The market sold off at the open today but is climbing back like a Phoenix from the ashes or Paul Volcker's economic reputation. Alcoa's earnings initially brought the market down as they were a bit disappointing and Alcoa is considered to be the first bellweather company to report in this critical earnings season where baked in expectations are greater than they were for Ulysses S. Grant's presidency, the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, or Jay Leno's 10pm time slot. Alcoa missed on revenues earning only $4.9B instead of analyst guesses of $5.2B while putting up an inline earnings per share number. The company blamed the top line miss on the fact that they sell a fucking commodity and on Canada. Interestingly, even though they were short of analyst guesses on revenue, they still grew the topline by 18% thanks to a 49% surge in the price of aluminum off of the depressed levels of last year (apparently aluminum was depressed because it found copper cheating on him with silver. It's his own fault though, as steel tried to warn aluminum that copper was a whore and would smelt anything, but he didn't want to listen). That said, shipments of aluminum slid 3% so demand still has quite a way to go. In other macro news, the US trade deficit widened in February like a hooker's purse when seeing Eliot Spitzer walk by her after he has hit the ATM. The trade deficit was up 7.4% to $39B and signaled that US consumers are getting stronger as they once again pass up American made goods for shit produced overseas. Imports surged 1.7% with the majority of that coming from electronics, aparrel, and Laetitia Casta posters.
In international news, Greece had a bond offering to raise capital to help ease their budget deficit and the bonds are seeing stronger demand than Sarah Palin at a tea bag convention, potatoes during the great Irish famine, or Ann Darrow on Skull Island. The latest bond offering was more than 6x oversubscribed which is more oversubscribed than a New Century subprime mortgage B tranche in 2004, the theory of intelligent design in Texas, or the rumored Jessica Simpson Juggs magazine photo shoot. With the EU and IMF backing up Greece (and we all know the Greeks love getting backed-up), investors should have faith that the country won't go bankrupt and thus the incremental yield being offered by these Greek bonds should be solid investments.
In other stock news, the markets eagerly await the earnings of large cap banks tomorrow while UBS's regional bank anlayst is getting in front of those numbers by downgrading mid-sized banks. The analyst thinks banks' earnings and valuations are unsustainable and they are due for a "meaningful pullback" as investors somehow forgot that normalized bank earnings no longer exist thanks to something called banks not lending any fucking money and reserving the shit out of their balance sheets. Ford announced revenues are tracking ahead of last year, though that is like being smarter than Carrie Prejean, creepier than Larry Craig, or less herpe-ridden than Paris Hilton. Ford has done a solid job of managing through the downturn and thinks the economy continues to get marginally better, like day old chinese food and the Winter Olympics. The market is not only anticipating bank earnings, but GOOG is trading up into their earnings release on Thursday after hours. Money McBags is long GOOG as the online advertising market isn't going anywhere and they dominate it like Tony Danza dominated Judith Light in showing her who was the boss.
In small cap news, PALM is tumbling because potential buyers must be coming to their senses or must have read When Genius Prevailed yesterday to realize that buying the #6 player (and likely dropping with Microsoft introducing the Kin) in a competitive and near commodity market is about as good of a business decision as investing with Bernie Madoff or letting Dexter Manley write your presentations. In other small cap news, JOEZ is apparently still not fitting investors well despite offering a nice booty fit as it trades down another 4% to $2.60. Money McBags has put some analysis behind JOEZ numbers over the past couple of days and thinks it is getting to a more reasonable valuation (of course being down almost 30% in 4 days will do that to you). What is interesting is that the analyst from Roth Capital came out with an upgrade of JOEZ yesterday and had close to the same numbers as Money McBags with ~$.07 eps for 2010 and $.13 for fiscal 2011. The key difference being that Money McBags thinks $.13 is a bit of a stretch, though possible (In fact $.15 wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilties), and that even if they were to hit $.13, they shouldn't trade at 28x that which is where the Roth analyst's price target is. The stock is now trading at 20x the fiscal 2011 $.13 estimate which is a reasonable valuation for JOEZ growth if you think $.13 is attainable. If Money McBags were a betting man, he'd bet that the butler did it, but he'd also bet that JOEZ will earn somewhere between $.10 and $.15 per share in fiscal 2011 which is actually not a very small range but he just doesn't have a good feel for management's ability to execute a business since their margins have yet to show the leverage associated with scale. Either way, the valuation is becoming more reasonable and if it were to drop a bit more, Money McBags might think about buying some. Until then, he's going to wait for the institutions to finish puking this thing out and see where it is when the smoke clears as volume over the past few days has been higher than Lindsay Lohan on a Columbian vacation as people just want to get the fuck out of this stock right now.