Citi Share Sale: 5.1 Billion Still to Go

Futures dropped, then recovered a bit, as initial and continuing claims were higher than expected.

Start of a new quarter, and first trading day of the month. It is one of the oddities of trading that the Dow Industrials have their biggest point gains on the first day of the month, on average (Trader's Almanac).

It's really quite significant: from 1997 through the middle of 2009, the Dow gained an average of 31.2 points on the first day of the month, and lost 1.3 points on all the others.

The first day of trading in July has been up 17 of the last 20 years.


1) Spain sold 3.5 billion euros of 5 year notes at 3.65 percent, despite a potential Moody's downgrade. That's higher than the 3.53 percent yield they paid at the last auction on May 6, but not far from what was expected.

2) China's PMI came in at 52.1, below expectations of 53.2, but growth is still quite robust.

3) The US Department of the Treasury today announced the sale of approximately 1.1 billion shares of Citigroup common stock pursuant to the completion of its second trading plan with Morgan Stanley as sales agent. Treasury has now sold about 2.6 billion shares of Citigroup common stock at an average price per share of $4.03.

That's not bad, considering there's only been 3 days in June when the stock has closed above $4.00.

Bottom line: 2.6 billion shares sold, 5.1 billion still to go.

Citi, by the way, is a volume monster. It routinely can trade 1 billion shares a day; there are many days when it is nearly 20 percent of the volume of all trading in NYSE stocks.

4) Constellation Brands beat estimates and raised its full year guidance. They saw "improving market trends" in the U.S. wine and beer business.

5) Rite Aid said June same store sales declined 2.5 percent from the same period last year. General merchandise was down 1.1, pharmacy down 3.1 percent.

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