'There's No Place to Put Any Money'

"There's no place to put any money," one trader lamented to me this morning, arguing why he thought the market had a good chance of rising even through the QE2 uncertainty. It's not just the ten-year Treasury at 3.14 percent. This trader noted that he had a Fidelity triple tax free account that had $500.12 left in it after her purchased some art. Eight months later, it still had $500.12. No interest, in 8 months.

The euro is stronger, dollar weaker, commodities are up this morning. Europe stronger on firm talk of "no Greek restructuring" from European officials.

Goldman Sachs, which last month urged clients to sell commodities, is now turning "more bullish" on commodities (hey, they're traders), particularly oil, copper and zinc.

Just so we're all reading from the same script...Morgan Stanley's Commodity Strategist, Hussein Allidina, is raising his 2011 and 2012 Brent forecast from $100/105 to $120/130 per barrel.

Moody's on a Greek default: "The full impact on Europe's capital markets would be hard to predict and harder still to control." Moody's the latest ratings agency to get into the finger-wagging game with Greece, joining Fitch and S&P in warning that any kind of "voluntary debt restructuring" would be considered a default; Athens for its part is playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship by saying it might default unless it gets more funds from the European Union.

Moody's has gone a bit further than its rivals, noting that any Greek default would bring into question the creditworthiness of other issuers (Portugal and Ireland, as well as the Greek banks) by triggering further downgrades. They explicitly stated that a sovereign default in Greece would likely be accompanied by default on bank debt as well.

Greece also announced they are speeding up their privatization process.


1) A new issuance tidal wave: Russian internet giant Yandex priced above its range, selling 52.17 million shares at $25, above price talk of $22-$24, but the big Kahuna this week will be AIG , seeking to price 300 million shares (200 million from the government, 100 million from AIG) after the close tonight. That's about $9 billion, assuming it prices near $30 (the government's break-even price is reportedly $28.70).

It's a huge week for new shares; about $20 billion in IPOs and secondaries are being floated this week according to TrimTabs.com, on top of about $9 billion last week. By contrast, last year averaged about $4 billion in new issuances a week.

2) AutoZone rises 3 percent after easily topping Q3 estimates ($5.29 vs. $4.98 consensus). The auto part retailer's bottom line was helped by a much better-than-expected 5.3 percent rise in comps during the quarter and expanding merchandise margins. The company does not give guidance, but the big question is: will rising or high gas prices impact sales?

3) More price increases on the way. J.M. Smucker announced an average 11 percent hike in prices across its coffee brands, which includes its popular Folgers brand. It's the 4th price increase enacted over the past year, during which coffee commodity prices have nearly doubled.

But juggling price increases with a cautious consumer is the challenge for many companies. Citigroup maintains its hold on PepsiCo after it met with the beverage and snack maker's management. Citi cautions that it remains concerned that higher prices may be difficult to pass on in the current consumer environment.

4) Deere edges up slightly after raising its quarterly dividend by 17 percent to $0.41 per share.

5) Medtronic falls 2 percent after missing Q4 estimates ($0.90 vs. $0.92 consensus). The medical devices maker saw a 16 percent drop in implantable cardiac defibrillators

6) El Paso up 9 percent pre-open, is separating into two publicly traded companies by the end of the year, a pipeline company and an exploration and production company. They also raised full year forecasts.

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