Friday, March 6, 2009

Market Reflections 3/5/2009

The day arrived that General Motors is talking of bankruptcy, sending money to safety in Thursday's session. The company's shares fell 15 percent to $1.86. Another routed blue chip, Citigroup, may get booted out of the Dow Jones industrial average because its share price is too low, ending today at $1.02 for another 10 percent plunge. Bank stocks in general were hit following a warning from Moody's. The GM and Moody's news, along with disappointment over lack of follow through to Chinese stimulus plans, sent the stock market tumbling once again, with the S&P 500 down 4.3 percent at 682.55.

Nearly 12 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are behind in their payments, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. MBA said delinquency rates are now on the rise in states outside of California, Nevada or Florida. There's talk that the administration's homeowner relief program won't be much help for homeowners who are unemployed. Weekly jobless claims eased back from peak levels but are still reflecting severe contraction in the labor market. Tomorrow's monthly employment report looks to be one of the very worst on record.

The dollar firmed nearly 1 cent against the euro to end at $1.2558, gains on safe-haven buying. Money moved deeply into the front-end of the Treasury curve where the 3-month yield fell 6 basis points to 19 basis points. Gold jumped nearly $30 to $934.70. Oil, ending at $43.70 for April WTI, continues to hold in a tight range showing less and less reaction to stock market movements.

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