Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Market Reflections 3/10/2009

News from Citigroup that the troubled bank is running at a profit this year pulled investor money off the sidelines and made for one of the very best days in memory. Stocks ended at their highs with the S&P 500 up 6.4 percent at 719.46. Shares of Citigroup (C) jumped 34 percent to end at $1.42. Percentage gains at banks with higher share prices were nearly as strong, underscoring the strength in the day's surge: PNC up 24 percent at $24.51 and JP Morgan up 20 percent at $19.15. Also helping the market is talk in Washington of changes to mark-to-market accounting, which has been widely blamed for adding to the troubles in the financial sector.

Investors sold gold to buy stocks. Gold fell nearly $25 to end at $897.90. There wasn't much movement in the dollar which dipped slightly to end at $1.2674 against the euro. But Treasury yields did move as money was pulled out of the market and put into the stock market. Yields were up as much as 15 basis points on the long end of the curve where the 30-year bond is yielding 3.72 percent. Despite the rise in yields, demand was very strong for the day's heavy run of auctions capped off by a very strong 3-year offering. The Treasury will auction 10-year notes and 30-year bonds on Wednesday and Thursday. Oil dipped back to $45.76 for April WTI.

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