Another one in the books.
First, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: +12
And now, the key stories:
- The day actually started off a bit shakily, when European stock markets failed to follow-through on Friday’s rally in the US. It looked like, perhaps, the stress tests had failed completely to instill any confidence in markets. But things didn’t get completely out of hand. See 12 charts that show how the stress test was way too easy >
- US markets were boosted early on (9:00 AM) by a positive earnings pre-announcement from FedEx, which gave plenty of ammunition to those who are calling for a strong global rebound.
- Conversely, the latest reading from the Chicago Fed was not good.
- At 10:00 new home sales beat expectations, but it was actually a misleading number, and some analysis showed it to be one of the worst months ever on record. Still, the headlines came out positive, and the bears pulled their hair out over the fact that a mediocre report didn’t seem to hurt the market.
- On the non-equities front, the day was bullish. The euro rallied strongly. So did metals and commodities. So did the aussie dollar. Only gold was squishy.
- All day BP’s board has been meeting regarding the fate of Tony Hayward. There’s been no official announcement yet, but the story is that he’s going to the company’s Russian unit, and that he’ll be replaced at the help by Bob Dudley.
- The big story out of Washington DC was the fallout from the WikiLeaks/Afghanistan docs. Although they dropped with a huge splash yesterday, the impact already seems muted, in part due to the lack of a smoking gun, or news that would seriously sway public opinion.
- US markets are now in the black for the year.
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