Yes, Stocks Can Advance with $100 Oil

Today's action suggests stocks may still be able to advance with oil at $100, but it's dicey above that. Mid-morning stocks weakened as oil moved to $102, but stocks gradually recovered even as oil has held in near $102. At 2pm ET major indices were flat, more up stocks than down stocks.

And the damage from $100 oilhas been modest to stocks. We are only about 2.5 percent below the 2 1/2 year high the S&P 500 hit on February 18th.? (Second opinion: $100 Oil Won't Hurt Stocks: JPMorgan Equity Strategist)

Retail sales out tomorrow . RetailMetrics expects same store sales to be up 3.8 percent...that estimate has been rising in the last few days. That's because we had positive announcements from JC Penney , the Limited , Kohls , TJX and Chico's ; and good numbers from Costco (comp stores up 8 percent for February, above estimates) and BJ Wholesale (comp store sales for Feb. up 5.5 percent, above estimates)

Now if we can just get the good ADP number this morning to match up with the nonfarm payroll report on Friday.

Big IPO at NYSE next week: HCA (ticker: HCA), the largest non-governmental hospital operator, is set to price Wednesday night for trading Thursday morning. Price talk is 124 million shares at $27-$30 (that's about $3.5 b), this would be the biggest IPO since GM's $15.8 billion IPO last November.

Owners: co-founder Thomas Frist Jr., Bain Capital, KKR, Merrill Lynch...recall that it was taken private in 2006 in a massive $21 billion LBO. Critics note that there is a significant amount of debt (around $28 billion) but operations have not really expanded. This will be a notable test of the strength of the IPO market, which has done well on the heels of several billion dollar plus IPOs: Kinder Morgan, Nielsen. Both trading above their IPO range, a good indictor for HCA.

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