Friday, March 13, 2009

Market Reflections

The day that the great Ponzi swindler Bernard Madoff was led to jail in handcuffs was, fittingly, a good day for the financial markets. Stocks in fact are putting together a blockbuster week, reacting to strong improvement in company news and emerging indications, such as today's retail sales report, that the worst of the recession may have passed. The S&P 500 rallied strongly near the close to end a great session, up 4.1 percent at 750.74.

Money moved out of the dollar, which slipped slightly to end a $1.2922 against the euro, but money barely moved out of the Treasury market which saw another very strong auction, this time for 30-year bonds. And money didn't move out of gold either, which got a boost to more than $925 after the Swiss central bank surprised markets with a rate cut, a move that shifted safe-haven flows out of the Swiss franc.

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