The ZGR maybe a little late today.
This is very dovish compared to what was expected!!
Release Date: March 13, 2012
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately. Labor market conditions have improved further; the unemployment rate has declined notably in recent months but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to advance. The housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has been subdued in recent months, although prices of crude oil and gasoline have increased lately. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects moderate economic growth over coming quarters and consequently anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline gradually toward levels that the Committee judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Strains in global financial markets have eased, though they continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook. The recent increase in oil and gasoline prices will push up inflation temporarily, but the Committee anticipates that subsequently inflation will run at or below the rate that it judges most consistent with its dual mandate.
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
The Committee also decided to continue its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities as announced in September. The Committee is maintaining its existing policies of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. The Committee will regularly review the size and composition of its securities holdings and is prepared to adjust those holdings as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Dennis P. Lockhart; Sandra Pianalto; Sarah Bloom Raskin; Daniel K. Tarullo; John C. Williams; and Janet L. Yellen. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who does not anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate through late 2014.
Donohue Pushed Out at CME Over MFG Debacle
Reuters) – CME Group Inc said its chief executive officer Craig Donohue will step down at year end, when his contract expires.
He will be replaced by current president Phupinder Gill, the exchange operator said. Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy will take on the additional role of president, the company said.
Donohue has run the CME since 2004, steering the owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange through the acquisitions of its two largest rivals — the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange — and a global expansion that saw the establishment of a London-based clearinghouse.
Donohue, who has worked at CME for 23 years, called his decision “bittersweet,” and added that he is “ready to explore new challenges.”
FTSE 100 +1.1pc,CAC +1.7pc,DAX +1.4pc, IBEX +2.4pc, MIB +2.1pc
Nassim Taleb- I have no choice But to Own Stocks
The U.S. economic situation is so bad, the author of “The Black Swan” said he has “no choice but to own stocks” to “preserve my financial situation.
“I own stocks,” Nassim Taleb told CNBC Tuesday. “I don’t trust Treasury bonds. I’d rather have a dividend than a coupon. I am afraid of hyperinflation. So I have no choice but to own stock and some real estate to preserve my financial situation.”
He also “some euros,” because despite the bad press, “they know the problems in Europe” but the U.S. does not.
Taleb, who is in the process of updating his 2007 book, considers a “black swan” event to be something undirected and unpredicted. But he said the current U.S. economic problems have been years in the making, causing him to distrust the Obama administration, the Republicans in Congress and all the Republican presidential challengers — except Texas congressman Ron Paul.
“Only one candidate, Ron Paul, is saying the right things for the issues we are facing,” Taleb said. “I’m a risk-based person. From my vantage point there’s only one candidate representing the right policies.”
Taleb said he believes in an America that is resilient. “You don’t achieve that through bailouts,” he said. “You need the economy to stay vital. You need a rate of failure. What is fragile should break early….
City of London Rushes to buy MFG Claims in States and Abroad
Maybe they are going to return the $1.8 billion they stole and are sitting on? Insiders=Banksters. How is this anything but a sophisticated extortion scheme?
The thousands of MF Global customers whose lives and businesses were derailed after $1.6 billion vanished in the collapse of the brokerage firm have now received offers to sell their claims and recoup nearly the entire shortfall, people involved in the negotiations said.
What was once thought to be a lost cause has erupted into a bidding war among Wall Street firms: Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Seaport Group, a little-known firm that specializes in distressed assets, are all scrambling to buy MF Global customer claims.
On Monday, Barclays Capital, the investment banking unit of the London-based bank, agreed to purchase most claims for 90 percent of face value, the people said. R.B.S has said that it will pay 91 percent for the claims of institutions (but not individuals), according to a term sheet. Seaport is hoping to top both offers and add an additional sweetener: $200,000 to help fund the group of customers responsible for negotiating the offers….
All Eyes on the Fed. Gold Whacked ahead of time by the ‘smart money’. Read insiders with Fed script.
Fed Seen Biding Time Assessing Gains
(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a meeting where policymakers are likely to leave monetary policy on hold but not rule out further easing as they acknowledge a somewhat brighter economic outlook.
In the latest release pointing to strength following last week’s firm reading on employment, retail sales climbed 1.1 percent in February, the biggest gain in five months.
Still, the central bank is likely to remain concerned by an unemployment rate that remains at an elevated 8.3 percent, a symbol of what many officials see as a high level of unused productive capacity.
“I just don’t see them being anywhere near ready (to take action) and certainly not under any pressure to make any judgment this week about which way things are going to go,” said Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “This is really the occasion for them to do absolutely nothing.”
Fed officials are expected to nod to the labor market’s stronger pulse in a statement due at about 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT). But they are also likely to warn that unemployment is due to decline only gradually given modest demand for goods and services and a still weak housing market…
Today’s Market Opening
U.S. stocks gained, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index toward its longest rally since January, as retail sales rose by the most in five months and as investors awaited a Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.
All 10 groups in the S&P 500 advanced as financial, commodity and technology shares had the biggest gains. Alcoa (AA) Inc., Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) and Bank of America Corp. increased more than 1.7 percent. Urban Outfitters Inc., the operator of its namesake, Anthropologie and Free People brands, retreated 5.6 percent as fourth-quarter earnings missed analysts’ projections.
The S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to 1,380.25 at 10:54 a.m. New York time. The benchmark measure increased for a fifth day to the highest level since 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Averageadded 77.27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,036.98. About 1.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges.
“We’ve seen an improving economic picture,” said Ryan Larson, Chicago-based head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc. His firm oversees $250 billion in assets. “That’s been supported by accommodative monetary policy. Any kind of pullback in stocks should be kept in the context of a larger move higher for equities.”
Equities advanced after data showed retail sales rose 1.1 percent in February, matching the median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Yet a pickup in payrolls accompanied by limited wage gains may not be enough to satisfy Fed officials, who today will probably reaffirm a commitment to keep interest rates low.
The S&P 500 has risen 9.7 percent this year amid better- than-expected economic data and as companies beat analysts’ profit forecasts for a 12th straight quarter. Most U.S. stocks retreated yesterday, capping the thinnest trading day in 2012, as investors weighed a Chinese slowdown.
Companies whose earnings are most-dependent on economic growth led the gains in the S&P 500 today. The Morgan Stanley (MS) Cyclical Index added 1.2 percent. Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, increased 2.7 percent to $10.14. Broadcom, a maker of chips that help mobile devices connect to the Internet, rose 1.7 percent to $36.56.
The KBW Bank Index (BKX) climbed 1.5 percent as all of its 24 stocks gained. The index yesterday snapped a three-day gain on concern about how banks would perform in Fed stress tests. Bank of America rallied 1.9 percent to $8.14 today. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)increased 2 percent to $41.33.
Carmike Cinemas Inc. (CKEC) gained 21 percent to $11.01. The fourth-largest U.S. theater chain posted fourth-quarter revenue that exceeded the average analyst projection, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) lost 5.6 percent to $27.85. Net income in the three months ended Jan. 31 fell 48 percent to $39.3 million, or 27 cents a share, from $75.2 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. The average estimate of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 29 cents.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BCRX) decreased 7.1 percent to $5.16. The drugmaker will initiate a process at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to correct an “apparent error,” according to a regulatory filing. BioCryst said that a patent for a hepatitis C inhibitor it discovered was issued to Biota Holdings Ltd.
A bad year for American equity trading is getting worse. Shares changing hands on all U.S. exchanges fell 16 percent to 5.23 billion yesterday from March 9, while S&P 500 composite volume slipped 17 percent to 2.17 billion shares, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Those are the lowest daily levels of 2012 and the smallest totals excluding holiday weeks since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2008. (SPX)
Investors Sit on Sidelines
A rally that has restored more than $3.2 trillion into U.S. equities has failed to lure investors following one of the most volatile years on record. While the S&P 500 has had its best annual start since 1998, individuals are shunning equities after they were burned in 2011 by Europe’s debt crisis, said Mark Turner, head of U.S. sales trading at Instinet Inc. in New York.
“I don’t think investors are completely convinced,” Turner said in a telephone interview. Volume “was extremely light volume because it was quiet in Europe over the weekend and there was no major headlines coming out of Europe,” he said. “Money has been shifting to bonds out of equities for some time now. There’s a host of different reasons. Take your pick.”
Nasdaq (MVOLQE) composite trading volume slipped 15 percent to 1.34 billion shares, the lowest excluding holidays since Aug. 27, 2007, when it was 1.34 billion shares, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Volume of shares for securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange declined 10 percent to about 644 million shares, the lowest since Feb. 24, Bloomberg data show.
U.S. companies and their executives are selling stocks at 2.2 times the pace of buying, the most since December 2009, as an equity rally pushed the S&P 500 to an almost four-year high.
About $15.3 billion of shares have been sold by companies and insiders this month, compared with $7.1 billion of purchases, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. Stock offerings reached $2.7 billion a day last week, the highest level since May, the data show. Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. mall owner, announced its first stock offering in almost three years while Internet company Yelp Inc. went public.
“Our supply indicators have turned markedly less favorable in March,” Charles Biderman, chief executive officer at the Sausalito, California-based firm, wrote in a report dated yesterday. “We are not greatly concerned that corporate buying has been unspectacular,” he said. “What worries us more is that new offerings and insiders’ selling have soared.”
Oil declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reversing an earlier gain of 0.7 percent. Crude for April delivery fell 43 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $105.91 a barrel at 9:21 a.m.
Gold may fall in New York before a Federal Open Market Committee meeting and as Greeceprepares to receive a second bailout. Platinum rose above gold for a second day.
The best six months of job gains since 2006 have helped reduce the odds of a third round of asset purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Bullion had the biggest one-day decline since 2008 on Feb. 29 after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernankegave no signal of a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, sending the dollar higher. The dollar gained today against a six-currency basket including the euro and yen.
“The FOMC will be important, after the market interpreted Bernanke’s recent silence on QE3 as an indication that it was unlikely to happen,” said Nic Brown, an analyst at Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. in London. “The gold market will be hanging on his every word tonight.”
Gold futures for April delivery were down 0.8 percent at $1,686.70 an ounce by 9:15 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,686.23 an ounce.
Euro-area finance ministers yesterday signed off on a second Greek bailout and will give formal approval tomorrow, a day before the International Monetary Fund board votes on its contribution.
The FOMC plans to release a statement at about 2:15 p.m. in Washington after its meeting on rates. The U.S. dollar strengthened as much as 0.3 percent against the euro and as much as 0.1 percent against the six-currency basket. Gold typically moves inversely to the greenback.
“Investors continue to watch the dollar rate, waiting on the sidelines while many are concerned about an even stronger dollar rebound,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, a London-based analyst at VTB Capital, wrote in a report today.
Gold assets in exchange-traded products rose to a record 2,408.981 metric tons yesterday, and are up 2.2 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by platinum climbed 8.2 percent this year, compared with a 2.8 percent gain in silver ETPs.
Platinum prices climbed above gold for the first time since September yesterday on concern that production in South Africa is declining amid improving global auto sales. One ounce of platinum bought as much as 1.0032 ounces of gold today, the most since Sept. 19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ratio was last at 1.0002.
Platinum for April was little-changed at $1,696.20 an ounce. The price has gained 21 percent this year and has tied with silver as the best-performing precious metal.
Silver for May delivery was up 0.5 percent at $33.565 an ounce. Palladium for June delivery was down 0.5 percent at $700.70 an ounce.
Retail Sales in US Climb Most in Five Months
These Pundits are celebrating 5.00/gas. Long the goal of the Charlie Rose crime gang.
Americans heartened by an improving labor market boosted spending at stores and malls by the most in five months, adding to signs that the world’s largest economy is gaining strength.
The 1.1 percent advance followed a 0.6 percent increase in January that was larger than previously estimated, according to Commerce Department data issued today in Washington. Sales rose in 11 of 13 categories, including auto dealers and clothing stores, showing gains in demand were broad based.
States Continue to Cut
States are moving to cut jobs and other spending to close budget deficits, even though their protracted fiscal crisis is easing a bit in an improving economy.
State governments are confronting a combined $47 billion gap between projected revenue and costs for the fiscal year that starts in July, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. While that figure is high historically, it is less than half the budget shortfall that states confronted a year ago and down from $191 billion three years ago. For the coming year 29 states have projected deficits; that …
Yahoo- Lawyers Up-Sues Facebook over 10 Internet Patents
In Play- Canadian Gain Giant Viterra
(Reuters) – Only a handful of global commodity companies have deep enough pockets to win a bidding war for Canadian grain handler Viterra (VT.TO), which is a “very, very unique asset,” said Greg Pearlman, head of BMO Capital Markets food and consumer group on Monday.
Swiss mining and commodity company Glencore (GLEN.L), which is circling Viterra with a 3.5-billion-pound approach, has the means to win the company, along with U.S. agribusinesses Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N), Cargill CARG.UL and Bunge (BG.N), and others like Louis Dreyfus, Mitsui and Wilmar, Pearlman said at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago.
Carlyle Group Owners Float 400 Million in Debt To Pay themselves Ahead of IPO-Stiff Shareholders with servicing their debt
USA Files WTO Case Against China for Rare Earth Metals Hoarding
Solyandra Kills Green Loan/Obama Giveaways To Polticos
Trade Tensions With China Rise Again