As the Santa rally lifts stocks higher, Wall Street's expectations for 2015 gains have gotten slimmer.» Read More
Major indices at their highs for the day. Helping today: Initial jobless claims roughly in line with expectations. Bush/Congress tackles mortgage issues. SIVs less a problem?
Are bonds about to lose their flight-to-quality premium? The Fed, the executive branch, the legislative branch, and now even the Bank of England (which cut its key rate a quarter point to 5.5 percent) are working to resolve credit problems. The 10-year is looking toppy here.
The Bush Administration's plan to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure is the big item on the agenda for Thursday. The plan, already drawing criticism, will be announced by the president in the afternoon and is expected to include a five-year freeze on the resetting of some of the low introductory, teaser rates that drew in many of the weakest borrowers.
Stocks are getting a bounce on ADP's jobs report, which already has some on Wall Street revising their view on the government jobs report due Friday and is adding to the debate on what the Fed will do next week. The ADP National Employment report, released this morning, showed a surprisingly strong gain in November private sector jobs of 189,000.
Futures up a bit on the strong ADP report. This is a clear sign that the market wants a decent jobs report, even if it might slightly reduce the chance of an aggressive Fed rate cut. As noted yesterday, financials analysts are now cutting 2008 estimates.
Selling in the financial sector bit into Tuesday's stock market performance and could do the same Wednesday. After the bell Tuesday, Fannie Mae announced that it was issuing $7 billion in preferred stock and chopping its dividend by 30 percent.
Singapore's Temasek Holdings is ploughing $1 billion into a new China-focused private-equity fund set up by Goldman Sachs' China partner Fang Fenglei, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Why are financials weak again? Because the Street has come to realize that estimates for 2008 are too high. They have already attacked earnings for the fourth quarter (S&P Financial Sector estimates for Q4 are down 20% compared to the same period last year); now they are attacking 2008.
WestLB will give an $11 billion credit guarantee to prop up an investment company in the face of global market turmoil, the stricken regional German lender confirmed on Tuesday.
Futures lower this morning on pressure from the financials. The UBS headline for the bank analyst report this morning tells the story: lower earnings ahead. They are adjusting their 2008 earnings expectations for many banks and brokers.
Hedge-fund investors suffered their worst month of investment performance since the bursting of the dot-com bubble, with intense volatility in global markets tipping every strategy into a loss, London newspaper the Times reported, citing preliminary figures from Hedge Fund Research (HFR).
We are still waiting for the NYSE to announce the winner of the bid for Van der Moolen's specialist business. Van der Moolen announced a couple weeks ago that they were exiting the business; I have reported Lehman is the winner, but there has been no official announcement.
Financials again underperformed today, despite Treasury Secretary Paulson's press conference highlighting his efforts to help homeowners whose ARMs are resetting at higher rates. One likely cause of the continuing selloff in financials is tax loss selling. Keefe Bruyette Woods highlighted this in a note today to investors.
Treasury Secretary Paulson has been floating a plan to help people whose Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) are resetting at higher rates. The Street, for the most part, supports the plan, but does it really change the fundamentals of the housing industry?
Dow up 40 points, S&P up 4 points since Treasury Secretary Paulson has been on talking about efforts to help homeowners who are facing mortgage resets. Nothing new here; but the image of Paulson talking about problems are helping the markets.
One of the biggest problems the Street has is that no one knows how to value assets that are plummeting: in particular mortgage backed securities and their derivatives, and (to a lesser extent) land in markets that are experiencing severe downturns.
Despite last week's relief rally and a widespread belief that the Fed and the executive and legislative branches of government are working on solutions to the subprime mess, there are still Street analysts cranking out reports on the probability of a recession.
Stocks, particularly financials, rose today for the fourth day in a row. Is this the bottom of the market? It's not clear, but the signs are more auspicious than they have been in a while. consider: 1--economic news this week, for the most part, has been poor, giving the Fed cover to lower rates.
"Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful." That's the classic advice from Warren Buffett. This morning on CNBC's Squawk Box, Becky Quick spoke with Oak Value Fund co-manager Larry Coats, Jr., who is a Buffett-style investor. The main question: With stock prices down and increased worries on Wall Street, is it now time for value investors to be greedy? Coats has some stock picks to share.
Will the rally hold? For the first time in weeks, at least half the traders I've talked with think we will end the day with gains, though perhaps not at the highs. Bulls say: 1--We have broken the "sell in the last hour" mantra in the last two days.