Thursday, March 18, 2010

Market Commentary By Art Cashin March 18, 2010 $EWG $SPY

Cashin’s Comments
On this day (+1) in 1831, Saturday strollers failed to notice two men who stood quietly on the steps of the National City Bank main office on Wall Street. But in the drizzling rain who would have noticed. The building (which is still standing) was originally the "Merchants Exchange" and dominated Wall Street with its grand classical columns like something out of ancient Rome.

So, even though these two men may have looked like Cassius and Casca (without the togas) they did seem to blend in. While they didn't have the keys to the city, these two did have the keys to the bank. And they used them. They used them to withdraw over $245,000 from the bank without benefit of teller (or even an ATM).
Thus, an Englishman named Edward Smith, alias Edgar Jones, alias James Smith, alias Jay Honeywell performed the first bank robbery in U.S. history. While his associate was never found, Smith was caught, indicted and sentenced by the General Sessions Court to five years of hard labor at in the Federal prison. (Even though over $190,000 of the loot was recovered.)

To celebrate remind our elected leaders to avoid off balance sheet approaches to deficit control. And remind your representatives of Willie Sutton's reply when asked why he robbed banks "Because that's where the money is." Of course, that was in the old days. Traders didn't have to wonder where the money was on St. Patrick’s day. There was plenty of green floating around but the operative word was “floating”.

Stocks Ride The “Kiddie” Rollercoaster – Stocks oscillated in plus territory Wednesday. The movement was a bit uneven, but it was in smaller undulating moves, more like a kiddie rollercoaster than the Giant Cyclone. From the opening bell, stocks ambled higher along with oil, gold and many commodities. Again, there was a tailwind from currencies, but it was more like a gently breeze than a gale.

In early afternoon, the dollar index (DXY) began moving lower. Stocks responded by extending their rally moving toward the day’s highs around 2:00. Then the DXY reversed to the upside. In the stock market, the reaction looked like letting air out of the balloon. The Dow went from a plus 82 around 2:15 to plus 23 an hour later. When they held in plus territory, some bidders returned and the Dow was able to recoup some of the losses, floating back to close up almost 47 points.
That gave the Dow its seventh straight closing gain. It also took the Dow above the old high (and resistance) at 10,725. That tended to confirm the earlier higher high in the Transports.

The new highs in the averages brought no fireworks. Volume increased only slightly. There was no rush of short covering. Another yawn in the face of success.

March 18, 2010 Market Commentary By Art Cashin

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