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1. Loews Report
By Tim Melvin
2:40 p.m. EST
reported a nice quarter today. The Tisch Brothers holding company swung to a fourth-quarter profit of 94 cents a share from a loss of $2.20 a share in the same quarter a year earlier. Fueled by an improvement of the investment portfolio at subsidiary
, book value at the conglomerate leaped to $39.76 from $30.18 at the end of 2008. In the quarter, the company bought back $205 million of stock in the open market. It spent $348 million repurchasing stock in 2009 and has already bought in $57 million of stock in 2010. All in all, it's a solid quarter, and the stock is still fairly cheap.
2. Continuing our Look at the Dow...
By Robert Moreno
1:13 p.m. EST
The long-term Dow chart shows any continued pullback will be restrained within the context of the chart. Andrew's Pitchfork is a median-line study that takes major chart points and draws parallel lines off a center point. Here, the three pivot points are the 2000 high, 2002 low and 2007 high. The center line intersects near the bottom of the volume channel line, reinforcing that support zone.
I have overlaid four moving averages: the approximate 10-year MA, 200 DMA, 200 DMA offset/back by 50 periods and 200 DMA offset/forward by 50 periods. The offset averages form an envelope around the center average and when they converge, price will stall and/or reverse. They are now rising in parallel slope, confirming a continuation of the uptrend. The price broke above the 10-year MA briefly in January. In every prior instance, either to the upside or downside, price continued in the direction of the break over an extended period.
The Dow will likely pull back further and consolidate. Buying volume has dropped, but a serious or catastrophic breakdown is not in the chart.
3. Our Short-Term Picture Is Far More Neutral
By Rick Bensignor
11:27 a.m. EST
Our short-term picture has gotten far more neutral, with the
having bounced on TDST line support 1046.50 on Friday and the futures then also closing above the 1057 level, which we said on Friday morning was an important level to hold on a closing basis.
With the Dollar Index having gotten very close to our multi-week maximum upside trading target of 80.88 on Friday (the high was 80.68), we have exited our remaining dollar longs. Moreover, our gold short position, which we have had on since $1152, came only $2 away (that's less than 1/5 of 1%) from our downside target of $1042.50.So, with many of the markets having achieved short-term target areas, we have a much more neutral approach on equities, the dollar, and gold.
4. Putting the Dow's Decline in a Bigger Picture
By Robert Moreno
9:38 a.m. EST
The stock market is at an important inflection point. Let's step back and look at the big picture. The daily
chart shows the distribution of closing prices over a 15-year period. The horizontal "volume by price" bars indicate levels of volume related to price, not time, during this period.
The zone with the greatest volume coincides, exactly, with the area bordered by the 50% and 38% Fibonacci retracements of the 2002 low and the 2007 high. In early January, price touched the top of this channel; last week, it returned to the lower end.
The "volume by price" graph forms a rudimentary bell curve. Price generally stabilizes in this fatter part of the curve. The Bollinger Band width indicator plots volatility; when it falls below its long-term moving average, we see periods of consolidation. Band width is, currently, below the average, and price is in the center of the volume curve. This supports the idea that the current decline will not evolve into a catastrophic selloff. The next post will examine other supporting technical indicators.
Position: Long FDX
5. Breitburn Settles All Claims, Reinstates Distribuitons, Shares Up 12%
By Sham Gad
9:38 a.m. EST
today announced resolution of all claims with Quicksilver and reinstated distribuitons at $1.50 per unit. When I wrote the column titled,
"A New Favorite MLP" two weeks ago, I was confident this was going to happen, just not so soon. The shares were then around $13, implying a yield of more than 12%. Shares are still attractive, but this cloud of uncertainty has now been removed.
Position: Long BBEP
This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.