In Between Days

by CC January 18, 2012 12:01 am • Commentary


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.5%, to 12482 on Tuesday, closing at its highest level since July 26. Perhaps more interesting is the blue-chip index has now risen 265 points, or 2.2%, during its first 10 trading days of 2012.

This marks the best 10-day jump to start a year since 2003, when it jumped 4.6%, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

S&P 500 is up 2.9% to start 2012, also its best beginning of a year since 2003.

While the Santa Claus rally has been extended for a few weeks, we’ve noted that the gains have come amid thin trading, suggesting not a lot of conviction behind the recent move.

Our colleague Jacob Bunge quantifies how slow the market has truly been:

January is shaping up to be slowest month for US stock exchanges since, well, December, which ranked as the quietest month for buying and selling US equities in four years. Raymond James Financial estimates an average 6.7 billion shares traded per day so far this month, sapping exchanges’ hopes for a post-holiday rebound in trading activity after investors managed a paltry 6.4 billion shares per day last month. “It appears investors and traders are in wait-and-see mode regarding the current market environment,” firm tells clients in research note.


Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang resigned from the struggling Internet company on Tuesday.

Yang, who started Yahoo in 1995 and and held the title “chief Yahoo,” is leaving the company’s board of directors as well as all other positions within the company effective immediately, Yahoo said.

“The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo,” Yang said in a statement.

The move comes two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson to serve as its new CEO. In his resignation letter, Yang expressed support for Thompson and the leadership team at Yahoo.

Yang also served on the boards of Yahoo Japan and Alibaba.

Although a popular figure among Yahoo employees, Yang had alienated the company’s shareholders by turning down a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft in 2008.


The big deadline in Greece is March 20 — that’s when the country has a €14.4 billion bond maturing that it can’t afford to repay. So Greece and its creditors are playing chicken with each other right now. Both want to do a deal, which would involve a cash payment of about 15 cents on the euro being paid out by a rescue committee comprising the EU, the IMF, and the ECB. Existing bondholders would get shepherded into new debt which would be worth less than the old debt but at least would remain current, while Greece would avoid the parade of horribles associated with a “hard default”, with its banks retaining access to funding from the international community in general and the ECB in particular.

The logical outcome, then, is that a deal gets done — probably along the lines that Marathon Asset Management CEO Bruce Richards sketched out to Peter Coy today. Richards’s math is a bit hard to follow:

The new bonds will probably pay annual interest of 4 percent to 5 percent and have a maturity of 20 years to 30 years, Richards said. They may trade for about half of their face value, he predicted. Altogether, the net present value of the deal for the bondholders will be about 32 cents on the euro, he estimated.

Tomorrow’s Tape- WSJ

Economics, FedSpeak and Euro Zone Follies:

  • 5:15 a.m. ET: Germany sells some notes.
  • 5:30 a.m.: Portugal sells some bills.
  • 8:30 a.m.: PPI report for December. Economists think PPI rose 0.1% after gaining 0.3% in November. Core PPI, excluding food and energy, is expected to be up 0.1%, matching November’s gain.
  • 9:00 a.m.: Treasury International Capital data for November.
  • 9:15 a.m.: Industrial production and capacity utilization for December. Economists think production rose 0.5% after falling 0.2% in November. They think capacity utilization rose to 78.1% from 77.8% in November.
  • 1:00 p.m.: NAHB housing market index for January.



Before the bell we get results from:

  • Bank of New York Mellon
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Northern Trust
  • Charles Schwab
  • US Bancorp
  • PNC Financial
  • State Street
  • Fastenal

After the bell we get results from:

  • eBay
  • Xilinx
  • F5 Networks
  • SLM