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  Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 3:43 PM ET

Soaring Commodities

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

While the US equities markets are down substantially this year, most commodities continue to rise. Wheat which was last year's winner (up 77% in 2007) continues to soar, is already up another 20% YTD and trading near its 52 week high. Oil, on the other hand, is down 8% YTD after gaining 57% last year.

Here is a table of some leading commodities and how they have performed on a YTD basis, in 2007 and since their 52 week high.

»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 12:42 PM ET

Will Hershey have a Sweet Valentine's?

Posted By: Gina Francolla

Will Valentine's Day help Hershey? According to the Discover Card survey 49% plan to buy their Valentine candy or chocolate, and 33% of women hope to receive chocolate for Valentine's Day.

Will a surge in sales for Valentine's Day help Hershey? Hershey reported lower earnings on January 24th missing by a penny, and broke a 14-year trend bullish short term trend due to higher energy and commodity costs.

Historically, from Jan, 1993 - Jan, 2006, Valentine's is a good time to buy Hershey stock for a short term hold (slightly more than 3 weeks). It is up 100% of the time by an average move of 6% in that time period (Q4 earnings report in Jan - Valentine's Day) based on data from LIM and MarketEdge.

  • In 2007, Hershey was positive from the day it reported, 1/24/07 - 2/14/07, but only by a little more than 1%
  • In 2008, Hershey is down almost 12% YTD, and almost 4% over the last 30 days

Hershey has raised the wholesale price of its candy twice in the last year on rising costs of cocoa and milk and stating that it is more exposed to these price increases than competitors Mars and Nestle (NSRGY).

Cocoa is at near 5-year highs, and it is up nearly 15% in 2008 alone, and 44% over the last 12 months. Sugar is up almost 11% in 2008, and is up over 15% over the last 12 months.

»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 9:39 AM ET

ECB vs. Fed Funds Rates

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

The ECB decided to hold its main rate at 4% today, while the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have been cutting rates. Like the Fed, the European Central Bank is caught between inflationary pressures and a slowing global economy.

In January, the Fed cut rates to 3.0%. Today the Bank of England lowered its rate to 5.25%, while the ECB kept its rate at 4%. Here is a chart of the ECB vs. the Fed for the past 10 years. Notice that the ECB tends to lag the Federal Reserve both in easing and tightening. It also has kept within a tighter range than its US counterpart.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 1:32 PM ET

Cisco Earnings Preview: Guidance is Key

Posted By: Juan Aruego,|Editor, Research HKSCKPVIamp; Planning

CISCO SYSTEMS (CSCO)

Dominant maker of computer networking equipment. Bellwether tech company.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 9:12 AM ET

Dollar on the Rise

Posted By: Gina Francolla

The U.S. dollar showed strength on Tuesday against almost all major currencies as the currency market absorbed the dismal ISM data and looked towards a slowdown in Europe. There are increasing indications that the ECB may follow the U.S. Fed and also cut rates, if not Thursday, than possibly in the 2nd quarter.

  • Overnight, the Yen gained against the dollar and the euro on fears of the global economic slowdown and the sharp decline in the Asia markets with the Nikkei dropping 4.7% and the Hang Seng falling 5.4% made investors less willing to take on risk.
    -The dollar has lost almost 5% against the yen year-to-date. The Euro is also down about 5% against the yen year-to-date.
»Read more
  Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 5:33 PM ET

Major Indices Down 4% Over 2 Days

Posted By: Ariel Nelson
After a big rally last week, the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ are down big over the past two days.  This is the first time since January 2003 that all three indices are simultaneously down over 3.5% in a two day period. »Read more
  Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 1:25 PM ET

Disney Earnings Preview

Posted By: Juan Aruego,|Editor, Research HKSCKPVIamp; Planning
Are concerns about a slowing economy spooking Disney investors? »Read more
  Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 9:47 AM ET

ISM Services Number - Second Lowest Ever

Posted By: Ariel Nelson
Today's ISM non manufacturing number of 41.9 is the second lowest ever reading for the 10 year old index. »Read more
  Monday, 4 Feb 2008 | 5:34 PM ET

Super Tuesday Political Futures

Posted By: Gina Francolla
The Intrade market (www.intrade.com) is predicting that McCain is starting to pull away in the GOP race while Clinton and Obama are still neck-and-neck.  See how the candidates stack up going into Super Tuesday... »Read more
  Monday, 4 Feb 2008 | 2:20 PM ET

S&P 500 Earnings Leaderboard: Biggest Surprises Season to Date

Posted By: Ariel Nelson
To date 291 (just under 60%) of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far... »Read more

About By the Numbers

  • Our market specialists dig deep into Wall Street’s daily metrics, crunching the numbers to help you become smarter about the market so that you can make better investment decisions. By The Numbers details the daily drama, the winners and losers, how the day stacks up historically, and how the numbers can offer a glimpse of the future.

 

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