Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Earlier in the week, we noted that the earnings and revenue beat rates this season have been very weak. As it stands now, just 57.9% of all US companies that have reported have beaten analyst earnings estimates. This would be the weakest reading since the bull market began in early 2009 if it stands. The top line revenue beat rate has been even worse at just 54%, which would also be the weakest reading seen since the bull market began.
So companies as a whole have had a tough time living up to analyst expectations for the fourth quarter, but how does forward guidance look? Just as bad. Below is a chart showing the spread between the percentage of US companies that have raised guidance minus the percentage that have lowered guidance this earnings season. As shown, the number currently sits at -3.3 percentage points, meaning more companies have been lowering than raising guidance.
Last quarter was the first earnings season since the financial crisis ended where the guidance spread finished negative. Unless we get a pretty big reversal by the time earnings season ends in mid-February, it looks like we're now going to have two consecutive quarters with a negative guidance reading.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
from Mr. Peter Brandt..."As shown on the charts below, the volume on the rally that began in late December has been on incredibly light volume. Volume always dries up around Christmas and New Years, but then expands immediately in January. Not this year. As shown on the weekly chart (top), we have six consecutive weeks in
There are all kinds of theories being advanced to explain this volume. Let me advance a theory based on a common understanding of basic technical principles:
A market moving into new high ground on light volume MUST NOT be trusted. While one cannot fight price action itself, the facts that the market is reaching serious overbought readings on such light volume is NOT a constructive situation.
It is worthy to note that the same contraction in volume is occuring in the ETFs such as $QQQ. So this is not a matter of volume moving from futures into the ETFs.
I have labeled the Nasdaq 100 as an inverted continuation H&S pattern. I am removing this label. Classical
chart patterns must comply with both form and volume rules. This inverted H&S pattern is violating the volume rules and therefore must be delisted.
Here is the problem...He is living in the past where VOLUME did matter...today no one but institutions are in the market...Hence the lighter volume...This is a new paradigm and the market can rise as long as the dollar keeps getting devalued...
A look at the largest employers shows how America’s economy has changed. Over the last 50 years, the country has shifted from creating goods to providing services. Today, about a tenth of Americans work in manufacturing, while service providers and retailers like Walmart and temp firms like Kelly Services employ about six in seven of the nation’s workers.
The race is on to see which central bank can load up its
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Rail has been all over the map in recent weeks most likely due to seasonal discrepancies. This week’s data settled back towards the 10 week trend with carloads up 1.6% and intermodal traffic up 3%. This is slightly below the 10 week moving average of 5.2%. This is, in my opinion, still consistent with a modestly growing economy and not at all indicative of recession. AAR has the details on this week’s results:
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
20th Century Castles, LLC offers several decommissioned missile base properties. If you are interested in learning more, we offer site-specific video tours of most of the properties we offer. A video tour is worth 10,000 words and are a prerequisite to an onsite inspection.
Geoff Ziezulewicz at Stars and Stripes reports the LCS saw a string of failures across an array of systems in both models currently being fielded, but it is the USS Independence experiencing the lion's share of problems.
From faulty anti-mine systems and lift platforms, to bad propulsion systems and hull corrosion, the Independence is seeing plenty of growing pains.
While experts say this may be normal for any new ship with new technology it's hurting sales. In December 2011, Israel backed out of its order for two LCSs and instead ordered two Sa’ar 4.5-class missile corvettes.
But the Navy is already relying on the LCS to fill one fifth of its 30-year, 313 ship fleet. It's training its sailors to use the LCS systems, and its far too committed to back out now.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/navy-littoral-combat-ship-pictures-2012-1#ixzz1kC0pyHIo
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The current market is presently an amazing analog to the late 2010/early 2011 time period. If this analog continues the S&Ps should grind steadily to 1,500 over the next four to five months.
I must add the caveat that seemingly analog years can stop being analogous at any point in time. It is possible that the current overbought readings in the S&Ps could lead to a sizable market correction. Yet, I believe it is the market’s fear of just such a correction that will
continue the analog.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Global prostitution may be a bigger industry than you think.
There are 40 to 42 million
prostitutes in the world, according to a report from Fondation Scelles (via Le Figaro). Three quarters of them are between the ages of 13 and 25, and 80% of them are female.
An estimated 1 million prostitutes live in the U.S., even though it's legal only in Nevada.
In the U.S. and elsewhere most prostitution is unregulated and many workers are forced into prostitution.
The report isn't available online, but here's a map published by the foundation in 2010, which shows the estimated number of prostitutes in various countries as well as number per 1,000 people (data was not available then for countries in green).
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/there-are-42-million-prostitutes-in-the-world-and-heres-where-they-live-2012-1#ixzz1jlc6obY3
sentiment tends to move in broad cycles. One of my favorite ways to gauge this cycle is using my Wall of Worry indicator which sums a number of different business and consumer sentiment surveys in order to gauge the long-term view on the level of fear in the markets at any given time. Since it’s been a while since I last updated the indicator it might be useful to put things in perspective.
The indicator has been very useful over the last 20 years in gauging long-term market bottoms, but has been less useful gauging tops. The latest reading of 76.2 is a relatively neutral reading when compared to the last few market cycles. Fear levels have come way off their 2010 levels and only spiked a bit during the most recent recession scare. Big bottoms have tended to occur over readings of 90. Recent readings are far from those levels, but also not nearing past levels of complacency. Sp I don’t think it’s safe to say that are becoming complacent just yet though. I would want to see readings in the low 60′s or below before beginning to feel really uncomfortable about the shrinking “wall of worry”.
In short, the wall of worry is still there, but it’s not nearly as high as it has been in recent years….http://pragcap.com/how-high-is-the-wall-of-worry-5
A shaggy dog story. The train was crowded, and the US marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a well dressed, middle aged French woman's poodle. The war weary marine asked "Ma'am may I have this seat?".
The French woman just sniffed and said to no one in particular "Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat". The marine walked the entire length of the train again, but the only seat left was under that dog.
"Please Ma'am may I sit down I am very tired...." She snorted " Not only are you Americans so rude, you are also arrogant!".
This time the marine didn't say a word, he just picked up the little dog, tossed it out of the train window and sat down. The woman shrieked "Someone must defend my honour! This American should be put in his place!".
An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up. " Sir, you Americans seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your cars on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out of the window!"
USA Today -- "The natural gas futures price fell 13% last week, to $2.67 per 1,000 cubic feet. That's the lowest winter level in a decade (see chart above).
"The market has been overwhelmed with gas," says Anthony Yuen, a commodities analyst at Citibank. He and other analysts expect the price to average near $3 for all 2012. If the weather stays mild, the price could even dip below $2, a level not seen since 2002. . . .
Monday, January 16, 2012
The Telegraph reports that the bar, which is engraved with a heart and the designer's name, has been billed as a more "fashionable way for investors to diversify holdings and hedge against inflation" by Gaultier's PR representatives.
Additionally the Wall Street Journal says that 5,000 of the ingots have been made. They are currently being sold for $1,826.33 with an additional $25 handling fee. That's a 10 percent rise on the price of standard gold, presumably because of the Gaultier brand.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jean-paul-gaultier-gold-2012-1#ixzz1jd5Ep9ai
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The United States is a boozy bunch.
Americans consumed the equivalence of 3.73billion bottles of wine in 2011, making it the top global consumer of fermented grapes.
Old World wine drinkers came in next, with Italy, France, and Germany coming in second, third, and fourth places, respectively. . . .