Home Construction Down, but Permits Increase

Suzanne O'Halloran analyzes the morning business headlines.
11:49 | 03/20/12

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Transcript for Home Construction Down, but Permits Increase
There is the opening bell for this Tuesday march 20 hello everyone I'm Stephanie sigh in New York. In just the past hour we've gotten some mixed numbers on housing construction -- in -- -- analyze those numbers. Plus another buzz e-business headlines this morning as Suzanne -- how -- ran from Bloomberg TV Suzanne great to see good morning. Get -- so let's Begin with housing starts neighbor down one point 1%. In February but building permits jumped. They are up five point 1% for the month. Just beyond the numbers here. -- -- this is that certainly makes report and I think the market is a little disappointed that in the housing starts were not. And stronger. But as you mention the -- is permits are stronger very good sign of future growth what that tells us is builders. Have filed for permits they plan they have these projects plans they plan. It likely have the financing sell -- of the mixed reaction economists say you know it's a reminder that the recovery in the housing market. It's still very very gradual and not something that investors have to keep in mind plus mortgage rates a thirty year mortgage rate. Still at record lows but they are moving a little bit higher roughly -- about 4%. As we DC the economy and prove there is it you that mortgage rates will move up and that -- pressure. Some homeowners. Who perhaps don't -- my house now even though rates are still low they are moving higher so that's sort of the housing picture in general let's call -- -- mixed reports. And in a mixed report but the fact that permits are strong the highest since the wait is it -- -- -- also separately yesterday we had says survey out. About builder sentiment and that's actually the highest since and a sentence of the fact that contractors are more comfortable and confident. That's a good sign but likely again we'll see more of the strength in housing hopefully continue to improve throughout the year get those are some good sides -- right let's switch gears and talk about Tiffany. They came out with earnings this morning we always look to ban because they're a luxury maker they tend to be a Bellwether -- they do this past quarter. You know the court was actually okay. I'm not his greatest and -- expecting the when investors are focused on its forecast the company actually gave a forecast that exceeded a lot of analysts estimates -- this stopped. Even -- we were -- broader weakness in the market at the open and we are seeing that Tiffany's shares might. Look be -- -- gain in about 4% today and again because the forecast was better than expected and let the company -- about. Is actually they do you expect improving consumer sentiment. To actually be sales but a lot of those sales are going to come according to the company. At the end of the fiscal year likely roughly around the holiday season is when they tend to -- seasonally. Very well -- When we look at what the stock market is -- not only here in the US I was looking this morning all of the global market has seen a nice performance this year. -- is investor sentiment. Good sentiment all around the world what areas they talk about they talked about. Intriguing store sales in the Americas and also Asia so that's a story with Tiffany and I will mention -- one thing about Asia Stephanie that's also pressuring US stocks today. Is he did hear from the Chinese and for the second time in a couple of weeks they're actually raising fuel prices that's actually why we're seeing some weakness in the market as well so Asia in terms of what's -- China is economic growth there is -- strong the company excuse me the country is actually trying to you on managed. A slowdown so they do not have a hard landing -- called -- in economic terms but. -- and -- back to Tiffany they did do very well in terms of their forecasts are what they're predicting and that's what you might see some strength. Cannot stop and as you -- some downward pressure on stocks on the Dow right now three minutes in a down about half a percent all right how. To this whole hunger games praised the -- I actually have. Read the book I can't wait to see the movie but here's -- -- shares of lions -- right. They have hit a record high because of the movie hunger games is coming out soon. -- little soon to start counting profits for a movie that hasn't even -- Yeah I am maybe not I mean I'm still on -- girl with the dragon tattooed on -- on. The -- who played the fires I have to get the hunger games circuits sit as an example read all those stick. Yet what we're seeing is it isn't she C -- as you mentioned Lionsgate which is a studio for the found. Is actually trading at a record it's moving even higher today. The film opens this Friday some of the shows -- sold out according to stand angle what we could be looking at here is another Harry Potter. Another twilight. This is predicted so far to do something no like 200 million in total at the box office but some analysts. Including Piper Jaffray say the film could -- closer to 300 million. The buzz is -- it's a very obviously hot trilogy inline skated off saying important to note even though there are three books they're planning for sounds so. If the film and they had this weekend. At the box on the -- the estimates in terms of what it needs to do this weekend might be close to 90000200. Million dollars sales -- CDU and bring and -- near that amount that could bode well because then you have the buzz where people like myself who haven't read the books my money going in and see the movie and that's actually very positive self. Lionsgate very interesting story Allan Green move for this idiot is studio they also -- the rights by the way to mad and which is actually back on the air after a seventeen month hiatus I believe this Sunday. On AM -- that's something that the company has -- about as well they'll likely benefit from. That series in the fourth quarter again now that it's back on the air so look for Lionsgate this week can be very key if the movie where -- disappoint which is possibility as well. And -- could see some pullback in the shares but these stories are kind of fun because they Healy it really tells us that contact is Cain and this is a great example of that from Lionsgate. Well another company that's not going hungry. Apple we -- that announcement yesterday that the company will offer a dividend to drive down on its stockpile of cash. How is the street reacting so -- of that news. You know -- reacting very positively out we know there's then. It's been widely speculated that apple is going to come out end and release a dividend and that's exactly what they did yesterday. The manner in which they did it was kind of surprising because normally a company -- do this quarterly release but -- apple isn't your average company. -- get any -- 45 billion over three years so for shareholders on record. As of July 1 you we'll start to get that two dollar and 65 cent dividend. Now what's interesting here is the reaction and today we're seeing a little bit of weakness in the stock but we did yesterday C -- nice rally that stock did cross over that. 600 dollar level and also analysts on Wall Street are just scrambling. To raise their price target on the stock we had a new high for a price target coming from Morgan Keegan. 800 dollars a share other firms like Citigroup and Credit Suisse are in -- 700 dollar. Area and -- also -- -- with apple is. Some folks say you know he painted -- any -- by that which they announced as well -- you don't have better use for the cash such as an acquisition but analysts say Apple's case. They really don't need to do acquisition because they're still in at -- -- where they can't abide that they need to -- they'll just invent a product. And put another company out of business or pressure and other companies like they've done with Research in Motion apparently plans like you -- -- And do wrong right and yet I haven't seen in awhile -- Mark Zuckerberg. He's you're not only -- -- -- really low profile as FaceBook prepares for its IPL it is this deliberate on his part. I'm probably and I think. This is an interesting story we have a company such as FaceBook that -- started that was started by Zuckerberg who I believe is now roughly in his late twenty's. This kind of reminds me of Google. Because of global founders as well. Rotting Eric Schmidt when -- work. Becoming public money became a public company on an Eric had a background in terms of running a business and knowing what its CEO is supposed to do you that's where -- amber comes in. At FaceBook and we are hearing that they have started to do early meetings -- prepare for their IPO and the road show that. Comes very close to you the pricing of the deal when they meet with Wall Street investors may take questions -- I think and analysts agree as well this is a positive sign because. Company is run by eighteen and even though Zuckerberg is a creative force -- founder and visionary you also need some and he knows how to deal with Wall Street. How to how to run a company how to manage cash -- things like that. And when you have people who have experienced such as Sheryl Samberg doing that -- comforting to the Wall Street community still. The fact they think you know it just because he's so interesting people would like to you last spend time with and then. And get to know and then I I bet during the road show he does make some appearances but. The people who are going to be running day to day operations in managing relationships between investors and senior management. You really want somebody with a deep background he's taken a company like -- -- Public in the past and again I'll be Cheryl Samberg and so I I think I don't necessarily think it's selling is alike think it will be viewed as a positive once we hear more. About the company and those meetings -- and that's. OK we've got time for one more topic and I was given the choice of -- they're talking about -- and the own network not doing well or Jeremy Lynn saw the Jeremy -- Knicks star Taiwanese American and my buddy Jeremy -- happened he has I think is my wish is my -- if he's not really my -- -- just wish you Wear. He's inked a deal with -- -- surprise surprise. What are they. Yes please be you -- in a sense -- spokesperson for. Global mobile overseas and I think you know look he's been on the scene what a couple of weeks months I think this is -- -- very important I sign not only from a marketing expert perspective. But I also shows that one of the world's biggest auto makers has -- and his ability. Do you attract customers overseas and particularly. Those Asian folks are Asian Americans where he'll be. Actually focusing on those marketing efforts and -- look -- is an -- company as well in terms of some of their automobiles. Certainly top sellers oversees more so than here in the United States. But I think this says -- His position as listen up pop culture figure and probably it's going to be the first of many many more opportunities endorsement opportunities for land regardless of whether he sees that the next -- goes to another team. And it just -- -- sandy. All of that ended terms that we've heard an investor in investors actually are paid attention animal it'll be interesting to see our -- successfully X raying Hocking his -- but. Likely I think -- -- to get spokesperson in the timing is right because he's hot. And again as -- the next continue to move forward whether he sees that the knicks are not I think he's going to have a very attractive. Second job if you as a companies. -- see if Bentley investment pays out. Lately it is not currently that was my let's say it will really get the -- before we let you go because there is some -- -- pressure right now Suzanne the Dow down about eighty points what do you think is the wait is the housing numbers. I think guys a couple of things it's the housing numbers that were not a 100%. Positive really makes report but also -- some weakness in technology shares specifically software -- Adobe. Reported earnings last night -- -- a little disappointing. We will hear from Oracle after the closing bell today another obviously below one of the world's biggest software makers sell. There could be some concern technology stocks have been one of your leaders in the market that the software makers are not keeping pace with expectations so that's. Where we're seeing a little bit of the pressure today but again if we hear from -- -- come out with a very solid report that could change sentiment and also -- we do you have. US stocks hitting four year highs -- It's unusable to take a breather particularly when we got that news out of China again another cautionary sign that they are trying to you slow -- growth. Just a net right Susanna Haller and from Bloomberg TV thanks Suzanne thank you have a great -- -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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