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Market Recap: Stocks Rally Into The Long Weekend


After another volatile week, Hoofy was ready to party!

Stocks rode another rollercoaster day, as a whacky whipsaw week churned the stomachs of even the most seasoned traders.

The Dow Industrials added +261 points, or +2.16% to 12,361, the S&P 500 finished +31 points, or +2.39% to 1,329, and the Nasdaq Composite closed +48 points, or +2.18% to 2,258.

Equity markets were slow to start this morning due in part to disconcerting unemployment data. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims last week rose to the highest level in two months. The figures came in at 378,000, approximately 22,000 more than what economists had anticipated.

But stocks rose after the Philadelphia Fed said its manufacturing index for the region for the month of March fell to -17.4. Consensus estimates called for a decline of -19.0. Further, leading economic indicators for the month of February was also inline coming in at -0.3%. Check out Professors Kathy Lien and Boris Schlossberg's column Rate Cuts: Too Much or Not Enough?

The rally paused after learning CIT Group (CIT) shares were halted. The global commercial and consumer finance company later revealed it was drawing upon its multi billion dollar credit line to repay debt maturing in 2008 signaling its dire need for capital. Further, the company said it was exploring options on sales of non-strategic assets. Professor Bennet Sedacca had noted the company on the Buzz prior to the interruption.

Toddo also noticed the troubles while acknowledging the difficulties of today's tape. "There was a time when news that CIT Group is drawing on a $7.3 billion credit line would have punished the tape. Now, it seems, folks are thinking "Hey, no biggie, if push comes to shove, the Fed will bail 'em out." Read Toddo's Random Thoughts. Perception Is Reality.

But Wall Street got the sustained lift when the Fed announced an expanded list of eligible collateral for the Term Securities Lending Facility. Also added were agency collateralized-mortgage obligations (CMOs) and AAA/Aaa-rated commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), in addition to the previously announced AAA/Aaa rated private-label residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) and OMO-eligible collateral. Stocks never looked back as they closed near session highs. In housing, Beazer Homes (BZH) surged +15% to $9.97. Hovnanian (HOV) added nearly +17% to $11.44. Pulte Homes (PHM) gained +11% to $14.67, and Meritage Homes (MTH) finished +13% to $18.04. The broader homebuilders ETF (XHB) gained +8% to $22.34. Read Professor Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need To Know.

Commodities were weaker for another day. Crude oil fell -1.13 to 101.41. Gold declined another day falling -32.90 to 912.40. Silver fell -1.625 to 16.770, and copper lost -6.85 to 359.10.

The dollar index continued to rally adding +0.636 to 72.779. Read Professor Lance Lewis' column Gold Shares Poised For Recovery.

For more Buzz insight, check out Minyanville's Buzz Bits.

Below is a recap of some of the idea flow on today's Buzz & Banter. Please note that stocks may appear in both bullish and bearish categories, due to long and short term trades by our many Minyanville professors.

Some bullish trade or investment ideas: SPX, GOOG, AAPL, CLF, CMG, GHL, GWR, XHB, CHK, UPL, NUE, V, KFED, WOR, GE, KO, DRI

Some bearish trade or investment ideas: NCC, CIT, FDX, GLD, RIO, SLB, SPX, FNM, FCX, DBC, AGU, SU, MON, CLF, KEG, EP, RICK, ACI

Have a great three day weekend!
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