Obama: Traders Liked What They Heard Last Night

All through the day Friday, traders voiced little fear that the G-20 would issue any statement of real substance, and they were right: little of substance came out of the G-20 meeting.

There was more talk on trading desks this morning about Obama's long appearance on"60 Minutes" last night; the reviews have been very positive.

More substantive is the talk of an automotive bailout; GMtrading up about 5 percent pre-open. The House and Senate will be debating an interim financing solution this week, until the new administration takes control in late January.


1) Japan is officially in recession after Q3 GDP contracted 0.1 percent; that country joins Hong Kong, Germany, and Italy.

2) Lowe's) Lowe'scut its outlook. While third quarter earnings beat estimates, like other retailers that reported last week, fourth quarter estimates are notably weaker but also the guidance is very wide: a) total sales range from a decline of 3 percent to an increase of 2 percent, b) comparable store sales to decline 5 to 10 percent, and c) diluted earnings per share of $0.08 to $0.16 (analyst estimate $0.18).

CEO Robert Niblock said, "we saw a decline in sales trends in the last week of October that continued into November as the overall economic outlook deteriorated."

3) Target also beat, but provided no guidance.They are temporarily suspending their share buyback program, and is reducing 2009 capital expenditures, credit card profitability fell by more than 80 percent,

4) Genworth shares are up nearly 35 percent pre-open, as they announced they would buy a small Minnesota bank (Interbank FSB) plans to file for savings and loan status, following the announcement from Hartford. It's a move out of necessity: they need access to the TARP. Genworth in particular has been pounded over concerns about debt that is coming due next year. Hartford will buy Florida-based Federal Trust Corp (FDTR), a thrift, for $10 million ($1 a share).

5) Las Vegas Sandstrading up 6 percent pre-open as the company's independent accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, say they no longer have doubt about the company's ability as a going concern, based on the recent $2.1 billion capital raise.

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