Two Ways: Where's All the Lending?
Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.
Despite all the efforts by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, lending at the largest US financial institutions has dropped dramatically. According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Department data shows the biggest receiver of Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds made or refinanced 23% less in new loans in February than in October, the month when the financial bailout program started. The full dollar amount of new loans fell in 3 out of 4 months since the Treasury began reporting this data.
Furthermore, just 3 banks of the 19 largest TARP recipients originated more loans than they did when they first received bailout funds.
Please review Minyan Peter's Bank Earnings: The Hole Truth.
From the Bull Pen: Is the selling done in silver? Bulls can look to the ETF (SLV); consider a sell stop near $11.50-11.60.
From the Bear Cave: The failure at S&P 875 is a big one especially for Elliot Wave technicians. And with the month of May looming ahead (remember the "Sell in May, go away" saying), one can play the downside using the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) with a buy stop above $87.50ish.
Quick Check Around the World
Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 0.96%, Nikkei 0.19%, India -0.40%, Shanghai 2.14% and Taiwan -0.46%.
Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -1.90%, DAX -2.58%, FTSE -1.23%,
As of 8:10 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading -13 to 853.00, and Nasdaq futures are -24 to 1327.00.
A Look at Commodities
Over in commodities, crude oil is trading -2.50 to 47.83 while gold is +4.50 to 872.40 this morning. Silver is +0.220 to 12.010 and copper -7.00 to 212.40.
The dollar index is +0.4550 to 86.7500.
On the Radar
10:00 Leading Indicators
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