The main story of the day was the passage of the final Volcker
Rule in the morning by all five US regulators (the SEC, CFTC, FDIC,
Federal Reserve, and OCC). US investment banks such as
(MS) saw inflows as investors believed regulators' views on
risk-mitigating hedging activities may not lower this group's
Utility sector stocks were the worst performers today in the
(INDEXSP.INX) despite the third consecutive day of falling interest
rates. Utility companies have been reporting over the last week
that customers have been using a record amount of gas heating,
which has caused natural gas to surge 11.34% over the same time
frame. The top-performing sector was material stocks, thanks to the
largest one-day gain in the past seven months from gold.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell four basis points to 2.79%, after
peaking at 2.92% Friday afternoon. The Treasury sold $30 billion of
3-year notes at a high yield of 0.631%, in part due to abnormally
large demand from foreign buyers.
) continued its rally today and is now up 15.84% over the past two
days. There was unconfirmed "chatter" today that activist investor
Carl Icahn was taking a position in the stock, though that seems
unlikely given his reputation as a value investor.
The Senate will vote this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. EST to confirm the
nomination of Representative Mel Watt as head of the FHFA. Watt is
expected to push for principal modification on home loans and a
one-year extension of HARP benefits to distressed homebuyers.
Because the Senate altered its voting rules on filibusters after
the original nomination vote failed, Watt is expected to be
After the market close,
) announced a 10 for 1 stock split, a $3.5 billion stock buyback,
and an increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.10 (pre-split) from
$0.60. The stock was up an additional 2% in post-market trading
after climbing 0.67% in trading earlier today.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
The only economic data point from the US tomorrow will be the
October Treasury budget statement. Economists forecast the monthly
budget deficit will widen to $140 billion from $91.6 billion in the
month prior. The Treasury is scheduled to auction $21 billion in
The only notable global market-moving event will be the final
estimate of Germany's consumer price index from November. The
initial estimate showed that prices rose 1.3% from a year ago
during the month.
Notable earnings reports for tomorrow will be