What We’re Reading

by CC May 20, 2011 9:19 am • Commentary

S&P Futures: 1339.7  -2.00



Several key economic reports released Thursday showed more weakness in US growth, disappointing investors and cutting into stock gains.

Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region grew much more slowly than expected in May, a survey by the Philadephia Fed showed Thursday.

Meanwhile, a gauge of future U.S. economic activity dropped for the first time in nearly a year in April, the Conference Board said.

Other reports showed an unexpected decline in existing home sales for April, while jobless claims fell but showed the trend in employment remains weak.


Gold may gain in New York as speculation the Federal Reserve won’t start tightening monetary policy soon spurs demand for the metal.

Fed Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans yesterday said improvements in the economy, labor market and the outlook for inflation aren’t sufficient for the central bank to begin reducing its record monetary stimulus. Gold pared some of its gains after the dollar climbed against six major currencies. Gold typically moves counter to the greenback, which earlier today fell to a one-week low.


Clothing maker and retailer Gap saw its shares plunge 13 percent as it slashed its full-year profit outlook on Thursday, saying that its price increases will not be enough to keep up with rising cotton and production costs.

Gap [GPS  23.29        ], which operates the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, said product costs should rise about 20 percent later this year and “more than outweigh retail price increases.”


The fact that people in Spain are chanting about wanting to be more like Iceland emphasizes something profound that’s happening all around the world.

At all levels, people are talking about now wanting to pay their debts. People want bondholders haircutted in Ireland, the Greeks want to screw the banks, and yes… even in the United States of America, where debt costs are anything but onerous, there are politicians who think that a default and a crisis would be a good thing for the country.


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