Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Morning Journal-A closer look at the 'fiscal cliff'


Economics

This Week’s Data

The International Council of Shopping Centers reported weekly sales of major retailers fell 0.8% versus the prior week while rising 4.5% versus the comparable period a year ago: Redbook Research reported month to date retail chain store sales up 3.7% on a year over year basis.

March business inventories rose by 0.3% versus expectations of up 0.4%; importantly, business sales were up 0.6%.

The National Association of Home Builders confidence index came in at 29 versus estimates of 26.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/05/nahb-builder-confidence-increases-in.html

Weekly mortgage applications increased 9.2%, however, purchase applications declined 2.4%.

April housing starts jumped 9.6% versus forecasts of up 4.7%: however, building permits fell 6.4% versus expectations of 4.4% decrease.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/05/housing-starts-increase-to-717000-in.html


Other

A look inside the 1/1/13 ‘fiscal cliff’ (medium):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-fiscal-cliff-just-a-myth/2012/05/14/gIQAM5tkPU_story.html

Politics

Domestic

Some facts about GS Steel (medium):
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/299940/mitt-romney-vampire-rich-lowry

News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

Staples reported first quarter earnings per share of $.30, in line with expectations.



Steve Cook received his education in investments from Harvard, where he earned an MBA, New York University, where he did post graduate work in economics and financial analysis and the CFA Institute, where he earned the Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1973. His 40 years of investment experience includes institutional portfolio management at Scudder, Stevens and Clark and Bear Stearns. Steve's goal at Strategic Stock Investments is to help other investors build wealth and benefit from the investing lessons he learned the hard way.