Stocks are rising and gold is diving and the world seems to be normalizing. Perhaps you are wondering why? Once the mood changed around the debt ceiling debate, with sentiment now seeing a greater likelihood of an agreement forming, the end of the world scenario lost some weighting in analyses. Today we also received existing home sales data, mortgage activity news, oil inventory and a busy corporate earnings list including strong results from Apple. Find all this below...
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Stocks Rising, Gold Diving and World Normalizing?
Existing Home Sales
Only days after improvement was reported in builder sentiment and in new construction, the latest Existing Home Sales pace dipped. Economists were looking for the annual pace of sales to reach 4.9 million, which would have marked increase from May’s 4.81 million rate, but June Sales actually slowed to an annual rate of 4.77 million. We’ll explain why in a follow up detailed report.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) offered the Weekly Applications Survey for the period ending July 15. We theorized the prior week’s Market Composite Index, which fell 5.1% despite mortgage rate improvement, was hampered by the July 4th holiday week. The latest data seems to confirm our theory, as the Market Composite Index recovered 15.5% over that depressed period.
Oil Prices & Inventory
The EIA’s Petroleum Status Report covering the period ending July 15 showed a 3.7 million barrel decrease in oil inventory and a 0.8 million increase in total motor gasoline stores. Crude oil stocks remain in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, while gasoline inventory is around the middle of the range for the season. Oil prices as seen in the nearest WTI Crude futures contract showed a 0.6% rise Wednesday midday, to a price of $98.11.
Gold prices are down today, with the nearest futures contract showing lower by $4.5 to $1596.60. Spot gold is much lower, so volatility is clearly at play in case you haven’t otherwise been paying attention. As goes the debt ceiling debate, so will go gold. As you see Congress come to resolution, God willing and before the rating agencies issue downgrades, you should see gold depreciate in value. If the current government completely fumbles this most important issue they’ve yet faced, well then all hell could break loose and gold prices could break out higher. This is not hoped for nor expected though.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) issues its World Trade Report today.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will request permission of a bankruptcy court to continue borrowing on hedge fund manager Highbridge Principal’s loan.
Corporate News Wire
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) reported results last evening, blowing out expectations. The stock is up about 3% in early trade, appearing fully valued by its modest gain on blowout earnings. Apple made $7.79 a share, up 122% and exceeding analysts’ consensus views for $5.85 according to Thomson Reuters data. The company earned $3.5 billion dollars more revenues than analysts were looking for on stronger than expected sales of iPhones and iPads.
Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) shares are down about 5.6% today, after the company reported EPS of $0.21 before charges, ahead of expectations for $0.18 (by Thomson Reuters review), but revenues declined on soft ad sales. The company also offered disappointing guidance due to extensive sales effort plans.
BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) shares are up over a percentage point on 19% growth in adjusted operating income. 16% revenue growth was driven by “investment performance and asset mix,” and the company attributed its brand as well. Assets under management at $3.66 trillion marked 16% year-to-year rise.
BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) published its June quarter exploration and production report. BHP shares are up 0.8%, after the company declared iron ore output rose 14% and benefited from price strength on Chinese demand.
The EPS schedule includes news from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX), Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ), 8X8 (Nasdaq: EGHT), AT Cross (Nasdaq: ATX), Aetrium (Nasdaq: ATRM), Access National (Nasdaq: ANCX), Altria (NYSE: MO), American National (Nasdaq: AMNB), Ameris Bancorp (Nasdaq: ABCB), Amphenol (NYSE: APH), AMR (NYSE: AMR), Astoria Financial (NYSE: AF), ATMI (Nasdaq: ATMI), Badger Meter (NYSE: BMI), Banner (Nasdaq: BANR), BioStar Pharma (Nasdaq: BSPM), Blackrock (NYSE: BLK), Bridge Bancorp (Nasdaq: BDGE), CA (Nasdaq: CA), Cardinal Financial (Nasdaq: CFNL), Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq: CART), Cathay General (Nasdaq: CATY), Central Valley Community (Nasdaq: CVCY), Cheesecake Factory (Nasdaq: CAKE), Citizens and Northern (Nasdaq: CZNC), Cohen & Steers (NYSE: CNS), Cohu (Nasdaq: COHU), Community West Bancshares (Nasdaq: CWBC), Consolidated Tomoka Land (AMEX: CTO), Core Labs (NYSE: CLB), Covanta (NYSE: CVA), CVB Financial (Nasdaq: CVBF), Cypress Sharpridge Investments (NYSE: CYS), Datalink (Nasdaq: DTLK), Dreams (AMEX: DRJ), Dynavax (Nasdaq: DVAX), E*Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC), Eagle Bancorp (Nasdaq: EGBN), East West Bancorp (Nasdaq: EWBC), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Emagin (Nasdaq: EMAN), Enterprise Bancorp (Nasdaq: EBTC), Exponent (Nasdaq: EXPO), F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV), Farmer’s Capital Bank (Nasdaq: FFKT), First Cash Financial (Nasdaq: FCFS), First Financial Bankshares (Nasdaq: FFIN), First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC), Forward Air (Nasdaq: FWRD), Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL), Funtalk China (Nasdaq: FTLK), Gramercy Capital (NYSE: GKK), Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI), Harleysville Savings (Nasdaq: HARL), Horizon Lines (NYSE: HRZ), Host Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: HST), Hudson City Bancorp (Nasdaq: HCBK), iParty (AMEX: IPT), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), JAKKS Pacific (Nasdaq: JAKK), Jefferson Bancshares (Nasdaq: JFBI), Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (NYSE: KMR), Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG), L&L Energy (Nasdaq: LLEN), Lasalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO), Lufkin (Nasdaq: LUFK), M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), Mattson Technology (Nasdaq: MTSN), Media General (NYSE: MEG), Mellanox (Nasdaq: MLNX), Metro Bancorp (Nasdaq: METR), MicroFinancial (Nasdaq: MFI), Miller Energy (Nasdaq: MILL), MKS Instruments (Nasdaq: MKSI), Monarch Casino and Resort (Nasdaq: MCRI), Newbridge Bancorp (Nasdaq: NBBC), Noble (NYSE: NE), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), NVE (Nasdaq: NVEC), Ohio Valley Bank (Nasdaq: OVBC), Pacific Continental (Nasdaq: PCBK), Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN), Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC), Plexus (Nasdaq: PLXS), PNC Financial (NYSE: PNC), Popular INC (Nasdaq: BPOP), Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Ramtron (Nasdaq: RMTR), Raymond James (NYSE: RJF), Richardson Electronics (Nasdaq: RELL), RLI (NYSE: RLI), Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), SY Bancorp (Nasdaq: SYBT), Saba Software (Nasdaq: SABA), SEACOR (NYSE: CKH), Seagate Tech (Nasdaq: STX), Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS), Sensata (NYSE: ST), Sino Tech Energy (Nasdaq: CTE), SLM (NYSE: SLM), Southside Bancshares (Nasdaq: SBSI), Southwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: OKSB), State Bancorp (Nasdaq: STBC), Suffolk Bancorp (Nasdaq: SUBK), TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL), TASER (Nasdaq: TASR), Terex (NYSE: TEX), Texas Capital Bancshares (Nasdaq: TCBI), Textron (NYSE: TXT), Tomkins Financial (AMEX: TMP), Tractor Supply (Nasdaq: TSCO), Umpqua (Nasdaq: UMPQ), United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), Virginia Commerce (Nasdaq: VCBI), Werner (Nasdaq: WERN), Westell (Nasdaq: WSTL), Westwood Holdings (NYSE: WHG) and Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: ZHNE).
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