Friday, March 19, 2010

Markets nervous on quadruple witching day

Stocks began the day higher but then buyers went home. There is not a lot happening although the health care bill & proposed banking bill are not helping. In addition, the big countries in the European Union are quibbling about how to bailout Greece. Not encouraging news for stock markets. Dow was down 63, decliners over advancers 3-1 & NAZ fell 23. Banks were also weak although the Financial Index remains near its interim high made earlier this week.


% Change

The Alerian MLP Index finally broke thru the 300 ceiling last week but now it's rethinking that move up. The index is down almost 5 (a big move by its standards) to just under 300. However, this is an options expiration day adding extra excitement to trading. The Dow Jones REIT Index dropped 2 to the 198s. Junk bond funds were a little lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was flattish at 3.67%.

Alerian MLP Index --- 2 weeks

Dow Jones REIT Index --- 2 weeks

Oil is hanging is barely hanging in above 80 after taking a big spill this AM. Gold also is having an off day but trying to hold above 1100.

CLJ10.NYM...Crude Oil Apr 10...80.48 ...Down 1.72


Photo: Bloomberg

Germany & France, 2 of the biggest member of the EU, have differing opinions about how to bailout Greece. Germany wants to get Greece a loan from the IMF while France wants to keep this inside the European Union. Meanwhile Greece debt problems are not going away.

Sarkozy Opposes IMF Loan to Greece

In this  Feb. 3, 2010 photo, a Boeing Co. 777 jetliner is seen on  the production line in Everett, Wash. Boeing announced Friday, March 19,  2010 that it will speed up production plans for its 777 and 747 models  in anticipation of greater demand from commercial airlines in a couple  of years. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Boeing (BA), a Dow stock, will speed up production plans for its 777 & 747 models in anticipation of greater demand from commercial airlines. Both are wide-body planes capable of carrying more than 300 passengers, flying longer routes & more fuel-efficient than other aircraft models. BA sees the airline industry recovering this year, followed by a return to profitability in 2011 which should lead to demand for new aircraft in 2012 & beyond. BA will increase production of its 777 in mid-2011 to 7 airplanes per month from 5. The stock rose 53¢ to 71.40.

Boeing Moves Up Output Rate Increases on 777s, 747s

Boeing --- 2 years

Based on best guessing, Nancy Pelosi is still a few votes shy off getting a majority of the House to vote for her health care bill (which is scheduled to happen on Sun). A preliminary version is posted on line (all 2000+ pages) if anybody wants to read a lot of confusing bureaucratise. The Dodd bill to add new regulations for the banks is another big unknown, especially for banking stocks. In addition, India raised its lending rate from 3¼% to 3½%, the first increase in almost 2 years. Dow has been on an 8 day winning streak featuring only modest (25 point) daily gains. Even Dow needs a rest. Dow has been slipping & is down 100 from its high over 10.8K early this AM.

Dow Jones Industrials --- 2 weeks

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