28 August, 2008

Morning Market Musings 8/28

As the Democratic Convention rolled on with another star-studded political night, the morning Markets turned positive from the opening bell. While the majors opened nearly half a percent higher, several news points stood out.

Previous gloomy growth forecasts for the US economy were actually revised higher, as GDP for quarter 2 of the year came in at 3.3% growth versus the initially estimated 1.9%. However this result was propped up by the stimulus package provided in the quarter and economists still expect slowing growth for the rest of the year.

Freddie and Fannie continue their torrid rebound, as the 5 day tally for Fannie Mae (FNM) now stands at a 43% gain, and trying not to be outdone by it's mortgage partner in crime Freddie Mac's (FRE) 5 day tally stands at 65% in gains. As the yells of government bailouts turn into whispers and some optimism the street has rewarded these battered companies by showing Investment support. Quite the turnaround from even just a few days ago!

All is still not well with Sears Holdings (SHLD) as it continues to limp along from quarter to quarter with sales declines. Sears delivered an over 60% profit decline year over year, earning $65Million of $0.50/share all the while adding a gain that without would have pegged earnings at $0.21/share. The outlook? Not so bright either as the company predicted earnings to continue to fall compared to 2007 on a year to year basis.

iPhone comes to Russia via Vimpel Communications. The Russian mobile operator announced earnings earlier this morning and announced it had signed a deal to bring Apple's (AAPL) iconic mobile handset to Russia, being the first official carrier to do so. Russia has always been one of the largest grey-markets for iPhones, having an estimated 600,000 units floating around unofficially on local carriers. With no signs of exclusivity, Apple will likely continue negotiating an eventually offer the iPhone through other large Russian providers.

Disclosure: Author owns AAPL

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