Friday, February 22, 2008

More Pressure On Financial Stocks

The market is under some selling pressure in early trading led by weakness in the financial sector.

Merrill Lynch (MER) downgraded Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE) to Sell, citing weak credit trends. Also, a popular analyst said that another dividend cut is likely at Citi (C). This has the financials down over -1.0% so far.

There were some favorable revisions to the recent PPI inflation figures, which is a good sign after the elevated CPI readings. The 10-year yield is down to 3.75%. What we really need is for mortgage rates to come down to take some pressure of the housing market, which is also lower today.

Asian markets were lower across the board overnight, led by China and Japan. The Yen has also been moving higher over the last 2 days, which isn't helping our markets. And oil is roughly flat today, hovering near the $98 level.

Retailers are the one standout group this morning. The retail index is bucking the weakness a bit, up +0.56%.


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