Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave the markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) a much-needed lift on Wednesday. He spoke again this morning – did it happen again?
This morning, Bernanke spoke and said that executive compensation must be monitored.
Fallout over the much-maligned AIG (AIG) bonuses continues, as the House voted in favor of a 90% tax such bonuses at companies that received federal bailout money, report Carl Hulse and David M. Herszenhorn for The New York Times. The Senate is expected to consider a similar tax, but with some differences.
On Wednesday, Bernanke announced plans to increase the Fed’s balance sheet, which includes buying $300 billion in long-term Treasuries. The move sent foreign currencies sharply higher, while sending the dollar lower. In just two days, the dollar lost 5% against the euro and 3% against the yen, says Madlen Read for the Associated Press.
Commodity stocks are rising midday, too, the day after a big jump in the sector, Chuck Mikolajczak for Reuters reports. Trading could be volatile today, because it marks the expiration and settlement of four different market equity futures and options contracts. The convergence is known as “quadruple witching.”
Oil appears to be taking a break a day after surging past $51 a barrel as traders reconsidered expectations for renewed crude demand while the global economy is still ailing. Oil is hovering below $51 in midday trading.
Some corporations are coming out with their forecasts for the first quarter of earnings season. Among them are:
- Xerox (XRX) is cutting its outlook by nearly 80% based on a technology spending slowdown
- Sony Ericsson (SNE) is warning of a loss in the first quarter because of lower consumer demand
- Lowe’s (LOW) reiterated that it expects a profit, while it also expecte sales to range from a decline of 3% to an increase of 1%
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.