If the financial markets were part of a weather map, Monday's credit-related storminess would be forecast to hang over Wall Street again on Tuesday.
While the New York Times story on Eliot Spitzer is generating enormous email traffic on Wall Street, it is not the cause of the market's problems today. Stocks are again near the lows for the day, again on the same worries about credit, but here the problems are a bit more specific: they revolve around worries on margin calls and counterparty risks.
J.P. Morgan and Co equities strategists are cutting their 2008 outlook for the market and having earnings outlooks, but they still see upside for some sectors, particularly financials and energy.
Economic numbers continue to indicate a slowdown -- if not already a recession -- in the U.S. -- and technology investors should start looking to other continents for good bets, one portfolio manager told CNBC Europe Monday.
U.S. futures up slightly, just off highs of morning, European markets flat, Asian markets down 2-3 percent. Malaysia's KLSE Composite down 9.5 percent; Malaysia stock market temporarily halted during session; political unrest after major upsets by opposition party during weekend elections.
In the week ahead, traders say the dysfunction in credit markets will continue to dominate, and they expect the stock market to keep testing lows in choppy trading.
Weather reports are useful. We here at CNBC.com have one for you: Our premarkets page ... it's a weather report for the market day. It has all the morning indicators to let you know how the day, money-wise, is likely to go.
What happened to our nosedive? After a down open, stocks continue to hold up well in what could only be described as a fairly flat market--about even number of stocks advancing to declining, modest volume, financials and techs modestly to the upside.
S&P futures down 14 on the nonfarm payroll report, which showed a loss of 63,000 jobs in February and downward revisions in December and January. That's two straight months of job losses (the first two-month drop in jobs since May and June 2003).
Gloom and doom greets the February employment report Friday. There's not much optimism around that report, which is released at 8:30 a.m. Estimates range from a slight increase in jobs to a slight decrease. Lehman expects job growth of 15,000, after January's 17,000 loss.
Talk about timing--a few days ago Deutsche Bank launched three new Exchange-Traded Notes linked to a gold index they maintain.
The U.S. dollar hit a new low as the Fed's Pianalto says the U.S. economy has stalled. Dollar weakness again helping oil. Jumbo mortgage lender Thornburg Mortgage TMA failed to meet a margin call of about $28 million which has triggered cross-defaults.
Inflation worries are again gnawing at stocks. That sent gold and oil racing to new highs as the greenback hit new lows. The resulting concern about inflation promises to be a topic on investors' minds Thursday as they await rate decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, ahead of the U.S. open.
Water. It's the commodity that nobody can live without. More than half the world is depleting its groundwater faster than it's being replaced. That's why it's a favorite investment idea of Ewen Cameron Watt, chairman of BlackRock's Central Strategy Group.
Ambac down 12 percent and the rest of the market dropped, as Ambac announced a $1 billion common stock offering and a $500 million equity units (which must be converted to common stock by 2011).
know that oil is getting a lot of buzz today: It's up 4 percent on reports that Venezuela is moving troops to the Colombia border and on a strong Dept. of Energy report on oil. But the fact is that it is the weakness of the dollar -- another record low against major currencies -- that is lifting ALL major commodities today, with new highs in copper, silver, gold, and heating oil.
Despite the stronger ISM services index, the market is clearly seeing selling into the rally. One active trader who went long late yesterday sold a portion of his gains this morning. While emphasizing he was not going back to shorting the market, he did say "we have not been getting paid to hold for big moves -- only trades."
All the major indices held key support yesterday -- particularly the S&P 500, which held the January closing low of 1310. That's a real positive, but we are still sitting at the bottom of a six-week trading range.
Tuesday's markets were plagued by a pervasive and choppy crankiness, but there are a few things that could help stocks shake that mood Wednesday.
Any way you look at it, the main story today is lowering earnings estimates. Whether you look at Merrill slashing Citi's estimates, or Intel cutting its gross margin forecast, or downbeat comments from Barnes and Noble and Staples, the implications of the commentary on these companies is that things are not improving and, in some cases, weakness may continue into the second half of the year.