Showing posts with label Philadelphia Fed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philadelphia Fed. Show all posts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stocks Pop on Bad News from Philly Fed

Well, bad news for the economy is apparently good news for Wall Street once again.

The Philadelphia Fed's Index of business activity in the Mid-Atlantic region slowed significantly, according to the report issued today, which showed the index falling from 19.8 in October, to 6.5 in November, a drop that exceeded even the most pessimistic estimates.

The consensus was for the index to come in with a reading of 15.0, but the number was well below that. The convoluted thinking dominating the financial world today must have seen this as yet another sign of slowing economic activity, making it next to impossible for the Federal Reserve to begin slowing its monthly bond purchases from their current $85 billion per month.

Stocks, which were already showing healthy gains before the 10:00 am ET release, chopped their way higher throughout the session, with the Dow Jones Industrials ending the day at an all-time closing high.

With an eroding base economy and billions of created-out-of-thin-air dollars flooding the coffers of the primary dealers via the Fed, the market pricing mechanism is as broken as it has ever been in the history of economics.

Fantasy accounting, assets marked to nothing or anything, and all the other central bank meddling and criminality undertaken by Wall Street and global banking interests will eventually find its way back into the real world. The result may not be to the liking of anybody.

DOW 16,009.99, +109.17 (+0.69%)
NASDAQ 3,969.15, +47.88 (+1.22%)
S&P 1,795.85, +14.48 (+0.81%)
10-Yr Note 99.65, +0.48 (+0.49%)
NASDAQ Volume 1.64 Bil.
NYSE Volume 3.25 Bil.
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4246-1420
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 327-102
WTI crude oil: 95.44, +1.59
Gold: 1,243.60, -14.40
Silver: 19.93, -0.124
Corn: 429.50, +4.25

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stocks Have a Late-Day Reality Check (and reality wins)

After yesterday's golden sombrero (a baseball slang term denoting a player striking out four times in four at-bats) of economic data, today's market was welcomed with another 0-for-4 reading on economic data, that on top of Wal-Mart's (WMT) poor first quarter which was a miss on the revenue side, blamed, laughingly, on weather (we have it every day, dolts) and late income tax refunds (pure baloney).

Prior to the opening bell, initial unemployment claims came in at 360K, when the market was looking for a benign 335K, oops. At the same time, April CPI registered -0.4%, the worst showing (for inflationists) since 2007, and housing starts slumped rom 1021K in March to 853K in April, a massive fall-off and well below rosy expectations for 970K. So much for the "rebound" in housing which was supposed to be leading the recovery.

Topping off the list, at 10:00 am EDT, was the Philadelphia Fed's Manufacturing Index, expected to show modest growth to a humorous 2.5, but bolted out at -5.2, another sign that business activity is actually slowing down and doing so in a rather hasty retreat, not only in the US, but globally. France, apart from the farce that is Europe, is also heading deeper into recession, and China's growth is slowing considerably faster than anyone might have expected (except those who don't believe China's economic numbers in the first place).

Thus, stocks hugged the flat-line before caving in - around 3:00 pm EDT - to the pressure of eight straight missed on key economic data, a poor earnings season typified by revenue misses and the continuing crisis at the top of the federal government of not one, not two, but three separate scandals.

Market declines on the day were not exactly pronounced, but, checking the calendar and noting that this is the day before monthly options expiry, it all begins to make more sense. Nobody's yet brave enough to call this a top, but it sure looks like one, smells like one and has all the antecedent timing factors to actually be one.

We'll see if there's any carry-over to tomorrow's week-ending session. Today's late tape was bolstered by tape-painting and/or short covering, which lifted the indices off their lows.

Dow 15,233.22, -42.47 (0.28%)
NASDAQ 3,465.24, -6.37 (0.18%)
S&P 500 1,650.47, -8.31 (0.50%)
NYSE Composite 9,489.18, -62.24 (0.65%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,924,503,750.00
NYSE Volume 3,771,709,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2633-3851
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 607-62
WTI crude oil: 95.16, +0.86
Gold: 1,386.90, -9.30
Silver: 22.66, +0.001

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stocks Trashed Again on Brace of Poor Economic Data

Possibly more than anything else, the horrific -12.5 print by the Philadelphia Fed was responsible for the added declines on Thursday, following Wednesday's setback after the FOMC minutes from january were announced.

The market was expecting a reading of 1.5 from the Philly Fed in its survey of business conditions, which, in and of itself, is a bit of an embarrassment, but were greeted with an even lower number for February after january came in at a disappointing -5.8. Obviously, there's little to no catalyst for improvement in the region, and the same is pretty much true in other Fed outposts, though the Philadelphia survey gets more attention, it representing a solid hub of business activity.

Beyond the sorry report, other economic data was less-than-encouraging. First-time unemployment claims ticked up 20,000, from a revised 342K last week, to 362K in the latest reporting period, dashing - for the time being - any hope of a rebound in employment.

This is a fickle, almost psychotic market. On the one hand, traders get worried that the Fed will take away the punch bowl of unlimited QE and low interest rates, but, on the other, they are equally concerned that the general economy is again approaching stall speed, as it did last year and in 2011 in the early months.

Whatever the market is feeling these past two days, it is mostly confusion and consternation. The major averages took some serious dips into the red today before a wicked, final-hour, short-covering rally brought them close to unchanged on the day, eventually failing in the final half hour of trading.

One can hardly blame the shorts for pulling a quick trigger on their positions this afternoon. Attempting to short this market and counter the Fed's relentless money creation machine has been a losing trade for the better part of four years and its a testament to the resolve of the non-believers to hold true even on a two-day reversal.

US markets were not the only ones being handed their hats on Thursday. European markets were shattered even worse after a key reading on services and manufacturing fell from 48.6 in January to 47.3 in February, well short of expectations, where the consensus was 49. It may be finally dawning on european investors that various bond schemes by the ECB and austerity measures in various countries aren't producing the desired effects and may even be contributing to continued weakness in the Eurozone.

Taken together, the Eurozone and the US are beginning to look like a pair of gussied-up party girls after a long night on the town. The makeup is fading and cracking and the hangover is setting in with a passion.

Even though two days of trading does not constitute a trend of any sort, the past two have been the worst in succession for US stocks this year and there may not be much of a respite with sequestration issues and a budget battle looming between the opposing parties in the nation's capitol, and those are two fights the American public is hardly keen on, as congress and the president have both shown an unwavering reluctance to handle pressing business like adults, preferring to play the blame game and seek short-term, band-aid types of approaches.

How the markets play out over the next few weeks and months will go a long way toward determining the mood on Wall Street and Main Street, and the mood - despite the best intentions by business - is beginning to show signs that patience is growing exceedingly thin.

Elsewhere, gold got a bit of a dead-cat-bounce after a month of steady declines, giving back those gains during the open session, though silver remains mired at multi-month lows. The metal prices may move even lower, in union with stocks, although one would be hard-pressed to find an actual physical holder of either willing to part with any or all of his or her holdings. Suppression by central banks and other operators has been well-documented, and the more they push down, the more dire conditions for a sharp response become.

Crude oil also has been taken a beating as speculators are having their lunch eaten. Overabundant supplies of WTI crude and slack demand is causing a serious disruption in the trading, which has been nothing but straight up since December. Oil and gas at the pump are about to get a whole lot cheaper.

It's getting a little bit interesting out there after the champagne rally of the first seven weeks of the year. The A-D line has been in reversal for two straight days and today's new highs - new lows reading was nearly at parity, a condition foreign to these markets since last November.

Dow 13,880.62, -46.92 (0.34%)
NASDAQ 3,131.49, -32.92 (1.04%)
S&P 500 1,502.42, -9.53 (0.63%)
NYSE Composite 8,816.74, -66.88 (0.75%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,007,395,000
NYSE Volume 4,414,224,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1942-4569
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 104-78
WTI crude oil: 92.84, -2.38
Gold: 1,578.60, +0.60
Silver: 28.70, +0.077

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dow Hits Five-Year High; Why Isn't Anyone Celebrating?

Money has to go somewhere, and today it went straight into equities, pushing the Dow to a five-year high.

Whether or not this euphoric advance was based on anything more than the Fed's continuing POMO operations remains to be seen.

Housing starts and building permits for December were figuratively "through the roof," though on Main Street America, people are wondering just who it is that is buying all these new homes.

In the real economy - the one that functions on dollars and cents, not swaps, repos, debt financing and accounting fantasies - it still feels like a recession. Stores are largely empty, incomes are still declining overall and the bulk of the US consumer class has just been hit with a 2% tax increase, thanks to the assembled dunces in congress and at the White House.

Unemployment claims today came in at a multi-month low of 335,000, though continuing claims increased from 3127K to 3214K in one week, so, something at the BLS isn't quite adding up, though that's largely been the case since 2006 or before.

The Philadelphia Fed index of economic activity printed a -5.8 for the current month, following a positive 4.6 in December. This reading comes on the heels of Empire Manufacturing (NY state) showing a -7.8 after a -7.3.

If none of this makes any sense to you, consider that Boeing (BA), after having all of their 787 "Dreamliners" (make that "Nightmare Flight") grounded by the FAA (note: this is after years and years of delays and missed deadlines), shares of the nation's top plane builder finished up 92 cents (1.24%).

Beyond that, ZeroHedge notes that if you strip out the gains made by Bank of America - the top performing Dow stock of 2012 - for releasing loan loss reserves (an accounting trick), the bank actually lost something on the order of $2.5 billion last year.

Regular readers (or at least those who check the stats at the bottom of each post) will take note that new highs - new lows has today reached the pinnacle of absurdity.

Even in the very, very, very best of times there were always more than eight stocks hitting new 52-week lows, it's only natural in a normal, competitive environment. The number of new lows since the first of the year has been hovering in the teems for the most part. The money gushing from the Federal Reserve to the primary dealers to the stock market is causing the most unbalanced market ever witnessed.

And the debt ceiling increase that needs to be approved, but just seems to sit there, like a 300000000-ton weight over the US economy, ah, don't worry about that. Our "leaders" will find a way to ix that, certainly, positively, without a doubt.

We live in Wonderland. Sadly, only those who pad their wallets on Wall Street get to be either the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter or Alice.

Dow 13,596.02, +84.79 (0.63%)
NASDAQ 3,136.00, +18.46 (0.59%)
S&P 500 1,480.98, +8.31 (0.56%)
NYSE Composite 8,766.54, +55.98 (0.64%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,734,349,250
NYSE Volume 3,966,953,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4628-1787
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 525-8
WTI crude oil: 95.49, +1.25
Gold: 1,690.80, +7.60
Silver: 31.81, +0.268

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Speculators Step Up to End Dull Trade with a Bang

Think zero interest rate policy and money for virtually free doesn't have its upside?

Ask fund and managed account managers what they think of this trading environment and they'll likely respond in unanimity that it's never been better. After eight straight days of lackluster, low-volume trading, the wheeler-dealers went to work in concerted fashion, driving all risk assets higher on Thursday.

When the biggest banks and their trading arms can borrow money at 25 basis points or less overnight, what happens is trading like today, shutting off the noise about a sputtering, topped out market with a quick, one-day ramp up on strong volume for a nice turn of profit for the week.

The particular catalyst could be anything, from Angela Merkel's comments today about floating more bailout money to save the Euro, to benign initial claims figures (op a mere 2,000 from the prior week, to 366,000), to July housing starts dropping to 746,000 annualized from 754,000 or the Philadephia Fed's manufacturing index gaining to -7.1 in August from July's horrific -12.1. Well, forget those last two as they don't quite fit the hopium narrative.

Indeed, if conditions on Wall Street get any better, the feds may just cancel the November election and proclaim President Obama the winner by default. After all, the campaign money flows from Wall Street and other major investors, multi-millionaires and billionaires to the candidates or their PACs, and Wall Street has been having a rousing good time the past three-and-a-half years. Why end the party now?

At some point, analysts are going to poke around the numbers a bit and find that stocks are extremely overvalued, priced for perfection, at levels unsustainable for the long run unless corporations severely fudge their books to show better-than-expected results (oh, that's never been done before, not in America).

It doesn't matter what analysts or the best chartists in the business conclude, however. Stocks will continue to go up as long as markets continue to be manipulated by the central planners scattered around the globe in investment houses, central banks and government ivory towers.

What's that? You don't believe the US markets are not manipulated? Maybe you need a little convincing from experts in the field.

Take J.S. Kim, for example, who posits that potential gold and silver investors are continually fed disinformation about a market manipulated by contrived futures and trading patterns in a false, paper market

Perhaps one could take advice from Chris Martenson's commentary, headlined "What to Do When Every Market Is Manipulated?"

For a more general understanding, one could comb through the 29,800,000 results for the search term "market manipulation," and see what kind of gems are unearthed.

The control, rigging or manipulation of markets in the United States has been going on in a large manner ever since Ronald Reagan created, by executive order, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets (otherwise known as the PPT, or Plunge Protection Team) after the massive market crash in the wake of "Black Monday," when the Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 508 points Oct. 19, 1987 and was called into action again when Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) nearly brought down the house of cards in 1998.

After 9/11/2001, the PPT, as it became known, has been on keen alert to any signs of a meltdown in markets, but not even the heft and might of the underhanded, underground operatives of the government could deflect the market forces pushing against them in the fall of 2008.

Since then, the manipulation in equity markets has become almost overt, with the Fed guiding the way by the light of quantitative easing (QE) and ZIRP.

While here at Money Daily we deride the pimping and pumping of markets by insider forces, there comes a time when one must admit that investing in risk assets such as stocks and commodities over the past three years has never been easier. All one needs to do is hold a basket of stocks or index contracts long enough and they're sure to rise. It's become a permanent feature of US markets that they cannot fall for long and there is no end in sight to the manipulation.

It's just that easy for the rich to get richer and the rest of us to remain in a stupefied trance-like state of amazement and contentment.

Dow 13,250.11, +85.33 (0.65%)
NASDAQ 3,062.39, +31.46 (1.04%)
S&P 500 1,415.51, +9.98 (0.71%)
NYSE Composite 8,089.82, +60.81 (0.76%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,901,789,500
NYSE Volume 2,898,041,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3862-1572
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 230-30
WTI crude oil: 95.60, +1.27
Gold: 1,619.20, +12.60
Silver: 28.21, +0.40

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dark Day for Wall Street as Financial System Stressed to Limit

Compared to the preceding twelve days of market meltdown, today's finish qualified as the worst on a number of different levels.

The paucity of buyers produced something of a free-fall right from the opening bell, which accelerated in the final hour of trading. There were a couple of attempts at rallies - at 10:00 am and again just after noon - but both failed horribly as there was no support and traders, many of whom have been in the "buy the dip" camp until recently, sold into the brief upticks.

Volume was also noticeably higher, an indication that the selling has more room to run over the next days and weeks. The causes of today's particular collapsing equity valuations were the same that have dominated the markets over the past three weeks and are no nearer resolution than they were at the beginning of the month.

Greece continues to slide into anarchy and chaos, taking the rest of the EU - and the world - along for the careening ride to oblivion, unemployment fears in the US remain high, global growth may be nearing stall-out speed and an inactive congress and Federal Reserve - both eerily quiet - are doing nothing to alleviate any of the political, tax and regulatory issues.

The 156-point loss on the Dow was the second worst since the slide began on May 2nd, beaten only by the 168-pont decline of Friday, May 4th, the day the BLS disappointed everybody with poor April jobs numbers. That such a massive decline would come nearly two weeks later, without a respite rally in between, displays clearly how weak and uncertain markets are at the present juncture.

Through today's close, the Dow has lost a stunning 837 points since the May 1 close; the NADSAQ, with a loss of more than two percent today alone, has been beaten back 246 points since May 2nd, while the S&P 500 has given back just over 100 points since May 1st, finishing just above the technically-insignificant 1300 mark, though emotionally, the number carries great sentiment weight.

Adding to the existing problems were a couple of key economic data points released today. Initial unemployment claims came in flat for the most recent reporting week at 370,000, still stubbornly high. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, which was supposed to ring up a slightly higher reading, to 8.8, from 8.5 in April, was a sorry disappointment when it printed at a devastating -5.8. And the index of leading indicators, which was expected to post a gain of 0.2%, actually fell by 0.1%, all of this adding up to excessive worry and a rush to get out of equities for the safety of bonds.

The 10-year benchmark bond closed at an historic low of 1.702, which is probably a solid number considering the level of deflation that is expected over the coming months. A yield approaching 2% against an environment of low to no growth - or even a recession or worse - is likely to be a pretty good hedging instrument.

JP Morgan Chase's (JPM) continuing drama with its $2 billion portfolio loss has expanded by another billion according to the NY Times, while the FBI and SEC have both opened inquiries into the trade and CEO Jaime Dimon has been called to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the matter.

Mr. Dimon, whose firm also faces a number of shareholder lawsuits stemming from the trade, continues to maintain the position in the trade, attempting to slowly unwind the derivative bet from hell while counter-parties turn the screws tighter. It would not be a surprise to see eventual losses from this blunderbust approach the $5 or $6 billion figure, wiping out the entire quarter's profit for the bank with the supposed "fortress balance sheet."

Dimon will have to do some fancy tap-dancing when he appears before the Senate inquiry, because the trade, widely known as the "London Whale" was the furthest it could have been from an outright hedge, being a pure speculation trade, exacerbated by piling in deeper as the losses worsened.

On brighter notes, gold and silver did an abrupt about-face, despite the dollar index continuing to rise and the Euro settling nearly flat on Forex markets, while oil slid again, along with wholesale gasoline prices, which will eventually result in further price declines at the pump.

The widely-anticipated Facebook IPO, slated to hit the street Friday morning, priced at $38 per share, at the upper end of the expected range. While Mark Zuckerberg and others will become instant billionaires tomorrow, the timing for such a lucrative cash-out day could not have come at a worst time. Facebook will almost certainly reward early investors, but the story of one good stock will do little to alleviate long-term, long-standing economic issues that have plagued the markets for weeks.

Greek banks are seeing devastating outflows of capital, as are those in Spain. Europe's descent into economic hell has accelerated and the EU ministers and ECB economists have found now way out.

Widespread defaults, from sovereign nations, to banks, to businesses will be at the top of the news for at least the next six to 12 months.

It's been 41 years since then-president Richard M. Nixon closed the gold window and nations have been trading on pure fiat - backed only by promises - ever since. The promises now broken, the era of debt-money is quickly drawing to an unseemly and devastating end.

Real estate, precious metals and cash are all that stand between personal devastation for not millions, but billions of people worldwide. All paper assets, including stocks, bonds, letters of credit and contracts will be blown away by winds of economic chaos and change.

Dow 12,442.49, -156.06 (1.24%)
NASDAQ 2,813.69, -60.35 (2.10%)
S&P 500 1,304.86, -19.94 (1.51%)
NYSE Composite 7,480.75, -112.07 (1.48%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,915,098,500
NYSE Volume 4,597,205,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 915-4734
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 31-310 (1-10 on the wrong side; never good)
WTI crude oil: 92.56, -0.25
Gold: 1,574.90, +38.30
Silver: 28.02, +0.82

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Early Earnings Euphoria Turns to Tears as Economic Data Disappoints

In the most classic of all classic bear market chart moves, the major indices took the ball that was handed to them by the like of Bank of America (BAC) and DuPont (DD), both of which reported 1st quarter earnings before the bell, opening to the upside, though without much conviction as the 380,000 initial unemployment claims hung over the markets like the Sword of Damocles.

Sporting gains by the 10:00 hour, the next set of economic data included the index of leading indicators from the shills at the Conference Board posting a gain of 0.3%, the Philadelphia Fed index showing a number of 8.3 when the expectations were for 12.0 and existing home sales - the real killer number - sporting a 2% decline from 4.60M in February to 48.8 in March.

Adding to the housing debacle is the fact that the numbers are woefully behind the times and generally a best-guess situation, indicating that April's figures, which will be released about this time in May, will be off the mark as well.

With those key economic data points in hand, the markets began to turn south and continued to do so until reaching the lows of the day before 3:00, though, of course, no Ponzi-scheme market would be complete without the requisite end-of-session tape painting that chopped off about 40% of the losses.

Still, it was an ugly chapter for a market struggling to find any kind of positive momentum. Those who based their hopes on bank earnings from BofA were sorely disappointed to find that the nation's most hated banking entity (though JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup are running close behind) produced a quarterly earnings report that more resembled a work of fiction rather than a well-reasoned, accurate accounting of their financial position.

Since 2008 - and probably even before then - all bank earning statements from the big five have been wholly fraudulent, based on assumptions like mark to model and other accounting gimmicks designed only to obfuscate the truth. Bank of America does't really make money any more than a dead person inhales oxygen, and the metaphor is appropriate, since BofA is technically a dead bank walking.

So, on a day in which the pundits and cheerleaders were looking for positives in corporate earnings, they got egg on their collective faces from the economy, which, after all, is the real harbinger of good or ill tidings. Continued high unemployment and a crippled housing market added to burgeoning government debt does not paint a very pretty picture, though Wall Street likes to view these things though rose-colored glasses.

Eventually, reality strikes home and the only option is to hit the sell button. Notably, today's volume was much higher than what has been the norm, not a good sign for any bulls still holding corporate shares.

Dow 12,964.10, -68.65 (0.53%)
NASDAQ 3,007.56, -23.89 (0.79%)
S&P 500 1,376.92, -8.22 (0.59%)
NYSE Composite 7,995.94, -34.43 (0.43%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,965,208,125
NYSE Volume 4,138,306,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2162-3363
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 134-91
WTI crude oil: 102.27, -0.40
Gold: 1,641.40, +1.80
Silver: 31.78, +0.29

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Despite Poor Housing Data, Philly Fed Big Miss, Stocks Rock On

Following yesterday's exercise in exposing how Wall Street makes money at the expense of almost everyone else, confirmation today as stocks gained despite continued horrible data from the housing sector and a huge miss in the Philadelphia Fed's latest report on economic conditions in the region.

According to the NAR, existing home sales for the month of April dipped 0.8% nationally to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million.

Chief economist, Lawrence Yun said:
“Given the great affordability conditions, job creation and pent-up demand, home sales should be stronger...”
Naturally, Mr. Yun, an economist, hasn't set foot outside his office for some time and hasn't taken into account the facts that banks aren't lending, jobs are scarce and those who do have regular jobs haven't received a raise in a while, all along dealing with higher energy and food prices.

Median price for a single-family home fell 5.4% year-over-year, to $163,200. Total housing inventory at the end of April increased 9.9 percent to 3.87 million existing homes available for sale, and the NAR feels this is amount is a 9-month supply. Their figures are probably not inclusive of the two to four million homes in the so-called "shadow inventory" which includes houses in foreclosure, off the market and in the hands of the banks (REO) and other distressed properties.

That, my friends, was the good news.

The report from the Philadelphia Fed was a little more alarming, where its business activity index slumped to 3.9 from 18.5 in April. Ah, yes, that recovering economy just continues to click along in places like the Northeast business section of the country.

Stocks actually lost ground for a few moments after these two sets of data reached Wall Street at 10:00 am EDT, but then the computers running the trading floor were reminded that tomorrow is stock option expiration and their human masters would be in need of more money for hookers and cocaine, so back up they went, on volume so thin Charlie Sheen was brought in to cut it.

That was, except for the darling IPO of the day, LinkedIn (LNKD), the business/social website that was priced at $45/share, but opened at $85 and traded as high as 122 before setting for the day at 94.25. That price places the company's market cap at around $10 billion, which is more than 65% of the companies listed on the S&P 500. The trading frenzy over what amounts to a web-based rolodex brought back memories of the 1999 tech bobble. Some traders actually shed tears of nostalgia.

Dow 12,605.32, +45.14 (0.36%)
NASDAQ 2,823.31, +8.31 (0.30%)
S&P 500 1,343.60, +2.92 (0.22%)
NYSE Composite 8,427.95, +20.47 (0.24%)

Advancing issues held sway over decliners, 3603-2911. On the NASDAQ, 81 new highs and 38 new lows, while the NYSE showed 179 new highs and a mere 17 new lows. Volume was slight, though the A/D line hints that there was a smattering of caution, likely concerning the forward-looking trends set by the Philly Fed and housing data, to say nothing of the impending end of QE2, which accepted 1.9 billion in outright coupon purchases today. Ted Fed has released the schedule through June 9. Some time after that, the operation is supposed to end, though few doubt that the easy money will come to a complete halt.

NASDAQ Volume 1,739,600,875
NYSE Volume 3,625,738,000

The price of oil eased, down $1.66, to $98.44 per barrel of WTI. Gold traded down $2.30, to $1494.60. Silver was off seven cents, at $34.95 per troy ounce.

With options expiring tomorrow and the Fed dealing another $5-6 billion in POMO, unless nuclear war breaks out somewhere - and even if it does - stocks should show more gains, at least in the morning.