Markets Dive Again, Financial Reform Bill Passes

Thursday, May 20, 2010

As they say, "stocks go up on an escalator and down on an elevator". The Dow dived 376 points today (-3.60%) entering the first official correction (greater than 10% decline) in the entire rally since the March 2009 bottom. Today's closing price puts the S&P 500 12.1% off highs but still 13.5 handles off the "flash crash" intraday lows.

The euro finally found some friends today bouncing today from a deeply oversold condition. After hitting lows of $1.2143 yesterday the currency recouped the psychological $1.25 level hitting highs of $1.2597 before leveling off later this evening.

The US Senate passed the financial reform bill today. The far-reaching bill is a broad expansion of government regulation and oversight of financial firms and markets. Now begins the reconciliation process between the House and Senate versions of the reform bill. All I have to say is it's about time. It's been a year and half since we witnessed the incredible crash of 2008 and Congress has yet to enact any meaningful reform. While the bill goes quite a bit further than I would have liked, I see the need for basic leverage limits and greater transparency in derivatives trading. I would have liked to see the Volcker Rule as part of the legislation but it looks to have been killed in the debate.

Any soccer fans out there? The 2010 FIFA World Cup starts June 11th, only a few weeks away! Nike released an absolutely brilliant commercial that will get even the most ambivalent fan excited for the upcoming games. The first game for the United States is against our arch-rival, England, on June 12th. Let's kick some British ass!

Correction: The Volcker Rule did make it through. Check out the New York Times for a comprehensive chart of the reform bill.
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