Two Ways To Play: Heat Is On For Gas
Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.
According to the Wall Street Journal utilities and industry analysts estimate that heating costs will jump 30% to 50% for the upcoming winter for families that heat their homes with natural gas.
Those that use heating oil could see cost increases of up to 50% to 100%. Some worry that this could be the tipping point as consumers already struggle with record food and gasoline prices across the nation.
From the Bull Pen: Bulls can consider an upside play in the natural gas ETF (UNG) and can fade (read: buy) the weakness into $45 support.
From the Bear Cave: Coach (COH) may be an option for retail bears as the consumer continues to get pounded with higher energy costs. One option is to fade (read: sell) the stock as it approaches the $30-33 range.
Citi Not As Ugly As Expected
Results from Citigroup's (C) second quarter are helping to lift stock futures this morning. The largest U.S. bank by assets reported a loss of 49 cents a share, which was 17 cents better than analysts' expectations for a loss of 66 cents per share. Revenues fell 29.2% year-over-year to $18.65 billion vs. $17.55 billion consensus. The company disclosed writedowns of $7.2 billion in Securities and Banking, and higher credit costs which increased by $4.5 billion. Total assets declined by $99 bln since the first quarter of 2008. For context, see Professor Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need To Know.
From the Bull Pen: Do the financials have more room to run? Those bullish can play the upside in the financial ETF (XLF); sell-stops can be set below $19.50.
From the Bear Cave: Are the results for Citi even good? The bears welcome this rally and may fade (read: sell) at the first resistance near the $20 level.
For more ideas in real time throughout the trading day, check out Minyanville's Buzz & Banter.
Quick Check Around the World
Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.64%, Nikkei -0.65%, Sensex +3.99%, Taiwan -2.28% and Shanghai +3.49%.
Looking at Europe we see the CAC +0.59%, DAX +1.36%, FTSE +0.95%.
As of 8:20 AM EST, S&P futures are up +7 points to 1260, and Nasdaq futures are higher +4 points to 1843.
A Look At Commodities
Crude oil is higher +1.53 to 130.91. Gold is down -12.40 to 958.20. Silver is off -0.057 to 18.610, and copper is lower -4.50 to 369.00
The dollar index is lower -0.032 to 72.210.
No events on the radar today. Good luck and have a great weekend!
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