June 22, 2011
Equity markets are trading flat on the open, waiting for the Fed to announce the results of their meeting concluding this morning. Chairman Bernanke is planning to conduct his 2nd press conference after the meeting. The market will be looking for a bit more color on the Fed’s balance sheet plans given the end of QE2, which is scheduled to conclude next week.
The chart below shows the S&P500 over the past 12 months. While the move from the top has been long, you can see the decline has only been a modest 7% and the market still sits well above its levels of last August.
FedEx reported better than expected earnings and revenues this morning, and added in positive guidance due to burgeoning global shipping volumes. Oil is up this morning, partially attributable to FedEx’s commentary. CarMax reported a strong quarter, highlighted by 6% comps and broad strength in their used car business.
The Greek parliament gave Prime Minister George Papandreou a vote of confidence yesterday, paving the way to approve austerity plans next week. The vote puts the onus back on Germany and the ECB to unlock the stalemate holding back an additional $17 billion loan. Greece must push through a 78 billion euro austerity measure to qualify for the loan.
From The Big Picture: “In New York State, it would take lenders 62 years at their current pace, the longest time frame in the nation, to repossess the 213,000 houses now in severe default or foreclosure,” according to calculations by LPS Applied Analytics. Clearing the pipeline in New Jersey, which like New York handles foreclosures through the courts, would take 49 years. In Florida, Massachusetts and Illinois, it would take a decade. The NAR announced that sales of existing homes in May, typically the start of the peak home-selling season, fell to their lowest level in six months to an annual rate of 4.8 million.
The US Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution saying that the money being spent on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya should be used at home to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure. It is estimated the US has spent $1.3 trillion on wars over the past decade.
APAC markets rallied last night after the Greek Parliament vote. The Nikkei rose 1.8%, ASX 0.7%, Kospi 1%, Hang Seng 0.3%, and Indonesian shares rose 0.6%.
Bad news for breakfast as orange juice hit a four year high because of unusually dry weather in Florida, the #2 producer of orange juice behind Brazil.
Have a great morning