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Response to the Stimulus

John on February 17, 2009 at 11:00 am

The market response to this momentous spending isn’t all Obama might have hoped:

All financial markets were closed Monday for Presidents Day. But the holiday failed to do Wall Street any good, with stocks slumping from the get-go Tuesday.

The Dow fell to within one point of its bear market closing low from last November, before lifting a bit. The S&P 500 also touched its lowest point since Nov. 20, before edging off that low. The Nasdaq composite has been outperforming the broader market this year, and remained above its bear market lows.

Investors are trying to assess whether the government’s many programs to slow the pace of the recession are going to have the kind of impact that has been anticipated.

“I think people are pretty skeptical of Congress,” said John Wilson, chief technical strategist at Morgan Keegan.

“There’s a real worry that the stimulus plan doesn’t attack the right problems,” Wilson said. “And you’re seeing a follow through on the lack of details out of Geithner.”

Nevertheless, he’ll sign it into law today in a “curious” location:

[T]he precise setting — the Denver Museum of Nature and Science — is curious.

Ostensibly, it is to highlight the potential of “green energy” jobs. Just before signing the bill, Obama will tour the array of 465 solar panels that the museum uses to generate part of its power.

But could it also be something of an in-your-face move to opponents of funding for the arts?

The stimulus bill includes $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, but it didn’t come without a huge fight. Not only was not in the version originally passed by the Senate, but the Senate even passed an amendment that banned stimulus cash going to museums, arts centers, and theaters.

In other words, even while the market tanks over his plan, Obama still found a way to give Republicans the finger. So, you know, he’s a uniter…unlike that last guy.

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Category: Politics |

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