Deconstructing The Weakness In Constructions

The S&P and the Dow are moving in lock-step with the large swings in bank stocks this morning.

Bank stocks started the day nicely to the upside, but as they started selling off right after 10 AM ET (the Bank Index dropped almost 5 percent in a little more than a half-hour) the S&P quickly moved down, though not as much. As bank stocks bottomed out just prior to 11 AM ET, the S&P bottomed as well.

Elsewhere, the weakness in the construction industry is clearly showing up in fourth quarter earnings reports.

Look at United Technologies : orders at the Otis Elevator division declined 14 percent, and Carrier's commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) orders declined 7 percent.

Despite the weakness, earnings were roughly in line with expectations, and they reaffirmed 2009 guidance of $4.65 to $5.15, though they acknowledged "pressure" on the high end of guidance. They are looking to aggressively cut costs.



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