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3/11/10 Midday Report: Yield curve spread continues to fatten, claims it wants to star in Precious sequel

|Includes:AIG, Citigroup Inc. (C), IMAX, WILC

The market is holding steady today as foreclosures in the US rose at their slowest pace in four years.  While slowing rates of foreclosures are sort of pyrrhic news similar to declining new cases of AIDS or slumping sales of country music cds, a slower rate means a slower rising homeless population and that can't be bad (unless you're scabies).  Though foreclosures were up 6% from last year, they were down 2% from January, and were aided by government legislation and loan modification programs such as helping homeowners to lower monthly payments, refi to lower rates, and break in to loan officers' file cabinets to burn original copies of their mortgage documents.  California saw default filings down 15% though still remained the state with the most default notices, but interestingly Florida's defaults rose by 16% and Michigan was up a ridonkulous 59% which begs the question "who knew people still lived in Michigan?"  Also making the market nervous today is investors increasing their bets on inflation with the yield curve within spitting distance of swallowing up its all time high.  The spread between thirty year bonds and two year bonds is now 377 bps as investors are starting to demand more yield for buying long term bonds thanks to the potentially Madoff-ian style recovery the US government is attempting to manufacture by borrowing $7ishT which they will pay back later once they raise some more debt or win the Powerball lottery just a few billion times.  Jobless claims were also out today and they fell by 6k to 462k which is also about the number of people who caught ear herpes from inadvertently turning on the radio to a Black Eyed Peas song.  Economists were expecting claims to fall by 8k, so the number was slightly disappointing but the difference between dropping by 1.3% instead of the expected 1.7% is less meaningful than William Henry Harrison's presidency or Tom Cruise's marriage.  While initial claims were slightly down, 4.56MM people continue to receive unemployment benefits and to put that number in perspective, it's more people than the entire population of Irleand and only slightly less than the number of "working" actresses Ron Jeremy and Peter North combined to bone in the 1980s.

In international news, Greek workers have continued to strike with no flights, trains, or buses operating in Greece yesterday so it's good that tourism only accounts for 15% of their GDP (and yes that was sarcasm).  The Greeks contiue to cut their well chiseled greek noses just to spite their faces (and if they go near Maria Menounos's face, they will have to answer to Money McBags).  Courts also shut down while hospitals remained with just emergency staff.  Wow.  So with no transportation, no laws, and little medical attentions, Greece has just become the Detroit of Europe.  In other international news..READ MORE...THOUGHTS ON IMAX...

Disclosure: Long WILC
Stocks: C, AIG, IMAX, WILC