After a terrific 1st quarter, a big week ahead

Friday's jobs report will be the week's big event, along with auto sales reports on Tuesday. Bed Bath & Beyond, Carmax and Monsanto report results. Apple had the biggest impact on the market in the quarter, but Sears was the top S&P 500 stock.

By Charley Blaine Mar 30, 2012 10:43PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 11:43 p.m. Friday

After a first quarter that had to warm the hearts of investors, the week ahead offers a big-time roadblock: the March jobs report.

The biggest economic report of any month, it should show that the economic recovery, while not booming, is steady. It should explain why auto sales reports from manufacturers, due Tuesday, continuing to run near a 15-million annual rate.

But the jobs report will also come as gasoline prices have risen nearly 19% this year, and the big unknown is if -- or how much -- they're forcing consumers to change their spending habits.

While the jobs report is the week's big kahuna, there are important reports in the week ahead on manufacturing, factory orders and construction spending. In a week of few earnings reports, several will be scrutinized closely: home-furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), seed producer Monsanto (MON), used-car dealer Carmax (KMX) and Constellation Brands (STZ), the owner of a host of premium wine brands and the distributor of Corona beer.

So all those bulls who were delighted to see the market's amazing first-quarter performance may find themselves clenching their jaws.

Article continues below.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) and Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) both had their best first-quarter gains since 1998: 8.1% and 12%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) had its best first-quarter gain -- 18.7% -- since 1991.

The gains came despite a 6.7% gain in the price of gold (-GC), a 16% gain in the price of silver (-SI) and a 4.3% gain in the price of light sweet crude (-CL), the benchmark U.S. oil.

The market went up this past week in spite of disappointing housing numbers over the last two weeks. Sales don't appear to be rising as quickly as thought, and home prices may not have bottomed -- yet.

What to expect from the jobs report
There are the two big numbers: the unemployment rate and nonfarm payrolls.

The unemployment rate should hold at 8.3%, its rate in February. Some economists, including Nigel Gault at IHS Global Insight, see the rate slipping to 8.2%. A jump would be a shock.

Nonfarm payrolls are seen rising by 210,000, perhaps 225,000, with private-sector jobs growing by 235,000.

The speed of the recovery from the 2008-09 recession has been painfully tentative and  frustrating. That's one reason Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned several times this past week that an economic recovery is not yet assured.

Higher gas prices and a break in the auto recovery could derail things. So could a deep recession in Europe. Gasoline will probably hit $4.30 a gallon as the national average before peaking in late spring or early summer. Unless Iran and Israel start firing missiles at each other. At which point all bets are off.

More in a week of big reports:
Here's what else is coming this week:

Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index, due Monday. This is the week's second-biggest report. This is expected to rise to 54, up from 52.4 in February. A reading above 50 signals economic expansion. But don't look for big gains going forward because of a softer Chinese economy and weakness in Europe.

Auto sales from major manufacturers, due Tuesday. Look for sales to come in at a 14.5-million-unit rate, possibly a 15-million rate.

ISM non-manufacturing index, due Wednesday. Expect a small decline to 56.6. The decline may simply be noise, IHS Global Insight.

ADP National Employment Report, due Wednesday. This report is expected to project a gain of 235,000 private-sector jobs in March.

Initial jobless claims, due Thursday. Look for another month of claims at levels not seen since 2008.

In addition, China may cut interest rates over the weekend, and an important report on Chinese manufacturing is due. Germany's version of the ISM report comes out Monday, and unemployment reports from Italy and the overall eurozone are due.

Markets for the week

3/30/2012

3/23/2012

% chg.

YTD chg.
Dow Industrials
13,212.04
13,080.73
1.00%
8.14%
S&P 500
1,408.47
1,397.11
0.81%
12.00%
Nasdaq
3,091.57
3,067.92
0.77%
18.67%
Russell 2000
831.36
830.03
0.16%
12.21%
Crude oil
$103.02
$106.87
-3.60%
4.24%
(per barrel)








U.S. Dollar Index
79.14
79.58
-0.55%
-1.72%
10-yr. Treasury
2.22%

2.24%
-0.94%
18.44%
Gold
$1,671.90
1,662.40
0.57%
6.71%



Earnings reports may show increasing consumer confidence
The first-quarter earnings season won't start for a week or so. Alcoa (AA) is the start of the season after the close on April 10, and the heaviest percentage of reports will come in the latter half of April.

But this week has a few reports of interest.

Tuesday: International Speedway (ISCA). The company, which runs 13 auto-racing tracks, is expected to report up to a 20% decline in revenue and a 10% earnings decline. NASCAR may have peaked.

Wednesday: Bed Bath & Beyond and Monsanto. BBY's shares have risen nicely over the last year, and the company has said it expects results to meet analyst estimates: $1.33 in earnings and $2.66 billion in revenue. Watch what the company says about housing.

Monsanto is expected to report $2.12 a share in earnings, up from $1.87 a year ago, on revenue of $4.53 billion. The stock may get more activity with Friday's report of tight U.S. grain supplies.

Thursday: Carmax and Constellation Brands. If Tuesday's auto sales report is strong, look for good results from this operator of used-car dealerships across the country. Revenue is expected to grow 6.7% to $2.4 billion. Shares have risen 431% since the 2008 financial crash.

Constellation owns the Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois and Simi brands. It is a pure play on consumer willingness to pay up for fun. Shares have risen 113% since April 2009.

Some quick notes about first-quarter results:
And the winners were:
  • Dow Jones industrials: Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), up 72% and 38%, respectively. Only three of the 30 Dow stocks were lower: Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Verizon Communications (VZ) and McDonald's (MCD).
  • S&P 500:Sears Holdings (SHLD), up 108.5%; Bank of America; Netflix (NFLX), up 66%; Whirlpool (WHR), up 62% and Priceline.com (PALL), up 53.4%. Losers: supermarket operator SuperValu (SUP); for-profit college operator Apollo Group (APOL) and solar-panel maker First Solar (FSLR).
  • Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX): Winners were Sears, handbag-merchant Fossil (FOSL), up 66.3% and Netflex. Losers: Monster Beverage (MNST) and Apollo Group.
Where's Apple? Good question. The short answer is everywhere. The stock was up 48% in the quarter, 10th-best among S&P 500 stocks and sixth among Nasdaq-100 stocks. It was up as much as 53% for the quarter on Wednesday before selling down Thursday and Friday. It was responsible for roughly 9% of the S&P 500's gain for the quarter and 27% of the Nasdaq-100's gain of 21% in the quarter.

This is a pricey stock. It finished the week at 42% above its 200-day moving average after reading a peak of 47% over the moving average on Wednesday. Its relative strength index is above 70, which is a sign it's overbought.

Why has Sears been a winner?
It has lost money for five straight quarters and is shopping its Lands' End catalog business, The answer seems to be that allies of Chairman Edward Lampert want to support the stock, which had fallen to as low as $29.20 in late 2011, an 85% decline from its April 2007 peak. How long they can keep it up is another question.

Techs and financial stocks were tops in the quarter. Well, Apple was tops, but Microsoft (MSFT) was up 24.3%, disc-drive maker Seagate Technology (STX) added 53.4% and Broadcom (BRCM) jumped 33.6%. None has a market cap like Apple's: $559.87 billion.  (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)

Bank of America, Regions Financial (RF), 53%, Citigroup (C), up 39%, and JPMorgan Chase were the top performers among banks.

Where were the losers in the quarter: Utilities, bonds and bond funds. Interest rates rose in the quarter, with the 10-year Treasury yield rising to 2.216%, up from 1.87% at the end of 2011. The iShares Barclays 20+-Year Treasury Bond exchange-traded fund (TLT) fell 7.5% in the quarter. The Dow Jones Utilities Average ($UTIL) fell 1.2% in the quarter.

Where are the risks in the next three months? That the market could get too expensive for many investors and sell off. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 27%, 31% and 34.5%, respectively, since bottoming in early October. Europe's debt crisis hasn't gone away, and there are worries about China's economy.
146Comments
Apr 1, 2012 2:00AM
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SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT!!!  

IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER

ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.

  IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER

ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.

IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER

ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.

IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER

ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.

IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER

ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER

ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.

IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY

YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.

IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET!!!

A JOB,          A DRIVERS LICENSE, 

SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,  WELFARE, 

FOOD STAMPS,  CREDIT CARDS, 

SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE, 

FREE EDUCATION,  FREE HEALTH CARE, 

A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON   BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE 

THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU

PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT

AND, IN MANY INSTANCES, YOU CAN VOTE. 


 

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION !!!

IT'S PAST TIME WE WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar 31, 2012 2:17PM
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Illegals spend almost all they make on goods and services (all that they don't send home). You do realize there are taxes on what you buy. That is why your Happy Meal costs more than the $1.99 on the menu Alias.

Can you hit spell check if you can't spell. You are an embarrassment to the high school you dropped out of.

Mar 31, 2012 2:14PM
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Who picked the crops in Alabama? That is right, No one. Great law drove the illegals out of state, and the crops rotted in the fields.

The law did get a Mercedes executive taken to JAIL. Great job Alabama! Great law!

Mar 31, 2012 4:43PM
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"FOX NEWS ACTUALLY INFORMS PEOPLE OF WHATS HAPPENING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISLE (sic)"

 

Good. Maybe they can fill us in on the ongoing feud between the Howell's and The Professor...

Apr 1, 2012 7:59AM
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This is a crock these reports,another way to jackup the prices and kill the middle class.Remember the famous wall street quote"It's whatever lie we choose to tell them they will believe"

 

Mar 31, 2012 2:23PM
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I have nothing to hide. I do fear crazies like you going ballistic, but I'll take that chance. At least I am not hiding behind my keyboard like a little pussy, like some here who will remain nameless.
Mar 31, 2012 2:20PM
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Your right hand is a dog too. Ever had a girlfriend Barry? Didn't think so.

Can I get kicked out for picking on Barry? I would consider it an honor. I am careful not to threaten him. I would never hurt anyone because I am a liberal, but he begs for the verbal butt kickings.

Mar 31, 2012 3:45AM
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Higher gas prices and a break in the auto recovery could derail things. So could a deep recession in Europe. Gasoline will probably hit $4.30 a gallon as the national average before peaking in late spring or early summer. Unless Iran and Israel start firing missiles at each other. At which point all bets are off.

 

The MANIPULATED B/S around here never changes. Worthless goverment is hell bent to keep the US lower than a third world country to satisfy their own greed.

Apr 1, 2012 9:56AM
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The government numbers will be cooked as usual. What a gullable population..
Apr 1, 2012 6:58PM
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Mirage......I've not advocated anyone gets a free ride, unless totally incapable of working; 
Retog - You sir, are getting a free ride. "Paying into" something does not entitle you to take more out of it than you put in. The money you currently collect from S.S. and medicare is not the money you put in - and you know that - or at least you should by now. Have you calculated  your total contributions( plus interest of course) and determined what you should receive from the contributors who are now paying you? It is a stark and discomfiting exercise. Try to understand that I do not begrudge you that. You are getting yours, just understand that it is based on a delusional and mathematically flawed social contract.

This reality is extremely disconcerting to most seniors - and may in fact cause some apoplexy - but it is reality nonetheless. At some point we as a country must realize that our delusions and rhetoric, which are divorced from mathematics and demographics, are just that - rhetoric and delusions.

Mathematics and demographics will out.


Mar 31, 2012 5:13PM
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"the second time; msnbc/nbc has to fire from the top down"

 

?

 

You can fire someone from the bottom up? I wonder why my manager never told me that?...

Apr 1, 2012 2:08AM
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YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS...
 

At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatment

What Nancy Pelosi didn't want us to know until after the healthcare bill was passed.  Remember she said, "pass it and then read it!!."  Here it is!

____________________​__________

Obama Care Highlighted by Page Number 
 

THE CARE BILL HB 3200

 
JUDGE KITHIL IS THE 2ND OFFICIAL WHO HAS OUTLINED THESE PARTS OF THE CARE BILL.
 

Judge Kithil of  Marble Falls,  TX -  highlighted the most egregious pages of HB3200


Please read this........ especially the reference to pages 58 & 59 

 
JUDGE KITHIL wrote:
 
** Page 50/section 152:  The bill will provide insurance to all non- U .S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

** Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.

** Page 65/section 164:  The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).

** Page 203/line 14-15:  The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax.  (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

** Page 241 and 253:  Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.

** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.

** Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.

** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations.  Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)

** Page 429,  line 13-25:  The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.
HAD ENOUGH???  Judge Kithil then goes on to identify:

"Finally, it is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of Congress.  Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system, and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick 'fix' to make the plan financially sound for their future."
   -    Honorable David Kithil of Marble Falls,  Texas
All of the above should give you the ammo you need to support your opposition to Obamacare. Please send this information on to all of your email contacts. 

 

Be still and know that I am God.   Psalm 46:10
=

 

Apr 1, 2012 9:08AM
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Stuck in a shthole - You and doggie couldn't earn $200,000 TOGETHER in a lifetime, so your point in moot!

What a loser- LOL

"I might buy a house for a whole $90,000 but I need 17 mexicans to rent it for $900 each.
Then, I can carry the $110,000 mortgage"
"Is it a good idea"?
Yes, your a real earner all right!
LOL
STUPID IS FOREVER!. 


Apr 1, 2012 6:23AM
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Sorry LOE. You are wrong. There will always be a hateful, war mongering, rich crowd that will want the status quo, and they will always be able to fool those who cling to their guns and Bible to vote against their interests.

Mar 31, 2012 2:00PM
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Over 95% of illegals work menial jobs that no legal citizen will take. They pay taxes and use almost no social services. They are hired by mostly (R) run businesses that don't care if they are illegal. Many of those (R) businesses pay sub minimum wage, and treat the illegals like slaves.

They contribute more to the economy than they use.

They contribute way more than Alias, who is obviously unemployed, and insured by his parents.

You work Alias? Didn't think so. I won't ask you to prove it because I don't care.

BTW - I designed both electrical centers in the current Camaro. My name is on the drawings. What have you done you loser?

Apr 1, 2012 7:04PM
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JOBS report should be on the mind of every politician running for office this coming election

hahahahahahaha......​..the community n communist chief isn't worried at all he can have congress to pass a debt ceiling to borrow more; whats to worry about.......how about a kid being shot/killed and then selling hooded clothing for his refraudualtion campaign........how about being more concerned about the "BRACKETS" instead of a jobs plan 3 years past due.......!

Mar 31, 2012 5:18PM
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"Scalia appeared unpersuaded during oral arguments. At one point he suggested that if the federal government can ...requir[e] people to "buy broccoli." "

 

This is too hilarious listening to counter arguments from the right wing on the unconstitionality of one of their OWN brilliant solutions (i.e. the individual mandate). It's litke watching someone smashing their own fist into their face all the while screaming "Take that!!!"

Mar 31, 2012 6:09AM
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I got all 6 numbers on last night's Mega Millions Lottery drawing,.... 1 each on 6 different tickets.

 

Another East coast winner too!

Mar 31, 2012 2:08PM
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I don't want FOX banned. The washed up (R) candidates have to work somewhere. I watch often, and laugh a lot... at their so called news. I always watch Sarah (but I mute her). I picture her with Glenn, Big Dog, Robinson. Is that video in your porn collection, Barry?

You do know they slept together. Don't tell Todd.
Apr 1, 2012 6:34AM
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MG, in answer to your 5 questions:


1.  Allow insurance to be sold across state lines (maybe then the "Interstate commerce clause" might have some bearing...

2.  Limit Tort judgments to actual damages and punitive damages in medical cases.

3.  End Medicare's price setting for services.

4.  Insist that the Federal government FUND Medicaid fully, and not demand states raise taxes to pay for it.

5. Raise the Medicare tax so the program does not run deficits.   This should be done automatically every year.


1. Agree 2. Agree 3. Agree 4. Agree 5. Agree


You realize asking the Federal government to fully fund Medicaid makes you a leftist, socialist, Marxist, commie pig? Welcome to the club!


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