Stocks inched up after the open Thursday, as the third estimate for Q2 GDP came in at 1.7 percent, slightly higher than consensus of 1.6 percent. Initial jobless claims for the week were also slightly better than expected.
September: stocks and commodities rose, dollar hits lows for the year. Talk about black swans: going into the last day of September, the S&P 500 is up 9.1 percent this month, the best September since 1939 (!), and the best month overall since July 2009. This, in a month that is traditionally the worst month of the year, but it has been up six of the last seven Septembers! (Market Insider blog: Stocks Set for Best Sept. in 70 Years)
Big gainers for the month: Tech up 12.7 percent, Consumer Discretionary and Industrial, up 11.2 and 11.7 percent respectively, and Telecom up 8.2 percent.
Lagging: financials, up only 6.1 percent. Two problems with financials: trading profits at the big banks were weak, and while credit continues to improve regional banks continued to struggle with poor loan demand.
Today, Susquehanna became the latest of many brokerage firms to lower numbers: "The high correlation between employment levels and loan growth has led us to lower our EPS and price targets on some of the banks in our coverage universe," they wrote in a note to clients.
1) Flash Crash report imminent: the SEC's "body language" has been clear that they want to get the Flash Crash Report out in September...so this is it. I am expecting a report today, or tomorrow. (NetNet: Will Dodd-Frank Cause Bond Flash Crash?)
2) You CAN reinvent yourself: Dubai sold $1.25 billion in government bonds--this about a year after Dubai and its flagship Dubai World were essentially bailed out by Abu Dhabi.
3) AIG rises 12 percent after the financial firm and the U.S. government formalized a plan for the company to repay taxpayers by the first quarter of 2011. The Treasury would receive 1.66 billion common shares in exchange for its preferred share stake, and would then plan to sell its 92 percent stake in the company gradually though the market.
AIG also plans to repay the outstanding $20 billion balance on the credit facility issued by the New York Fed. Additionally, AIG will also issues up to 75 million warrants to current stockholders.
4) Allied Irish Banks plunges 22 percent pre-open after the Irish government said it will increase its stake in the bank by 3 billion Euros, which would give the government a majority share in what once was Ireland's biggest bank.
The government will also inject more money into two smaller banks and revealed that the total cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank is now expected to be over 29 billion Euros. However, under a hypothetical worst-case scenario, the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank could rise to 34 billion Euros.
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