February 18, 2009
The markets closed essentially unchanged today. The
to close at 1,468,.
and the S&P
to end at 788.
a barrel, and gold added $10.700
to end at 48.46.
Industrial production and housing starts were below
what had been estimated for them. The Federal Reserve has altered its 2009
forecast from that of October, 2008, when it saw the economy growing by as
much as 1.1%. Fed's outlook darkens
The Fed now anticipates a shrinkage of the economy by 0.5% to 1.3%
this year, with a recovery beginning in the second half of 2009. Growth in
2010 will fall somewhere between 2.5% and 3.2%.
Stock market futures tonight are slightly positive.
I've added the 50-day moving averages to the NASDAQ,
Dow, and S&P 500 charts below, since this gives some feeling for these
indices' longer-term trends.
Otherwise, there isn't much new to report.
Dow has fallen below its November lows, but has now rebounded, presumably
on optimism over the administration's mortgage foreclosure program
Mark Hulbert has written, Wall Street likely to fail retest of Nov. 20 bear-market low.
See also Three Big Fears Have Market on Edge.
Paul Krugman has written
several squibs today. The first is: Permanent Link to Comrade
Greenspan: Seize the economy’s commanding heights! Alan Greenspan,
the poster child for laissez faire capitalism, is suggesting that maybe,
in this once-in-a-century situation, it's time to temporarily nationalize
Dr. Krugman's next brief is Permanent Link to The eschatology of lost decades.
He first observes the good news that although Japan didn't recover very
quickly from its slump, at least it didn't go into another Great
Depression. But the bad news is that 3% of its 9$ rate of growth in GDP
was attributable to net exports. Also, part of the rest of their GDP gains
would have built upon their trade gains. The problem for us going forward
is that the whole world can't have a net trade surplus.