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Politics Barack Obama

  • This is is the probably the toughest week of the year for active traders. Why? We've seen a huge increase in volatility and volume but it’s been around events so big (Greece, Spain, future of the euro) that traders have no idea — or strong opinion — on how it will play out.

  • The U.S. markets rallied early on, as Europe came off its lows. But traders also noted that mid-morning, Dominic Wilson, Director of Global Macro & Markets Research for Goldman Sachs, made positive comments on the markets. Mr. Wilson is a respected commentator with a following on trading desks. Here's what he said.

  • Debtor Nations

    Moody's out again with the "may downgrade Portugal" line; Portugal down 1.7 percent, Spain down 2.4 percent, Greece down 4.9 percent. We have the British parliamentary elections on Thursday, as well as German regional elections over the weekend, which will be viewed as a referendum on Merkel's party and support for a Greek bailout. What's it all mean..?

  • US Capitol Building

    Leaders of the Senate Banking Committee said that they agreed to limit the likelihood of a taxpayer bailout of big banks, but liberal Democrats said they would push for reducing the size of the nation’s biggest banks.

  • US Senate is voting today on the first parts of the financial reform bill. Barbara Boxer from California set to add language that no taxpayer money will be used to bail out financial institutions. Looks like the $50 billion fund set for an orderly liquidation of a failed bank is dead.

  • Europe ended at the lows for the day, but that doesn't mean the euro's volatility is over: keep a close eye on the euro/dollar: It is sitting right above the $1.30 range, where there is almost certainly sell stops posted. What's going on? The most forceful arguments today are threefold...

  • Debtor Nations

    U.S. futures, which were weak overnight on weakness in Europe and China, dropped a few more points near 8am ET on word that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found in a vehicle outside Aldgate East in London—a false alarm, according to reports. Greece and Spain are down about 4 percent, the rest of Europe down 1 to 2 percent. Why don't equity traders believe the Greek bailout will be helpful?

  • Talk about choppy trading...transports led yesterday, UP 135 points, today they lead the decline, DOWN 135 POINTS! Techs were strong yesterday, leading decline today; consumer discretionary like retail and home builders all led the market up yesterday, all weak today. In other words, all the higher beta names are weak.

  • Here's my friend Dan Mitchell's latest video. As usual, it's definitely worth watching. According to Dan: The correct capital gains tax rate is zero because there should be no double taxation of income that is saved and invested.

  • Talk about a revised bid! Simon Property originally bid $9 for General Growth Properties, forcing GGP and equity partner Brookfield to submit a revised bid to the bankruptcy court so that GGP can emerge from bankruptcy and management could retain control of the company. Right at the close today, the WSJ said that SPG has offered $18.25 a share, TWICE its original offer.

  • Stocks closing near highs for the day; the big beta names are the movers. REITs, Transports, Home Builders, Retailers, Casinos all leading the charge. Dow Transports the first of the major indices to punch through to new closing high. BUT also bear in mind that this is the first day of the month, when new trades are often put on.

  • Offshore drillers are again under pressure on concerns that there may be a partial shutdown in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico: Hercules, Diamond Offshore, Noble and ENSCO are again weak today, as are smaller exploration and production firms with a primary presence there. But attention has moved this morning to those who might be involved in the cleanup.

  • With the $3B merger between United and Continental announced, one has to wonder what is in store for US Airways.

  • Is the U.S. decoupling again? U.S. stock opened higher, though Greece and Spain are both down about 1 percent on concerns that contagion has not been contained and there will be more bailouts.

  • The new reputational/political risk associated with the market in key stocks (BP, Goldman, Massey) is the biggest story of the week. A good example of the uncertainty in the trading community is a note sent out by Buckingham Research this afternoon regarding Goldman. It is titled: Litigation/Political Risk Too Difficult to Handicap...

  • As the titan of Wall Street continues to be bombarded by SEC civil fraud charges and now a criminal inquiry, can its franchise remain intact?

  • Dow drops at least 114 points midday, financials lead declines. What's ailing financials? What isn't..?

  • Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.

    As the fallout continues from last week's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fresh uncertainty is emerging over the future of offshore drilling in the United States.

  • Spills, investigations, and reputational risk: Several companies in 3 different areas (energy, financials and coal) are experiencing problems Friday.

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    Real GDP increased about $162 billion since the second quarter of 2009, when the economy bottomed out. Wall Street for 2009 paid out bonuses of nearly $150 billion on profits twice that amount. The rest of the economy, on balance, went backwards.