Stocks in the Dow pulled back thanks to a continuing fall in shares of General Electric. At the close the Dow was off 67 points to 21,513. The NASDAQ however was up on strength in the FANG stocks. It will be a busy week for earnings. Google, Faceplant, Amazon and Tweeter will all report along with Verizon and others. Earnings so far have been very good.
With Spokane based Avista being bought out, the last remaining publicly traded utility in the state of Washington is gone like a turkey through the corn. What is interesting about this purchase however is the trend for big investors to buy hydro assets which generate clean electricity. Big players like Warren Buffet, Bruce Flatt at Brookfield and others are quietly purchasing hydro dams along with adding wind and solar to offer clean renewable electricity to corporate buyers like Microsoft and others in the Seattle area (aka “the unicorn ranch”) who are looking to move away from fossil fuels. 40% of Avista’s electricity comes from company owned hydro dams making them a significant player in the northwest hydro scene. Remaining publically traded northwest utilities that own hydro include Idaho Power, Portland General and Northwest Energy which owns Montana Power. Could these be targets?
The National Assoc. of Realtors (NAR) reported that June existing housing sales fell 1.8% to an annual rate of 5.52 million. While this marks the second monthly drop in a row, the rate is still up 0.7% from a year ago. The inventory of homes for sale has now fallen for 25 months in a row and is down 7.1% from a year ago. Inventories are at levels not seen since the late 1990’s with the level recorded in June standing at 4.3 months of supply.