Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day & Articles - April 24

Treasurys Fall, Yield Rises on Home Sales and Durable Goods - Treasury prices stayed lower Friday, pushing yields up above 3% for the first time in months, after a government report said orders for durable goods fell 0.8% in March, less than analyst expected. The new home sales report (sell below) also put pressure forcing yields higher. Also contributing to the rise of the yields could be that investors are selling current bonds before the Treasury sells $101 billion in new debt next week. ** Note - As bond prices rise, yields drop. If bond prices fall, yields go up.

Home Sales Top Expectations - Sales of new homes were nearly unchanged in March, the Commerce Department reported. Additionally, sales in the first two months of the year were stronger than initially reported and adjusted upwards. Sales fell 0.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 356,000 from 358,000 in February. February's sales pace was revised higher from 337,000 reported a month ago. January's sales pace was revised from 322,000 to 331,000, the low for the cycle. Builders continued to cut prices in March, and have reduced their inventories of unsold homes by a record amount in the past year. But the time it takes to sell a home rose to record high of 10.2 months, the government said.

American Express/Ford/Microsoft Lead Market on Results - Shares of American Express, Ford, and Microsoft rose after the companies reported better-than-expected first quarter results. Their reports and shares were pointing the market higher.

Market Awaits Stress Test Results - You know something is happening when CNBC has the "countdown clock" on the screen. At about 2:00 p.m. today, the results of the stress tests for the 19 largest banks conducted by the Federal Reserve will be released. There have been wide speculations on the results and aftermath with some saying it will lead to more capital being raised and others saying it will point to banks that should be allowed to repay the TARP if they wish. In any event, we will look to post some more news from it this weekend.


Yanks in Crisis - By David Brooks - The New York Times - "We’re in the middle of the biggest crisis of capitalism in 70 years. We’ve got a new administration in Washington active on every front. What’s all this done to the public mind?"

U.S. Ready to Release Methodology for Stress Tests - By Ronald Orol - Marketwatch - "As the 19 largest U.S. banks pore over the preliminary results of stress tests conducted by government officials, the Federal Reserve is expected to publicly release its methodology for conducting the reviews Friday afternoon."

The Twitter Revolution - By Michael S. Malone - The Wall Street Journal - "Even faster than Google, Amazon and eBay in their days, the three-year-old Twitter has become deeply embedded in the culture. President Barack Obama twittered the words, 'We just made history,' on the night of his election." - For those that do not know what "Twitter" is, imagine a text message sent to anyone and everyone that wants to know what you are doing (or you can probably just ask your kids). Some people "tweet" ten times a day and others just follow. Celebrities, companies, politicians, etc. are all getting into it. Shaq, #10 Downing Street, and John McCain (yes, he tweets too) are all on there, and you can catch a glimpse of what they are thinking or doing daily (if you want to know).

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