The markets were not able to gain much traction yesterday as the major indexes meandered without much conviction and ended up closing around the unchanged line.
Investors were still trying to digest Fed chairman Bernanke’s relatively gloomy outlook, which he presented on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Just the fact that he sees unemployment hovering near record levels for some four to five years took the starch out of any upward momentum.
Additionally, he is entertaining the possibility of more quantitative easing depending on the economy’s reaction to the current efforts. All in all, it represented a pretty somber view as the economy struggles to rebound.
Gold again was the beneficiary of this uncertainty, and promptly hit a new high in the most actively tradedFebruary futures contract. Commodity prices rose as did energy and material stocks.
Eurozone worries remained on the front page news menu as the EU ministers were meeting to decide whether the current rescue package will be sufficient in size. As a result, the Euro slipped and the dollar gained, which may have played a part in keeping a lid on equity prices.