Major averages finished Friday slightly higher on lower volume. After an initial upside gap-up the indexes fizzled and gave up most of their gains for the day. The NASDAQ Composite had been up as much as 0.9% earlier in the day only to close once again just below its 200-day moving average.
Meanwhile, oil and other commodities continue their bounce. This news driven, rip-tide market with its bullish and bearish events varying day-to-day means keeping your stops tight as always. While the uptrend could continue should news events on further monetary easing come through, it could just as easily roll over on bearish global or domestic economic news.
The Federal Reserve is holding an emergency meeting today at 11:30 AM ET. The last time such a meeting took place was on November 21, less then a month before the Fed's historic first rate hike in years.
And in yet another unexpected announcement, the White House said that both Obama and Joe Biden would meet with Janet Yellen today sometime this afternoon ET to discuss the economy. "In the afternoon, the president will meet with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to discuss the state of the American and global economy, Wall Street reform, and the long-term economic outlook; the vice president will also attend," the statement said.
Perhaps this meeting is about reversing that rate hike? CME FedWatch futures puts the odds of a rate hike at the next fed meeting at near zero, but they don't have odds for a rate reduction.
Indeed, in another shocking revision, the Atlanta Fed has revised its GDP growth rate from 2.3% to just the 0.1%, a slowdown well beyond any expectations.
Also contributing to the issue are the major eurobanks such as Germany's Deutsche Bank (DB) and Switzerland's Credit Suisse (CS), both which are retesting major lows. This could be the beginning of bank buy-ins in other European countries as happened in Greece.
In related news, Italian banks rallied today on news of a meeting between Italian government officials and Bank of Italy executives to discuss the implementation of a fund to free lenders of non-performing loans. Naturally, this bails out banks once again and puts financials on stronger footing at the cost to the taxpayer. Nevertheless, European markets trade higher pushing futures up by almost half a percent on the news.
Alcoa (AA) kicks off the earnings season after the close. Earnings have deteriorated over the last few quarters with the current quarter expected to come in significantly worse than the prior quarters. This will put further pressure on the quickly sinking GDP growth rate.