Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Morning Journal-Income inequality


Economics

This Week’s Data


The International Council of Shopping Centers reported weekly sales of major retailers flat versus the prior week but up 1.4% versus the comparable period a year ago; Redbook Research reported month to date retail chain store sales up 1.5 versus a similar timeframe last month and up 2.0% on a year over year basis.

June consumer credit rose $6.5 billion versus expectations of an increase of $10.3 billion.

Weekly mortgage applications fell 1.8% while purchase applications were down 1.0%.
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/08/mba-mortgage-applications-decrease-in.html

Second quarter nonfarm productivity rose 1.6% versus forecasts of +1.3%; unit labor costs were up 1.7% versus estimates of up 0.9%.


Other

The monetary base is contracting on a year over year basis (short):
http://www.capitalspectator.com/archives/2012/08/base_thoughts_o.html#more

Politics

Domestic


A great article on income inequality (medium and today’s must read):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-whos-afraid-income-inequality

Five tax facts that you need to know (short):
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/08/know-these-5-tax-facts-if-you-want-to-debate-fiscal-policy/

Voter fraud in the Al Franken/Norm Coleman race (medium):
http://washingtonexaminer.com/york-when-1099-felons-vote-in-race-won-by-312-ballots/article/2504163

Chalk up another one for the banksters (short):
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/wall-street-crime-pays-350-irr-be-exact

International War Against Radical Islam

A history of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (long):
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/313257/history-mpac-andrew-c-mccarthy

News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) will acquire 100% of Tennessee Gas Pipeline and a 50% interest in El Paso Natural Gas from Kinder Morgan (KMI) for ~$6.22B, including ~$1.8B in assumed debt at Tennessee Gas and ~$560M of proportional debt at El Paso. The moves "will generate substantial, stable cash flow to KMP and its unitholders for many years to come," KMI says.


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.