Yesterday was another peculiar trading day in the markets. Several pieces of positive economic data pointed to a very strong day. There was an excellent manufacturing report. Several housing related reports were also positive. The market looked like it was going to have a great day. That's what it looked like for about the first half. The Dow was up about 150 points or so. Then, it turned. It lost everything and then some. Then, in the last couple hours, it turned again and finished up 75 points.
The reason that I generally look only at the GDP number for economic guidance was illustrated in the last few days. We had terrible reports about consumer spending and income and then we had great reports on manufacturing and housing. So, what does all that mean about the overall economy? Anyone's guess is right. The markets don't follow my philosophy and so gains and losses follow each other and markets then wind up just about back where they started. Futures are down again. The Dow is down about 100 points as we head to the opening. Bonds are relatively steady. The ten year U.S. Treasury bond is slightly better at 3.40%. The yield spread between the two and ten year continues to extend slightly and is now 2.51%. Crude oil is down slightly this morning to $77.32.
In the Far East, the Hang Seng in China was down 1.76%, the Straits Time Index was down .9%, and the broad Chinese index was up 1.22%. Meanwhile, in Europe, the FTSE in L
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