Thursday, March 25, 2010

Market Commentary By Art Cashin March 25, 2010 $SPY

Cashin’s Comments
On this day in 1911, it was a Saturday in New York. At a building downtown a group of immigrant girls were busy at work at their sewing machines. There were no clocks in the room - "clock watching" slowed production. But whisper of mouth said it was just a half hour to closing and, thus, the weekend.....(Sunday was a day off, after all). Suddenly at the end of the room, a spark ignited the stacks of fabric and boxes. In an instant the clutter was an inferno. Nearly 800 people were in the building, and, amid screams and scrambling, they clawed, crawled and climbed down toward safety.
Under the weight of scores of people, the fire escape collapsed. Unfortunately, 147 of the young ladies who worked for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company died in the blaze.

The whole thing was over in less than a half hour - but the impact of the event would influence decades. Although the proprietors would be found "not guilty of negligence" the case became a national scandal. It led to a major change in the New York City building code - and became a shibboleth for socialist organizers - and allowed the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to blossom. It also led to new safety and building codes steered into law by a young legislator named Alfred E. Smith.

There was no fire on Wall Street yesterday. In fact, it was lethargy and apathy rather than tragedy that traders had to contend with.
Stocks Slip On Greece – The troika (stocks, oil and gold) all dipped lower as the dollar (DXY) rallies. Financial pundits and commentators struggled to fill up the allotted time by citing this or that for the movement in stocks. Unfortunately, the action could be summed up with a Carville-like comment – “It’s the dollar, dopey!” Away from the greenback’s dominance, Wednesday’s action may have been notable for the reserved response of equities to the buck. The Dow and the S&P each dipped about 0.5%. The rest of the troika was significantly weaker. Oil fell over three times more (-1.75%) as did gold (-1.4%). So, stock bulls should take heart that even on a currency dominated day, they held their own. Unfortunately, the selloff came on an increase in volume, making it the second “distribution day” in the last four sessions. That may bear watching. Ouch! That Sounds Familiar – The Zero Hedge blog has had some nifty stuff in recent days. A friend passed along a citation they made of a quote from Kindleberger’s “The World in Depression”. For a considerable time there was no understanding of what had happened. Then it became clear. The spurt in activity from October 1936 had been dominated by inventory accumulation. This was especially the case in automobiles, where because of fear of strikes, supplies of new cars had been built up. It was the same in steel and textiles - two other industries


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