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Stocks Slip For Second Straight Day on Obama Budget, $1 Trillion Tax Hike

US Session Key Developments

  • President Obama Offers $3.75 Trillion Budget; $1 Trillion Tax Hike
  • Durable Goods Orders Plummets More Than Forecast
  • Aflac, AIG Surge 17.69% and 13,04% on $316 Billion Medicare Cut

Stocks Slip For Second Day on Obama Budget, $1 Trillion Tax Hike

Wall Street was not happy today after President Obama unveiled a $3.75 trillion budget that would include $1 trillion in new taxes. Indeed, the new tax plan would lift Bush’s $338 billion tax cuts for the top two income tax brackets. As far as accounting standards are concerned, the Obama tax plan would also repeal the LIFO (last in-first out) tax rule in an effort to raise $61 billion. Macroeconomic data continued to paint a bleak picture of the economy. Durable Goods Orders fell by 5.2% in January after economists had anticipated the number to fall by only 2.3%. The previous month’s number was revised substantially downward, from -2.6% to -4.6%. When excluding transportation, December’s figure was revised downward from -3.6% to -5.5%. New Home Sales helped alleviate some of the pain. Despite falling by 10.2% from the previous month, December’s figure was actually revised substantially upward; it was revised from -14.7% to -9.5%. Overall most of the equity losses came from Health Care and Consumer Discretionary with the latter reacting to the Durable Goods news. Financials surprisingly swung upward for a second straight day. Some of the biggest movers in the sector were the insurers as Obama vowed to slash $316 billion from Medicare. With Medicare having less money to compete with its competitors in the private sector, it was likely seen that the insurers would pick up some of the market share that Medicare would lose. As such, Aflac and AIG surged 17.69% and 13.04%, respectively.

DJIA        7182.08      -88.81        -1.22%

The Dow started the day off in positive territory but then moved into the red half-way through the trading session. Health Care, a defensive sector, slipped by 3.97; making it the worst performer in the index. Financials actually rallied for a third straight day despite overall negative sentiment.

NASDAQ      1391.47      -33.96         -2.38%

The NASDAQ saw only the Energy and Financial sectors rally today, by 0.96% and 0.50%, respectively. Health Care tanked more than it did from within the Down, sinking more than 5.0%.

S&P500      752.8          -12.07        -1.58%

Financials in the S&P 500 were led by insurance giants. Aflac, AIG and Metlife, each gained 17.69%, 13.04%, and 8.80%. Volatility dipped just a tad, from 44.67 to 44.66.


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