January 24, 2011
Markets are opening flat this morning after posting their first weekly decline last week in the past 8 weeks. Leaders Apple and Google both were soft last week, which could indicate the beginning of a short term correction. The Russell 2000, a leading index during this most recent really, is beginning to show signs of weakness (see chart below from Kimble Charting Solutions). Bond markets are a bit stronger after Friday’s selloff. Commodities are seeing a slight bid today.
A National Association for Business Economics poll of US businesses indicated that companies are more optimistic about expanding their payrolls than at any times since 1998. Forty-two percent of businesses participating said they expect to increase hiring in the next six months, up 3% from October.
A Bloomberg study shows that by year end 50% of Americans will have smart phones. Spectrum could get pinched as usage could increase 5000% over the next three years. A battle at the FCC is brewing as wireless carriers needing spectrum are pressuring the FCC to release spectrum owned but unused by television broadcasters.
McDonalds profits rose 15.6% in 2010 on a 6% revenue increase, both numbers in line with estimates. Mini mill operator Steel Dynamics missed both revenue and earnings estimates for the 4th quarter on lower scrap volumes. On Friday Bank of America announced a $1.24 billion loss for Q4.
Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said that the country is moving towards a budget surplus and has no need to restructure its $409 billion of debt.
Asian markets were mixed last night, with strength in Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Singapore, Philippines, and China were weak.
Have a great day