Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index /quotes/comstock/11j!i1:cr\y (CRB 243.55, -6.66, -2.66%) , a benchmark that gauges the prices of major commodities, fell 2.7% to 243.55 points.
Overnight, stocks in Shanghai tumbled 5% on some disappointing Chinese corporate profits and fears of possible central-bank moves to tighten lending. See full story.
"The big sell-off there put us in a bearish mood," said Phil Flynn, senior energy-market analyst at Alaron Trading. "We've been living on China time in the oil market and were still celebrating their economic rebound." (more)
The recent rally, starting on July 13, has raised the bar for corporate earnings over the next few quarters even higher, setting market participants up for another round of disappointment.
In the financial, REIT and consumer discretionary sectors, the market completely detached from reality. Part of this can be explained by the growth of program trading based on backward-looking statistical inputs, part by the triumph of technical analysis over critical analysis, and part by the herd behavior of fund managers. (more)
Here’s a headline we can’t resist: “Home Prices Rose in May,” trumpets The New York Times this morning. We understand… they’ve got papers to sell and a hell of a mortgage. But in reality, the U.S. housing market is only decaying at a slower pace. Today’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index reading is par for the course for the last quarter… home prices and sales are still falling, just no longer accelerating into the abyss.
Does that mean you should immediately start lightening your equity exposure?
It depends on whom you ask.
But, first, the data.
Corporate insiders are a company's officers, directors and largest shareholders. They are required to report to the SEC whenever they buy or sell shares of their companies, and various research firms collect and analyze those transactions. (more)
A gauge of U.S. house prices posted its first monthly gain in three years, providing some solace to consumers shaken by rising joblessness.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index rose 0.5 percent in May from the prior month, the first gain since July 2006 and biggest since May of that year, the group said today in New York. A Conference Board report showed consumer confidence this month fell more than forecast.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows platinum lagged behind the recovery in auto sales in China, where car demand surged after purchase incentives were part of the government’s $586 billion economic stimulus program. Vehicle sales on the mainland rose 48 percent in June from a year earlier. The chart also shows U.S. vehicle demand, which increased sequentially three of the past five months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (more)
Inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange posted their first back-to-back weekly gains since February, increasing 8.6 percent from an eight-month low. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Japan’s second-largest smelter, said Chinese imports are slowing after record purchases boosted domestic supplies, and U.S. copper-scrap exporters report shipments to Asia are dropping.(more)