and concentration

… “Paul wanted to take an aspect of risk-taking out of the financial conglomerates. That’s a worthy endeavor. But the history of regulation shows that the private sector pushes back and waters it down. Dodd-Frank didn’t want to address the longer-term consequences of ‘too big to fail.’ The 10 largest banks held 10 percent of the assets in 1990; today they control over 70 percent. This trend accelerated in 2008. The ‘too big to fail’ got even bigger.”

“My view is that we should break up the big financial conglomerates and separate investment banking,” he continued. “Otherwise we’re going to have ongoing government intervention in the credit allocation process. That threatens economic democracy, and the U.S. is the last bastion of economic democracy.”  

The point is -and it seems I’m not pointing out anything original with this idea- is that why not simply ban commercial banks from trading their own funds and bring the separation back to the structure regulated by the Glass-Steagal Act?

Former Senator Kaufman, Congressman Welch and Mr. Kaufman are all part of a chorus calling for a return to the separation of commercial and investment banking once embodied in the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which was repealed in 1999.
“The need for 300 pages of rules just shows you’re trying to define something indefinable,” Mr. Kaufman said. “I think Paul Volcker is great, but let’s step back and ask, why are we doing this? We‘re doing this because we don’t want banks with federal deposit insurance to be involved in risky investments. There’s a simple solution. We didn’t have that problem for over 60 years because we had Glass-Steagall. It worked, we changed it and guess what, we got into trouble. I want to go back to what worked for 60 years. That’s a very conservative position.”
It makes complete sense to get back to basics. 

New #skis on the block #entrepreneurship #green

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The ski season in the northern hemisphere is just around the corner. Even, some resorts in the US are open already and snow has fallen in the Alps, too.

For those looking for new gear, here are two upcoming brands.

Wagner Customs (which lets you build on order your specially-designed skis) and SkiLogikare among the newest brands that “indie” ski movement are making waves among a heaviliy consolidated ski industry. Utilizing the world´s finest components, Wagner develops its product in a factory entirely powered by wind and sun.

This trend has been going for some time already. Many of them have born as independent start-ups by professionals of the sport that have parted ways with their previous sponsors in order to start a new venture: Armada, Coreupt and Line, are among the many that are showing.

Photo courtesy of Skiing Magazine