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Two Ways: Life Insurers Beg Treasury for Their Lives

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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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

Economics

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.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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