Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Market Reflections

Stocks recovered about half of Monday's deep losses, not in reaction to news but on bargain hunting and hopes that the worst is past. The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent to 797.87 to close out a very strong month, but a month benefiting from an easy comparison against a very weak February. The index was up 8.5 percent in March but down 12 percent on the quarter. Tuesday's economic data included a Conference Board report that shows consumer confidence holding quietly at record lows. Company news included a warning from steel-fastener maker Ingersoll Rand, the latest in a rush of negative company news out of the industrial sector. The dollar gave back some of its recent gains, down slightly against the euro to end at $1.3268. Treasuries were mixed though money did ease out of the front end of the curve, reflected in a weak 4-week note auction and a more than 5 basis point rise in the 3-month rate to 0.20 percent. Oil, at $49, and gold, at $920, were little changed.

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