- Stocks touched new lows on Monday, but put their rally hats on to end the session with just a modest selloff. Considering the backdrop to the opening bell was a whopping 6% drop in Japanese stocks amid a still-unfolding story at a nuclear power plant there, the performance by U.S. stocks could certainly be seen as a good sign. While oil prices were still part of investors’ concerns, the price of crude stayed relatively flat, as issues in the Middle East shared the spotlight, at the very least, with what is expected to be lower energy demand in Japan in the near term. The equity “losers” on Monday were where you’d expect them: utilities bombed as a whole and nuclear power plant supplier General Electric (NYSE:GE) was a drag on the Dow. Solar, wind — and even coal — providers caught bids on expectations that the nuclear power ramp up could be on hold for a while. Bonds gained, pushing the 10-year note’s yield to six week lows.
- After the closing bell, Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) shares slipped nearly 2% in after-hours trading following the chipmaker’s announcement that its manufacturing site in Miho, Japan suffered substantial damage in last week’s earthquake. The company doesn’t expect to reach full shipment capacity until September, and did forecast some lost revenue for the first quarter and more lost revenue for the second quarter. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares added 0.8% after the company said it would boost its quarterly dividend to 12 cents from 8 cents.
- On Tuesday, the economic data flow includes the February report on import/export prices, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for March, and homebuilder sentiment for March.
OUT THERE SOMEWHERE:
- Felix Salmon on why donations to Japan may not be so helpful.
- That debit-card fee thing? Not really a consumer issue.
- TSA re-testing all those big-time scanners.
- Banks taking a hard line in mortgage modifications.
- A look at Japan’s recovery costs. Not good.
- Buffett picked up another one.
- Trying to figure out what top emerging-markets ETFs hold.
- Herb Greenberg on when to ignore the shorts.
- How to spot a hedge fund you should avoid.