Hard to imagine bulls being too happy about today, when it looked like there could be a decisive break from last week’s hard selling.
But first, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: -0.5
And now, the top stories:
- After a furious end to last week, the overnight scene was fairly quiet. There wasn’t huge news out of Asia, where stocks generally gained on little news. Japanese GDP did surpass expectations, which was refreshing.
- There had been a fair amount of talk about an Irish bailout over the weekend, but it didn’t materialise. Instead Ireland, for now, seems content to let the ECB supply its banks with liquidity, while hoping that things improve before it has to tap the markets next year. Despite the lack of news yields narrowed. There was also chatter Portugal needing a bailout, not no huge reaction anywhere.
- At 8:30, we got a hotly anticipated retail sales report. It was very strong on the headline, though excluding auto it was ho-hum. It didn’t move the markets much. Also at 8:30 we got a disastrous Empire Manufacturing Index survey, but… that didn’t move markets much either.
- On the macro front, the day was characterised by dollar strength and heavy selling in Treasuries. JPY and EUR continue to come way off their highs, and gold is pretty meh.
- One interesting micro piece: Caterpillar is buying mining equipment maker Bucyrus, dropping nearly $8 billion in an ong-ing bet on commodity bullishness.