Fund Flows & Issuance: According to Wells Fargo, flows week to date were -$0.3 billion and year to date flows stand at -$6.0 billion. New issuance for the week was $2.0 billion and year to date HY is at $151 billion.
(Bloomberg) Lean Inventory Fueling Home-Price Gains in 20 U.S. Cities
- Steady price gains in 20 U.S. cities in May indicate that a tight supply of properties paired with increased demand is boosting home values, according to figures from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller on Tuesday.
- A shortage of listings is still behind the rapid appreciation of home prices, particularly in high-demand areas such as Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, where values have surpassed pre-recession peaks. Housing demand is supported by a solid labor market, steadily rising wages and low mortgage rates. While lofty asking prices are making it difficult for some Americans to become homeowners for the first time, they’re encouraging owners of more expensive properties to put their houses up for sale, as trade-up demand remains solid.
- “Home prices continue to climb and outpace both inflation and wages,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “The small supply of homes for sale, at only about four months’ worth, is one cause of rising prices. New home construction, higher than during the recession but still low, is another factor in rising prices.”
(Reuters) Saudi vows to cap crude exports next month
- Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
- Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak also told reporters that an additional 200,000 bpd could be removed from the market if compliance with a global deal to cut output was 100 percent.
- The Saudi and Russian energy ministers were in St. Petersburg for a gathering of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers. Ministers discussed their previous agreement to cut production 1.8 million bpd from January 2017 through March 2018.
- Falih said OPEC and non-OPEC partners were committed to cut output longer if necessary but would demand that non-compliant nations stick to the agreement.
- OPEC members Nigeria and Libya have been exempt from the output cuts, and market watchers remain concerned that production from the two countries is offsetting the impact of the global reduction.
- In the United States, rig counts were up to 764 in the latest week, from 371 rigs a year ago.
- The executive chairman of energy services company Halliburton said he expected a U.S. rig count above 1,000 by year end, but that about 800 to 900 rigs was more sustainable in the medium term.
(MarketWatch) HCA’s weak quarter speaks to a long-term trend: People are going to the doctor less
- Hospital operator HCA Healthcare Inc. reported a dismal quarter early Tuesday, complete with profit and revenue misses and a cut to its earnings-per-share outlook for the year.
- Hospital operators haven’t been having a particularly good time in recent months, especially given congressional Republicans’ effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, also called Obamacare, greatly benefited hospitals because more people became insured, especially through the law’s Medicaid expansion.
- But there’s another possible reason at play, too: fewer people going to the doctor, said Veda Partners analysts Spencer Perlman and Sumesh Sood.
- Health plans increasingly shift more costs to consumers through such things as high deductibles and cost-sharing, which has in turn changed how patients behave, they said.
- HCA earnings show that “we remain in a much lower healthcare utilization environment post-2008 and this is the new normal,” they said.
- Perlman and Sood also pointed to data published by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project in June, which “clearly indicates a continued decline in inpatient stays, surgical volumes and deteriorating payer mix.”
S&P awards Regal Entertainment unsecured debt an upgrade to B+
- Regal unsecured debt was upgraded one notch to B+ on the expectation of continued investment in the theater network and stable leverage over the next 12-18 months
(Fierce Cable) Charter’s 90K lost video subscribers in Q2 far better than forecasts
- Charter Communications delivered far better pay-TV customer metrics in the second quarter than predicted by investment analysts, with the No. 2 U.S. cable company dropping only 90,000 customers in the three-month period that is typically the weakest for pay-TV operators.
- Video subscriber losses at legacy Charter (down 10,000 vs. -7,000 in the second quarter of 2016) and Bright House Networks (down only 12,000 vs. -72,000 in Q2 2016) were offset by 68,000 lost former Time Warner Cable customers during the period.
- Most of the decline came from the loss of “limited basic relationships” at TWC, Charter CFO Christopher Winfrey told investment analysts.
- Revenue grew 3.9% to $10.4 billion on a pro forma basis, while second quarter EBITDA was up 8.6% to $3.8 billion.
- “Results were a nice surprise, with EBITDA ahead of estimates and subscriber trends well ahead,” said New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin. “Video losses in the TWC markets were half what we and consensus expected. This bears out management’s comment that they had turned the corner on TWC integration and churn. This quarter should have been the low-water mark, and the results were good.”