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Pisani: Prince, Rubin & the Retail Problem

The Rubin/Prince mea culpa on

Citigroup

that is playing out on our air elicited very little trader commentary, until Mr. Prince said that he watched the stock go from $50 to $30 to 99 CENTS without selling any.

That caused a few comments! Half applauded, saying it showed good leadership at the top, the other half thought it was foolish on his part.

But by and large, while traders thought it was important to revisit history for the lessons to be learned, most are treating it just as that: a history lesson that has little bearing on today's trading.

Mr. Trichet, the European Central Bank President, is getting far more attention as he once again tries to talk Greece off the ledge: "I would say that taking all the information I have, a default is not an issue for Greece."

Retail:

With March same store sales that could only be described as superlative, well above analyst expectations, and with a number of important companies raising guidance, you would think that retailers would show healthy price gains today.

Unfortunately, retailers have run up against two serious problems: 1) Greece, and 2) notable outperformance of the sector.

On outperformance: retail stocks are up 12 year to date, twice the 5.5 percent gain of the S&P 500. The smart money has stayed long retail stocks, and they have been richly rewarded for it. Don't be surprised to see some distribution as we head into earnings season.

More on Financials:

  • Ex-Citigroup Directors Contrite, Defensive on Crisis

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How Other Big Financials Fare:

Bank of America

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan Chase

Morgan Stanley

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CNBC Data Pages:

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