News Column

Daily Wrap: Railcar rises; Stocks inch higher

June 9, 2014

By Jim Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 09--TODAY'S INDEXES -- Dow Industrials 16,943 +19

S&P 500 1950 +1

Nasdaq 4336 +15

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER RECORD: The stock market continued its inch-by-inch climb through record territory Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up a fraction of a percent, driving both indexes to new highs. The NASDAQ was up 0.34 percent

Stocks also inched upward in Europe and Asia. The MSCI All-Country World Index added 0.1 percent to within a point of a new record.

"My view is that the Goldilocks economy is back -- not to cold, not too hot, but just right," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

LOCAL GAINER: American Railcar stock rose 2 percent Monday. Analysts at Blueshift Research note a "tremendous growth" in orders for railroad cars, driven partly by the oil boom. Orders for new railcars were up 62 percent in the first quarter with American Railcar and other manufacturers sharing in the bounty.

But it is a boom-and-bust business with "a history of oversupplying the market in good times," the analysts note. Government regulation and an expanding pipeline system may portend a slowdown in railcar orders.

American Railcar, based in St. Charles, makes and fixes railroad rolling stock, including oil tank cars among others.

NO TIME FOR TIME: Wall Street booed the debut of Time as an independent company, driving the publisher's stock down nearly 1 percent on its first full day of trading.

Time Warner loaded the company with debt, then spun it off as a stand-alone magazine company with titles such as Sports Illustrated and People as well as Time magazine.

Magazines, like newspapers, have been losing print subscribers and advertisers as consumers go online for news.

"The good news is that Time has massive scale and audience reach, to go along with a solid reputation and brand recognition," said Marci Ryvicker, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York, in a research note, as quoted by Bloomberg.

THIS TAKES THE CAKE: Vendors and reception venues remain the biggest cause of wedding day mishaps, according to an analysis of 2013 wedding insurance claims by Travelers. Chefs don't show, cakes collapse, limo drivers disappear, sometimes the reception venue goes broke and closes.

Such debacles generate 36 percent of all wedding claims filed by Travelers customers. Injury and sickness of the couple or one of their parents made up 16 percent of claims

The average wedding costs $25,000, the insurance company says.

HELP WITH MUNIS: There is a new online tool to help municipal bond investors compare prices among bonds with similar maturities, interest rates and geography. It's put out by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, the muni business' self-regulatory arm. You can find the tool here. To use it, you'll need a CUSIP number for a bond you wish to compare.

LOCAL INDEX: The Bloomberg St. Louis Index rose 2 to 918.


Allied Healthcare +4.82% Build-a-Bear -3.1%

Synergetics +2.7% Stereotaxis -1.7%

Arch Coal +2.5% First Clover Leaf -1.5%

THE DAY AHEAD: Ameren's electric rates will be under attack Tuesday as the Missouri Public Service Commission holds a public hearing into demands for a rate cut. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. at Harris Stowe State University, Givens Administration Building, Main Auditorium, Room 112, 3026 Laclede Avenue.

Noranda, which owns an electricity-hog aluminum plant in southeast Missouri, has been calling for a small rate cut for everyone and a big cut for itself.

Jim Gallagher is a reporter for the Post-Dispatch


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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