Stocks continue to trade in a mixed fashion with a hint of upside. After trading both sides of the street the Dow closed off 13 points at 17,217 on very light volume. The NASDAQ fell on higher volume due to a pullback in healthcare stocks.
In two days, Weight Watchers stock has more than doubled after Oprah Winfrey took a 10% steak (ha-ha) in the diet company with options for another 5%. She will get a seat on the board and the company is expected to announce a healthy living theme to the weight loss message. In just two days WTW has gone from junk status to winner (as in “Win”frey). Oprah is golden! She first made Dr. Phil, then Dr. Oz, then President Obama and now……Weight Watchers!
IBM reported earnings last night and the numbers revealed a company that has lost ground to newer competitors who are more immersed in “the cloud”. The end results showed a 14% decline in revenue and a 9% drop in net income. Amazon has taken leadership in the cloud revolution and Microsoft has also seen the light but the IBM report reveals that big blue has moved too slow and is now lagging the pack. Maybe they should call Oprah.
It was a bummer day in Milwaukie, Wisconsin after Harley Davidson’s stock fell on disappointing earnings. Consolidated net income was off 6.5% and revenue was lower by about 2% as a strong US dollar made hogs more expensive overseas and imports cheaper here at home. The company plans on opening 200 more dealerships in the US over the next few years in order to maintain its market leadership. Maybe they could also get Oprah to take a seat on a Harley.
Housing starts were reported today and they jumped 6.5% to an annual rate of 1.206 million units which is a level not seen since 2007. Single family starts are up 12% from a year ago and multifamily starts are up 18% from a year ago. Economists expressed confidence that housing has stabilized and will continue to add positive value to the overall US economy.
Greystone Financial is pleased to announce our new website. Check us out at www.greystoneinvest.com. We hope you find it helpful and would appreciate your constructive feedback.
Have a good evening.
William R. Dunnell