Maybe not, one expert says

By Charley Blaine Jun 10, 2009 6:33PM

The Chrysler case has been viewed as setting a precedent for General Motors (GMGMQ, news, msgs), which is also in the bankruptcy process and is hoping to emerge in a similarly fast fashion.

 

At least one expert wasn't so sure GM will have smooth sailing.

 

But the trade gap meets expectations.

By Charley Blaine Jun 10, 2009 6:31PM

The U.S. trade gap widened for the second month in a row in April as exports slumped to their lowest level in nearly three years.

The seasonally adjusted trade gap widened by 2.2% to $29.16 billion, in line with economists' expectations.

 

The Dow misses finishing ahead for 2009. Oil's close is its highest since November. Chips rally on Texas Instruments' bullish outlook.

By Charley Blaine Jun 9, 2009 7:49PM
Charley Blaine

Oh, that 2008 close on the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU). It's proving to be one tough nut for the stock market to crack.

 

For four of the last six days, the blue-chip index has moved over 8,776.39, its Dec. 31 close, several times during the day.

 

But the Dow can't finish above that level. It closed today at 8,763, down 1.5 points. It is, however, up 33.9% from its March 9 low.

 

Tech, material and energy shares led the broader market higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up 3 points to 942, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was up 18 points to 1,860. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX.X), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks, was up 13 points to 1,502.

 

The mixed finish came in trading so light that New York Stock Exchange volume barely hit 1 billion shares. Normal is about 1.6 billion shares. Nasdaq volume was about average at $2.2 billion shares.

 

Financial stocks were mostly higher after the government said 10 of the nation's biggest banks could pay back government assistance received during last fall's financial crisis.

Chip stocks were higher after Texas Instruments (TXN, news, msgs) offered better-than-expected guidance for the second quarter.

 

Crude oil closed at $70.01, up 2.8% from Monday and its first close above $70 since Nov. 4.

 

Chevron (CVX, news, msgs) was up 0.9% to $70.19. Exxon Mobil (XOM, news, msgs) was down slightly at $73.12.

 

Oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum (APC, news, msgs) added 0.5% to $48.46. Driller Transocean (RIG, news, msgs) was up 2% to $83.06.

 

Metals stocks were strong all day. Alcoa (AA, news, msgs) was second among the 30 Dow stocks, up 3.5% to $11.15. U.S. Steel (X, news, msgs) jumped 7.9% to $37.82.

 

10 institutions, including American Express and JPMorgan Chase, win the government's OK to repay TARP funds.

By Charley Blaine Jun 9, 2009 7:18PM

Financial stocks were mostly higher after the government said 10 of the nation's biggest banks could pay back government assistance received during last fall's financial crisis.

 

The banks have all proved that they could sell shares and debt not guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., satisfying the government's requirement that they raise funds without federal help.

 

An auction of 3-year Treasury notes produces better than expected results.

By Charley Blaine Jun 9, 2009 3:39PM

Concerns about interest rates were eased somewhat after the Treasury auctioned $35 billion in 3-year notes.

 

The yield was 1.96%, lower than expected 1.97%. There was $2.82 in bids for every $1 in notes, an indicator of strong demand, Bloomberg News said, especially from foreign investors.

 

The Treasury will auction 10-year and 30-year U.S. Treasurys Wednesday and Thursday.
Treasury prices rose today, sending yields down from seven-month highs ahead of the auctions. Prices had been falling as speculators banked on the Federal Reserve having to raise interest rates later this year.
 
Yields on the 2-year note had jumped 44 basis points on Friday and Monday as Fed funds futures contracts showed an increased probability of a rate increase by November, according to Bloomberg.
 
The 2-year note fell to1.31% today from 1.41% on Monday as a number of analysts dismissed the idea of a rate increase.
 

But Men's Wearhouse shares jump on better-than-expected earnings.

By Charley Blaine Jun 9, 2009 3:30PM

Weekly retail sales rose 0.2% this week, after a decrease of 0.6% in the week ending May 30, according to a report from the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

 

On a year-over-year basis, sales were down 0.8% this week compared with same week in the previous year. May retail sales were off 4.6% from April.

 

Shares jump as analysts see the news as bullish for chip companies.

By Charley Blaine Jun 9, 2009 2:33PM

An upbeat forecast from Texas Instruments (TXN, news, msgs) helped spark some optimism for the chip sector.

 

Chip maker Texas Instruments late Monday said it expects fiscal-second quarter revenue to come in between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion, up from previous guidance of between $1.95 billion and $2.4 billion.

 

The Dow recovers all of a 130-point loss. The Supreme Court delays the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Apple cuts prices on iPhones.

By Charley Blaine Jun 8, 2009 9:02PM

Charley BlaineStocks stormed back from their lows this afternoon despite pressure on technology and metals shares and worries about rising interest rates.

 

But it wasn't clear if that momentum will carry over to Tuesday after U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg delayed Chrysler's sale to Italian automaker Fiat (FIATY).

 

Several Indiana pension funds as well as consumer groups had opposed the deal.


The Supreme Court will consider a request for a longer postponement that could derail the deal.

 

The order gives Ginsburg or the full court more time to consider whether to delay the transaction while opponents file appeals. A decision may come in a day or two.

 

The Obama administration had warned that an intervention might lead to the liquidation of Chrysler. Fiat could walk away from the sale if the transaction if it is not closed by June 15.

 

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, however, told Bloomberg News late today that the company will "never" abandon the deal.

 

At the same time, Texas Instruments added some cheer to the market by boosting its second-quarter guidance.

 

Today's late-day rally was triggered in part by a comment from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman that the U.S. economy may start to emerge from the recession in September, Bloomberg News reported. Krugman made the comment at a lecture at the London School of Economics.

 

"Things seem to be getting worse slowly," he said. "There's some reason to think that we're stabilizing."

 

At the same time, short-sellers who had sold borrowed shares expecting the market to move lower were forced to buy the shares  back when the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) started to move higher. The S&P 500 finished down 1 point to 939.

 

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU), which had been down as many as 130 points at 12:30 p.m., closed up 1 point at 8,764. That was 12 points below their 2008 closing level of 8,776.39. The Dow did move into the black briefly in the last hour of trading but faded at the close.

 

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 7 points to 1,842.

 

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