The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.TheStreet.com brings you the news all day, and with RealMoney's "Columnist Conversation," you can see how the pros are playing it on a real-time basis. Here are the top five ideas played today. To see all that RealMoney offers, click here for a free trial.
1. Utility Earnings
By Tim Melvin
1:42 p.m. EDT If it really is getting better, why are the utilities reporting lower earnings and given reduced or weak guidance? Duke Energy ( DUK) missed estimates this morning, as did Entergy ( EMO). According to the Energy Information Association industrial demand for energy is down 12% nationally. Duke reported demand that fell even further. Industrial demand was off 18% in the Carolinas and 20% in the company's Midwestern operations. The CEO at Duke told investors that industrial demand may be stabilizing, but he does not see it improving anytime soon. The company CFO affirmed this, saying it may well be 2011 before demand shows any meaningful increase. Even with all the cost-cutting that has gone on in corporations this year, merely stabilizing at these levels does not bode well for earnings going forward. No positions.
2. Canada vs. Europe
By Marc Chandler
1:04 p.m. EDT In recent weeks we have recommended long Canadian dollar positions against the U.S. dollar and the Mexican peso. Over the past month, the Canadian dollar has been among the best-performing currencies, gaining 8.6% against the dollar and more than 7.5% against the Mexican peso. We are concerned that from a fundamental perspective, much of the good news for Canada has been discounted, such as higher commodity prices and the recovery in the auto sector. The persistent strength of the Canadian dollar risks some condemnation by Canadian officials who are worried that it may hamper the recovery.
Corporate Bonds Mixed vs. Treasuries
10:37 a.m. EDT Looks like corporate bonds are generally flat to slightly wider vs. Treasuries. But it seems like a cautious widening. I'm hearing a little profit-taking, but other than that, no selling. Meanwhile, lots of supply. GE ( GE) Capital is bringing a "benchmark" sized deal (which technically means $250 million or more) and the talk was +237 to +250. The announcement hit my Bloomberg at 8:37 a.m. EDT. By 9:08 a.m., it had $4 billion in orders. Similarly Coca Cola ( KO) announced a $250 million 10-year deal at around +100 (later revised to +95). That came to me at 8:58 a.m. and the company had closed the deal by 9:10 a.m. with over $2 billion in orders. So there is plenty of demand for corporate bonds, and I'd continue to view any backup in spreads as a pause, not a reversal. No positions.
4. Pending Home Sales
By Jim Cramer
10:02 a.m. EDT How quickly will the bears immediately discredit this NAR number, even as I have looked at it and it is "clean." It confirms once again that the end of June was the bottom in house price depreciation. These are impressive numbers. But I know they will be scoffed at like every other one as the housing bears dig in their heels. As someone who guaranteed a loss on any house bought two years ago, I reserve the right to make this point. No positions.
5. XLE InterETF
By Timothy Collins
9:57 a.m. EDT Finding two attractive plays in the energy field. We are buying: Long 1 Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares ( ERX) August 36 put while simultaneously selling 2.1 contracts of the Energy Select SPDR ( XLE) August 52 puts, so a 10 by 21 ratio, for a net credit right around 0.30 per ratio. You can also use the same ratio on the ERX August 34 puts coupled with the XLE August 51 puts for a slightly smaller net credit. This trade will keep its net credit, and earn possibly more, in an XLE flat to bullish move. There is some risk on a trending, extreme, downside move. Long ERX puts, short XLE puts. For free trial to Real Money, where you can get updated trading and investment ideas throughout the course of the day, please click on the tile below.