We saw markets fall yesterday on weak volume in response to the economic news out of China and Europe. The jobs figures were good here in the US, with both data sets beating the consensus. The worry however is that with a potentially weakening world economy the US economy could slow or be stopped in its tracks. Obviously FedEx exacerbated the issue when they stated that they were having issues with growth internationally and thinks Europe is going to be in a recession and thus impact their results. The only economic news we have out today is the New Home Sales data (Consensus 323k), so it should be a light day on the news front for investors.
Looking at Asian markets we see markets mixed:
All Ordinaries - up 0.1%
Shanghai Composite - down 1.1%
Nikkei 225 - down 1.14%
NZSE 50 - down 0.73%
Seoul Composite - up 0.04%
In Europe markets are mixed as well:
CAC 40 - down 0.22%
DAX - up 0.08%
FTSE 100 - up 0.2%
OSE - up 0.98%
Apple (AAPL) fell below the $600/share level but rallied into the close to finish just under it. As we have previously stated, it is a psychologically important number, but in real terms it means little. We think that the company's operating results will ultimately push the stock higher and that is what really matters. There is always the possibility that they announce their AppleTV product everyone has been waiting for and speculating about, but we think that the iPhone 5 is the next big product they will launch.
Sirius XM (SIRI) showed some strength yesterday rising $0.01 in a down market. Up is up and in a weak market we place even more emphasis on that saying. As we stated yesterday, as long as we can stay above $2.20/share we are interested in the play and we continue to watch. We find ourselves more bullish than neutral at this time, but are simply waiting to pull the trigger. When and if we do pull the trigger we would be looking for a 10% gain.
In a bit of good news for Chevron (CVX) and Transocean (RIG) shareholders, Brazil's oil regulator came out in support of the two companies claiming that the spill could not be categorized as a 'negligent' act and that the damage created was rather small. The field was not damaged and remains intact and the spill has been contained. This should help the companies in their battle with the federal prosecutor and at the same time help Brazil's imagine and not chase off potential foreign investment. You can read more on this here.
BioCryst (BCRX) was also up yesterday in a down market and the stock is still hanging in there after its dramatic rise. We sold out of our shares far too early in hindsight, but it is hard to argue with taking the gains we had in only a few weeks. The strength in the stock is a good thing for those still playing it, however we were a bit disappointed in the lack of a flu outbreak as a catalyst for the shares. Mild winters will do that, and we will continue to watch the stock and be ready to play it later should events warrant it.