Monday Morning Musings
Wow, what a nice start to the morning. Of course, I prefer weak opens that build strength into the close, but I still didn't expect this.
Citigroup (C) got things going with a better-than-expected earnings report before the bell. Also, there was some big M&A news with SLM Corp. (SLM) being taken private for $25 billion and Google (GOOG) buying DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.
We also got some nice economic data, in the form of a stronger retail sales report. March retail sales rose +0.7% (vs. +0.4% consensus), which isn't all that surprising after we saw the same-store sales figures from retailers last week.
Financials are strongest so far, with the broker index up +2.3%. Semis are lagging, currently lower by -0.4%.
Asian market were up strongly overnight, while the Yen is lower vs. the dollar. Oil is trading down, near $63 this morning, while the 10-year yield is also lower at 4.74%. All of this should make for a nice backdrop to keep equities strong.
The S&P 500 is making a new yearly high right now, and the COMP is not far off.