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Clarity From DC Moves Stocks

Hope for clarity on government programs moved stocks today.

Several key events made it clear we are starting to approach the endgame on government programs. :

1) Stories circulated that Treasury Secretary Geithner will unveil a comprehensive financial framework plan on Monday

2) Sen. Harry Reid said he has the votes for a stimulus bill in the Senate

3) Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd said the mark-to-market rules might need to be modified, at least temporarily. This would hand the financial industry a big boost, since they have lobbied against the rule for over a year.

But this would be a tough road to go down: Tim Geithner is in favor of keeping the rule; the SEC has already rejected calls to suspend it, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said suspending the rule has not been good in the past.

The market was also cheered by breakouts in several sectors.

That's right, folks, there is a world outside of financials, and quietly a number of sectors are breaking modest technical barriers.

For example, several stocks saw multi-month highs today:

1) Commodity stocks: Potash, Mosaic, Gold Fields, Yamana Gold

2) Techs: Google, Apple, Texas Instruments, Sun Micro

3) Healthcare: Cigna, Humana, United Healthcare

Another wild day for Bank of America.

It again traded record volume (about 750 million shares!), band after dropping early on rallied a bit, partly on comments from Sen. Chris Dodd that he did not foresee a nationalization of the company. Then late in the day CEO Ken Lewis announced that he had bought 200,000 shares (about a million dollars), along with several other executives. None of this insider buying has helped any of the banks. B ob A up 3.6 percent.

How crazy have things got? How on the defensive is basic capitalism?

Listen to this: French President Sarkozy has said that he will propose a program to REDISTRIBUTE CORPORATE PROFITS. He is suggesting a three-way split of the profits between shareholders, employees, and reinvestment.

This is the expansion of the STAKEHOLDER idea, that is, that corporations have responsibility to people outside their shareholders, including the community at large. You can be sure a way will be found to distribute profits to them as well.

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Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

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GFI
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MOS
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POT
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AAPL
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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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