Financials: Get Past The Headline Names
On the surface, the action in financials seemed horrific this week:
- Lehman down 77 percent
- AIG down 46 percent
- Merrill down 36 percent
- Wachovia down 15 percent
But get past these "headline" names and the rest of the financials were relatively calm. Money center banks like BofA and JP Morgan were up 4 and 3 percent respectively, most regional banks were up as well.
Two other noteworthy trends:
1) commodity stocks finally found a bottom, rallying for the last three days.
2) some good news on housing: Karl Case of the real estate advisory firm Case Shiller gave a paper where he postulated that housing may be near a bottom, noting that 9 of 20 markets in his index show signs of price improvement. Also, many have noted the considerable drop in mortgage rates this week. This will not only help consumers, it will help banks, because it will reduce their consumer credit losses.
For the week, Dow Industrials up 1.9 percent, S&P 500 up 0.8 percent, NASDAQ flat.