Stock Market, Feb. 28: What's on Tap
NEW YORK (TheStreet -- Civil war in Libya has caused oil prices to skyrocket during the past week as traders attempted to lock in prices with two million barrels of daily production expected to be removed from the market.
The stock market pulled back as a result, although the S&P 500 is still up 4% so far in 2011. The energy sector has been the leader, logging gains of 12%. When Wall Street reconvenes Monday, Libya's turmoil will remain front and center.
On the economic front, personal income and personal spending are due out at 8:30 a.m. EST. This is a quick read on the true strength of the consumer. How much is coming into the house and how much is going out. A good consumption number usually boosts the market because it means people are spending and not saving. As a side note -- Americans are still spending roughly 95 cents out of each new dollar.
Chicago PMI arrives at 9:45 a.m. EST followed by Pending Home Sales at 10 a.m. EST. Last week's strong existing homes sales reflected banks dumping foreclosed homes on the market and getting rid of that backlog. So the headline number could be good but look closely at the details. Is it more foreclosed homes accounting for all the sales action?Ultimately, traders are just biding time until the end of the week for the unemployment report. This is the one they are waiting for. The big kahuna. There are several companies reporting their quarterly results tomorrow, but none are really market movers. Among the names due Monday are Bluefly (BFLY), the internet retailer; Coeur d'Alene Mines (CDE), which might be of interest since gold and silver have been skyrocketing; Rosetta Stone (RST), which issued a warning earlier this month; and Martek Biosciences (MATK), which has seen a lot of insider buying of late and could be worth watching. Healthy insider buying is always a good sign. Also this week, the Committee on Financial Services is set to begin marking up bills designed to terminate ineffective housing foreclosure programs. What? Weren't they were all so successful? The programs were a huge waste of taxpayer money and delayed banks the ability to get non-performing loans off of their books quickly. Good riddance. --Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
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