Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Market Reflections 5/4/2009

A strong purchasing report out of China combined with improvement in U.S. construction spending and pending home sales are lifting the economic outlook, in turn lifting the stock market and a host of commodities in Monday's trade. The S&P rose 3.4% to 907, its highest close since early in January.

Accounts moved out of the safety of the dollar, which lost 1-1/2 cents to $1.3406 against the euro, and moved money into commodities. Copper was a big mover, back near $2.10/lb, but oil was a standout, ending $2 higher to $54.50 for its best level since November. But the gains didn't dent gold which firmed slightly to $900. The easing in swine flu concern didn't help hog prices as June lean hogs fell another 2.8% to 63.78 cents/lb.

Banks were very big gainers in the session with the Financial SPDR jumping 10% to $11.73. News that the White House doesn't expect to ask for more bailout money for the banking sector gave a boost as did speculation that the worst news is already out. A report that regulators are telling Wells Fargo it needs to raise more money did not hurt the bank's shares in the least, jumping 24% to $24.25.

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