Tuesday, March 2, 2010

01/03: Markets continue advance, spurred by M&A

Equity markets advanced on solid footing yesterday, with the broad-based S&P500 ahead 1.0 percent, or 11 points, to 1116. The index's close was its highest since mid-January, and its intra-day high -- also 1116 -- surpassed the mid-February intra-day highs on about 1113. Markets seem firmly en-route to, at least, a re-test of the mid-January high of 1150.

Leading equities onward was an announcement of a significant deal in the insurance industry: British insurer Prudential announced a purchase of AIG's Asian business in a deal worth $35.5bn.

Airlines continued their rip to higher ground, with many issues notching fresh 52-week highs. UAUA popped as high as 18.49, settling up 5.1 percent at 18.03 on heavy (but not quite capitulation) volume. LCC continued its month-long sprint, advancing 5.0 percent to 7.69; it began February around $5.50.

Gold is maintaining a more bullish hue, with price action hugging key resistance from the 1-month chart around $1125; this follows a bounce in the middle of last week from a key sloping support level (around $1090). Possibly expect an explosive advance if $1130 is breached. Longer-term outlook for the yellow metal is also favourable, assuming the USD begins to weaken anew, which it most certainly would should the Greek debt situation be expeditiously resolved.

Good luck, traders. And be careful in shorting those pesky airline shares.

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