Today - Sunday, December 28, 2014
2:54 PM| Comment!
- ShopperTrak reports retail sales on Super Saturday (Dec. 20) were improved this year for a majority of retailers.
- The research firm tabulated an increase in both conversation rates and average transaction price for the key shopping day.
- A 3.8% gain in sales for the holiday season is still within reach, forecasts ShopperTrak.
- The read from FedEx and UPS on late-season volume has also been strong.
- Previously: Holiday retail sales up 5.5% Y/Y (Dec. 26)
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, FDIS, PMR, UGE, RCD, SZK
- Germany plans to build out the network of charging stations for battery-powered cars in the nation as it looks to stoke growth in the EV industry, according to Reuters.
- The government has a goal of having a million electric cars on the road by 2020.
- EV sellers in Germany: OTCPK:BAMXY, OTCQX:VLKAY, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:MMTOF, TSLA, OTCPK:NSANY, OTC:RNSDF.
- The German government expects low oil prices to boost its economic growth by 0.2%-0.3% next year, Der Spiegel magazine reported, citing an internal economy ministry memo.
- Europe's largest economy expects to expand by 1.3% in 2015 after predicted growth of 1.2% this year.
- The ministry also sees oil prices remaining at low levels in the long term and believes that they will only increase to about $80/barrel by 2018.
- This coming year, Germany will pay some €12B less to oil producing countries than it did in 2014 (a 25% reduction), said Der Spiegel.
- ETFs: EWG, EWGS, DBGR, DAX, DXGE, FGM, QDEU, HEWG
- Egypt's financial regulator has extended the bidding period for Bisco Misr until Jan. 11, intensifying a $144M takeover battle between Kellogg (NYSE:K) and the UAE's Abraaj Investment Management.
- Kellogg raised its bid for the Egyptian snack maker on Wednesday to 89.86 EGP per share following an earlier offer of 88.09 from Abraaj.
- The battle has so far driven up the bid price by more than a fifth from Abraaj's opening gambit of 73.91 EGP/share.
- Japan's government approved a ¥3.5T ($29B) stimulus package on Saturday aimed at boosting the country's lagging regions and households with subsidies, merchandise vouchers and other steps.
- Japan’s economy contracted for two consecutive quarters after a sales tax increase in April, but the government expects the new stimulus plan to boost GDP by 0.7%.
- Previously: Japan stimulus plan likely to be approved Saturday (Dec. 24 2014)
- ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, DFJ, NKY, DBJP, EZJ, EWV, JPNL, DXJS, SCJ, JSC, ITF, JPP, HEWJ, FJP, QJPN, JPMV, DXJT, DXJR, DXJH, DXJC, DXJF
- An AirAsia (OTC:AIABF) passenger jet carrying 162 people went missing Sunday morning on its way to Singapore from Indonesia, gripping Southeast Asia with a second missing plane crisis in less than a year.
- Before communication was lost, a pilot on Flight QZ 8501 asked to deviate from its planned route because of bad weather.
- Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY), the maker of the jet, said that the plane had "accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours in some 13,600 flights," and announced that it would provide full assistance to authorities.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
- Buoyed by strong mobile chip demand, healthy DRAM/flash prices, and a PC inventory refresh, global chip sales will rise 9.4% in 2014 $353.2B, estimates IHS. That growth rate is soundly above 2013's 6.4% and the highest since 2010, when the industry was recovering from a gut-wrenching recessionary downturn.
- IHS expects 22 of the industry's 28 sub-segments to see positive 2014 growth. Analyst Dale Ford: "While the upswing in 2013 was almost entirely driven by growth in a few specific memory segments, the rise in 2014 is built on a widespread increase in demand for a variety of different types of chips."
- Growth is expected to slow a bit in 2014. Believing "the outlook into 2015 is generally tracking typical seasonality," JPMorgan forecasts 3%-5% 2015 industry sales growth and 6%-10% earnings growth. Jefferies expects 2015 growth of 5%.
- Jim Cramer made a bull case for chip stocks earlier this week, arguing the semi consolidation wave that contributed to the industry's huge 2014 gains is far from over. "I think the logic of this consolidation is so powerful that within a few years, there will be hardly be any small semiconductor companies left."
- With three trading days left in the year, the Philadelphia Semi Index (NASDAQ:SOXX) is up 31% YTD.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- Taiwanese solar industry sources tell Digitimes leading Chinese solar module vendors "have plans to set up overseas production lines to avoid US antitrust taxation."
- Believing a large gap exists between U.S. solar demand and what U.S. and European module makers can supply - trade group SEIA forecasts U.S. installations will rise from 6.5GW in 2014 to 8.5GW in 2015 and nearly 12GW in 2016 - some Chinese firms reportedly "plan to set up overseas module and cell production lines with an estimated total annual capacity of 2GWp."
- The report comes after the DOC made final decisions to impose new tariffs on Chinese module makers, and thereby close a loophole that allowed the companies to avoid 2012 tariffs (still in place) by using non-Chinese cells. The ITC is expected to rule on the DOC's move by Jan. 20.
- Chinese module vendors: TSL, YGE, SOL, JKS, HSOL, JASO
- The Dow and S&P finished with modest gains on an unsurprisingly low-volume post-Christmas trading day. An overnight rally in Shanghai that followed the PBOC's efforts to relax lending rules helped set a positive tone, as did healthy holiday sales data.
- Tech outperformed, with the Nasdaq closing up 0.7%. GoPro, 3D printing stocks, and a slew of other heavily-shorted names were among the standouts. Beaten-down gold and silver stocks also fared well, as precious metals bounced in response to the PBOC's actions.
- Oil sold off; WTI crude has once more breached $55/barrel. Treasurys rose, with the 10-year yield falling 2 bps to 2.25%.
- Though most large-cap energy stocks closed the day with modest gains or losses, a slew of small-cap and mid-cap U.S. oil and gas plays sold off on a day that saw WTI crude once more fall below $55/barrel, and Henry Hub natural gas drop below $3/mmBtu for the first time since 2012, before bouncing a little.
- Decliners: EXXI -4.4%. SGY -4.5%. HK -4.1%. EVEP -2.3%. NFX -3.2%. SDR -3.3%. SN -5.2%. SD -5.9%. LGCY -2.2%. CHKR -3.3%.
- Spurred by hopes China's efforts to relax lending rules are a sign that broader (inflation-boosting) stimulus efforts are on tap, gold and silver prices are rallying, and taking the shares of miners up with them. COMEX gold is up 1.8% to $1,194.50/oz., and COMEX silver is up 2.5% to $16.11/oz. GLD +1.7%. SLV +2.2%.
- Gold stocks: AUY +3%. GG +4.6%. AGI +4.1%. ABX +3.4%. KGC +3.7%. GFI +3.7%.
- Silver stocks: SLW +2.3%. SSRI +6.9%. PAAS +1.9%. AG +3.6%. CDE +4.1%. HL +4.2%. SVM +6.8%. EXK +5.4%. TAHO +5.3%.
- Like many other commodities names, the group was hit hard a month ago when crude prices plunged in response to OPEC's decision to leave oil production unchanged.
- ETFs: AGQ, IAU, USLV, SIVR, SGOL, ZSL, UGL, DGP, GLL, UGLD, DZZ, SLVO, GLDI, DSLV, OUNZ, DGL, DBS, DGZ, DGLD, AGOL, TBAR, USV, UBG, GLDE, BAR, GYEN, GEUR, BARS, GGBP