Stock Rise A Fraction, Bonds Fall A Fraction – Europe Dominates Markets

Yesterday, the story was about Greece potentially not being able to get its act together. The Greek citizens don’t want the painful economic reforms that the the major powers in Europe are making a pre-condition for receiving a bailout. However, they don’t want to leave the euro zone either. Today, the story was that Greece was going to sign onto the necessary reforms. The details are irrelevant. However, the story is really not about Greece. Its about Europe. Will there be a European financial crisis and will that crisis impact the United States? This story is far from over and the market will move up and down with each bit of news out of Europe.

In broad strokes, any good news from Europe is good for US stocks and bad for US Treasury prices.

All three major US stock indexes finished the day a little higher, turning in gains of 0.26% or less.   The bond market as represented by the two most widely held bond ETFs, closed slightly lower, less than 0.13% up.

The S&P 500 (ETF: SPY) closed 3 points higher than yesterday at 1,347.05, up 0.2%.  The bond market was almost flat as iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) finished 11 cents down at  $110.53, 0.10% lower than the previous day. (note as bond prices fall, yields increase).

The Dow Jones industrial Average (ETF: DIA) rose 33 points closing at 12,878, up  0.26%. In terms of individual Stocks, shares of Sears (SHLD), the big box retailer of everything from microwaves to quilts rose 6% on rumors that the company was up for sale. The company has been  suffering for the last few years under the leaderships of hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, who has proven that investors don’t make great managers.

British Petroleum (BP) shares fell as the market re-assessed how much the oil spill in the Gulf will end up costing the company. Yum Brands (YUM), the owners of Dunkin Donuts and KFC beet earning expectation on the back of strong sales in China.

In terms of the treasury bond market, the iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) fell 1.24%  to $116.27 giving back all of Friday’s gains. Junk bonds  rose slightly as represent by the  iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (HYG) ending higher 18 cents at $90.92. Are people starting to reverse their “flight to safety” trade and sell-off treasuries?

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