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Financials Took It On The Chin

Financials had everything thrown at it: the President's Financial Regulatory Reformproposal was unveiled, all 80 pages of it, and Standard and Poors lowered their ratings and outlook on 22 banks this morning.

The good news was that many (at least 10) announced they were repaying the TARP money the government lent them, altogether nearly $70 billion is being returned to the Treasury.

Many commodity stocks were again weak after a large German fertilizer firm said demand for potash remained weak.

Energy commodities were down midday after inventory data showed a build in gasoline stocks, but oil rebounded.

Techs again outperformed, led by Qualcomm , Texas Instruments , and Intel .

One interesting point: volume remains somewhat subdued, despite a Quadruple Witching Expiration on Friday (quarterly expiration of single stock options and futures, and stock index options and futures). With the VIX low, options activity seems very subdued.

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