Thursday, May 7, 2009

Market Reflections 5/6/2009

In a memorable, if not predictable, mis-handling of information, the results of the government's stress tests were released en masse a day early, apparently by the individual financial firms involved. A burst of midday headlines saw differing news outlets issuing reports on separate banks, raising questions, later denied, that government officials were orchestrating a piece-by-piece dissemination. But the bottom line is that fewer financial firms than expected will be forced to raise capital. For the ones that do, a group that includes Citigroup and Bank of America, it's still uncertain how much capital they will have to raise. Momentum accounts flooded the financial sector where the Financial SPDR ended 7.6 percent higher at $12.44. By day's end, the Treasury was still sticking to its previously revised schedule, holding the official results until after tomorrow's close. But who knows?

Economic data included improved job readings from ADP and Challenger, results that point to smaller-than-expected job losses on Friday. Stocks ended near their highs with the S&P 500 up 1.7 percent at 919.47. Improving economic data both here and in China tripped a big move into commodities especially copper which ended at $2.17/lb, up 10 cents on the day. Silver was another big gainer, up 68 cents at $13.71 as it played catch up to copper. Gold ended firmer at $910 with oil, tracking the stock market, adding $2 to just over $56.

The dollar was little changed at $1.3331 against the euro. Treasury yields were also little changed despite a strong 10-year note auction. Tomorrow the Treasury will auction 30-year bonds which ended Wednesday at a yield of 4.08 percent.

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