Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Market Reflections 3/17/2009

The stock market extended its rally Tuesday, closing at its highs for a very strong 3.1 percent jump on the S&P 500 to 778.12. Economic data in the session was headed by a very strong housing starts report for February, a report however that follows a very weak January and was skewed higher by a jump in multi-family units.

But gains in the session weren't tied to news but to a surge in bargain hunting that is definitely helping to build the market's momentum. Money continues to move out of the safety of the dollar which fell another 1/2 cent to end at just over $1.3000 against the euro. Yields moved higher in the Treasury market where the 10-year is at 3.00 percent, up 4 basis points on the day.

Oil moved higher on the day in part on technical factors related to monthly futures expiration and on news of output problems in Nigeria. WTI ended at $48.64, up nearly $2 on the day and setting the stage for tomorrow's petroleum data, which if showing draws, could trigger a move past $50. Gold slipped about $10 to $915.

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