Friday, May 1, 2009

Market Reflections 4/30/2009

The $8 billion bail-out/bankruptcy of Chrysler failed to give stocks a lasting push with the S&P 500 slipping 0.1 percent. Even with the survival of Chrysler, auto shutdowns pose a major risk to the manufacturing sector this summer. In economic data, Chicago purchasers reported solid improvement in orders but here again, future improvement will not include the auto sector. Personal income and spending data were disappointing and included another very strong savings rate, at 4.2 percent and another reflection of flight-to-safety, this time at the consumer level.

Other markets were also little changed including the dollar which held to a tight range to end at $1.3250 against the euro. Oil and gold held in tight ranges, ending at $50.99 and $888. Hog prices continue to plunge, down more than 3 percent on the day and otherwise are the only area being hurt by swine flu.

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