The Opening Bell

The big news today will come from the Federal Reserve. Later today, the Fed will disclose how it conducted its infamous “stress test” for 19 leading banks. Since this is the Fed we’re talking about, the disclosure will only be in general terms and it will lack specifics. The government won’t publicly reveal how the tests went until May 4. Even if the banks pass, many are still far from healthy and I’m sure a few will be back asking for more taxpayer money.

The Commerce Department reported this morning that orders for durables good fell less than expected last month. Wall Street was expecting a drop of 1.5% but durable goods order fell by just 0.8%. Even though this was better than expected, I suspect that it’s going to get ugly in the upcoming months due to the GM plant shutdown this summer. A positive GDP quarter may now be postponed until the fourth quarter.

In auto news, Ford (F) reported a loss of $1.4 billion. The company is the only carmaker that’s not being kept alive thanks to the government. Ford says that it has a cash reserve of over $21 billion, and it burned through $3.7 billion last quarter. I currently rate Ford a “B – Buy.”

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