NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.Among the posts this past week were entries about the week's macroeconomic events and buy levels on selected stocks. Please click here for information about subscribing to RealMoney Pro.
Originally published on Friday, June 28 at 3:37 p.m. EDT. "One last thing." -- Lt. Columbo Here is a succinct summary of this week's macroeconomic events from Morgan Stanley's Peter Boockvar: Positives 1) A slew of Federal Reserve members do their best to calm markets after last week's taper hissy fit, trying to make clear that the printing presses are still running hot and will continue to well into 2014 with only the degree of heat being the question. This said, the Fed is not just dealing with unemployment and inflation, it is dealing with asset bubbles and the methodical cornering of the U.S. Treasury market (more subtle than the Hunt Brothers). Also, markets only like full speed ahead (irrespective of economic impotence and damage) and views any slowdown in speed as a form of tightening. 2) Durable goods orders in May rise more than expected led by aircraft but core rate gain is also better than estimated. 3) Richmond, Dallas and Milwaukee manufacturing surveys in June bounce from May.
4) Conference Board consumer confidence rises to 81.4 from 74.3, best level since January '08, with those saying jobs are plentiful rising to the highest since Sept '08. Those that plan to buy a home or car within six months are up a touch. 5) June UoM confidence final reading at 84.1, down slightly from May but up from the preliminary June print of 82.7. Coincident with recent drop in gasoline prices, one-year inflation expectations moderate to 3%, matching lowest since Dec '10. 6) Pending home sales and new home sales in May both total more than expected as 50 bps increase in mortgage rates to 3.90% in May pushes many off their arse. Mortgage rates now are at 4.38% as of Thursday night.
12) In Letta we trust: Italian business confidence rises to highest since April '12. 13) French retail sales in May rise more than expected. 14)EU economic confidence rises to 91.3 from 89.5, the best since May '12 in sign of bottom, but actual growth still ways away and risks remain on downside. 15) For QE lovers, Draghi and BoE member say no taper here. Negatives 1) June Chicago PMI falls to 51.6 from 58.7 as backlogs fall to lowest since Sept '09. 2) The average 30-year mortgage rate rises almost 30 bps on the week to near two-year high, and refi applications fall 5.2% to the lowest since Nov '11. 3) Q1 GDP rises just 1.8%, down from previous print of 2.4%, as spending in particular gets revised lower. While old news, it provides a smaller base from which Q2 growth began. 4) French consumer confidence falls to lowest on record dating to 1972. 5) With all the attempts on the part of Fed members with their speeches and comments, the 10-year note yield falls just 4 bps on the week after jumping 40 bps in the week prior.
Originally published on Thursday, June 27 at 8:36 a.m. EDT. Currently, only five out of 84 stocks I have mentioned in my diary are eligible to buy vs. five out of 82 in early April. Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld): (To Kramer and Morty) What is this about?
Kramer (Michael Richards): I'm completely changing the configuration of the apartment. You're not gonna believe it when you see it. A whole new lifestyle.
Jerry: What are you doing?
Kramer: Yeah, I'm getting rid of all my furniture. All of it. And I'm going to build these different levels, with steps, and it'll all be carpeted with a lot of pillows. You know, like ancient Egypt.
Jerry: You drew up plans for this?
Kramer: No, no. It's all in my head.
Morty (Barney Martin): I don't know how you're going to be comfortable like that.
Kramer: Oh, I'll be comfortable.
-- "Seinfeld," The Pony Remark Below is an updated list of buy levels on selected stocks that I have mentioned on Real Money Pro. I would now rate only five out of 84 stocks (compared to five out of 82 stocks in early April) as attractive to buy at current levels. They are Apple ( AAPL), Chimera ( CIM), Monitise ( MONI.L), iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) and Northwest Bancshares ( NWBI).
Let me explain the distinction in the two different approaches I use in addressing a portfolio and to the portfolio's individual stock construction. I would describe this morning's levels exercise as more of a bottoms-up approach toward selecting individual securities, as compared to my calculation of the S&P 500's fair market value (I am still grappling with this calculation!), which is a top-down approach toward the broader market. The two approaches will often yield different results. In the case of levels, 6% of the monitored stocks are eligible to buy (flat with April's "Levels").
- AIG (AIG), under $40
- Altisource Asset Management (AAMC), under $225
- Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), under $85
- Altisource Residential (RESI), under $16.50
- American Express (AXP), avoid
- Apple (AAPL), under $400*
- Avon Products (AVP), under $20
- Bank of America (BAC), under $12.50
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), avoid
- Bridgepoint Education (BPI), avoid
- Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), under $44
- Broadcom (BRCM), under $31.50
- Caterpillar (CAT), avoid
- Charming Shoppes (CHRS), acquired
- Chimera Investment (CIM), under $3.00*
- Chubb (CB), under $80.50
- Citigroup (C), under $46.50
- Cohen & Steers (CNS), under $32.50
- Colgate-Palmolive (CL), under $52
- Clorox (CLX), under $80.50
- ConocoPhillips (COP), under $56.50
- CSX Corporation (CSX), under $22
- Danaher (DHR), avoid
- Dell (DELL), under $12.00
- Disney (DIS), under $60
- eBay (EBAY), under $50.50
- E*Trade (ETFC), under $10.00
- ExxonMobil (XOM), under $85
- Facebook (FB), under $22
- Ford (F), under $14
- Fortinet (FTNT), under $15
- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), under $24.50
- Fusion-io (FIO), avoid
- General Motors (GM), under $29.50
- Goldman Sachs (GS), avoid
- Grand Canyon Education (LOPE), avoid
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), avoid
- Groupon (GRPN), avoid
- Henry Schein (HSIC), avoid
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), under $21.50
- Home Depot (HD), under $72.50
- Home Loan Servicing Solutions (HLSS), under $21.50
- IBM (IBM), under $192
- Infoblox (BLOX), under $27
- Intel (INTC), under $22.50
- International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), under $73.50
- iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (FXI), avoid
- J.C. Penney (JCP), avoid
- JPMorgan Chase (JPM), under $49.50
- Kellogg (K), under $60.50
- KKR Financial (KFN), under $10
- Legg Mason (LM), under $28
- Lincoln National (LNC), under $30.50
- Loews (L), under $41.50
- Lowe's (LOW), under $38.50
- MetLife (MET), under $39.50
- MGIC Investment (MTG), under $5.35
- Microsoft (MSFT), under $32
- Monitise, under 35*
- Morgan Stanley (MS), avoid
- Nationstar Mortgage (NSM), avoid
- Northwest Bancshares (NWBI), under $12.80
- Oaktree (OAK), under $49.50
- Och-Ziff (OZM), under $9.50
- Ocwen Financial (OCN), under $39
- Peabody Energy (BTU), avoid
- PepsiCo (PEP), under $78.50
- Pitney Bowes (PBI), avoid
- PNC Financial (PNC), under $69.50
- Procter & Gamble (PG), under $75.50
- ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT), under $68
- iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund, under 110*
- Prudential (PRU), under $67.50
- Qlik Technologies (QLIK), under $26.50
- Schwab (SCHW), under $18
- Sourcefire (FIRE), under $52.50
- SunTrust (STI), under $29
- Target (TGT), under $65
- T. Rowe Price (TROW), under $70
- Waddell & Reed (WDR), under $39.50
- Walter Energy (WLT), avoid
- Wells Fargo (WFC), under $38.50
- XL Group (XL), under $28.50
- Yahoo! (YHOO), avoid