Monday, March 10, 2008

The major stock market indices are mostly mixed through the first hour-and-a-half of trading today with strength seen in the Industrials & Transportation averages. With little in the way of economic figures after last weeks barrage of data, traders and investors are digesting more record high oil prices and continued talk of recession after two consecutive months of negative payroll growth. More negative news coming from the financial space is also keeping a lid on any intraday rallies as LEH (-2.6%) recently announced a 5% slash in its global workforce effective immediately. This follows weekend developments in CFC (-5.5%) which now faces an FBI investigation into securities fraud, and a negative Barron's article calling out FNM (-6.65%) claiming its balance sheet is filled with soft assets and understated liabilities that would leave the co ill-equipped to weather a serious financial crisis. Currently, the INDU is trading @ 11899 +6.4 or +0.05%, SPX @ 1292.30 -1.05 or -0.05%, COMPQ @ 2210.00 -2.35 or -0.10%, NDX @ 1705.05 -2.45 or -0.15%, RUT @ 658.15 -1.95 or -0.30%. Sector strength this morning is seen in Semis (SMH +1.45%), Software names (SWH +1.1%), Homebuilders (XHB +0.90%), Oil (USO +1.0%), and Energy names (XLE +0.65%). Early sector weakness is noticeable in Silver (SLV -3.15%), Agriculture issues (MOO -3.15%, DBA -1.5%), Base Metals (DBB -2.7%, GDX -2.3%), select Biotech names (IBB -1.95%, BBH -1.3%), and Coal (KOL -1.7%).