Photo: Chaotic Serenity via Flickr
Not much news today.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,390, +61.6, +0.4 per cent
S&P 500: 1,461, +3.8, +0.2 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,105, +14.0, +0.4 per cent
And now the top stories:
- There was no major market-moving economic news worth noting today.
- Earnings season kicked off yesterday afternoon when aluminium giant Alcoa announced its Q4 financial results. And the announcement was encouraging. Earnings were in line with expectations, and revenue was stronger than expectations. Demand in China is “coming back,” wrote management.
- If there were a big story today, it was the ongoing collapse of the volatility index (VIX), aka the “fear index.” According to Bespoke Investment Group, the VIX is now near a 6-year low. Stifel Nicolaus’ Dave Lutz tied today’s drop in the VIX to a Washington Post article that noted House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP have little leverage in the ongoing fight over the debt ceiling.
- Regarding the debt ceiling, there is increasing chatter about having the Treasury mint a $1 trillion platinum coin as a workaround. In fact, the discussion has now reached the White House. During a press conference, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked press secretary Jay Carney about it. “Nothing needs to come to these kinds of speculative notions” like the trillion-dollar coin, Carney said. ABC reporter Jon Karl ask for an explicit “yes or no” regarding consideration of the coin option. “I would refer you to the Treasury,” responded Carney.
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