Quartz Weekend Brief—#Apple’s next trick, the global gender imbalance, the battle for #Donetsk, addiction treatment

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Many of tech’s largest firms reported fourth-quarter earnings this week, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and Facebook. For the most part, results were as expected—nothing exceptionally high or embarrassingly low. That is, except Apple, which beat analysts’ sales estimates by a wide margin, thanks to one product alone: the new iPhone.

Apple shipped almost 75 million iPhones in the Christmas quarter. That was several million more than expected and beat its previous record—set the year before—by more than 20 million. The company’s overall sales nearly reached $75 billion for the quarter, up 30% over last year. The iPhone, with $51 billion in sales, represented nearly 70% of Apple’s overall business—the highest percentage ever, up from 56% the prior quarter.

A big part of the iPhone’s success can likely be attributed to one decision: To finally offer it in larger sizes, matching the phones that Android rivals, such as Samsung and Motorola, have made for years. On Apple’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said the company saw a record number of new iPhone customers and more people switching from Android than for any of the previous three iPhone versions.

Of course, now that Apple’s met the demand for larger phones, it risks disappointing investors next time. Surely, nothing else can deliver such a big jump in sales? But perhaps the shift to larger smartphones will serve a secondary purpose. Paul Kedrosky, the financial commentator, theorized this week that Apple has created a “portability deficit”—i.e., big phones are cumbersome. This, Kedrosky posits, will prove helpful as Apple starts selling its new iPhone accessory, the Apple Watch, this April.—Dan Frommer

Five things on Quartz we especially liked

China’s backlash against women with PhDs. If a woman reaches the “ripe” old age of 27 and hasn’t found a husband, she’s considered shengnu or “leftover.” As Lily Kuo found out, conservative views and norms are returning to a country that once upon a time treated women as equals in the nation’s economic effort.

So you think you’ve been around the world? Nikhil Sonnad has a quiz for you: Eight audio clips, each playing a different language, and you have to pick the right one out of a choice of four. Even if know your Urdu from your Farsi, can you tell Zulu apart from Swahili?

There are now 60 million more men than women on Earth. It’s a new record that can be attributable to multiple reasons, depending on geography. In a series of charts, David Bauer explains how war, alcoholism, economic migration, and preferences for sons over daughters has driven an imbalance that evolution would normally eliminate.

Hold on to your teacup—fracking is set to explode in the UK. It’s expensive, it’s known to cause environmental damage, and Scotland is resisting it, yet the exploration of hard-to-reach shale gas will continue in much of Britain. Cassie Werber and David Yanofsky have plotted out where potential wells might crop up.

It pays to have rich parents. Economists can’t decide what the right labor-force participation rate should be, but they cringe when it falls. And that drop, Tim Fernholz found out, isn’t disturbed evenly. America’s lower half, by household income, is working harder than ever. It’s the rich kids that are opting to chill out.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

How Donetsk airport was lost. For 242 days, Ukrainian government forces held the strategic airport against a siege by pro-Russian rebels. Last week, their defenses failed. Sergei Loiko of the Los Angeles Times reconstructs the final, deadly days of battle, setting the bitterness and anger of troops against the defiance of the generals and the deadly human cost of the war in Ukraine.

The red-hot bubble of East New York. One of Brooklyn’s poorest areas has suddenly been overtaken by the forces of gentrification. Andrew Rice in New York Magazine shows how it has become a microcosm of the dilemmas and conflicts that neighborhoods everywhere face when the money starts to move in.

The malpractice of addiction treatment. Treating opiate addicts with drugs like Suboxone greatly reduces overdose deaths. But such treatment is banned in swaths of the USA, where addicts end up in 12-step-programs that usually fail them. Jason Cherkis’s devastating year-long investigation for The Huffington Post delves into the restrictive laws, resistance to medical fact, and outdated treatment models that contribute to thousands of deaths every year.

What if Apple really were a country? The company’s sheer size makes comparisons to countries almost inevitable. But simply comparing revenue to GDP is bad economics, says Matthew Klein at FT Alphaville. Running more rigorous numbers, he places Apple just behind Ecuador and just ahead of Oman, while its liquid holdings as a share of economic output are roughly equivalent to Norway’s.

The social anthropology of the supertweet. Ian Bogost at the Atlantic dissects the subtle ramifications of the seemingly simple act of tweeting someone’s name without using their Twitter handle. Best of all, we can’t be entirely sure his whole argument isn’t an elaborate joke on people who take Twitter too seriously.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, language quiz entries, and flawed company/country comparisons to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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Quartz Daily Brief—#Google’s challenge, deflation fears, a new #Netflix competitor, trademarked lyrics

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Europe checks in on deflation. Consumer prices are expected to decline 0.5% in January from a year earlier, as the eurozone struggles to fend off deflation.

An estimate of the US’s GDP growth. America’s economy is expected to have grown by 3.2% during the last three months of 2014. That would follow a 5% GDP reading in the third quarter.

Coal India shares go on sale. The Indian government will begin selling up to 10% (paywall) of its state-owned mining company, Coal India, in an effort to shore up cash to address its gaping deficit. The company, which accounts for roughly 80% of the country’s coal production, hasn’t kept up with rising domestic demand.

Will ISIL act on hostage threats? The terrorist group said it would kill a Jordanian hostage if an Iraqi woman held in Jordan was not released by sunset Thursday. Jordanian authorities said the prisoner is still in detention. Islamic State is also still holding Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, after it postponed its threat to execute him earlier this week.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Companies reporting earnings today: MasterCard, Chevron, Honda, BT, and Mattel. The day’s economic data also includes: Q4 GDP numbers for Spain, and possibly Ukraine.

While you were sleeping

Google missed the mark. The search giant’s consolidated fourth-quarter revenue grew 15% to $18.1 billion, from $15.7 billion a year earlier, but was short of the $18.5 billion the market was hoping for. Google faces a challenge as internet use goes mobile, where it earns less for selling ads, which is still the company’s core revenue earner.

Amazon surprised everybody with a profit. The e-commerce behemoth reported net income of $214 million in the fourth quarter last year, down from $239 million a year ago. That was enough to send shares soaring by over 12% in extended trading, despite the fact that Amazon expects the most it will make this quarter is an operating profit of just $50 million.

Singtel announced a Netflix competitor. The Singaporean telecom has partnered with Warner Bros and Sony Pictures to bring Hollywood movies, American TV, and local programming to India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. Named “Hooq,” the service will charge users through Singtel’s billing network.

Japanese inflation narrowly missed expectations. Low oil prices meant consumer prices—excluding fresh food and the effects of the sales tax rise—rose by just 0.5% in December from a year earlier. That’s short of expectations of a 0.6% rise, and some analysts believe oil prices could drag inflation to zero within six months (paywall).

Spotify could be valued at $8 billion. The music streaming service has hired Goldman Sachs to raise around $500 million privately, making it less likely the Swedish company will IPO this year, the Financial Times reported (paywall). Spotify’s paid subscriber base grew 20% to 15 million in the last two months of 2014.

Quartz obsession interlude

Alice Truong on the Bay Area’s organic marijuana movement. “San Francisco is a town full of snobs. People who live here expect restaurants to accommodate their local, organic, sustainable, vegan, gluten-free, no-MSG, Paleo diets. And when they go shopping for weed at posh dispensaries, they also expect variety: pre-rolled joints, flowers, concentrates, brownies, cookies, caramel corn, cheese crackers, pretzels, you name it.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Snapchat is out of the friend zone. Its new media-sharing feature, called Discover, makes it look a lot like the future of mobile content consumption.

The Silk Road bust has been great for internet drug dealers. Publicly shutting it down let millions know drugs are easy to buy online.

It is time to take Russia, China and the Arab world’s media seriously. They’re not pushing propaganda, they’re a valid counterweight to the dominance of Western media.

Greece’s new far-left government will change Europe. Other countries will be inspired not to play by the EU’s rules.

Public transportation should be free. Recent experiments with the concept in Estonia and Singapore show it can work.

Surprising discoveries

A coder unveiled the world’s smallest computer chess game. The program takes up just 487 bytes.

Taylor Swift is trademarking lyrics. You can no longer make money from the phrase “party like it’s 1989″ in the US.

A TV crew got locked in Auschwitz. The leader of Rome’s Jewish community was making a show when his crew discovered they couldn’t get out.

Scientists used stem cells to grow hair. It’s the first step in a stem-based cure for baldness.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, genius lyrical phrases, and cast-off toupées to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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CWS Market Review – January 30, 2015

CWS Market Review

January 30, 2015

“Go for a business that any idiot can run—because sooner
or later, any idiot probably is going to run it.” – Peter Lynch

The strong U.S. dollar is finally making its presence felt on the income statement. So far, the reported earnings for our Buy List stocks have been quite good. However, this week, two of our big-name tech stocks, Qualcomm (QCOM) and Microsoft (MSFT), got pinged for big losses, as their outlook wasn’t as rosy as Wall Street had hoped. In both cases, the rising dollar has taken a bite out of earnings, and they’re not alone. I’ll have more details on those two in a bit.

Overall, earnings season is going OK, but not great; 77% of the companies that have reported have topped earnings expectations. Of course, we have to remember that estimates for Q4 were pared back a lot in the last several weeks. Looking at the top line, 58% of the earnings results so far have beaten their sales expectations. Right now, it looks like earnings are growing, but at a very subdued pace.


But the real drama continues to be the forex and bond markets. This week, the Federal Reserve said it was going to be “patient” in its desire to raise short-term interest rates. The bond market took the clue, and the yield on the 30-year Treasury plunged below 2.8% to its lowest yield ever (see above). The dollar seems unstoppable, and I think the euro and the dollar could soon reach parity for the first time in 12 years.

In this week’s CWS Market Review, I’ll tell you what the Fed’s “patience” means for us and our portfolios. I’ll also go over our recent earnings reports. Despite the bad news from Qualcomm and Microsoft, we had some solid results as well—CR Bard just capped off an outstanding year. Later on, I’ll preview the five earnings reports we have next week. (You can see our complete Earnings Calendar.) But first, let’s look at why the Fed may not be touching interest rates at all this year.

The Federal Reserve Says “It Can Be Patient”

The Federal Reserve met again this week and on Wednesday afternoon, the central bank released its latest policy statement. The Fedspeak was largely the same as the one from December, but they added several optimistic edits. In fact, it was probably the Fed’s most cheerful outlook for the economy in years. (Central bankers are rarely optimistic.) It’s taken a while, but things are clearly improving. The fewest number of Americans filed for first-time jobless claims in nearly 15 years.

For the last several months, the Fed has hinted that short-term rates will start to rise sometime in the middle of this year. Gradually, I’ve grown to doubt that timetable. Now it appears that the Fed and the bond market are catching on. I think it’s now very possible that we won’t see a rate increase until 2016. In fact, Morgan Stanley just pushed their expectations for a rate hike to Q1 of next year. Of course, even when rates do rise, they will still be well below the rate of inflation.

The key sentence in the Fed’s policy statement read: “Based on its current assessment, the Committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.” That’s about as exciting as central bankers get, but the message is clear: Until wages pick up, the Fed simply isn’t going to do much of anything.

What does the continuation of low rates mean? It’s very good for stock investors. If rates are going to stay low, even modest dividend yields of 2% or 3% are very inviting. It’s simple math. Ford Motor(F), for example, recently raised its dividend by 20%. The automaker currently yields 4%, which beats most anything you’ll find in the bond market. (I’ll have more on Ford’s earnings in just a bit.)

This entire dynamic is due to the Strong Dollar Trade. Actually, the dollar got even stronger against the euro after the left-wing Syriza party won in Greece. The rising dollar has put the squeeze on commodity prices. This means that right now, we’re experiencing deflation. On Monday, gasoline prices rose for the first time in 123 days. That won’t last long. Last month, U.S. oil inventories rose to their highest level for December since 1930. On Thursday, West Texas Crude briefly dropped below $44 per barrel. A lot of Energy and Materials stocks are in rough shape.


Wall Street had been expecting the dollar to take a bite out of Q4 earnings, but I think they were surprised by how large the impact was. In October, Wall Street expected the S&P 500 to post Q4 earnings growth of 8.5%. That’s now down to 1.1%. The strong dollar is having its greatest impact on U.S. manufacturing. We can see evidence of that in the last two durable-goods reports, which were quite weak.

Firms are already cutting back on capital spending. Caterpillar (CAT), for example, which is a Dow component, said they’re cutting their spending plans. Even consumer-products companies are feeling the heat. Procter & Gamble (PG) said the strong dollar could reduce their earnings this year by $1.4 billion; nearly half that is due to the Russian ruble. I also suspect that a lot of companies are jumping in on the strong-dollar excuse so they can temper expectations for the rest of this year. Now let’s take a look at some of our Buy List earnings reports from this week.

Our Recent Buy List Earnings Reports

For the most part, our Buy List stocks have reported good earnings, but the market hasn’t always reacted positively. On Monday, Microsoft (MSFT) reported Q4 earnings of 71 cents per share. That exactly matched Wall Street’s estimates, but the stock dropped more than 9% on Tuesday.

The problem was their forecast for the rest of this year (Microsoft’s fiscal year ends in June). PC sales have been somewhat sluggish, and Microsoft’s commercial software was surprisingly weak. That had been a recent bright spot for the software giant. Microsoft also cited—I hope you’re sitting down—the recent strength of the U.S. dollar as a negative factor. They said currency exchange will lower revenues by 4% this quarter. The company said they were expecting sales declines in China, Russia and Japan.

While this news is disappointing, most of the key factors such as currency and geopolitics are outside of MSFT’s control. I like Microsoft a lot, and I think Nadella has done a commendable job. To adjust for this week’s pullback, I’m lowering my Buy Below on Microsoft to $45 per share.

Our other tech dud was Qualcomm (QCOM). But like Microsoft, the results were quite good. For Q4, Qualcomm earned $1.34 per share for Q4, which topped estimates by nine cents per share.

The problem was guidance. Qualcomm had previously said to expect full-year 2015 results of $5.35 per share. Now they say it will range between $4.75 and $5.05 per share. Sales will range from $26 billion to $28 billion. On Thursday, the shares dropped 10.3% to close at $63.69. Ouch!

Qualcomm said that a major customer decided against using their Snapdragon chip in a flagship phone design. The company has long had the field to themselves, and they’re starting to face some competition. I have faith in CEO Steve Mollenkopf and his team. Qualcomm is still a good buy, but I’m lowering my Buy Below to $66 per share.

On Tuesday, Stryker (SYK) reported Q4 earnings of $1.44 per share. That was one penny below expectations. For all of 2014, the company made $4.73 per share.

For Q1, Stryker expects earnings to range between $1.05 and $1.10 per share; for the entire year, they see earnings coming in between $4.90 and $5.10 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $1.17 per share for Q1 and $5.14 per share for the whole year.

Shares of Stryker actually climbed on the light guidance. I think investors understood that aside from the dollar, Stryker’s business is going quite well. This is a good stock. Stryker remains a buy up to $98 per share. I think it’s very likely that Stryker will do a big deal this year.

CR Bard (BCR) continues to be one of our brightest stocks. This week, the medical-devices company reported Q4 earnings of $2.29 per share. That was five cents better than estimates. Sales rose to $867.2 million, which beat expectations by $9.5 million.

CEO Timothy M. Ring said, “Two years ago we announced a strategic investment plan with the objective to shift the mix of the portfolio to faster growth through investments in emerging markets and new product development. We said at the time that we expected the early returns from those investments to begin in the back half of 2014. We are pleased with the performance of our investment plan so far, as we delivered accelerating organic revenue growth throughout 2014. We remain focused on executing our plan with the objective of improving the long-term growth profile of the company in a profitable manner that adds value for shareholders.”

For all of 2014, Bard earned $8.40 per share. That’s a very nice increase from $5.78 per share in 2013. The stock has doubled for us in just over three years. This week, I’m raising my Buy Below on CR Bard to $184 per share.


Last week, I said not to place too much emphasis on Ford Motor’s (F) Q4 earnings report. The results later this year will be far more important, but Ford had a decent Q4. They earned 26 cents per share, which beat estimates by three cents per share.

Ford’s core business continues to be trucks sold in North America, and that’s going well. The bad news for Ford is Europe, which appeared to be improving. Ford is turning things around in the Old World, but not as quickly as they had expected.

The most important news for us is that Ford is sticking by its 2015 forecast for a pretax profit between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion. That’s very good news. Until now, I’ve kept a wide range for our Buy Below price, but I want to tighten that little bit. This week, I’m lowering my Buy Below on Ford to $16 per share, but this is in no sense a downgrade.

Next Week’s Buy List Earnings Reports

We have five more earnings reports due next week. On Tuesday, AFLAC and Fiserv will report. Cognizant Technology Solutions follows on Wednesday. Then two of our new stocks, Ball Corp. and Snap-on, will report on Thursday. As always, check the blog for the latest updates.

AFLAC (AFL) has been one of our more frustrating stocks because the company has done very well from a standpoint of operations. It’s an efficient and well-run company. However, their financial results have been greatly impacted by the sinking yen. AFLAC does a ton of business in Japan, and the government there has been trying to bring down its currency relative to the U.S. dollar. That means that AFLAC’s profits get stung when the money is translated from yen into dollars.

In October, AFLAC said it was expecting Q4 operating earnings to range between $1.28 and $1.37 per share. But that was assuming the yen stayed between 105 and 110 to the dollar. It’s currently at 118.23. For 2015, AFLAC aims to increase their operating earnings by 2% to 7% on a currency-neutral basis.

Three months ago, Fiserv (FISV) raised their expectations for Q4. They now see quarterly earnings between 86 and 90 cents per share. That means full-year 2014 earnings of $3.34 to $3.38 per share, up from $2.99 per share for 2013. The shares hit another new all-time high this week. I’ll be curious to see if they provide guidance for 2015. Fiserv is one of my favorite long-term holdings.

Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) had an outstanding earnings season three months ago. From October 20 to November 7, the shares rallied 23%. The IT outsourcer raked in 66 cents per share for Q3, which was seven cents better than estimates. Quarterly revenues jumped 11.9% to $2.58 billion.

For Q4, Cognizant sees earnings of at least 63 cents per share. Wall Street had only been expecting 59 cents per share. That would bring full-year earnings to at least $2.57 per share. CTSH also said they expect revenues to range between $2.61 and $2.64 billion. That was above the Street’s forecast of $2.59 billion. Last Friday, the shares hit an all-time high of $56.62 per share.

Ball Corp. (BLL) is a brand-new member of our Buy List. The company is the largest producer of recyclable beverage cans in the world. Ball also has an aerospace unit that makes parts for NASA. They’re somewhat boring, but very profitable. Ball has beaten earnings for the last five quarters in a row. Wall Street currently expect 85 cents per share for Q4.

Snap-on (SNA) is another new stock for us. They’re a maker of high-end hand and power tools. They also make lots of machines for car repair, like hydraulic lifts and tire changers. Snap-on makes products for the marine, rail and aviation industries. In November, Snap-on raised their dividend by 20.5%. Wall Street’s consensus for Q4 is $1.81 per share.

That’s all for now; there are still more earnings reports to come next week. On Monday, we’ll get the ISM report for January. On Tuesday, the report on factory orders comes out. This leads up to the big January jobs report on Friday morning. The unemployment rate for December was 5.6%, which is a six-year low. The number for January may be even lower. Be sure to keep checking the blog for daily updates. I’ll have more market analysis for you in the next issue of CWS Market Review!

– Eddy

Named by CNN/Money as the best buy-and-hold blogger, Eddy Elfenbein is the editor of Crossing Wall Street. His free Buy List has beaten the S&P 500 seven times in the last eight years. This email was sent by Eddy Elfenbein through Crossing Wall Street.
2223 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA

MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi venerdì 30 gennaio 30/01/2015 – RSF

PRESIDENTE REPUBBLICA – Ieri Renzi ha indicato Sergio Mattarella come proprio candidato alla presidenza della Repubblica e i grandi elettori del Partito democratico hanno accolto all’unanimità la proposta del segretario e presidente del consiglio.Berlusconi ha fatto sapere che Forza Italia voterà scheda bianca anche al quarto scrutinio, mentre il M5S, che ha votato Ferdinando Imposimato, si è detto disponibile a consultare nuovamente gli iscritti dalla quarta votazione qualora la candidaturadi Mattarella fosse ancora in piedi. Come ampiamente annunciato, si è chiusa con una fumata nera la prima giornata di votazioni alla Camera. Domani la giornata decisiva.

DATI MACRO – Atteso da Istat il dato sulla disoccupazione italiana indicembre. Le stime si orientano su un tasso in lieve rialzo, al 13,5% dal precedente 13,4%. Dato sui disoccupati anche dalla zona euro, da cui arriverà anche la stima dell’inflazione della zona euro in gennaio, con aspettative per una contrazionedello 0,5%; ma la stima potrebbe risultare inferiore alle attese dopo che i prezzi al consumo tedeschi sono risultati in calo in gennaio per la prima volta dal 2009. Attesi anche i prezzi alla produzione relativi a dicembre di Italia e Francia. Edalla Spagna il preliminare del Pil del quarto trimestre e la stima dei prezzi al consumo di gennaio. Stima Pil, inflazione e fiducia anche dagli Usa.

BANCHE CENTRALI (o politica monetaria) – Ieri a Milano per la presentazione di un suolibro, presente anche Draghi, Coeure ha detto che con il quantitative easing la Bce ha fatto la sua parte, aprendo “una finestra di crescita addizionale” e che adesso tocca alla politica fare la sua parte per non vanificare il lavoro di Francoforte(news). Guardando ad altri sistemi monetari, per la terza volta in due settimane, la banca centrale danese ha tagliato il tasso di riferimento, in seguito a interventi sul mercato dei cambi, nel tentativo di contenere la corona in un margineristretto sull’euro (news). Un allentamento di politica monetaria è atteso anche dalla Reserve Bank of Australia, la svedese Riksbanken, e l’istituto centrale norvegese. Dopo l’ultima riunione del comitato di politica monetaria, la Fed halasciato intravedere l’intenzione di alzare i tassi di interesse entro la fine dell’anno.

BTP – Dopo una seduta in cui hanno risentito della Grecia e di prese di profitto, i Btp hanno registrato un recupero in chiusura di una giornata cheha visto anche il collocamento di titoli a medio-lungo con tassi in ribasso e buona domanda. Nella terza e ultima asta della settimana, la seconda a medio-lungo del 2015, il Tesoro ha collocato l’intero ammontare di 8,25 miliardi di euro tra Btp eCctEu, su una forchetta d’offerta compresa fra 6,75 e 8,25 miliardi, a tassi in discesa sui nuovi minimi di sempre <BITY>. La tornata d’aste si conclude oggi con la riapertura per gli specialist dell’offerta di ieri per un ammontare di circa 1,24 mld.

GIAPPONE – Ricca di dati l’agenda nipponica, con la pubblicazione delle cifre relative alla spesa delle famiglie in dicembre, risultata in rialzo congiunturale dello 0,4% e una flessione tendenziale del 3,4%. I prezzi al consumo didicembre sono risultati in rialzo del 2,4% su anno, +2,5% al netto dei prodotti petroliferi, mentre per quanto riguarda l’area di Tokyo il Cpi di gennaio è risultato pari a +2,3%, +2,2% il dato ‘core’. Al minimo da agosto 1997 il tasso didisoccupazione in dicembre, attestandosi al 3,4% dal precedente 3,5%. La produzione industriale di dicembre, secondo il dato preliminare, è risultata in rialzo dell’1,0% su mese.

FOREX – Ha continuato a mostrare una certa solidità l’euro nelle ultime battute sulle piazze asiatiche, salendo contro il franco svizzero e rafforzandosi sul dollaro. Attorno alle 7,50, la moneta unica vale 1,1333/35 dollari <EUR=> da una chiusura precedente a 1,1319; e 133,60/69 yen <EURJPY=> da 133,87.Contro il franco svizzero la moneta unica si attesta a 1,0433/36 <EURCHF=> da 1,0454; il dollaro/yen <JPY=> si attesta invece a 117,91/93 da 118,26.

GREGGIO – Scivolano i prezzi del petrolio, con la produzione che si mantiene alta anche sela forte domanda cinese che fornisce un certo supporto al mercato. Secondo gli analisti, le prospettive restano deboli, con l’abbondante produzione e la riduzione dei costi operativi per i produttori che compensano le più basse entrate. Attorno alle7,40 il futures a marzo sul Brent cede 34 centesimi a 48,78 dollari al barile <LCOc1> mentre la stessa scadenza sul greggio leggero Usa arretra di 5 centesimi a 44,48 dollari <CLc1>.

TREASURIES – Chiusura in rialzo per i rendimenti deititoli del Tesoro Usa, dopo il buon dato settimanale relativo alla disoccupazione, ai minimi dei 15 anni, e in vista di nuove emissioni. Il decennale di riferimento <US10YT=TWEB> ha chiuso in calo di 9/32 e con un tasso in rialzo a 1,753%. Nellebattute asiatiche ha poi recuperato terreno, ridiscendendo in area 1,743%.

Istat pubblica nota mensile.

Istat, stima occupati e disoccupati dicembre (10,00).

Istat, prezzi alla produzionedell’industria dicembre (11,00).

Istat, lavoro e retribuzioni grandi imprese novembre (12,00).

Prezzi alla produzione dicembre (8,45).

Fiducia consumatori gennaio.

Vendite al dettaglio novembre (11,00).

Stima Pil 4° trimestre (9,00).

Stima prezzi al consumo gennaio (9,00).

Partite correnti novembre (10,00).

Disoccupati dicembre (11,00).

Stima flash inflazionegennaio (11,00).

Stima Pil 4° trimestre (14,30).

Core Pce 4° trimestre (14,30).

Costo lavoro dipendente 4° trimestre (14,30).

Pmi Chicago gennaio (15,45).

Univ.Michigan, dato finale fiducia consumatori gennaio (16,00).

Banca d’Italia, bollettino statistico trimestrale.

Svezia, riunione board esecutivo banca centrale.

Roma, Eurispes presenta RapportoItalia 2015 (10,45).

Roma, conferenza Università Cattolica sul futuro dell’economia “Capitale umano e crescita” con I. Visco.

Milano, Reuters pubblica asset allocation gennaio (13,00).

Grecia, Dijsselbloem atteso invisita ad Atene.

Belgio, Fitch si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

EFSF, Moody’s si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

ESM, S&P si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Islanda, S&P si pronuncia su rating sovrano.

Slovacchia, S&P si pronuncia surating sovrano.

Sul sito http://www.reuters.it altre notizie Reuters in italiano. Le top news anche suwww.twitter.com/reuters_italia

Websim Focus sui Mercati Finanziari 30/01/2015 – WS

Wall Street ha preso atto della portata storica del dato sull’occupazione chiudendo in deciso rialzo: Dow Jones +1,3%, S&P500 +0,9%, Nasdaq +1%.

Le nuove richieste di sussidi di disoccupazione sono scese la settimana scorsa su livelli che non si vedevano dall’aprile del 2000.

Nell’after hours Google, Visa e Amazon hanno diffuso i dati trimestrali registrando forti rialzi nelle contrattazioni dopo la chiusura, in particolare Amazon +12%.

Asia. Stamattina andamento contrastato. Tokio +0,4%, nonostante l’inflazione nel Giappone dia segni di voler ripartire. Sono in calo le Borse della Cina: Hong Kong ? 0,1%, Shanghai -0,8%. Mumbay (-1,3%) ripiega dopo la lunga serie di record.

I future sulle borse europee anticipano un avvio in rialzo dello 0,6% nell’ultima seduta di gennaio.

Grecia. La borsa ieri è rimbalzata del 3% in attesa dei primi incontri ufficiali tra Tsipras e Europa. Dopo i proclami di “guerra” si arriverà di sicuro a più miti consigli. Secondo noi, almeno a giudicare da quanto si legge, i contendenti potrebbero arrivare a un accordo sul riordino del debito in mano ai Paesi europei a patto che il governo prosegua sulla strada delle riforme. Se così fosse, si tratterebbe di una buona notizia.

Analisi tecnica borse. Il quadro generale resta bene impostato e dopo il lancio del QE si sono fatti più evidenti i segnali di appeal dei listini europei. Piazza Affari si appresta a chiudere il mese con un progresso superiore all’8% che vorrebbe dire il miglior mese dall’ottobre 2013 (+10%). Il Dax di Francoforte (+9,5%) ha saputo fare meglio nel periodo nell’eurozona. Wall Street, in dollari, è in negativo di circa 2 punti. Su tutti brilla il Sensex indiano, che ha guadagnato il 18% dal primo gennaio.

Dax (10.737, +0,25%). Ieri ha toccato il nuovo massimo storico a 10.800 raggiungendo la resistenza e nostra area target verso 10.800/11mila punti. Si può prendere profitto per trading puntando a rientrare su eventuali flessioni. Si rinvia al Fatti & Effetti pubblicato ieri.

FtseMib (20.593, +0,56%). Prosegue la fase di ordinato assestamento che riteniamo propedeutico ad ulteriori allunghi. Nessuna preoccupazione finchè si sta sopra 19.800/20.200. L’obiettivo di breve è a 21.500/22mila. Restiamo ottimisti e sfruttiamo le discese per acquisti.

Variabili macro

Petrolio. Oggi brent 48,90 usd, Wti 44,5 usd. Si continua ad oscillare senza direzionalità tra 40 e 50 usd. Non crediamo che ci si allontanerà da questi livelli nei prossimi mesi. Manteniamo gli acquisti speculativi con l’obiettivo di prendere profitto tra 55 e 60 usd, ma non puntiamo denaro per investimenti di lungo periodo.

Oro (oggi 1.260 usd). Brusca caduta ieri, dopo che Goldman Sachs ha detto di non vedere molto spazio di rialzo. Il prezzo consolida tra il primo supporto in area 1.240 usd e la prima resistenza a 1.300 usd. Si può ancora puntare a un allungo verso 1.400 usd. Eventuale stop in caso di ritorno sotto 1.200 usd.


Euro/Dollaro (1,133). Alla ricerca di un equilibrio. Non ci aspettiamo a breve altri allunghi del dollaro. La tesi è che il cross si assesti non troppo lontano dal range 1,15/1,20. Cambieremo idea, e torneremo a comprare dollari massicciamente, solo in caso di pieno sfondamento di area 1,10.


Situazione tranquilla sulla periferia con il nostro spread a 123 e il rendimento all’1,6%. Discorso diverso, ovviamente, per la Grecia dove lo spread ieri è comunque rientrato sotto quota 1.000 e il rendimento al 9,8%. Certamente, Tsipras ha tutto l’interesse a trovare un accordo politico per rientrare nel programma del QE e riguadagnare tutto il gap che separa i suoi bond dal resto dell’Eurozona.


Wake the Heck Up! – 01/29/2015

The stock market should have been unchanged after the Fed statement Wednesday. That is because, time and time again, they have told us that they are afraid to raise rates. And yet with the Fed issuing one of its most obvious announcements of all time, stocks fell 1.5% into the close.

So with the US economy set to post GDP growth estimated at +3.2% on Friday and stocks 5% off their highs and bond rates plummeting (making stocks all the cheaper by comparison) then it should be a big neon sign reading:

Wake the heck up and buy US stocks!

I have already put my money where my mouth is and am currently 117% long the stock market (thanks to some 3X ETF exposure). Time for you to read the signs and do what makes sense to you.


Steve Reitmeister ( aka Reity…pronounced “Righty” )

Executive Vice President

When Strength is a Weakness – 01/28/2015

US stocks had a sour session Tuesday on the heels of weak earnings reports from several blue chip companies. Plus Durable Goods put in a pathetic showing.

The root cause of both these issues seems to be the same thing. That being the relative strength of the US economy versus other nations is leading to a rise in the value of the dollar. This sign of strength becomes a weakness for US exporters whose products now appear too expensive versus their international competitors.

Fret not. Historically a strong currency correlates well with a strong economy and stock market. This strength was on better display in the positive surprise in the New Home Sales report as well as Consumer Confidence at 102.9 (the highest reading since August 2007).

The evidence in the last paragraph will prove the greater catalyst in time. Especially as the average American consumer is seeing their wallet grow week by week thanks to lower gas prices. I have seen estimates ranging from $900 to $1200 in annual savings per US driver. That means some households could see 2-3 times that amount in new disposable income this year.

Just to drive home the point. During the start of the Great Recession the government sent a check for $600 to each household to help spur the economy. As you can see this drop in oil prices is a much greater stimulus that will boost the US economy, corporate earnings and the stock market in 2015.


Steve Reitmeister ( aka Reity…pronounced “Righty” )

Executive Vice President