Kristen Stewart and Robert PattinsonKristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Dow ends above 8,000 in best 4-week run since 1933
Stocks rose on Friday, with the Dow marking its best four-week winning streak since 1933, lifted by robust results from Research in Motion and comments by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the central bank will do everything it can to stabilize banks.
Growing conviction that the worst is over for the economy helped Wall Street shrug off dour jobs data showing the highest unemployment rate since 1983.
The Nasdaq outperformed other indexes, helped by a 21 percent jump in the U.S.-listed stock of Research in Motion
The move into technology reflects investors rotating funds into groups likely to benefit from an economic recovery, even though a turnaround in corporate profits in that sector might still be a few quarters away, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> climbed 39.51 points, or 0.50 percent, to 8,017.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 8.12 points, or 0.97 percent, to 842.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 19.24 points, or 1.20 percent, to 1,621.87.
For the week, the Dow rose 3.1 percent, while the S&P 500 advanced 3.3 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 5 percent.
S&P UP NEARLY 25 PERCENT VS. MARCH LOW
At Friday's close, the S&P 500 was up 24.5 percent from a 12-year low set on March 9, helped mainly by growing optimism that the economic slowdown is starting to moderate.
The Dow closed above 8,000 for the first time since February 9 after four straight days of gains.
Research in Motion, a technology bellwether, surged 20.8 percent to $59.29 on the Nasdaq, while IBM
Financial stocks rose after Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said the Fed will use all of its tools to stabilize markets.
An S&P index of financial companies' stocks <.GSPF> shot up 4.2 percent. Some analysts said investors may be covering short bets on financial stocks by buying back the shares.
Wall Street received more confirmation about deterioration in the labor market, when data showed the U.S. unemployment rate hit 8.5 percent, the highest level since 1983, as employers cut 663,000 jobs in March.
The numbers, though, were in line with economists' forecasts.
Another report from the Institute for Supply Management showed the U.S. services sector shrank for the sixth straight month in March as recession-weary consumers tightened their belts.
An index of pharmaceutical stocks <.DRG> fell 1.8 percent, but was still up more than 9 percent from last month's lows. Among the heaviest weights on the blue-chip Dow average were Johnson & Johnson
Trading was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.48 billion shares changing hands, slightly below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 2.13 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 2 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, about eight stocks rose for every five that fell.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by Jan Paschal)
Texas Instruments sues banks over $524 million debt
Texas Instruments Inc
In a complaint filed Wednesday in a Texas state court in Dallas County, Texas Instruments said the banks falsely marketed the securities, which were backed by student loans, as a low-risk, liquid alternative to other short-term investments. It said the banks also failed to disclose the extent to which they participated in auctions to support the market.
As a result of the banks' actions, Texas Instruments was unable to accurately analyze the risks and possible interest rates for the auction-rate securities it was purchasing or holding, the Dallas-based company said.
Texas Instruments is seeking to rescind its auction-rate purchases and be awarded interest and other costs. A copy of the complaint was provided by Courthouse News Service.
Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos and Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Christy Pollak declined to comment. Bank of New York Mellon did not immediately return a request for comment.
Auction-rate debt has rates that reset in periodic auctions. After the $330 billion market seized up in February 2008, many investors could not sell the debt, or could sell it only at a loss.
State and federal regulators have accused many brokerages of misleading investors into believing the debt was safe and the equivalent of cash. They have forced brokerages to buy back more than $50 billion of the debt, and levied hundreds of millions of dollars of fines.
In February, an arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered Credit Suisse Group AG
The case is Texas Instruments Inc. v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Texas District Court, Dallas County, No. 09-3774.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
US Dollar Ends Day Lower After NFPs Fall 663K, Japanese Yen Remains Weak
This is article is released weekdays under the heading Daily Fundamentals at 5pm EST on www.dailyfx.com
-Euro, British Pound Outlook May Hinge Upon the Bank of England's Meeting Next Week
-Australian Dollar Tumbles as Markets Price in RBA Rate Cut Next Week
-Canadian Dollar Gains, But Upcoming Ivey PMI, Employment Data Could Take a Toll
US Dollar Ends Day Lower After NFPs Fall 663K, Japanese Yen Remains Weak
The US dollar ended the day mostly lower, while the Japanese yen was the weakest of the majors, as investors generally shrugged off US economic data. Indeed, the release of US non-farm payrolls (NFPs) was not entirely surprising, as the report showed that the US economy lost 663,000 jobs in March, which was right in line with forecasts for a drop of 660,000. Furthermore, the unemployment rose in line with expectations to a 25-year high of 8.5 percent from 8.1 percent. That said, this data is still resoundingly weak, but the lack of market reaction suggests that the US recession and hefty job losses are already priced in. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management's gauge of conditions in the non-manufacturing sector unexpectedly fell during the month of March to 40.8 from 41.6. While the business activity component rose to 44.1 from 40.2, many of the other key indices, including new orders, employment, and new export orders all fell further. Even worse, almost every component held below 50, signaling that the contraction in growth in the sector is only accelerating.
Looking ahead to next week, which will be shortened by the April 10 market holiday, there is only one big piece of event risk for the US dollar: the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes. In March, the FOMC left the fed funds target range at 0.0 percent - 0.25 percent but the big surprise was that they officially announced quantitative easing efforts. Since this information has already been revealed, the release of the minutes may not be very market-moving, but they will likely add to indications that the FOMC will leave the target unchanged throughout much of 2009 and that they will continue to use the central bank's balance sheet in an effort to improve credit conditions. The one thing that may capture the market's attention is the FOMC's long-run projections for growth, unemployment, and inflation as revisions that indicate that the outlook appears to be even worse than previously anticipated could hurt risk appetite throughout the financial markets, and thus lift safe-haven currencies like the US dollar. However, if the revisions go unchanged, traders may shrug-off this once critical release.
Related Article: Non-Farm Payrolls Fell By 663K. Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.5%
Euro, British Pound Outlook May Hinge Upon the Bank of England's Meeting Next Week
Following Thursday's smaller-than-expected rate cut by the European Central Bank, the euro ended Friday marginally higher against the US dollar, but down against the British pound. Indeed, EUR/GBP has continued to test rising trendline support that dates back to October 31, 2008, as well as the 100 SMA at 0.9028, and these levels denote a proverbial line in the sand for the pair, as a push below would indicate a bearish break. Whether EUR/GBP makes this break lower or manages to stage a recovery may depend upon next week's key UK release, because for the first time since the summer of 2008, the Bank of England is expected to leave rates unchanged.
Indeed, both Credit Suisse overnight index swaps and a Bloomberg News poll of economists reflect forecasts that the BOE will leave the Bank Rate at an all-time low of 0.50 percent at 7:00 ET on Thursday. A look at their March 5 policy statement shows that the BOE's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) expects both growth and inflation to fall lower in coming months and also announced a new 75 billion pound asset purchase program, which included the buying of medium and long-term gilts. Ultimately, how the British pound responds will likely depend on two factors: whether or not the BOE asserts that they want to avoid cutting the Bank Rate to zero, and whether or not they indicate that they want to expand their quantitative easing (QE) efforts. Signs that the BOE is open to reducing rates further or signs that they will increase their gilt purchases could weigh heavily on the British pound, while the opposite (steady rates, no QE expansion) could provide a boost to the UK's currency, especially against the euro. This is due to the fact that the ECB has left the door open to additional rate cuts, as well as their own quantitative easing efforts.
Related Article: ECB Cuts Rates By 25 bps, Less Than Expected
Australian Dollar Tumbles as Markets Price in RBA Rate Cut Next Week
According to a Bloomberg News poll of economists, the Reserve Bank of Australia is anticipated to leave their cash rate target unchanged for the second straight month at 3.25 percent at 00:30 ET on Tuesday, but the Australian dollar maybe only respond to a surprise rate cut or a biased monetary policy statement. After the central bank's last meeting, RBA Governor Alan Bollard said, Together with the substantial fiscal initiatives, the cumulative decline in interest rates will provide significant support to domestic demand over the period ahead, suggesting that further reductions were unnecessary. Since then, though, data has shown that Q4 GDP unexpectedly fell negative by 0.5 percent, the first decline in eight years, and while Bloomberg News is calling for no change in rates, Credit Suisse overnight index swaps are pricing in an 81 percent chance of a 25 basis point reduction. As a result, there is a risk that such a surprise move will lead the Australian dollar sharply lower. It will also be important to look to Bollard's statement, as signs that the RBA may consider cutting the cash rate target again would add even more bearish pressure to the Australian dollar, while indications of a broadly neutral bias (and no rate cut) could support the currency.
Canadian Dollar Gains, But Upcoming Ivey PMI, Employment Data Could Take a Toll
The Canadian dollar was one of the stronger major currencies on Friday, as USD/CAD moved down toward support at 1.23, where there is a rising trendline connecting the October 14, 2008, January 2009 and March 2009 lows. However, the tide could turn for the Canadian dollar next week. At 10:00 ET on April 6, Canada's Ivey Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is forecasted to have risen to 46.9 in March from 45.2, which would mark the second straight increase. That said, since this gauge of conditions in the manufacturing sector is expected to remain below 50, the index will reflect a further contraction in business activity for the fifth straight month, albeit at a slower pace. Overall, this PMI release is likely to add to evidence that the decline in oil prices has taken its toll on Canadian economic growth, but the index may only impact the Canadian dollar if it rises back above 50, or if it surprisingly dives toward January's record low of 36.1.
At 7:00 ET on April 9, the Canadian net employment change is forecasted to have fallen by 57,500 during March, marking the fifth straight month of job losses. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is anticipated to have risen to match January 2002 high of 8.8 percent from 7.7 percent. Since the employment change tends to be a very volatile release, this should have the greater impact on the Canadian dollar, with a sharper than expected drop likely to weigh on the currency and an unexpected positive result likely to push it higher.
**For a full list of upcoming event risk and past releases, go to www.dailyfx.com/calendar
Support and Resistance Levels
Written by: Terri Belkas, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com
A compilation of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's Cosy Moments on Screen [Photos]As the promo tour of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 is about to start, everyone is wondering if Kristen Stewart will have an awkward chemistry with her on screen husband and off-screen ex-boyfriend Robert Pattinson. The cause of this breakup was Kristen Stewart's affair with director Rupert Sanders. But stars of this series are positive that the movie will do well irrespective of the controversies surrounding their personal lives.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's relationship has almost ended after rumors of Stewart's affair with "Snow White and the Hunstman" director Rupert Sanders came out. Pattinson had reportedly moved to his pal Reese Witherspoon's ranch in California and was no longer living in with his long time girlfriend, co-star and on-screen wife from the "Twilight" saga, Stewart.
It is not known whether or not Pattinson is going to accept Stewart's public apology and get back with her. In her apology letter, she said that she was sorry for what happened and that she loved and respected Pattinson. Whether Pattinson accepts her apology or not remains to be seen.
This couple had shared a great chemistry both on screen and off screen. Here is a look at some of their cosy moments in the "Twilight" saga.