Monday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories That Moved Markets

The U.S. equity markets managed to overcome early losses on Monday and closed the day with solid gains across the board. Investors seemed keen to forget Friday’s disappointing jobs report and focus on earnings season, which kicked off today with Alcoa (NYSE:AA).

DJIA: +0.33% to 14,613.50 S&P 500: +0.63% to 1,563.07 NASDAQ: +0.57% to 3,222.25
Gold: -$3.40 to $1,572.50 per ounce WTI Crude: +0.90% to $93.53 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.029 points to 1.743%
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Here are three stories that helped move markets on Monday afternoon:

1) Is This Obama Budget Proposal Dead On Arrival? More than three months into 2013 — after having survived the fiscal cliff and sequester crises, at least temporarily — the United States budget is still held captive by the unwavering and opposing positions held by congressional Republicans and Democrats. President Obama, who has made overtures to the opposition party numerous times, has placed yet another offer on the table, which is expected to meet widespread criticism from both sides as have many of his other suggestions.

The Obama budget will be unveiled on Wednesday, but already, some details have emerged. In keeping with a key platform of the Democratic party, the president has outlined a new solution to raise tax revenue… (Read more.)

2) Are Investors Running to the Hills with Jim Rogers? After starting the year with a record-breaking quarter, stocks finally appear to be taking a much-needed breather. While the market is certainly due for a pullback, at least one legendary investor believes investors should run for the hills.

With the Federal Reserve juicing markets higher amid historic amounts of liquidity, the new year brought renewed hope of an economic recovery. House prices are up double digits from year-ago levels, and unemployment rates continue to decline. However, recent reports are reminding Mr. Market that the fundamentals are still sluggish at best… (Read more.)

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3) Investors seem to be reacting favorably to Japan’s aggressive new monetary strategy, which was announced last Thursday and will begin taking effect immediately. This initiative, championed by BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, shares a lot in common with the highly-accommodating monetary policy seen in the U.S. However, where the Federal Reserve is throwing $85 billion at the yield curve every month, or about 0.6 percent of GDP, the BoJ will be spending 7.5 trillion yen ($80 billion per month), or almost 1.4 percent of GDP. Purchases will be made in six installments a month.

Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.8 percent on Monday, hitting a five-year high of 13,192.60. The yen fell to trade at 99.3650 to the dollar.

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