Monday, March 1, 2010

Finanacial News Updates


· Financials: Group is the worst performer in the S&P500 today on little news, as the large cap banks give back the bulk of last week's outperformance versus the indices; insurance names outperform as an industry conference rolls on in Florida. Company-specific headlines will be minimal this week as the focus will be on the global picture with jobs data and continued headlines from Europe/Greece. Volumes are light this morning, with flows following. The lack of near-term catalysts and the recent trading range are providing little reason to trade this morning. Defensive trades are being made. We are seeing a continuation of Friday's flows, as long-only accounts rotate out of regional banks and into money centers, and HFs lay out shorts in regionals. In insurance, we're also seeing defensive stances being taken as institutions buy non-life and sell life names.

· Brokers – some softness in the electronic brokers (AMTD and SCHW are flattish on the day).

· Banks – weakness across the board in bank land – regionals are underperforming vs. the larger cap money centers. This space was one of the best performing groups last week and remains one of the best performing YTD, so could be just some profit taking. BXS is outperforming in regional bank land following an upgrade. BBT, KEY, RF, STI are all off ~1-2%+ on the day. disclosure I have a short position in (GS, STI, BAC, STT)

· Best Performing SP500 financials (from Bloomberg): AIG, CBG, ETFC, MCO, UNM, JNS, NYX, CB

· Weakest performing sp500 financials: SLM, BBT, RF, KEY, MI, ZION, CMA, STI, HCBK, PBCT

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