Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For Investors Only; China Could Become Largest Global Economy This Year; US Economy Slows Drastically

Dow closes at all time high: 16,580. Main Street might not be doing so well, but Wall Street is doing very, very well.

Sweet: Exxon Mobil announces quarterly dividend increase, to $0.69/share from $0.63.

I mentioned this a couple years ago on the blog and go push-back from some folks telling me that China would never surpass the American economy, at least not any time soon. Now, Financial Times is reporting:
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
Stagflation? MyWay is reporting (it will be interesting to see how Reuters spins this story; I assume the White House is helping Reuters re-write the story):
The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity.
The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.
Growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and was down from a 2.6 percent rate in the previous quarter.
What is the definition of a recession, again?

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Eight companies announce increased dividends or distributions.

Hess beats by $0.31, beats on revs: Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.38 per share, $0.31 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.07; revenues fell 35.0% year/year to $2.68 bln vs the $2.15 bln consensus. Trading at 52-week high.

PSX: expectations, $1.34; actual: $1.47/share but without excluding a one-time gain, the actual earnings were $2.23/share.
Phillips 66, the second-largest independent U.S. oil refiner, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by a big gain from a share exchange and its chemicals and midstream businesses.
Crude oil and natural gas pumped from shale formations in the United States have lowered feedstock costs for companies such as Phillips, which is expanding its network of pipelines and processing facilities for increasing onshore output.
Phillips, based in Houston, had a first-quarter profit of $1.6 billion, or $2.67 per share, compared with $1.41 billion, or $2.23 a share, in the same quarter of 2013.
Excluding a one-time gain of $706 million primarily related to Berkshire Hathaway Inc's deal to swap its Phillips 66 shares for ownership of the company's specialty products unit, Phillips 66 earned $1.47 per share.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.34 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Trading at 52-week highs: AAPL, BRK.B, HES, OKE.

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