S&P futures dropped about 5 points as the New York Empire State Index was notably weaker than expected and has been down 4 of the last 5 months, then dropped again on oil.
The most important issues this week:
1) we are entering earnings pre-announcement season.
2) whether oil can break significantly below the roughly $135 pivot;; (NYMEX crude just hit a record, $139.89).
3) whether Goldman and Morgan Stanley will have any significant surprises this week.
1) Barclays up 5 percent; they have said they may raise capital with an outside investor (Reuters says it may include Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, which already has a 2 percent stake), but may also give existing shareholders right to take part.
2) AIG up modestly as CEO Martin Sullivan was forced out and replaced with Chairman Robert Willumstad, who will also retain the Chairman title. Willumstad was formerly President and COO of Citigroup.
3) Lehman came in in-line with its statements last week, a loss of $5.14.
4) Our parent company GE downgraded at JP Morgan, where they also cut estimates for 2009 (to $2.30 in 2009 versus $2.42 previously and a consensus of $2.44).
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