It’s getting a bit scary out there.
Chose One From Column A: (a) Ooops, I hit the wrong key. (b) Computer trades of the nano second kind. ( c) A run on European banks. (d) Cyberterrorism or a hacker attack. Or (e) Actual panic selling? Anything but (e) makes you wonder how smart it is to let Wall Street play with all the marbles without grownup supervision.
Comparative Anatomy: Compared to the Dow, the unemployment numbers were boring, with unemployment claims dipping 7,000 week/week to 444,000 and a modest 4,750 decrease in the 4-week moving average to 458,500.
Re-Tale: After Easter drove March same-store retail sales to a 9.1% y/y increase, April stumbled in with an unfashionable 0.5% rise.
Scoop? A Charlie Gasparino story on Fox claimed that Goldman Sachs was willing to pay up to $5 billion to get the SEC to go away.
Dilemma: If Europe's leaders must choose between chaotic collapse or an unsavory financial rescue, in the end they'll go for the bailouts even if their citizenry is outraged. Just like here.
Happy Days: The alleged recovery has improved housing so much that Freddie Mac lost only $6.7 billion in the first quarter and will tap the Treasury for only another $10.6 billion to keep up the good work.
Registry: Just in time for the June weddings, the CIA has received White House approval to step up Predator drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions. RSVP.
If But Then Else: A lot of the better living things we've gotten through chemistry are killing us. The legal presumption is that whatever a business wants to do is perfectly fine until someone can prove otherwise through several layers of regulatory hearings and appellate review. A careful review suggests that some of that health nut stuff might be right after all.
Do-Over: The Nasdaq OMX Group will cancel stock trades that were made at more than +/- 60% of their price just before the bottom fell out. Wouldn’t want Goldman Sachs computerized wizardly to take a loss, would we?