Oil Ignores Gustav, Russia; Oil Cos. Sell Gas Stations
Futures popped nearly 10 points as durable goods jumped more than expected. Dollar rallies a bit but is still down, bonds decline.
- CNBC Video: Dollar to Lose 40%
Commodities up as the dollar is a bit weaker today. While oil prices are up $1.82 to $118.09, it is a fairly poor response to Gustav and the tensions with Russia. Airlines are weaker.
1) Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac were most actively traded pre-open; both up about 10 percent.
2) Borders Group reported a loss that was less than expected. They are doing what many retailers are doing: keeping costs under control with, among other things, lower inventories. Same store sales were down about 9 percent from the same period a year ago.
3) J Crew down 10 percent pre-open, not only missed on top and bottom line, but their guidance for the current quarter and full year is well below consensus. The company is blaming a systems upgrade that disrupted its phone and internet sales.
4) IKON Office Solutions is being bought by Ricoh: $17.25 a share, $1.6 billion. Closed yesterday at $15.56 a share.
5) The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for mortgages rose for the first time in three weeks. OK, it's only up 0.5 percent, but it is up; last week it was at the lowest levels since December 2000. How poor are applications? They were 31 percent below their levels of a year ago. Mortgage rates remained relatively stable at 6.44 percent; while this has been up recently, it is not far from where it was a year ago, but the concern is that rates may increase further.
6) Will the last place that sells gas please turn off the pumps: ConocoPhillips said they would sell the remainder of their 600 company-owned gas stations to PetroSun West for $800 million. They will continue to produce gasoline. In June, ExxonMobil said it would sell its stations, and BP said it would sell its U.S. stations.
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