STOCKS SLIP AND GREECE GETS NOWHERE: Here's What You Need To Know

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So, not much happened today.  No major headlines out of the U.S.  Even worse, no news of progress out of Greece.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,845.1, -17.1, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,344.3, -0.6, -0.0%
NASDAQ: 2,901.9, -3.7, -0.1%

And now, the top stories:

  • It was a pretty uneventful day in the stock markets.  Perhaps, traders, investors and newsmakers were just recovering from yesterday’s epic Super Bowl.  According to the Super Bowl Indicator, the Giants win should signal a good year for stocks.
  • Last Friday, the S&P 500 closed at a six-month high, so the markets were probably due for some sort of a breather.  The Dow and Nasdaq closed at 4-year and 11-year highs, respectively.  It is worth noting that correlations in the stock market have come down significantly.  According to research published by Oppenheimer’s Brian Belski, stock market correlations this year are near 25-year lows following historically high levels in 2011.  This should make it easier for investors to diversify their portfolios.
  • Greece continues to be in talks with international leaders and private creditors.  The parties have yet to agree on Greek debt write-downs and austerity measures.  Tomorrow will be met with more negotiations and some new labour strikes.  Here’s Who Gets Clobbered If Greece Defaults >
  • There was some interesting commentary on the housing markets worth mentioning.  According to a survey conducted by Citi’s Josh Levin, homebuilders are the most bullish they’ve been in a year.  Some survey takers have indicated that they have raised prices or could potentially raise prices.  However, Raymond James is decidely bearish on homebuilding stocks, which have been soaring as of late.  According to the analysts, sales are likely to be disappointing and the mortgage market is dysfunctional.
  • Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride has declared “The Housing Market Bottom Is Here.”  He argues that new home sales, housing starts, residential investment, and home prices all seem to have bottomed.  He notes that this doesn’t necessarily mean real prices will rise significantly any time soon.  However, he does believe that there is a “reasonable chance” that nominal prices have seen a bottom.
  • Don’t Miss: THE NOSTRADAMUS AWARDS: The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >

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