Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buyers Strike - [Financials Selling Pressure $AIG $LNC $PRU $MET

  • FINANCIALS: Group is trading off hard amidst the GS hearing, Portugal/Greece ratings downgrades, financial CDS widening and a technical breakdown through 1200/1196/1194 support in the S&P500. Flows are heavily skewed to the sell-side, as both HFs and vanillas unload inventory across financials (but especially in money center banks). We're also seeing a buyers strike, and that is contributing just as much to the weakness as the selling pressure. We're not seeing shorts being laid out on today's move (all stock is long stock). Only a small amount of covering is being seen. Insurance names are notably weak ahead of a full calendar of earnings over the next week (concentrated with life insurers). The focus of the market will be there, but even moreso on financial reform and European sovereign debt.
  • Brokers – GS hanging in well, flattish now but was higher earlier on; some buyers stepping in on the weakness; however, the ongoing hearings making for some neg. headline risk. LAZ shares are up 1.4% after earnings. TWPG continues to move higher post its recent deal announcement.
  • Asset managers – earnings season for this group continues to disappoint. WDR is the latest – that stock is off 5% today. Follows BLK (which is off another 1.5%) and JNS, TROW, and FII from last week. The whole group is in the red today.
  • Exchanges – CME and ICE are both off 2.5% and giving back some of their recent strong gains; the failure of last night’s Senate vote prompting some profit taking.
  • Life insurers – RGA shares fall ~5.5% after earnings. AMP is down 4.5% – both had earnings out that disappointed. The rest of the group coming for sale – PL, HIG, PFG, PNX, MET, LNC all off several %.
  • MI/financial guarantor stocks are getting hit today – AIG off 9% after being downgraded at Keefe Bruyette; MTG, PMI, GNW, MBI, RDN are all off on the day.
  • CIT – making small fractional gains after earnings.
  • Weakest sp500 financials: AIG, GNW, MI, LNC, AMP, C, MCO, PRU, MET (these insurance names should be paid particular attention to with Greece default looking more likely)

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