Dow +297 S&P +31 NASDAQ +52
- Stock markets surge following details of the government's bailout plan and an
uptick in Feb existing home sales. The US Treasury confirmed leaked reports
regarding the framework for the toxic asset plan. Broadly the program works to
generated more than $500B in purchasing power by leveraging $75-100B from TARP
to finance a public-private partnership. Banks will decide which legacy loan
assets they want to sell and the FDIC will analyze these pools and come up with
a level of financing it is comfortable guaranteeing. Leverage will not exceed
6:1 debt-to-equity ratio. The FDIC will subsequently auction off the loan pools
in a complex process involving the FDIC issuing guaranteed debt. Executive pay
limits will not apply to private investors. Complexity and pricing are still
major hurdles for the program but in general markets and participants are
greeting the clarity provided by the details favorably. Feb existing home sales
increased by more than 5% from Jan while the median home price actually rose on
sequential basis providing some additional fuel to the equity rally.
- Crude prices have rallied another 2.5% with the May WTI contract back above
$53. Oil is getting some support from headlines out of Brazil indicating a striking union is having some effect on
production out of the Amazon region. Gold is retesting $950 down more than $7
in the April contract.
- No surprise financial stocks are the big winners as they recover from
Friday's drubbing. The XLF is up close to 10% with all the major US banks trading up better than 10%. Homebuilding names
have rallied post home sales figures adding 5% to the XHB.
- Before the open retailers TIF +9% and WAG +9.5% reported results. Walgreens
beat estimates on both the top and bottom line, while not surprisingly
Tiffany's report was ugly especially their guidance for the remainder of the
- Petro Canada has spiked nearly 30% after Suncor made an all share offer for
the company valued at nearly $17B. Daimler is higher after Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments announced plans to invest â‚¬1.95B
($2.65B) in the company. Central Euro Media, CETV is popped some 30% after Time
Warner announced it was acquiring a 31% interest in the Co.
- The USD moved off its session lows against the European pairs and probed into
positive territory as currency markets begin to express a bit of skepticism to
the U.S. Treasury Department's plan to clean up toxic assets. Dealers are
noting little new substance of the plan from the details already on FT and WSJ
this morning. Comments from ECB members Weber and Orphanides echoed that the
prior staff projections could be worse than the
-3.2% GDP expected. Orphanides also reiterated that any ECB easing could take
either conventional or non conventional form.
- The GBP/USD retraced from 1.4650 seen during the European morning to retest
the 1.4500 level. BoE Blanchflower commented that the decline in Sterling exchange rate had not aided manufacturing and that he saw unemployment
rising substantially. Blanchflower noted that the jobless rate would be the
biggest issue in UK for the next 6-month period. Cable is retesting overnight lows nearing
1.4450 in late NY morning trade.
- The JPY was broadly softer against the major pairs and commodity-related
pairs but its price action was mixed during the NY morning. USD/JPY above the
97 handle near its session highs Dealers noting that better US existing home
sales data. Both GBP/JPY and EUR/JPY pairs were firmer but off their best
- The CAD was steady during the NY morning despite a worse-than-expected
leading indicator data for Feb. USD/CAD up 45 pips at the 1.2330 area.
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