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2/26/10 Midafternoon Report: AIG loses more in Q4 than entire GDP of Malta, warns Botswana they're up next

|Includes:American International Group Inc (AIG), C, PMFG, RICK

The market is a bit mixed today like the drug cocktail found in Brittany Murphy's stomachSales of existing homes dropped for the second consecutive month, this time by 7.2% which is the second largest decline ever and is creating more of a buyers market than the internet did for newspapers.  The decline was caused by the government tax credit winding down, the high unemployment rate, and the disappearance of the barter system.  Economists actually expected existing home sales to rise so it's good to see they are once again about as good at their predictions as a Stevie Wonder is at being the seeker in a game of hide and seek (or as he calls it "life").  An interesting data point is that 38% of all homes sold were distressed sales.  That is a remarkable number.  So homeowners, look to the house on your left and look to the house on your right, because on average one of those houses is being foreclosed upon and your new neighbors may be a few tax brackets below you.  In more positive macro news, business activity grew more than anticipated and its most since 2005 according to the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, or as its now more commonly known as: "Fiction."  Unless the index was measuring coffee sold while waiting in line at the unemployment office or tickets sold for the proposed Julia Mancuso/Lindsey Vonn catfight (and Money McBags would love to ski down Julia Mancuso's hills), the data is perplexing to say the least.  Also, GDP was revised up to 5.9% growth from 5.7%  in the last Q.  However, most of that growth was a result of inventory restocking.  Looking at GDP without the change in private inventories, growth was a He Ping Ping-esque 1.9% and consumer spending was revised down from 2.0% to 1.7%.  The point of all of this is that the economy is about as healthy as Mark Sanford's marriage or Money McBags' new found love of Alice Eve so until jobs can be created, we are going to have more and more marginal to disappointing economic news.


European markets were off to a better start today as the British Statistics Office revised up their estimate of UK economic growth in the fourth quarter to 0.3% from 0.1% citing the long awaited introduction of dental floss, while Asian markets...READ MORE INCLUDING ANALYSIS OF AIG....

Disclosure: Long RICK
Stocks: AIG, RICK, C, PMFG