Tuesday: President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law, as governments around the world consider their own actions. But global markets plunged on fears of a deepening recession; Chrysler asked the U.S. for $2 billion more in loans and General Motors is widely expected to follow suit. Investors are fleeing to bonds and gold-backed securities. CNBC heard from experts who warned that the March "bear market bull" won't happen — but that we are, indeed, in a "bottoming process."
Health Care Is Good Defense in Brutal Environment
Walmart's Q4 numbers ("the best house in a bad neighborhood") are just further evidence of an awful environment in retailing, according to BlackRock's Bob Doll. He's overweight health care on a relative basis, saying people still get sick in a recession, and need drugs and HMOs. Doll is sticking with his assertion that we're in a bottoming process. Confidence in risk assets has taken a severe hit, but the U.S. has a history of strong comebacks from such situations.
Welcome Back to November 2008
Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James says it looks as though the market is in an all-out re-test of the November lows, with a pork-stuffed stimulus package on top of a disappointing plan from Tim Geithner offering little encouragement.
But Wachovia's Jay Bryson said U.S. GDP actually looks good compared to Japan, which has posted negative-12 percent growth. He sees a threat of stagnation over a number of years unless we handle the banks in a different manner than Japan handled its banks. (Dollar vs Yen Now)
Rough Start for Short Week; Some Improvement Later?
Kevin Ferry of Cronus Futures Management sees positive forces working on the market as the week goes on. The dollar is very strong against all the developed nations, and the bond market, which took a beating last week, has come back. It now appears that the big upward move in stocks that had been expected for March won't happen, so there's a lot of liquidation in equities. While many are skeptical of the U.S. stimulus plan, China's stimulus program seems to be getting some traction with investors.
Long Live the King: Walmart's Earnings Beat Expectations
Dana Telsey of Telsey Advisory Group said some questions need to be answered about Walmart's earnings, but she sees the world's largest retailer continuing to be the leader in 2009. More will be learned this week, as analysts meet in Mexico City to talk about Walmart's international operations. The effects of a stronger dollar remain to be seen, and she wants clarification of the increase in expenses mentioned in the Q4 report.
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