Traders are again seeking some short-term catalyst out of the stock market doldrums. It's likely we will get a one or two-day bounce as the new quarter begins tomorrow, but with oil remaining at a record and the dollar rally falling apart last week, that hope is thin gruel indeed.
The dollar is again an issue, as euro zone inflation jumped to a record 4.0 percent in June, and the ECB will almost certainly raise rates this week.
1) H&R Blockearnings beat expectations, and 2009 earnings guidance is slightly above expectations. Once again, international growth was stronger (6.1 percent) than U.S. growth (3.8 percent). Up nearly 9 percent pre-open.
2) Good heavens, someone finally said something positive about our parent GE! No less an ax than Robert Cornell at Lehman today said that "shares could be near a bottom." Why? He notes that history suggests that shares of GE could trough at a 25% discount to the S&P500 (where they were about 1989-1992). Cornell says shares are currently at an 18% discount to the market. "We think shares could return to up to 20% premium as current headwinds from GECS exposure, 1Q08 miss & evolution dissipate," Cornell concludes.
OK, it's not an upgrade, but it is a positive comment.
3) The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is moving its listing from the NYSE to NASDAQ--what's going on? The NYSE wants to get into the futures business, that's what's really going on here.
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