- Fed’s latest move to boost discount rate prompts thoughts that central bank’s ready to tighten. “Let’s hope that this is wrong,” Paul Krugman says, noting Fed waited almost three years to tighten after 2001 recession. “Assuming that the recession technically ended in June 2009, comparable behavior now would say no rate rise – and no tightening through other measures, such as shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet – for at least another two years.”
- Consumer staples and discretionary are only two overbought sectors in S&P 500, while telecom remains the lone oversold sector, according to Bespoke Investment Group. “These levels are in stark contrast to where we were at the start of last week,” when seven out of ten sectors were trading in oversold territory, firm says.
- Insider selling hit a fresh 2010 high last week, while buying also rose but remains near historically low levels, according to Pragmatic Capitalist. “Insider buying has been unusually low throughout the rally
as economic fundamentals remain questionable. Recent signs of recovery have done little to encourage insiders to invest their personal dollars in their own companies.”
- Volcker Rule endorsements keep increasing. “The writing is on the wall for all to see – the major ‘systemic’ banks will ultimately lose their vast prop trading operations,” Josh Brown notes. “The new question becomes, where will all of those exciting and typically profitable trading operations wind up?”
- Regulators and the media focusing on the crisis seem to think regulating derivatives is the best way to prevent a future crisis. But derivatives are only part of the problem, Roger Ehrenberg says. “The issue isn’t derivatives; it’s all financial transactions whose objective is to deceive or to weaken financial transparency.”
- There’s much more than commercial real estate to worry about. “Perhaps the economic miracle fairy casts her wand and cures all these system risks,” Michael Shedlock says. “But I would not bet on it.”
- Hype surrounding Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and the notion it will somehow become traditional media’s savior is getting tiresome, Kara Swisher writes. “Like Goldilocks, that’s just a fairy tale until the iPad is actually out in the wild and subject to consumer use when it begins to be rolled out in late March,” she says.
- Apple’s removed more than 3% of the apps in its App Store since last week, when it began enforcing a stricter policy about risque offerings. The purge continues to anger developers, who take issue with AAPL’s view of what is overtly sexual content.
- Obama proposes nearly $1 trillion, 10-year health-care plan that would allow US to deny or roll back insurance-premium increases and delay a tax on high-end plans until 2018.