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Europe Procrastinates But Markets Rally Anyway: Dave's Daily

A statement from Germany and France: " The President and the Chancellor will meet Saturday night in Brussels ahead of the European Council summit in the euro area on Sunday. France and Germany have agreed that all elements of this ambitious and comprehensive response will be discussed in depth at the summit on Sunday in order to be finally adopted by the Heads of State and Government at a second meeting no later than Wednesday." Okay, got that? So Sunday's grand deadline has been postponed thus relieving some tension temporarily. Whatever they decide, it's said to be much too small and might be backstopped by new derivatives freshly minted in Berlin.

Jobless Claims came in still over 400K after revisions from the previous report showed a slight improvement meaning we're still wallowing along the bottom there. The surprise was a strong Philly Fed reading 8.7 versus -9.8 expected and prior of -17.5. This leap featured the Shipments Index rising from -22.8 to 13.6--the largest jump ever. This must be iGadgets hitting the road. That number is set against Bloomberg's October Economic Index which dropped to -45 versus -34 previously.  

Stocks recovered from a serious mid-day sell-off on more rumors from the EU which didn't seem very bullish especially given the last statement of "another meeting". The algos driving HFTs and markets higher jumped on a 12:30 announcement that the German government would make an announcement at 1:30 PM EDT which accounted for the rally off the low. The announcement came to nothing.

Earnings continue to rollout with some winners like Nucor (NUE) and Fifth Third Bank (FITB) but some notable losers like Ingersoll Rand (IR), Southwest Bank (OKSB) and USG Corp (USG). Many companies will report earnings after the close led by Microsoft (MSFT) which reported revenues of $17.37 billion or $.68 per share versus consensus of $17.24 billion and $.68 per share--a beat on revenues. MSFT stock was down about 1% after the report.   

Gold prices were much weaker again. The dollar was slightly weaker even as some grumbled about the dollar being too strong which is hard to believe until you see the logic of the "weak dollar/strong stocks" argument from bulls. I'm sorry but I still want a vacation in Greece Italy Germany. Bonds were somewhat weaker.

Not that it matters to HFTs but equity mutual funds saw the greatest weekly outflows since August with $5.9 billion leaving for safer havens. This brings the total for 2011 to nearly $100 billion.

Volume was a little higher than average while breadth per the WSJ was mixed.


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