Time Warner Inc. rejected an $80 billion takeover bid from 21st Century Fox this week, stating “that it was not in the company’s best interests.” (1) The news had Time Warner’s shares soaring 17 percent. (2) In a surprise move top trader releases proof of how he is assisting some of his students in netting over $100,000 a month – read the full story here. Intel Corp’s shares jumped nearly 7 percent after reporting that Q2 earnings climbed 40 percent to $2.8 billion $0.55 a share compared to forecasts of $0.52, as revenue rose 8 percent to $13.83 billion. Shares now stand up 20 percent for the year. (3)
U.S. retail sales rose 0.2 percent in June – missing forecasts for an increase of 0.6 percent – as auto sales fell 0.3 percent. Core sales increased 0.4 percent compared to forecasts of 0.5 percent. However, both May and April sales were upwardly revised to show a growth of 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. (4) During a live event, trader Kirt Christensen explains how anyone can make every Friday lucrative, regardless of market conditions – read the full story here. U.S. homebuilder confidence climbed from a reading of 49 to a 6-month high of 53 in July – surpassing estimates for a reading of 50 – as the labor market improves and consumer optimism grows. (5) U.S. producer prices advanced 0.4 percent in June – exceeding forecasts for a gain of 0.2 percent – as gas prices jumped 6.4 percent. (6) Inflation in the U.K. rose at its fastest pace since Jan. – jumping 1.9 percent in June versus forecasts for a gain of 1.6 percent – as clothing, food, and air travel all made advances. (7) China’s Q2 economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters – rising 7.5 percent year-on-year compared to forecasts of 7.4 percent – as government stimulus kicked in. (8)
Bank of America’s Q2 profit tumbled 43 percent to $2.04 billion or $0.19 a share compared to forecasts of $0.29, as litigation costs surged from $471 million to $4 billion year-on-year. (9) Get Larry Levin’s “How I made $1,900,336.82” eBook available free to download for a limited time – here. Citigroup’s Q2 profit fell 96 percent to $181 million or $0.03 a share after accounting for $3.7 billion in expenses related to a $7 billion agreement with U.S. authorities to settle a subprime mortgage probe. However, on an adjusted basis, the bank earned $1.24 a share versus forecasts of $1.05. The news sent shares up 4 percent. (10) Goldman Sachs’ Q2 income rose 5.5 percent to $2.04 billion, as revenue unexpectedly rose 6 percent to $9.13 billion versus forecasts for a decline to $7.97 billion. On an adjusted basis, the investment bank earned $4.10 a share – easily topping forecasts of $3.05. Shares rose 1.9 percent in premarket trading. (11)
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose to a nearly 4-week high of 1,010.67 after the Fed Reserve Chairwoman announced that rates could rise sooner if the economy continues to improve. (12) The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate unchanged at 1 percent, as the bank sees the recent inflation surge as temporary. The move was anticipated by analysts. (13) The pound jumped to a 22-month high of 78.90 pence against the euro this week after unemployment in the U.K. dropped to a 2008 low – adding to speculation that the central bank will increase interest rates. (14) The yen rose to a 5-month high of 136.93 against the euro this week “after reports a Malaysian jet carrying 295 people was shot down over eastern Ukraine near its border with Russia, boosting haven assets.” (15)
According to Wednesday’s EIA report, the nation’s crude oil supplies dropped 7.5 million barrels last week to 375 million barrels. Analysts had called for a smaller draw of 2.6 million barrels. Gasoline supplies rose by 171,000 barrels to reach 214 million barrels compared to forecasts for a build of 700,000 barrels. Distillates increased more than expected – advancing 2.5 million barrels to 124.3 million versus forecasts for a build of 2 million barrels. (16)
Natural gas storage rose by 107 billion cubic feet to 2.129 trillion cubic feet last week – exceeding forecasts for a build of 100 billion cubic feet. Supplies are now 22.2 percent lower year-on-year and 25.5 percent below the 5-year average. The larger-than-expected build sent natural gas prices down more than 4 percent to a 6-month low of $3.956 per million British thermal units. (17)
Corn prices fell to a 4-year low of $3.7825 a bushel this week, as the USDA reported that U.S. crops “are developing in the best shape in 20 years in the country’s main growing areas.” The agency expects the domestic crop to come in at a record 13.86 billion bushels – pushing up global inventories to a 2000 high of 188.05 million metric tons. (18) Analyst Strategie Grains raised its monthly forecast for soft wheat production in the European Union by 1.1 million metric tons to 140.5 million – a 4 percent increase over last year – as it raised yield estimates for France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, and Romania. (19) The USDA lifted their estimate for the UK’s 2014 wheat crop from 15.15 million metric tons to 15.30 million – a 28 percent increase over last year. The agency also raised its forecast for Germany’s wheat crop from 24.3 million metric tons to 25.6 million, while increasing Ukraine’s crop outlook by 1 million metric tons to 21 million. (20)
The 5-month long strike at the world’s 3 largest producers of platinum-group metals in South African resulted in a year-on-year production decline of 49 percent in May – marking the largest downturn on record. The strike “cost the companies 23.9 billion rand ($2.2 billion) in revenue and workers 10.6 billion rand in wages by the time it ended on June 24.” (21) Anglo American Platinum expects first-half earnings to decline by as much as 96 percent – down from a year-earlier $5.14 a share to between $0.20 and $0.80 a share – as the strike throughout South Africa’s mining belt “crippled its operations.” (22)
Cocoa grinding in North America climbed 4.5 percent to a near record 131,737 metric tons during the second quarter – pointing to a boost in demand. Analysts had called for an increase of between 2 and 3 percent. (23) Grinding in Asia also surged – jumping 5.2 percent to 161,805 metric tons. (24) Malaysia reported a decline of 9.9 percent to 65,046 tons. (25) ICE arabica coffee futures fell to an almost 5-month low of $1.62 a pound on Tuesday, as Brazil’s harvest accelerates with no new reports of crop damage – easing concerns over the extent of damage caused by severe drought conditions experienced early in the year. Prices are now down 25 percent from a peak of $2.19 a pound in April. (26)
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