Jobless Claims (358K vs 370K expected) continued to show some improvement but inside the numbers was one standout data point--there was no gain in "new hires". So we're still just seeing people falling off the roles. Greece was back in the news with an announcement of an agreement. Later in the day came some grumbling about a lack of details with some saying things won't get sorted-out for another 15 days. (Per the AP: "German Finance Minister Schaeuble. Greek deal on spending cuts appears to not yet fulfill bailout conditions.") The final outcome (for this round) theoretically comes on the March 20th drop dead date. But here's the calendar for what's ahead in the euro zone.
Now the mortgage fraud settlement which everyone is supposed to feel good about presents itself; but, in fact (thank God for bloggers!) the deal is not what it seems as outlined by Naked Capitalism.Earnings results featured poor results from banks Credit Suisse (CSGN) and ING Groep N.V. (ING both constituents in KBE) as they took big write downs from losses in the region. Pepsi (PEP a constituent in XLY) also featured disappointing results and will lay-off 8K workers globally. Tech remained the primary leader with Apple (AAPL, the heaviest weight in QQQ and XLK) still dominating markets overall as firms (Needham & Co and Canaccord Genuity) raised price targets to $620 and $655 respectively. Also Akamai Technologies (AKAM, a constituent in FDN) was sharply higher on earnings while investors didn't like guidance for Cisco (CSCO, a constituent in IGN) or the report from Groupon (GRPN) but later cheered the late report from LinkedIn (LNDK both constituents in SOCL). Gold prices were flat as the dollar see-sawed between gains and losses. Oil settled higher (USO) as did base metals like copper (JJC) while bond prices (IEF) fell. Volume continues on the light side and breadth per the WSJ was mildly positive to mixed overall. We're still much overbought. You can follow our pithy comments on twitter and join the banter with me on facebook. SPY - The SPDR® S&P 500® ETF is a fund that, before expenses, generally corresponds to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
See more details IWM - The iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the small capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market as represented by the Russell 2000 Index. The index represents the approximately 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index.
See more details QQQ - PowerShares Capital Management LLC is passionate about our goal of delivering the highest quality investment management available through one of the more benefit-rich investment vehicles ever created, the exchange-traded fund.PowerShares QQQ¿, formerly known as "QQQ" or the "NASDAQ- 100 Index Tracking Stock®", is an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq-100 Index®. The Fund will, under most circumstances, consists of all of stocks in the Index. The Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. The portfolio is rebalanced quarterly and reconstituted annually.
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