Japan Wall

Further leakage at Fukushima, ugly housing numbers, and a decline in consumer confidence, and yet…

But first, the scoreboard:

Dow: +79.32
S&P 500: +8.90

And now, the top stories:

  • The news only seems to be getting worse at Fukushima. There doesn’t appear to have been progress at the nuke plant in ages. TEPCO stock got crushed again, and there are even rumours of the CEO fleeing. That dragged Japanese stocks down again.
  • In Europe, stocks sagged again. S&P downgraded Portugal.
  • US futures were down modestly in the very early going, and then dovish Fed Governor James Bullard hinted that QE2 could be cut short, and that sent the dollar surging. Typically you’d think that’d be cause for a big risk off. The yen got pummelled as suddenly traders realised that the BoJ is the last central bank to adopt a tightening stance. Click here for Bullard’s big presentation >
  • There was other bad economic news in the US. Case-Shiller confirmed that the housing double dip is accelerating. Consumer confidence fell pretty sharply.
  • And yet! Despite all this, stocks rose (right after that consumer confidence number) and then continued to steadily drift higher throughout the day.
  • One story that’s rapidly re-emerging to the fore is the debt ceiling debate, as people realise that we’re about to hit the ceiling without resolution. Watch this.
  • Once again, oil servicers like Halliburton and Schlumberger had a big day thanks to expectations of more business in the Mideast. Rare earth stocks like MolyCorp did well after a JPM upgrade.
  • From today’s Case-Shiller, check out the 18 cities where markets continue to dive >

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