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Fed Day

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      by Larry Levin   The FOMC 2-day meeting ended Wednesday and its afternoon statement didn't contain many surprises. QE3 is over, but ZIRP remains. Some headlines follow... *FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED *FED SEES 'SOLID JOB GAINS' WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT *FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR 'CONSIDERABLE TIME' And a small portion of the statement follows... The Committee judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of its current asset purchase program. … [Read more...]

3Q GDP Report Failing to Lift Stocks

GDP Report

    Despite a stronger-than-expected first read on U.S. 3Q GDP growth, the domestic equity markets are mixed in late-morning action, in the wake of yesterday's monetary policy decision by the Fed, where it expectedly ended its asset purchase program, but upgraded its labor market assessment. However, the Dow is gaining ground, aided by Visa's better-than-expected bottomline results and new $5.0 billion share repurchase program. Elsewhere, MasterCard also topped analysts' earnings forecasts, while Kraft Foods missed the Street's revenue estimates and Time Warner Cable posted … [Read more...]

Facebook

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      by Larry Levin   As we wait for the other "F" behemoth to make their announcement, I want to focus on Facebook. The social media giant reported better than expected Q3 revenue and earnings per share Tuesday, although its stock price fell in after hours trading last night as the company spooked investors with its 2015 outlook — a year described as a major “investment” year for the world’s largest social network. Revenue generated from advertising came in at $2.96 billion, up 64 percent from a year ago, with about 66 percent coming from mobile … [Read more...]

Stocks Hanging Around Flatline Ahead of Fed Decision

Flatline

      Coming off yesterday's solid advance that came courtesy of a jump in Consumer Confidence, the domestic equity markets are hovering around the unchanged mark in early action, with the Street awaiting this afternoon's monetary policy decision by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, some mixed earnings reports are greeting analysts, as Facebook topped quarterly expectations, but offered a disappointing 4Q outlook and said spending is expected to jump next year. Elsewhere, Hershey missed the Street's profit projections and lowered its full-year guidance, while Express … [Read more...]

Meeting Time

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      by Larry Levin   It’s meeting time. Will the Fed be serving coffee and donuts at their two-day gathering? More likely charcoal grilled dove as the Fed isn’t really like to end six years of QE with an abrupt rate hike. Because it kind of, sort of “works”, just ask the departed grill master, Ben Bernanke, who pompously claimed that “Quantitative Easing works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory.” You have to love the recipe looks nice in the cookbooks, but don’t try to actually make it logic. And does QE even really look good when … [Read more...]

Stocks Gaining Ground Despite Disappointing Durables Data

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    The U.S. equity markets are moving higher in early action, despite an unexpected drop in domestic durable goods orders, while the Federal Reserve is set to begin its two-day monetary policy meeting. Meanwhile, traders are digesting a plethora of global earnings reports, while a rebound in Chinese industrial profits may be helping buoy sentiment. Dow member DuPont posted mixed quarterly results and Dow component Pfizer bested analysts' 3Q expectations. Elsewhere, Aetna easily topped the Street's earnings forecasts, while Twitter's stronger-than-expected results are being … [Read more...]

Grades

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      by Larry Levin   It’s all a matter of perspective. Sometimes it’s a victory for the F student to get a D. Take the European banks. Prior to their financial stress tests, the consensus was that they would all fail miserably. As it turns out, only one in five of the euro zone’s top lenders failed the health tests at the end of last year, and most of them have repaired their finances since then. It was a consensus better grade than expected, as the ECB found their problem students to be contained in the Southern classrooms of Italy, Cyprus and … [Read more...]

Stocks Dip as Markets Lack Energy

Downgrade

    Coming off a solid weekly advance that snapped a string of losses for stocks, the domestic equity markets are dipping in late-morning action, with crude oil prices continuing to drop to weigh on energy issues. Meanwhile, traders may be treading with some caution ahead of a heavy week for the earnings and economic fronts, headlined by Wednesday's Fed monetary policy decision. Moreover, another disappointing read out of the eurozone in the form of German business confidence is dampening sentiment and overshadowing mostly better-than-expected European banking sector stress test … [Read more...]

Smiles

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      by Larry Levin   There sure are a lot of people out there that simply can't handle the truth that is all around them. Some people seem to just hate any and all bad economic news. “Can't you ignore the bad news and just report the good stuff” they ask? In fact, a few relatives have asked me that very question, which was met with a hearty laugh. Others believe that the world revolves around what the idiots at MSNBC or Rush Limbaugh have to say. These extremely partisan robots therefore perceive anything out of that narrative with vitriolic hatred. … [Read more...]

Stocks Dipping as Ebola Concerns Meet Earnings Data

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    The reported case of Ebola in New York is causing worries to flare-up, offsetting some upbeat earnings reports, and stocks are modestly lower in early action. Dow member Microsoft, UPS and Bristol-Myers Squibb all exceeded the Street's quarterly expectations, while Dow component Procter & Gamble matched estimates, Ford missed revenue projections, and Amazon.com posted a wider-than-expected loss. Treasuries are trading higher, ahead of a read on U.S. new home sales due out after the opening bell. Elsewhere, gold is nearly unchanged, while the U.S. dollar and crude oil … [Read more...]