Market Wrap-Up for Mar.27 (JPM, IR, MON, UNH, HUM, more)

As market volume continues to dip into the final trading day of the week tomorrow (markets will be closed for Good Friday ahead of Easter weekend), we have been looking for anecdotes that could be moving the averages.

With the banks in Cyprus set to reopen tomorrow, overseas investors are certainly expressing concerns on what could happen with depositors anxiously awaiting their first chance to get to their bank assets. The banks in Cyprus have been closed for well over a week now, so imagine how those folks must feel. That caution is weighing on the averages here in the U.S. so far today.

Looking at individual stock movers, we had some green on the screen however, with stocks like Humana (HUM), UnitedHealth Care (UNH), and Monsanto (MON) moving up. JP Morgan (JPM) shares were down as investigators look into the role the bank may have played in not bringing potential fraud to light in regards to the Bernie Madoff scandal. Ingersoll-Rand (IR) is also down following some cautious comments from a Wall Street analyst.

Not Exactly the Healthy Market Signals the Federal Reserve Wants to See

There has been plenty of economic data tied to the real estate markets out this week, and with that we are hearing plenty of not-so-welcoming news to how real estate prices are moving. Real estate data firm Redfin just put out a list identifying housing markets where homes are selling in under 24 hours. Reports of buying frenzies and multiple bids going above asking price are said to be numerous in parts of California, Texas, and Arizona.

With this sort of buying process, one could easily bet the majority of the buyers will be either investors or those hoping to flip properties as fast as they can win the bids on them. In the end, these kinds of actions are not at all indicative of a healthy market. But with the lure of low interest rates and the Federal Reserve pumping the liquidity hose, risk-taking is front and center for anyone that has built up the capital necessary to play the game of real estate “musical chairs.”

While no one can control how quickly prices can move, and although we are happy to see real estate prices rise in some areas of the country, the big concern is how quickly previous lessons may have already been forgotten. With so much government intervention aimed at preventing a cleansing and needed recession, the market is vulnerable to a series of unstoppable rolling bubbles, as we are once again finding out.

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Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!

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