Article Digest - February 21, 2013

Big Deals are Meaningless if People are Waiting for Credit

The other day, a woman stopped me on Wicklow Street and asked: “If there is so much money around for the big things, why is there so little money about for the little things?”

As far as she was concerned, if the ECB and the Government could somehow find tens of billions to finance bank bailouts, if they could find a way to roll up huge debts and put these debts on interest only for decades before principal was paid, why couldn’t they do the same for her loans, of mere thousands?  Read More…

Why the Market’s Ignoring the No.1 Threat to Stocks

Investors who fled in fear over potentially massive tax increases associated with the “fiscal cliff” have barely broken a sweat over corresponding spending cuts that are only two weeks away. The so-called sequestration of $110 billion a year in discretionary spending will happen March 1 if Congress does not come to an agreement.  Read More…

The Meteor-Proof Market

US economic data was a little better than expected today, which fueled an early rally, though volatility was mostly low as stock options expired. New York Empire Manufacturing reversed sharply in February to 10.04 from -7.78 last month, fueled by a large pickup in new orders, employment, and inventories. Later in the morning, industrial production for January fell 0.1% after rising 0.3% the month prior. The other industrial data point, capacity utilization, rose to 79.1%, but the month prior was revised up to 79.3% from 78.8% so it was actually a decline month-to-month. Lastly, the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index rose to 76.3 from 73.8 in January.  Read More…

 Trading Radar: Holiday-Shortened Week Ahead

The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) finished the week right where it started and traded in a small range throughout the week. The notable economic datapoint from the week was the inline retail sales for January. Retail sales rose 0.1% month-to-month, inline with expectations and not showing a slowdown associated with increased taxes.  Read More…