It looked like stocks were about to stage a mini-Valentine’s Day massacre. But there was a monster rally in the last half hour of trading. We might be able to explain why.First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,878.2, +4.2, +0.0%
S&P 500: 1,350.5, -1.2, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 2,931.8, +0.4, +0.0%
And now, the top stories:
- Anyone following Europe has gotten used to one word: delay. We had yet another delay today. Let’s take a step back. Over the weekend, Greece, amid rioting and violence, passed an unpopular austerity plan. They needed to do this as part of the process for securing bailout financing. Eurozone leaders were scheduled to meet in Brussels Wednesday to discuss the next steps. However, this meeting has now been delayed. Why? The AP reported that Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said Greece did not fulfil the conditions set forward by the EU. Bloomberg reported that Greece had not provided sufficient political assurances about debt reduction. EU Countries Are Dangling Greece Over The Abyss Of Default >
- By the way, did you know that 5-year credit default swap costs in Europe are correlated with the percentage of grown men who live with their parents? Hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein told us about it and shared with us his chart of the Mamma’s Boy Index.
- U.S. economic data today wasn’t spectacular. January retail sales came in mixed. On the headline, retail sales grew just 0.4 per cent, which was well short of the 0.8 per cent expected. But excluding automobiles, sales jumped 0.7 per cent, beating economists expectation for just 0.5 per cent growth. So, there was a pretty major swing in auto sales. It’s also worth noting that December retail sales ex-autos was revised down to -0.5 per cent from -0.2 per cent.
- So, what are we to make of this? Well, Nomura’s economists have found a reason to be optimistic. Specifically, they noted that more Americans were going out to eat. From their note: “Lastly, our preferred measure of consumer comfort, the category of dining out, increased by a strong 0.6 per cent in January. Dining out can be seen as one of the ultra-discretionary categories of spending that is typically the first place households will cut back on spending if confidence is faltering.” Here Are The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >
- Shares of Yahoo sold off today. All Things D’s Kara Swisher reported that Yahoo’s talks to sell its investment in Asian assets back to its Asian partners, is dead.
- So, what was behind the market rally? Well, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models were on the NYSE trading floor to ring the closing bell. Perhaps they realised that cover model Kate Upton is American born. And anyone familiar with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue indicator knows that markets do above average when an American model takes the cover. There you have it.
- Don’t Miss: This Presentation Is Going To Make The Greeks Wildly Jealous >
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.