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Two Ways: Life Insurers Beg Treasury for Their Lives


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.


Life Insurers Get Bailed Out

The Treasury Department has greenlighted making $22 billion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds available for a select number of US life insurers. According to the Wall Street Journal, Prudential Financial (PRU), Hartford Financial (HIG), Lincoln National (LNC), Allstate (ALL), Ameriprise Financial (AMP) and Principal Financial Group (PFG) are those select firms.

These companies have been scrambling to get into the program for months - just as banks have been trying to get out. Life insurers, especially those carrying too much risk, have been hit hard by the financial crisis. Many of their products were linked to the equity markets and promised minimum payouts even if the equity markets fell.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls can look elsewhere like Transocean (RIG). The uptrend remains in place with the stock sitting on its 20-day moving average. A sell stop can be set near $68.

From the Bear Cave
: The insurers are gapping up on the news. But longer term, the sentiment will fade. One can consider a play in Met Life (MET). A buy stop can be set above $33.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 1.51%, India 2.53%, Nikkei 1.88%, Shanghai 0.20% and Taiwan 1.96%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC -0.11%, DAX -0.16%, FTSE -0.05%,

As of 8:30 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading -3 to 886.00, and Nasdaq futures are -6 to 1337.00.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is trading -1.10 to 57.52 while gold is -2.30 at 926.10 this morning. Silver is -0.500 to 13.99 and copper -5.00 to 198.50.

The dollar index is +0.4650 to 82.8350.

On the Radar


08:30 Core CPI m/m came in at +0.3% vs +0.1% cons
08:30 Core CPI y/y was +1.9% vs +1.8% cons
08:30 CPI m/m was 0.0% (in-line)

08:30 CPI y/y was -0.7% vs -0.6% cons
08:30 Empire Manufacturing was -4.55 vs -12.00 cons and -14.65 prior
08:30 Net Long Term TIC Flows
09:15 Capacity Utilization 68.9%
09:15 Industrial Production -0.6%
09:55 Michigan sentiment 65.0

Happy Friday! Good luck and have a great day!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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