There is a decidedly mixed tone to stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) this morning. A rise in energy stocks has offset negative sentiment after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress the Obama administration is extending the financial rescue (TARP) program until next October.
Geithner told Congress that the government must hold on to the money in case of new financial shocks. However, the administration does not expect to deploy more than $550 billion of the funds, reported Robert Schmidt and Rebecca Christie for Bloomberg. In addition, the Treasury may expand the Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (used to jump-start the securitization markets), as well as to continue to use TARP funds to help struggling homeowners and small companies.
Wholesale inventories rose unexpectedly by 0.3% in October, snapping a record consecutive 13 declines. The news gives hope that stores will begin restocking their shelves, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press. Sales at the wholesale level rose 1.2%, which was another surprise.
Worries over sovereign debt continued as Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating outlook on Spain to negative today. They said that Spain will probably see “significantly lower” GDP growth, reports Nathan Becker of the Dow Jones Newswires. The news about Spain adds to earlier warnings this week from S&P on Greece and Portugal. (For more stories on Spain, please see our Spain category).
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) is down nearly 3% today as investors were disappointed with the company’s mid-quarter update. The main problem with Texas Instruments seemed to be a mismatch between demand and inventory, wrote Bob Faulkner at Minyanville. In other words, the customer demand has rebounded and is there, but the company isn’t able to deliver. (For more stories on the semiconductor sector, please visit our semiconductor category).
Semiconductor ETFs have had a good run recently on the back of increased demand for semiconductors. Despite the TXN news, both the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: XSD) and the iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor Index Fund (NYSE: IGW) are both up slightly so far today. (For more stories on sector ETFs, please visit our sector ETFs category).
Tony D’Altorio contributed to this article.
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.