Stocks traded in mixed fashion as the Dow opened higher then went negative but closed with a 14 point gain to 21,409. Trading volume was higher and bank stocks moved up while tech related shares posted losses.
Things over in Europe, while mixed, are showing some positive signs. German business confidence hit highs not seen since 1991 and the Italian gubment appears to have come up with a $17 billion bank bailout plan that will merge failing banks with healthier ones plus set up a recapitalization fund to get them past the current rough patch. This will help save small businesses in the old country because they tend to own bonds in the banks they deal with and by saving the banks you help bondholders (small businesses) which helps the economy.
Facebook today announced it was talking to Hollywood about starting up a movie production platform. This entrance into the movie/entertainment business follows Amazon and Netflix. These forces are creating entertainment opportunity on the one hand and a headache for Comcast and Disney on the other hand as competition for stories and talent heats up.
Bank stock analyst Fred “Boom Boom” Cannon of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods thinks that later this week when the stress test capital payout plans are approved by the Fed, 11 banks could return 100% of profits in the form of dividends and stock buybacks. KBW says excess reserves at the Fed is now $2.11 trillion which is about $2 trillion more than required and the recent strong results from earnings and the stress test will be justification for banks being allowed to reward shareholders.