Death to all paper currency! Long live hard real assets!But first, the scoreboard:
S&P 500: +23.45
And now, the day’s top stories:
- The tone for the day was set in the very early hours of the morning when the Bank of Japan cut rates, and announced a “kitchen sink” quantitative easing scheme. The BoJ even said that it would consider buying ETFs as part of its plan.
- What was the effect of this QE? Well initially the yen weakened, but — surprise!! — the yen quickly regained its prior strength. That being said, gold surged, and the Nikkei rallied, and pretty much all other indices rallied as well. Amazingly, despite the BoJ’s seeming recklessness here, the markets punished… the dollar. Seriously.
- The exuberance continued into Europe. Manufacturing indicated some weakness across the continent, and Moody’s threatened a downgrade of Ireland (snooze), and nobody cared. Markets across the continent were just fine. Meanwhile, Gary Shilling came out with a very negative report on US housing >
- Heading into the US, the theme throughout the day was: kill the dollar, buy everything else. Gold surged to above $1340. Oil had a big day. The Swiss Franc is at new highs. Again, everything surged, and the dollar got drubbed, with the dollar index falling below 78 (though it eventually ended above 78). Click here to see all the dollar alternatives making new highs >
- The ISM non-manufacturing index came in strong at 10:00 AM. That helped things surge early.
- There was little too new on the micro front. Microsoft got hit with another downgrade, but the stock was up 2%. American Express was down again, as it continues to get hurt by anti-trust action. Most financials, however, were higher.
- Goldman’s Jan Hatzius spoke at an event today and delivered a dour outlook for the economy. The basics of his presentation can be found here >