Stocks sold off by 1.2% on the day as investors were surprised by a negative statement on the UK banking system, a negative jobs figure this morning and continuing concerns over Greece. Breadth was very negative at almost 4:1 and volume was again very heavy on the day. The trend of conviction selling on down days and light volume on up days is an alarming trend and reason to remain cautious. The Bernanke reconfirmation vote cleared up a bit of the uncertainty, but Greek debt issues, Chinese liquidity concerns and Obama’s regulatory plan are likely to create continued risk aversion.
From Daily Futures:
The U.S. Labor Department said that jobless claims were down 8,000 last week to 470,000, more than expected.
The U.S. Census Bureau said that durable goods orders were up .3% in December, less than expected.
Ford said that it earned $2.7 billion in 2009, the first annual profit since 2005.
Grains and Cotton
The USDA said that, as of last week, 2009-2010 export of:
Corn slipped from up 5% to up 4% from a year ago.
Soybeans improved from up 42% to up 43% from a year ago.
Wheat improved from down 28% to down 27% from a year ago.
Cotton improved from down 34% to down 33% from a year ago.
Net sales of cotton totaled 487,000 bales last week, more than usual.
The USDA said that net sales of beef totaled 13,700 tons last week, up from 9,800 tons the previous week.
Statistics Canada said that pork inventories were down 12% on January 1st from a year ago. Beef inventories were up 10% from a year ago.
Germany’s Labor Office said that the unemployment rate increased from 8.1% to 8.2% in January with 3.43 million out of work.