Thursday, July 18, 2013

Perfect summer day

Well, it finally topped 100 in many East Coast cities today.  Now we know how you hardy souls in Texas, Arizona and Nevada survive -- namely locked in your house with the air conditioning running.

The markets continued to waffle around in the afternoon heat but in general the ended the day in positive territory due to the determination that the fire on that Boeing 787 dreamliner was not related to the battery system and the market's interpretation of Ben Bernanke's comments.  The market's reaction was hard to understand because Mr. Bernanke has basic said the same thing for the past 3 months.  However, the market's reaction has varied pretty much every time he's spoken.

I generally try to avoid commenting on specific stocks but the recent movement in Microsoft really sums of the entire stock market in one nice package.  Earlier this week Microsoft hit a 12 year high.  Grasp that - the last time it was at these levels was pre-9/11.  So that begs the question what's going so great?  Corporate upgrades? Nope.  Windows 8?  Try again.  Surface sales? The product they just cut prices on?  Not quite.

So when they announced earnings tonight and the stock dipped the most in 3 years it somehow caught people off guard.  Consider the companies that have disappointed in the past 24 hours - Microsoft, eBay, Google, Intel....

Yep, everything is going fine.  Just keep pushing stocks to new highs.  I'm not saying that the sky is falling but I think some of these recent events bear watching.

Oh, and yes, the Detroit bankruptcy is going to make headlines for the next few days.  The real story here is going to be the battle among the various creditors.  The secured creditors are going to (rightfully in my opinion) that they are senior to unsecured creditors (pension obligations, etc).  This could mean major pension adjustments but a judge has already denied the city's plan to apply haircuts to pensions.  This will be the major battle that may take time to play out in the courts.


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