For those familiar with Alcoa for a while know that the only bellwether status it has is that of serial disappointer (is that a word?) when it comes to earnings and therefore last night’s report should in no way be used as a harbinger of what is to come in the weeks ahead when we are flooded with earnings reports. With that said, its revenue miss and equity weakness is leading to lower market indices around the globe. With the EC/IMF official seal of approval stamped on the forehead of Greece, Greek sold 300mm euros more of 26 and 52 week paper than expected with strong bid to covers but look at the yields, 4.55% for 26 weeks vs 1.38% in the Jan auction and 4.85% for 52 weeks vs 2.2% back in Jan. The Mar NFIB small business optimism index fell to 86.8, the lowest since July ’09 and is down from 88 in Feb, highlighting the clear unfortunate difference with the positive outlook from big business as seen in the last ISM indexes. The two key components, Plan to Hire and Increased Capital Spending, both fell.
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