Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Financials Lower, But Stocks Rally Anyway

The market started the week on a positive note after being closed yesterday for the holiday. European and Asian markets both rose yesterday, and our markets followed suit this morning.

The financials are lower across the board after Credit Suisse (CS) and Barclays (BCS) warned about increased write-downs, and the WSJ reported that Lehman Bros. (LEH) may also face a substantial write-down.

Also, oil is spiking again and topping $98 after a Texas refinery shut down. There is also talk that OPEC might cut output, but with prices topping $98 I think that would be a mistake.

Oil stocks, agribusiness, infrastructure, and industrials are up the most so far. Tech and retail are mixed.

Fidel Castro stepped down as President of Cuba, but their economy is so small I don't think it really is impacting the markets.

Bond yields are up, with the 10-year yield at 3.82%. The yield curve is now steeper than its been in nearly 3 years, which is a positive indicator for both financials and the economy going forward.

Now let's just hope this early market strength doesn't fade like its been prone to do recently--


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