There's a lot for the markets to chew on and it's almost entirely positive. First, Apple came out with earnings after the bell yesterday and they crushed earnings estimates. Apple's strong earnings were lead by very strong sales in their I Phone. That stock looks very strong this morning. Billionaire investor/financier Harold Icahn announced that he would give the financing company, CIT, a $6 billion lifeline late yesterday as well. CIT has been teetering on the brink of having to go into bankruptcy/receivership for months. It was initally saved when some of their creditors renegotiated some of the debt. This is the latest lifeline. CIT has become a flashpoint for some because the government has refused to step in with a lifeline of its own. Caterpillar just released their earnings as well and they also beat estimates. If you were worried that all this good news would put pressure on bonds, Consumer Price Index numbers came out this morning. The standard number was off .5% and the core (excluding gas and food) was up .1%. Bonds have been rallying in the aftermath. The ten year U.S. Treasury bond is currently at 3.34%. It rallied a bit yesterday and so it may be forming a mini rally.
The NASDAQ looks to open fairly strong, about .75% up currently. The other two are both up just slightly. That's after each of the three indices were up nearly 1% yesterday. Meanwhile, the most troubling economic news is probably in oil. It hit a high for the last 52 weeks yesterday. It's currently down slightly to $79.50 but that's a gain of about $15 a barrel in this month. That of course is also putting upward pressure on gasoline prices.
Markets in the Far East were generally up and that trend was reversed generally in Europe. The Hang Seng in China was up .83%, the NIKKEI in Japan was up .98%, and the Straits Time Index was down .02%. Meanwhile, In Europe, the FTSE in London was down .18%, the DAX in Germany was down .1%, and the Spanish Index was down .27%.
Finally, housing starts came out this morning and they were weaker than expected. There's so much housing data, it's nearly impossible to figure out which way to go.
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