Stocks came off their lows as the House hearings with Geithner and Bernanke began about 10:30 ET, and improved throughout the morning.
Traders attribute the gains off the lows to several factors:
1) Both Geithner and Bernanke sounded better, more confident and better prepared; they were not as easily pushed around as they were in previous hearings.
2) Rep. Frank, in a somewhat offhand remark, noted that they would seek to clarify that there would be no retractive rules applied to people who participated in the public/private partnership and the TALF, seeking to draw a line between those who take the TARP money, and those who participate in other government programs.
This is obviously something the Street cares about; recall that markets rallied yesterday about 3 PM, when it was reported that Republican Whip John Kyl would seek at least a 1-week delay on debating bills for special taxes on AIGbonuses.
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