Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dow Continues to Power Higher; Apple Cored After Hours

Editor's Note: Apologies for not posting yesterday. We had a major crash of our main computer on Sunday and have been working off a partially-impaired computer since, making life difficult and blogging an excursion into 1990s computing. A bew computer (due to arrive by Monday) should get everything back to normal within a few days.

Stocks keep climbing on hopes that the congress and the president can resolve their debt ceiling differences by passing a temporary extension (read: kicking can a bit down the road) and promising to get serious long before their May deadline (we will believe that when we see it).

The House passed the bill paving the way for an extension of the debt limit until May 19, when it will be reset to reflect additional borrowing through the interim period, voting overwhelmingly in favor across party lines, 285-144.

On Tuesday, existing haome sales came in below forecast, at 4.94M, on expectations of 5.10M (annualized). Not to worry, stocks put in another day of gains.

The Dow was the big winner today, thanks almost entirely to IBM, even though Big Blue has made the bulk of its profits over the past two years by buying back shares, thus reducing the number of shares available and making the EPS number more palatable.

Only 12 stocks on the Dow were up, compared to 17 closing in the red. Coca-Cola (KO) finished unchanged.

McDonald's reports that profits in the US were highly correlated to sales off its dollar menu, implying that either the American pallet enjoys the cheaper menu items or the American wallet is not very well-filled these days.

Apparently, not everyone is convinced that the only thing that matters is what happens in Washington. The NYSE Composite closed lower on the session.

So far in 2013, Dow Jones Industrials have finished higher on 11 of 16 trading days, including the last four straight. The average is up a whopping 675 points, roughly a five percent gain, which, in more normal times, might be good for a full year.

Caution is advised, though with the Fed pumping liquidity with every last ounce of reserve (no pun intended), the chances are that any pullback will be temporary and short-lived.

After hours, shares of Apple (AAPL) were slashed, as the company reported flat earnings per share on increased revenue (18%) year-over-year. The stock was down nearly five percent, falling below the 500 level once again.

Dow 13,779.17, +66.96(0.49%)
NASDAQ 3,153.67, +10.49(0.33%)
S&P 500 1,494.78, -2.22(0.15%)
NYSE Composite 8,828.35, -4.40 (0.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,687,925,130
NYSE Volume 3,764,679,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2909-3504
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 510-10
WTI crude oil: 95.23, -1.45
Gold: 1,686.70, -6.50
Silver: 32.44, +0.262

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