24 March, 2008

Markets continue Rally on Home Sales and Bear bid

US Markets continued their rally today as the market opened after the Easter Weekend.
On a weekend highlighted by an exciting opening 2 rounds of the NCAA College Basketball tournament it was Cinderella in the form of Bear Stearns (BSC) that provided the market's initial spark.

Due to the backlash over its steal of a bid for Bear last weekend, JP Morgan (JPM) agreed to raise its bid from $2/share to $10/share. This made Bear's stock double in value, setting the firm at over $1Billion in valuation. Clearly JP Morgan realize it couldn't get away with its initial valuation as the oncoming Bear shareholder displeasure and potential lawsuits started gaining momentum.

Housing Sales rose in February giving the market further hope that the Fed interest rate action of the past months was indeed creating a bottom in the credit/housing market and that the US economy could turn itself around. This positive outlook propelled stocks even higher leading the Dow up 1.5%, the Nasdaq 3% and the S&P 1.5%.

As the market was led by Technology stocks today, it's important to note a major announcement that wasn't built as such. Google (GOOG), having lost the 700MHz spectrum auction to Verizon obviously had other backdoor plans of its own. All the speculation pointed to Google bidding to lose the spectrum just to see the Open Access guidelines pass, came to a major head today. Google announced that it had sent a letter to the FCC outlining its plans for using the White Space (spectrum between the analog TV channels currently not used) for broadband Internet access. What a score this would be for Google, having the ability to use Android phones on Verizon's expensive 700MHz network due to Open Access policies and then turning around and asking the FCC to look into its own devices that would use the White Space between the spectrum of analog TV channels. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out but Investors were clearly pleased with Google approach sending shares up over 6% to $460/share.

Disclosure: Author owns Google.

No comments: