Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Market Reflections 9/22/2009

Upbeat company news filled Tuesday's session, helping the S&P to rise 0.7 percent to 1071. Intel, which raised guidance in July and August, said global PC demand is proving stronger than expected and that PC shipments may actually rise this year. Cash-for-clunkers may have come to an end but General Motors is adding shifts and recalling 2,400 factory workers. The nation's largest used-car dealer, CarMax, got a huge lift from cash-for-clunkers even though used cars were not included in the program. But the program did drive traffic into its dealerships. Lowe's was also in the news, predicting sales growth next year on strong do-it-yourself demand. Lowe's is counting on improving home prices to give it a lift. The Federal Housing Finance Agency's home price index rose 0.5 percent in June. Other data included very weak chain-store reports that point to trouble for September retail sales.

The biggest story in the session was the dollar which is hitting new 12-month lows, at 76.07 for the dollar index, down 0.9 percent on the day. Risk appetite is behind the drop which is driving up demand for commodities, especially in China which many say is stockpiling commodities as a hedge against its enormous dollar holdings and holdings of U.S. Treasuries. Oil rose, gold rose, copper rose. Treasuries got a lift from a very strong 2-year auction, raising talk that Chinese demand for Treasuries, at least for now, remains strong. The 2-year yield fell to 0.96 percent, more than 4 basis points below the auction's high yield.

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