The Market Shrugs Off Bad Data Today

by Marilou Moursund on March 29, 2011

in Banks,Credit Crisis,Earnings,Economic Indicators,Energy,Foreign Markets,Geopolitical

There was not any good news today, but the market has held up remarkably well. The that began in August. Home prices in the 10 major metropolitan areas fell 0.9% in January, and the 20-city index fell 1.0%. The turmoil in the Middle East and the problems in Japan have affected consumer confidence, and the index dropped to 63.4 from 72 in February.

The news out of Europe was gloomy as well. The banking sector remains under pressure with downgrades of the five largest banks in Portugal, and S&P may also cut the country”s credit rating. The Irish banking sector

may need another bailout after the central bank finishes reviewing the latest round of stress tests.

As Laura pointed out last week, there has also been good news for the market. Corporate earnings have been strong, and there have been a number of announcements regarding stock buybacks, dividend increases, and mergers. However, this tug of war between positive and negative sentiment has continued to unsettle the market. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the resulting increase in the price of oil combined with the disruption to the supply chain in Japan will make it difficult for corporations to maintain margins over the near term.

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