Feb 7, 2011

The Pack is Back

February 7, 2011

Good morning. The biggest show on television, Super Bowl XLV, survived the Texas ice storm, and the Steelers and new World Champion Packers put on a great show. I thought the commercials were a complete disappointment, and that Christina Aguilera’s performance was epic, right up to the point where she skipped a line. The half-time show was fabulous.

Equities are getting a bid to open the week after Ford announced plans to add an additional shift to meet increasing demand for new autos. Morgan Stanley upgraded Proctor & Gamble this morning, citing upcoming easy comps after 2+ years of negative growth. Oil is backing off slightly this morning as tensions in Egypt and emerging market growth both appear to be easing. The US bond market continues to fade as the 10 year approaches 3.7%, the highest level since April.

More US companies are exceeding sales forecasts than at any time in the past four years. Over 70% of companies have exceeded sales estimates this quarter, exceeding by an average of 2.2%. Earnings have exceeded estimates for the past seven quarters, but sales have trailed over the past three years. Street estimates are expect revenues for the S&P 500 to increase by 7.5%, the best since 2007 after a 13% decline from Nov ’08 to Oct ’09.

Bloomberg is reporting that last month was the worst January for precious metal prices in over 20 years. Despite that pull back, bullish bets on gold via ETF products still exceed 2.1 metric tons, worth $88 billion, a reduction of 4.1% since the beginning of the year.

Nasdaq OMX acknowledged that their system had been breached by hackers, but insist that no trades were impacted. Both the FBI and the Justice Department are investigating the breach.

AOL announced plans to buy Huffington Post for $300 million in an effort to stimulate their moribund online presence.

Showing an incredible lack of tact in criticizing those who saved the company, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that Chrysler and Fiat should eventually be combined, but “I want to pack back the shyster loans first.” Wow!

APAC markets were mixed last night, with the Nikkei rising 0.5% but the Hang Seng falling 1.5%. Markets in China, Taiwan and Vietnam are still closed for the Lunar New Year. European markets are up today.

Have a great day


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