Dow +41.19 (+0.34%)
Nasdaq +12.53 (+0.55%)
S&P 500 +6.95 (+0.52%)
News That Moved the Market
Markets End Up After Digesting Ambac News. The markets finished the day up, but that was not before it tested the previous day's lows. For much of the day, most of the attention went to Ambac (ABK, -19.8%), which announced plans to raised $1.5 billion through sales of common shares and equity units. After the announcement, markets seemed disappointed with the news. Investors were looking for a true bailout that would solidify the company's balance sheet and extinguish concerns that Ambac would lose its AAA rating. Though S&P and Moody's did say they would probably confirm the bond insurer's AAA rating, the let down from the announcement pushed the markets down in the middle of the day. But like yesterday, the bottom fishers grabbed control in the afternoon and pushed the major indices back into the green to end the day.
Oil Rallies Off Inventory Decline. Crude spiked to a new record high of $104.95, before closing at $104.45. The jump was caused by OPEC's announcement that it will leave productions levels unchanged and an unexpected decline in inventories.
ISM Services Data Gives Market Hope. Before the bell the ADP Employment Report showed an unexpected decline in payrolls. Markets mostly shrugged off the figure and will pay much closer to Friday's Job's Report. The Institute for Supply Management services index data was better than expected and provided a much needed positive piece of economic data; markets were higher immediately after the announcement. Factory orders were also released, and were in-line with forecasts.
Quick Tics:The Fed Beige Book survey showed economic growth has slowed, with 8 of the 12 Fed regional banks noticing a "weakening in the pace of business activity"…Goldman Sachs (GS, +0.7%) CEO Lloyd Blankfein believes the credit-market contraction is at least half way over…Big Lots (BIG, +22.2%) jumped after increasing its 2008 profits forecasts.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) After Close
National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM) After Close
Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) Before Open
Chain Store Sales
Bank of England and European Central Bank Announcements
8:30 AM: Job Claims
10:00 AM: Pending Home Sales