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MV Weather Report: Springtime for Insurance Firms, Finally

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Rain or shine, we review the day's biggest stock stories.

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Today's session was a slow version of chop and slop, as the day was dominated by the FOMC minutes and the life insurers.

The news this morning was a report that the Treasury Department is planning on making bailout funds available to the life insurance companies. The struggling life insurers, Met life (MET), Hartfod (HIG) and Lincoln National (LNC) all shot up on the news. This is good news for these companies, as some thought they'd be the "next shoe to drop."

At 2:00 p.m., the FOMC released its minutes from the last meeting. The Fed Staff cut its second half of 2009 and full year 2010 GDP forecasts. They also said they see the jobless rate up steeply in 2010. The market didn't like the news, but a late afternoon rally lead to a rebound in the S&P 500.

Professor Jeff Cooper filled Buzz readers in with his expectation for the S&P. Here's an excerpt below.

"The S&P is doing a fine job of holding 90 degrees down from the 845 high which is 817 and suggests a possible Misdirection Thursday. A break of 817 and then 803 suggests the S&P could turn its Weekly Swing Chart down next week and test its 50 dma. The key level going into expiration IF any weakness shows up should be 360 degrees up from the low or our old friend 774."

The market held the 814 level as it was tested twice - I'd consider that close enough to 817. The S&P 500 also closed above the 817 level to 825. This sets up the possible misdirection Thursday that Professor Cooper mentions.

Tomorrow is the last trading session of the week as the market is closed for Good Friday. I'd expect volume to be very light as many traders are taking an early holiday for Passover, which starts tonight.

For those that will still be in the office, we'll have same-store sales numbers in the morning. I'm interested to see how the retailers are doing in this environment. Surprisingly, the restaurants stocks have been faring very well. Ruby Tuesday (RT) and Brinker (EAT) both reported very strong numbers.

We also will have econ numbers, better known as breakfast with geeks, in the a.m. Traders will be watching initial jobless claims, continuing claims, trade balance and the import index.

All right, Minyans - have a great night!



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