Thursday, March 11, 2010

Markets adrift again

As Rodney Dangerfield use to say, stocks "can't get no respect." Dow fell 9, decliners ahead of advancers by 20% & NAZ is off 1. What is there to stay? Markets have no idea what to do. Even the Financial Index is about as flat as it gets.


% Change

High yielders are doing little. Off its high yesterday, the Alerian MLP Index is down pennies. Off another high, the REIT index fell a fraction. Junks bond funds are slightly soft. The real excitement is additional selling in Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose another 2 basis points to 3.74%. It's moving up in the high end of its range over the last 2 years. This time rates could begin a march upward.

Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks

Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks

10-year Treasury Yield Index - 2 years

With markets in the doldrums, commodities are doing very little.

CLJ10.NYM...Crude Oil Apr 10...81.85 ...Down 0.26


1st time jobless applications dropped only 6K to 462K last week. A slightly favorable sign is the number receiving unemployment insurance increased, while those getting extended benefits fell. Some feel that temporary factors caused recent upticks in jobless claims. The Senate just approved $138B to extend unemployment benefits & provide additional aid to states in a 2nd major effort this year to aid the economy. This bill would extend until Dec expiring provisions that offer as many as 99 weeks of unemployment.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased in Sign End to Payroll Reductions Nears

Weekly jobless claims - 1 year

In Athens, Greece, violence spread where police faced off with stone-throwing anarchists & clouds of tear gas sent patrons scurrying from open-air cafes. Organizers said 60K took part in the protest, but unofficial police estimates set the crowd at around 20K. This strike brought the country to a virtual standstill, grounding all flights & bringing public transport to a halt, state hospitals were left with emergency staff only & all news broadcasts were suspended as workers walked off the job for 24 hours to protest spending cuts & tax hikes designed to tackle the country's debt crisis. Austerity plans are not being accepted. Worse, Spain with a much larger economy, is next.

Greeks Strike Over Budget Cuts, Bonds, Stocks Decline (Update1)

This is shaping up as a nothing week. Today, even high flying AIG is up "only" 86¢. The volatile Greek situation is not helping. More gov spending for the unemployed will help the pols get reelected but also aggravate an already awful deficit. The Dow chart this week is about as flat as it comes & NAZ is topping out because nobody knows where this recovery is going!

Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks

Nasdaq --- 2 weeks

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