Central banks continue to ease with Australia the latest to do so. That has put both the Australian and New Zealand markets higher, and helped some commodities. U.S. futures are currently higher, bouncing back from yesterday's sell-off. It also appears that the NY AG is getting aggressive again and will pursue more cases against Wall Street firms in relation to their shortfalls which caused the financial meltdown a few years ago. It would have been nice to have gone after the real criminals when they were in office rather than those who took over these entities later and bailed out the economy when no one else would. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out, but we'd rather not see another round of fines and fees coming out for financial institutions, especially as it relates to companies they took over. We understand the legal obligations that exist but find it ironic we cannot move forward as various government agencies go after these institutions for money just as they are getting healthy. No one went after them when they had no money, but now that they do everyone seems to want to prosecute them in order to 'punish' them but at the end of the day it is all about the cash. That will not be a popular thought, but it seems spot on.
We have economic news out today, it is as follows (data set - consensus).
- Auto Sales - N/A
- Truck Sales - N/A
Looking at Asian markets we see markets are mixed:
- All Ordinaries - up 0.99%
- Shanghai Composite - CLOSED
- Nikkei 225 - down 0.12%
- NZSE 50 - up 1.08%
- Seoul Composite - down 0.01%
In Europe markets are higher:
- CAC 40 - down 0.09%
- DAX - up 0.45%
- FTSE 100 - up 0.16%
- OSE - down 0.04%
In hindsight we probably should have stuck to our original thinking on OCZ Technology Group (OCZ) and not turned bullish on shares, but short-term pain still could lead to long-term gains. Yesterday shares fell $0.27 (7.78%) to close at $3.20/share on volume of 5.1 million shares. The shares came very close to setting a new 52-week low, getting within pennies of that level during trading. The company has earnings coming up, and although we do not think that they will have any surprises, we are still quite interested in what they have to say about the CEO search and other management changes which should lead to better supply chain management.
Investors have watched over the past year or so as Sprint (S) has tried to move into the premium market with the iPhone offering and using unlimited data to compete with the likes of AT&T (T). We have ordered our iPhone 5 and it will take a month due to our carrier being sold out, however something interesting is happening with other would be "upgraders" we know which we find intriguing. As people are losing their unlimited data plans at the big carriers and with long waits for the iPhone when you do order it, we are seeing many friends, business associates and acquaintances actually ponder switching to Sprint and their unlimited data offer.
As Sprint has moved into the premium market, it now appears that AT&T will be shoring up their prepaid offerings in order to move in on the smaller players which have focused on that segment of the market. It is an interesting move, and could drive margins lower for companies such as MetroPCS (PCS).
It is not a new 52-week low, but it is a new recent low for the stock and we are glad to have advised readers to sell this one after the huge run-up. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) fell another $0.17 (16.50%) to close at $0.86 on volume of 13.9 million shares. Yes the potential exists for this one to move higher on news that they have test results which confirm the positive results they have called into question, but at this point we simply say it is best to walk away and forget about this one. When the integrity of studies is called into question and the results cannot be depended upon, one has to believe the worse and it appears that that will be the case here. The risk/reward with Peregrine is not attractive to us, so this is one we are going to take off of our biotech screen today.
Disclosure: I am long OCZ.