Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Equities Struggle to Small Gains

Stocks bounced around without much conviction a day after taking substantial losses. For most of the stock trading crowd, today's was a pyrrhic victory - at least stock prices didn't go down, for the most part.

Turmoil in the Middle East continued to top concerns, though the fiasco in the nation's capitol, with Republicans and Democrats playing a lousy game of chicken (or chicken little) to see who can outflank whom on budget issues. On the table is a two-week funding bill, meaning that the drama will be played out again over the following two weeks and possibly again and again as the leaders of neither party are willing to take a tough, reasoned stance and actually make real cuts to the overblown federal budget.

Our federal politicians are so devoid of leadership, nerve or basic common sense, that the way congress and the president are behaving, there's simply no reason to believe that our fiscal policy will be anything but endless spending of borrowed money well past most or our lifetimes.

It's a sad and sordid joke being played on the American public, which deserves better than what it's getting from the elected crowd, squatting and ducking in anticipation of the next election cycle. Better to just ignore them all, lest they actually do something beneficial to the good people of this country.

In the meantime, let's just print more money out of thin air, spend that and more and move along.

Dow 12,066.80, +8.78 (0.07%)
NASDAQ 2,748.07, +10.66 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,308.44, +2.11 (0.16%)
NYSE Composite 8,338.76, +22.91 (0.28%)

Advancing issues overtook decliners, 3913-2578. There were 62 new highs and 45 new lows on the NASDAQ. On the NYSE, a similar set-up, with 73 new highs and 18 new lows. Volume dropped back down to mundane levels after ramping up for the big sell on Tuesday.

NASDAQ Volume 1,987,339,500
NYSE Volume 4,715,524,000

Oil continued to rocket higher, with NYMEX crude at $102.23, up $2.60 on the day. Gold continued its powerful breakout, adding $6.50, to $1,437.70, another new record close. Silver gained 41 cents, to finish at $34.84, another 30-year high.

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