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Friday, September 18, 2009

Morning Market Report

After three straight days of being up, the market indices took a slight breather yesterday. Markets were down just slightly. The dow for instance was down less then 10 points. Futures are pointing up this morning. The Dow is currently up near 30 points and all three indices look to gain their yesterday losses and then some at the open.

Meanwhile, there's new troubling news from FHA.

Pressure from loan defaults has pushed cash reserves at the Federal Housing Administration below mandated minimum levels, but the agency's head says taxpayers won't be asked to make up the difference.

Instead, the agency is moving is pressing ahead with policy changes aimed at reducing its exposure to risk as the FHA coffers have been hit by staggering
losses from defaults and fraud.Borrowers will be required to have higher credit scores, though the agency did not release details of what the heightened credit requirements will be.

So far, no one is talking about a "bailout". Instead, FHA is going to make their own standards for loan underwriting more difficult. That will put pressure on the credit markets at a time when they are under plenty of pressure on their own.

The ten year bond is currently trading at 3.42%. That's the same rate as it was this time yesterday. The ten year lost four basis points yesterday and closed at about 3.38% and so it's giving back most of its gains. Oil is currently trading at $72.47. That's flat from yesterday's close but yesterday it was up nearly a dollar a barrel. It's now at near a month's highs.

Markets in the Far East were generally down however they were up nearly across the board in Europe. In the Far East, the Hang Seng was down .67%, the NIKKEI in Japan was down .7%, and the Straits Time Index in Singapore was down .92%. The Korean Index (KSPI) was up by .25%. In Europe, the FTSE in London was up .29%, the DAX in Germany was up .45%, and the Spanish Index was up .28%. The Swedish index was down .34% and that was the only European index that was down.

Currencies are relatively quiet this morning. The Dollar is up against the Euro by .08%, it's up .51% against the British Pound and it's up .18% against the Japanese Yen.

Today is what is known as quadruple witching in that stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures are all expiring today. That only happens once a quarter and it often means that there's a lot of volatility.


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