All Eyes Are On The House
The market is bouncing this morning amid optimism that the House will get it right this time and vote in favor of the $700 billion asset purchase plan (does this thing have a real name yet?)
The bounce came despite a weak jobs number this morning. Nonfarm payrolls fell -159,000 in September, the 9th consecutive month of declines. This figure was above consensus for -105,000, but last month's figures were revised higher to reflect declines of -73,000.
Credit market angst is still high this morning, as 3-month Libor has climbed to 4.33%. The fed funds futures in this country are pricing in a 98% probability that the Fed will cut rates 50 bps to 1.5% at its next meeting.
In a strange turn of events, Wachovia (WB) said it was being bought by Wells Fargo (WFC) for $7 per share. This comes despite the FDIC already backing a purchase by Citi (C), so there looks to be some legal haggling there.
Asian markets were lower across the board overnight on concerns about a recession here in the U.S. The dollar is up again, as is the 10-year yield, to 3.68%. Oil is up just a touch, near $94. And the VIX is -5.7% lower to 42.73, which is still a VERY high level, signaling continued angst in the stock market and above-average levels of volatility.
I don't think that the House will put the bill to a vote unless they are sure they have the votes. Let's just hope there are no surprises.