Light Calendar Puts Market Focus on Politics

by devteam March 19th, 2010 | Share

Stocks are in mixed after yesterday’s mixed session. A lack of significant data on today’s schedule implies trading could be light, but headlines should be active as former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan prepares to deliver a 48-page paper entitled “The Crisis” to the Brookings Institution in Washington.

According to the Financial Times, Greenspan will take issue with claims that the Fed’s interest rate slashing early in the decade caused the US housing bubble. While he will concede “that regulators underestimated the scale of the asset price bubble . . . he attributes the failing, among others, to overseas regulators, the US credit rating agencies, financial houses and mainstream economics,” the FT reported.

One hour before the opening bell, Dow futures are down 2 points to 10,715 while S&P 500 futures creep forward by 1.00 point to 1,162.25.

WTI crude oil is down 56 cents to $81.64 per barrel, and Spot Gold is off by $5.85 to $1,121.50.

Meantime, the US dollar has been strengthening against an uncertain euro.

In addition to Maestro Greenspan's speech, markets could be focused on the health-care bill which the House is set to vote on this Sunday. The bill expands insurance coverage to 32 million people at a ten-year cost of $940 billion, and it would bar insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

“The chance of passage leaped higher yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office projected that the bill will reduce the budget deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next two decades,” said Sal Guatieri from BMO Capital Markets, who noted that more immediate savings projections are slim. 

“The deficit shrinkage will come largely from reductions in the growth of Medicare spending and increases in Medicare payroll taxes on high-income earners,” he added. “The amended House bill â€

About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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