Good Sunday evening.
Yesterday, we reviewed the week gone by. Today, we will preview the week to come.
Another week backended with data awaits us. Existing Home Sales are Wednsday, followed New Homes Sales Thursday. Neither is expected to be particularly robust. Jobless Claims and Help Wanted Index are also released Thursday. The biggest releases of the weke will be Durabnle Goods on Thursday, followed by Q2 Advance GDP on Friday. Consensus os for a 3.4% Q over Q gain, most of which reflects a significant inventory rebuild. (I think the 3.4% is a tad high).
Earnings season continues full bore, and we hear from a bevy of firms. Monday brings reports from Halliburton (HAL) and Texas Instruments (TXN). UPS and Boeing (BA) report later in the week. Dow components Merck is also Monday), followed by fellow Dow components AT&T and DuPont Tuesday and 3M on Thursday.
Mortgage underwriter Countrywide Financial may add some noise to the Subprime issue when they report on Tuesday. A slew of Homebuilders report this week, including Pulte Homes, Centex, Ryland Homes and
Beazer Homes. Look for impairments and land-related charges amongst the entire group, as they write down land options bought when the market was hot.
When Apple reports on Wednesday, we should get hard numbers on iPhone sales. Early anecdotal evidence suggests that Apple blew through initial forecasts for phone sales.
ConocoPhillips reports Wednesday, followed by ExxonMobil on Thursday. Given the price of Crude, expectations are high for the major oils.
Expectations are quite low for Ford’s report on Thursday. The company is spinning its wheels, but investors will be listening for clues about the sale of Volvo, Jaguar or Land Rover and how negotiations are going with the UAW.
On to the lumber yard! its time to get clicking:
INVESTING & TRADING
• It’s Time to Expect the Unexpected (Barron’s)
• What Could Topple Bulls’ ‘Wall of Worry’?: The stock market is again living up to one of Wall
Street’s oldest sayings. It is "climbing a wall of worry" — rising to
record heights despite deep worries that any one of several risks could
send it tumbling. The "wall of worry" idea is that stocks can still
flourish when people are nervous. Skeptics hold money on the sidelines.
As their fears are alleviated, they put money into stocks, pushing the
market higher. (WSJ)
• So Long, Liquidity The loan market is getting hit because demand for collateralized loan obligations is drying up. CLOs are packages of loans that are sliced and diced in various ways, and if that sounds a lot like CDOs, you’re right. With the debacle in CDOs larded with subprime loans, buyers are backing away from CLOs. That risk aversion is holding up financing for a variety of deals, such as the buyout of Chrysler, and forcing higher interest rates on the private-equity borrowers. (Barron’s)
• Is G.E. Too Big for Its Own Good? There is growing pressure on [GE CEO] Mr. Immelt to do something — anything — to get G.E.’s stock moving after six years of stagnation. Despite a 15 percent rally over the last two months, G.E. shares are still down 30 percent from their Welch-era peak. And in April, the analyst Jeffrey T. Sprague of Citigroup Investment Research stunned Wall Street by calling for a breakup of the company, urging Mr. Immelt to sell off NBC Universal, as well as the consumer finance and real estate units. (New York Times)
• Russians Selling Off US Currency:
New figures released by the Russian Central Bank indicate the amount of
U.S. dollars held by private Russian citizens has dropped since 2002
from $35 billion to less than $12 billion as of July 1. (VOA) See also: Iran Asks Japan to Pay Yen for Oil, Start Immediately
• Market Shock: AAA Rating May Be Junk The great stock market rally of 2002 through 2007 has been built on liquidity — and much of the liquidity has been based on financial engineering that allowed highly risky investments to be financed by investors who thought they were taking no risks. They were wrong. (New York Times)
• Second Quarter Review and Outlook:
HMIC’s Van Hoisington and Dr. Lacy Hunt look at the bond market and its
underlying drivers. They anticipate lower inflationary pressures on
account of faltering consumer spending and further deterioration in the
• Don’t Leave Your Portfolio Without American Express: One of the most universally appealing corporate brands in the world — the very symbol of U.S. financial ambition and might from Manhattan to Mumbai — American Express has also somehow become one of the cheapest and most disrespected stocks in the entire Dow Jones Industrial Average. The disconnect between its real value and the market’s opinion at the moment is loony and unlikely to last, so file this one under "opportunity of a lifetime," and get ready to cash in. (TheStreet.com)
Building the Wall of Worry one brick at a time:
• Is the Negative Savings Rate A Negative for the Economy? As a wave of baby boomers approaches retirement, some economists see significant risks in Americans’ apparent inability to sock away any savings. Others argue that worries over scant savings are overblown and that the negative rate shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a sign of impending economic shock, since official measures of savings don’t account for assets like homes and stocks. (free Wall Street Journal)
• Rising Food Prices May Give Bernanke, Central Bankers Heartburn:
The fastest increase in food-commodity prices in at least a decade has
already led monetary authorities in England, Mexico, Chile and South
Africa to lift borrowing costs. It is also sowing doubts about the U.S.
Federal Reserve’s focus on core inflation, which excludes food and
energy, and about China’s gradual approach to tightening credit (Bloomberg)
• Fed Feels Pressure to Protect Consumers
The Federal Reserve, under fire on Capitol Hill for not protecting
consumers more aggressively from dubious banking practices, will likely
become more assertive toward the lending and marketing practices of the
nation’s more than 35,000 banks, credit unions, finance companies and
mortgage brokers. (Wall Street Journal)
• Big Rise Seen in Demand for Energy Because the world’s population is growing and living standards are rising worldwide, energy consumption globally is expected to rise by more than 50 percent over the next 25 years. But finding supplies to match that growth is going to be increasingly tough and will require huge new investments in coming decades. (New York Times)
• National Intelligence Estimate: Al Qaeda stronger and a threat to US homeland
"The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland" report focuses on the next three years and is the first report to review the potential for terrorist attacks exclusively in the United States, reports The Boston Globe. The nation’s 16 intelligence agencies began compiling the report last October and completed their assessment in June. Though the report indicated that Hizbullah may become a threat if the US takes action against Iran or seriously threatens or attacks the Islamic organization, the majority of the report focused on the "rejuvenating effect the Iraq war has had on Al Qaeda." (The Christian Science Monitor)
• Global Markets, Local Risks:
Interview with Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group who says that Iran
IS the most important political risks confronting investors today
TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE
• Why we do what we do on eBay (CSM)
• PC shipments rise in Q2 for all vendors but Dell PC vendors reported global shipment growth of 12.5 percent in the second quarter, as every major vendor except Dell posted a double-digit percentage increase in unit shipments compared to the same period last year, according to a report released Wednesday by IDC. Dell shipped 4.9 percent fewer PCs during the quarter than it did in 2006, as the company continued to struggle with a corporate restructuring effort that has included deep job cuts, changes in executive leadership and a new strategy of selling computers through retail channels instead of only online. (IDG)
• 50 Best Websites 2007 (Time)
• Viking treasure hoard uncovered (BBC)
MUSIC BOOKS MOVIES TV FUN!
• Is the Simpsons the year’s hottest movie? (UK Telegraph)
That’s our shortened list for the week. Despite yesterday’s massive hall of White Perch (which we all ate for lunch), I am told there are still quite a few fish left in the lake, and there is a canoe with my name on it.