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Jim Van Meerten
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Jim Van Meerten is an advisor to Marketocracy Capital Management and writes on financial subjects here and on Barchart Portfolio Blogs and Seeking Alpha. He earned a BS in Accounting and Business Administration from Berry College; a Juris Doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Law; and... More
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  • BARCHART MORNING CALL 3/6 0 comments
    Mar 6, 2014 3:49 PM | about stocks: YUM, LOW, TIF, SPLS, BOBE, JOY, COST, UAM, GE, GFF, LHCG, HUN, A, COL, KR, CST, LB, PF, GMCR, LSTR, ABC, COO, HRB, WDR, TFM, STR, THO, AAPL, ACM
    BARCHART MORNING CALL

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014View Older Reports

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    OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS

    March E-mini S&Ps (ESH14 +0.19%) this morning are up +0.09% at a fresh all-time high and European stocks are up +0.46%. As expected, the BOE maintained its benchmark interest rate at 0.50% and kept its asset purchase target unchanged at 375 billion pounds. The markets now await the ECB interest rate decision later this morning along with the press conference from ECB President Draghi. European stocks found support on the stronger-than-expected German Jan factory orders. Asian stocks closed mostly higher: Japan +1.59%, Hong Kong +0.55%, China +0.45%, Taiwan +0.94%, Australia -0.01%, Singapore +0.40%, South Korea +0.13%, India +1.11%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index posted a 5-week high as a slide in the yen to a 1-1/2 week low boosted exporter stocks, while China's Shanghai Stock Index shook off early losses and closed higher after property developers rallied when government officials speaking at the National People's Congress in Beijing said the housing market was stable and will get long-term support from urbanization. Commodity prices are mixed. Apr crude oil (CLJ14 -0.64%) is down -0.26%. Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.02%) is up +0.07%. Apr gold (GCJ14 -0.41%) is down -0.47%. May copper (HGK14 +0.09%) is up +0.02%. Agriculture and livestock prices are mixed. The dollar index (DXY00 -0.07%) is down -0.02%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.15%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.43% at a 1-1/2 week high. June T-note prices (ZNM14 -0.15%) are down -5.5 ticks.

    Speaking Wednesday evening at Seattle University, San Francisco Fed President Williams said recent weakness in the U.S. economic data probably means GDP growth will be "closer to 2.5%" for this year, compared with an earlier expectation of "closer to 3.0% expansion."

    German Jan factory orders rose +1.2% m/m and +8.4% y/y, stronger than expectations of +0.9% m/m and +7.5% y/y with the +8.4% y/y gain the largest annual increase in 2-1/2 years.

    UK Feb Halifax house prices surged +2.4% m/m, over three times expectations of +0.7% m/m and the fastest pace of growth in 4-3/4 years. On a 3-month y/y basis, prices rose +7.9%, higher than expectations of +7.3% and the fastest pace of increase in 6-1/3 years.

    U.S. STOCK PREVIEW

    Today's weekly initial unemployment claims report is expected to show a decline of -12,000 to 336,000, reversing most of last week's increase of +14,000 to 348,000. Meanwhile, continuing claims are expected to show an increase of +6,000 to 2.970 million, adding to last week's increase of +8,000 to 2.964 million. Today's Jan factory orders report is expected to show a decline of -0.5%, adding to December's decline of -1.5%. There are 5 of the Russell 1000 companies that report earnings today: Joy Global (consensus $0.65), Costco Wholesale (1.17), Staples (0.39), Kroger (0.72), H&R Block (-0.11). Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Mon-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Refining Conference on Thu, and Jefferies Industrial Leaders Day on Thu.

    OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS

    Yum! Brands (YUM +0.23%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Neutral' at RW Baird.

    Lowe's (LOW -0.55%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Outperform' at Wedbush.

    Tiffany (TIF -0.30%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup.

    Staples (SPLS -0.52%) reported Q4 EPS of 33 cents, below consensus of 39 cents.

    Bob Evans (BOBE -8.18%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Miller Tabak.

    Joy Global (JOY +0.90%) reported Q1 EPS of 49 cents, weaker than consensus of 65 cents.

    Costco Wholesale (COST -0.15%) fell nearly 3% in European trading after it reported Q2 EPS of $1.05, below consensus of $1.17.

    Universal American (UAM -1.20%) reported a Q4 adjusted EPS loss of -5 cents, a bigger loss than consensus of -3 cents.

    Barron's reported that General Electric's (GE +1.09%) CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, invested his bonus in 104,900 shares of the company's stock at a price of $2.64 million.

    Gabelli reported a 17.66% stake in Griffon (GFF +1.27%) .

    LHC Group (LHCG +0.53%) lowered guidance on fiscal 2014 EPS to $1.15-$1.35, below consensus of $1.43.

    Spartan Stores (SPTN +0.13%) reported Q3 adjusted EPS of 40 cents, well above consensus of 25 cents.

    Boyd Gaming (BYD +1.22%) reported a Q4 adjusted EPS loss of -24 cents, a smaller loss than consensus of -25 cents.

    MARKET COMMENTS

    Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH14 +0.19%) this morning are up +1.75 points (+0.09%). The S&P 500 on Wednesday posted a new record high but then fell back and settled little changed. The Feb ADP employment change rose +139,000, less than expectations of +155,000, and the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index showed a larger-than-expected decline of -2.4 to a 4-year low of 51.6. A positive factor for stock prices was the upbeat Fed Beige Book that said 8 of the Fed's 12 districts last month reported modest to moderate improved levels of activity, even with the effects of the harsh winter weather. Closes: S&P 500 -0.01%, Dow Jones -0.22%, Nasdaq 100 +0.20%.

    Jun 10-year T-notes (ZNM14 -0.15%) this morning are down -5.5 ticks. Jun 10-year T-note futures prices on Wednesday fell to a 1-week low on reduced safe-haven demand after the S&P 500 posted a record high, but prices recovered after the Feb ADP employment report showed less hiring than expected and after the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index fell to a 4-year low. Closes: TYM4 unch, FVM4 -1.00.

    The dollar index (DXY00 -0.07%) this morning is down -0.017 (-0.02%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0021 (+0.15%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.44 (+0.43%) at a 1-1/2 week high. The dollar index on Wednesday closed slightly lower after the Feb ADP employment and the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index reports were weaker than expected. EUR/USD found support on stronger-than-expected Eurozone Jan retail sales and the upward revision in the Eurozone Feb PMI composite to a 2-3/4 year high. Gains in EUR/USD were limited, however, ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting. Closes: Dollar index -0.059 (-0.07%), EUR/USD -0.0001 (-0.07%), USD/JPY +0.092 (+0.09%).

    Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ14 -0.64%) this morning is down -26 cents (-0.26%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.02%) is up +0.0021 (+0.07%). Apr crude and gasoline prices on Wed closed lower on bearish weekly EIA inventory data. Crude inventories rose +1.429 million bbl to a 2-1/4 month high of 363.8 million bbl, more than expectations of +1.078 million bbl and distillate supplies unexpectedly rose +1.414 million bbl, more than expectations for a -1.033 million bbl draw. Losses in gasoline were limited after weekly EIA gasoline stockpiles fell -1.604 million bbl, nearly double expectations for a -880,000 bbl decline. Closes: CLJ4 -1.88 (-1.82%), RBJ4 -0.0450 (-1.51%).

    GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR03/06/2014
    US 0815 ET New York Fed President William Dudley answers questions at an interview in New York.
      0830 ET Weekly initial unemployment claims expected -12,000 to 336,000, previous +14,000 to 348,000. Weekly continuing claims expected +6,000 to 2.970 million, previous +8,000 to 2.964 million.
      0830 ET Revised Q4 non-farm productivity expected +2.2%, previous 3.2%. Revised Q4 unit labor costs expected -0.5%, previous -1.5%.
      0830 ET USDA weekly Export Sales.
      1000 ET Jan factory orders expected -0.5%, Dec -1.5%.
      1100 ET Treasury announces amounts of 3-year T-notes (previous $30 billion), 10-year T-notes (previous $24 billion) and 30-year T-bonds (previous $16 billion) to be auctioned Mar 11-13.
      1300 ET Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks at a lecture in London on Exiting Unconventional Monetary Policy.
      1800 ET Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart speaks on his economic outlook at Georgetown University.
    GER 0600 ET German Jan factory orders expected +0.9% m/m and +7.5% y/y, Dec -0.5% m/m and +6.0% y/y.
    UK 0700 ET BOE announces interest rate decision and asset purchase target (expected no change to the 0.50% benchmark rate or to the 375 billion pound asset purchase target).
    EUR 0745 ET ECB announces interest rate decision.
      0830 ET ECB President Mario Draghi speaks at monthly press conference following ECB meeting.

    U.S. STOCK CALENDAR03/06/2014

    Company Name Ticker Time Event Description Period Estimate
    Joy Global Inc JOY US Bef-mkt Q1 2014 Earnings Release Q1 2014 0.648
    Kroger Co/The KR US Bef-mkt Q4 2014 Earnings Release Q4 2014 0.723
    Costco Wholesale Corp COST US Bef-mkt Q2 2014 Earnings Release Q2 2014 1.167
    Staples Inc SPLS US Bef-mkt Q4 2014 Earnings Release Q4 2014 0.388
    CST Brands Inc CST US Bef-mkt Q4 2013 Earnings Release Q4 2013 0.506
    L Brands Inc LB US 7:30 February 2014 Sales and Revenue Call 2014  
    Staples Inc SPLS US 8:00 Q4 2014 Earnings Call Q4 2014  
    Huntsman Corp HUN US 8:00 Investor Day Y 2014  
    Agilent Technologies Inc A US 8:30 Analyst Meeting Y 2014  
    Rockwell Collins Inc COL US 8:30 Investor Conference Y 2014  
    Genpact Ltd G US 8:30 Investor and Analyst Day Y 2014  
    Verisk Analytics Inc VRSK US 8:30 Investor Day Y 2014  
    CST Brands Inc CST US 9:00 Q4 2013 Earnings Call Q4 2013  
    Pinnacle Foods Inc PF US 9:30 Q4 2013 Earnings Call Q4 2013  
    Kroger Co/The KR US 10:00 Q4 2014 Earnings Call Q4 2014  
    Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc GMCR US 10:00 Annual General Meeting Y 2014  
    Joy Global Inc JOY US 11:00 Q1 2014 Earnings Call Q1 2014  
    Costco Wholesale Corp COST US 11:00 Q2 2014 Earnings Call Q2 2014  
    Landstar System Inc LSTR US 14:00 Q1 2014 Guidance Call - Mid Quarter Q1 2014  
    AmerisourceBergen Corp ABC US 14:00 Annual General Meeting Y 2014  
    Cooper Cos Inc/The COO US 16:00 Q1 2014 Earnings Release Q1 2014 1.456
    Gap Inc/The GPS US 16:00 February 2014 Sales and Revenue Call 2014  
    H&R Block Inc HRB US 16:30 Q3 2014 Earnings Call Q3 2014  
    Cooper Cos Inc/The COO US 17:00 Q1 2014 Earnings Call Q1 2014  
    Waddell & Reed Financial Inc WDR US 17:00 Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting    
    Fresh Market Inc/The TFM US 17:00 Q4 2014 Earnings Call Q4 2014  
    H&R Block Inc HRB US Aft-mkt Q3 2014 Earnings Release Q3 2014 -0.111
    Gap Inc/The GPS US   February 2014 Sales and Revenue Release 2014  
    L Brands Inc LB US   February 2014 Sales and Revenue Release 2014  
    Questar Corp STR US   Analyst Day - Day 1 Y 2014  
    Thor Industries Inc THO US   Q2 2014 Earnings Release Q2 2014 0.337
    Apple Inc AAPL US   U.S. Court of Appeals Hearing on Apple vs VirnetX Holding Corp. Patent Case    
    Costco Wholesale Corp COST US   February 2014 Sales and Revenue Release 2014  
    Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc GMCR US   Annual General Meeting    
    AECOM Technology Corp ACM US   Annual General Meeting    
    Fresh Market Inc/The TFM US   Q4 2014 Earnings Release Q4 2014 0.423
    Pinnacle Foods Inc PF US   Q4 2013 Earnings Release Q4 2013 0.583
    Stocks: YUM, LOW, TIF, SPLS, BOBE, JOY, COST, UAM, GE, GFF, LHCG, HUN, A, COL, KR, CST, LB, PF, GMCR, LSTR, ABC, COO, HRB, WDR, TFM, STR, THO, AAPL, ACM
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