Thursday, June 12, 2008

The downside of the upside

It's a little early for markets to start getting second thoughts about rebate checks but then there you are. The stimulus is a fleeting source of growth that will come and go and will not stimulate to the full extent of the spending due to international leakages (see Rebate Checks posting on June 12).

The DJIA, once up strongly intra-day, is sickly as the close approaches. Maybe the disappointment about the Microsoft-Yahoo pulled offer overcame rebate check fever. If so, its not much of a fever, is it? Oil prices once down are back up. The market is having a hard time doing well on good news and that is not a good sign, is it? Is it?

The day's reports were at odds. Rising jobless claims now make last week's claims drop look like seasonal adjustment troubles and that makes the economy look like the job market at least is still weakening. It raises the opposite concerns from orderly inventory building and spurting retail sales. But with the CPI on tap for Friday and the Fed's hackles up over inflation risks, maybe its better to hold optimistic sentiment off for another day.

M&A is not dead with Mircrosoft having second thoughts about the Yahoos. There is a new bid for Bud by the Belgians. Lehman made some moves that the markets did not have a much reaction to. Financial stocks did stir for a bit.

Is this marking time or an outright marking down of optimism? We may find out when we get the CPI out of the way on Friday.