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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. He earned a BS in Accounting and Business Administration from Berry College; a Juris Doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Law; and attended... More
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  • Barchart Morning Call 5/21 0 comments
    May 21, 2012 9:47 AM | about stocks: LOW, CPB, URBN, NDSN, TDW

    Barchart Morning Call

    BC - 1 hr 43 mins ago

    Overnight Developments

      June E-mini S&Ps are up 9.25 points (+0.72%) this morning on mildly higher European stocks and a pro-growth statement by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Commodity prices are mixed this morning with July crude oil up 36 cents, June gold down $1.3, copper up 3 cents (+0.85%), and agricultural prices mostly higher. The dollar index this morning is down 0.15 (-0.19%). June 10-year T-notes are down 10.5 ticks on the stable global stock markets seen so far today. European stocks are mildly higher this morning with the Euro Stoxx 50 up +0.23%. Asian stocks closed mostly higher today after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's pro-growth statement: Japan +0.26%, Hong Kong -0.16%, China +0.51%, Taiwan +0.57%, Australia +0.67%, Singapore +0.40%, South Korea +1.17%, India +0.19%, Turkey +0.52%. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao over the weekend said, "We should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, while giving more priority to maintaining growth." The comment came after Wen Jiabao was told by officials in six provinces that "there are prominent problems seen in areas including insufficient demand and falling profits in some industries and companies. The economy is facing increasing downward pressures." Wen Jiaboa's comment spurred expectations that China over the near-term will announce new growth measures. Morgan Stanley today lowered its forecast for China's GDP growth for this year to +8.5% from +9.0%. That followed Goldman Sachs move last week to cut its 2012 Chinese growth forecast to +8.1% from +8.6%. Spain's deficit was actually 8.9% in 2011, higher than the previous figure of 8.5%, and only slightly lower than 9.3% in 2010, according to a government report released last Friday at 10 pm European time after the European markets closed. The government found additional liabilities at the state/regional level that had to be added to the central government's deficit. However, the Spanish government is sticking with the plan for this year's deficit to fall to 5.3% of GDP. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and new French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici will meet today in Berlin to discuss debt crisis strategy ahead of Wednesday's informal EU summit in Berlin. G-8 leaders on Saturday in their statement said they support Greece staying in the Eurozone. They papered over differences on the growth versus austerity debate by saying that ?the right measures are not he same for each of us.? Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos reportedly rejected pressure from the European Union last week to take an IMF credit line to help support Spain's banks, according to a report in the Madrid-based ABC newspaper based on sources present at an EU finance ministers meeting. Italian Prime Minister Monti reportedly delivered a plan at the G-8 meeting for a European system to guarantee bank accounts in the region, according to an Italian newspaper report. A European-wide plan to guarantee bank deposits would be a confidence-booster for the markets, except that bank regulation and support is normally a nation-level issue in Europe and it can be assumed that Germany will not be eager to directly guarantee banks in other countries. Greek Radical Left Syriza leader Tsipras over the weekend said that the view that the June 17 Greek elections represent a referendum on whether Greece wants to stay in the Eurozone are "alarmist" and represent a "vulgar propaganda campaign" against Syriza and an attempt to "terrorize the Greek people" with a false dilemma. Mr. Tsipras says he favors staying in the Eurozone and expresses confidence that he will be able to carry out his threat to repudiate the bailout terms while not getting Greece ushered out of the Eurozone. In polls released over the weekend, one had New Democracy in the lead for the upcoming June 17 election while two other polls had Syriza in the lead.

    Overnight U.S. Stock News

      June E-mini S&Ps this morning are trading are up +9.25 points (+0.72%) on the higher trade in European stocks and the higher close in most Asian stocks. Lowe's this morning reported its Q1 EPS at 44 cents, higher than the consensus of 42 cents, although management cut its full-year EPS guidance by 2 cents to $1.73-1.83 from $1.75-1.85. There are earnings reports today from CPB-Campbell Soup (consensus $0.52), URBN-Urban Outfitter (0.20), NDSN-Nordson (0.87%), and TDW-Tidewater (0.61). U.S. stocks on Friday closed lower: S&P 500 -0.74%, Dow Jones -0.59%, Nasdaq 100 -1.22%. The S&P 500 index last Friday posted a new 4-month low and has now corrected lower by a total of 9.2% from the 4-year high posted in early April. U.S. stocks continued to follow European stocks lower. The Euro Stoxx 50 last Friday closed down -0.10%, posted a new 6-1/2 month low, and corrected lower by a total of 19% from the 9-1/2 month high posted in mid-March. The U.S. stock market last week fell sharply by 4.3% as Greece was forced into new elections and worries grew that Greece may eventually have to leave the Eurozone, with potentially major European and global financial market damage. The markets were particularly alarmed last week by news of a slow run on Greek banks and disputed reports about whether Spain's 4th largest bank, Bankia, was experiencing at least a slow depositor run in the wake of being partially nationalized by the Spanish government. There are continued worries that Spain is eventually going to need a Eurozone/IMF bailout to fix its government and regional finances and fully recapitalize the troubled Spanish banking sector. The U.S. stock market is also worried about slower growth in China and mixed U.S. economic reports.

    Today's Market Focus

      June 10-year T-notes this morning are down -10.5 ticks on mostly higher global stocks and on overhang ahead of this week's $99 billion T-note auction package. T-note prices on Friday closed mixed: TYM2 +1.5, FVM2 -0.5. The 10-year T-note yield on Friday closed at 1.72%, which was only 5 bp above the record low of 1.67% posted last September. T-note prices stalled on Friday as the 10-year T-note yield neared its record low. The European debt crisis is a serious problem, but the U.S. economy has yet to fall apart and justify even lower yields. The problems in Europe are making it more likely that the Fed will extend its Operation Twist program when it expires in June, which would keep the Fed in the market as a big buyer of longer-term Treasury securities. The Treasury market this week faces a bit of test as to whether the market can absorb $99 billion of 2, 5 and 7-year T-notes at such low yields. The dollar index this morning is trading mildly lower by -0.15 points (-0.19%) on reduced safe-haven demand with higher global stocks. EUR/USD is down -0.0005 (-0.04%) and USD/JPY is up 0.28 (+0.35%). The dollar index on Friday closed mildly lower: Dollar Index -0.09, EUR/USD +0.0082, USD/JPY -0.26. The dollar index on Friday fell on some pre-weekend long liquidation pressure after the very sharp 4.0% rally seen in the past 3 weeks. The dollar index last Friday posted a new 4-month high but again stopped just shy of taking out the 1-2/3 year high of 81.784 posted in mid-January. EUR/JPY posted a new 4-month low on Friday but snapped back up on some pre-weekend short-covering and on Spanish government denials of a bank run at Bankia. Bankia, Spain's 4th largest bank, was nationalized 2 weeks ago due to big mortgage and property losses. Even though the ECB's refinancing rate of 1.00% is well above the Fed's target range for the federal funds rate of zero to 0.25%, the 3-month Euribor futures curve has dropped sharply and the euro now has only a minor interest rate differential against the dollar. The euro's poor interest rate differential, plus the mild recession in Europe, makes the euro a particularly unattractive currency at present. The dollar index is trading mainly on Greek and Spanish debt crisis developments and could have much farther to run if the European situation continues to deteriorate. July WTI crude oil prices this morning are trading +36 cents +0.39%) and July gasoline is up 1.75 cents (+0.62%). Bullish factors this morning include higher global stocks, the mildly lower dollar index, and some short-covering after the sharp recent losses. Crude oil and gasoline prices on Friday closed mixed: CLN12 -1.14 (-1.23%), RBN2 +0.0028 (+0.10%). Crude oil prices fell by $4.69 (-4.9%) last week due to (1) worries about weak Chinese, European and U.S. economic growth and fuel demand, (2) the 15.8% surge in U.S. crude oil inventories so far this year to a new 21-3/4 year high, and (3) Saudi Oil Minister al-Naimi's specific call last week for Brent crude oil to fall to $100. July Brent crude oil last Friday closed at $107.14, which means oil prices would have to fall by another 7% for Mr. al-Naimi to get his wish. The Seaway pipeline this past weekend started carrying oil from the hub at Cushing, Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf coast, which should cause a slow draw-down of record crude oil inventories at Cushing. However, the pipeline will only be carrying 150,000 bpd this year, which may not be enough to cause any major near-term drawn-down in Cushing inventories, thus keeping alive the wide spread between European Brent crude futures and Nymex U.S West Texas Intermediate oil futures (which is priced at Cushing).

    Today's U.S. Earnings Reports Earnings reports (sorted by mkt cap): LOW-Lowe's (consensus $0.42), CPB-Campbell Soup (0.52), URBN-Urban Outfitter (0.20), NDSN-Nordson (0.87%), TDW-Tidewater (0.61).
    Global Financial Calendar

    Monday 5/21/12
    United States
    0515 ETAtlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart speaks on monetary policy in Tokyo.
    0830 ETChicago Fed April National Activity Index, Mar -0.29.
    1100 ETUSDA weekly grain export inspections.
    1130 ETWeekly 3-mo and 6-mo T-bill auctions.
    1600 ETUSDA Crop Progress
    n/aNATO Summit in Chicago concludes.
    Japan
    0030 ETJapan Mar all-industry activity index expected -0.10%, Feb -0.10%.
    0100 ETJapan Mar final leading index, prelim 96.6. Japan Mar final coincident index, prelim 96.5.
    0300 ETJapan Apr convenience store sales, Mar +0.40%.
    Euro-Zone
    0500 ETEurozone Mar construction output, Feb -7.1% m/m and -12.9% y/y.
    CHI
    2200 ETChina April leading economic index (Conference Board).


    Barchart.com provides Financial Quotes, Charts and Technical Analysis for Stock and Commodity Traders.

    Stocks: LOW, CPB, URBN, NDSN, TDW
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