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Morning Outlook

Dow Looks to Stretch Streak to Seven

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Can the Dow bring its winning streak into day seven?

Possibly -- Dow futures are up about 25 points Thursday morning -- but as Kenneth Polcari, ICAP managing director, says, “traders are all of a sudden growing a bit nervous.”

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Nervous about what? The recent string of improving economic data suggest the Federal Reserve is not likely to provide further stimulus to the economy.

Polcari notes that can be good for the dollar and bad for commodities.

The Fed has to hope that if they pull back – and the dollar rallies – then commodities (read: gas) should also decline in price – helping the consumer and the economy.”

Yet there’s also a seasonality to the markets.  “It typically tops out in April, then gets beaten up a bit from May to September.”

So stocks are probably ripe for a pullback. Let’s hope everyone doesn’t run for the exit door at the same time.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) shares were down 3.4% yesterday, wiping more than $2 billion off the bank’s market value.  A 12-year veteran with the company, working in the London office, resigned in a scathing opinion piece in the New York Times.  Greg Smith’s public resignation letter -- aptly titled  "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs" -- called Goldman’s culture and management “toxic and destructive.”

Smith said the company repeatedly put profits over clients, writing that a “decline in the firm’s moral fiber is the single most serious threat to its long-term survival.”

Goldman management responded to the accusations, saying they disagree with the views expressed and stressed, “we will only be successful if our clients are successful.”

But more than three years after the financial crisis hit, some lawmakers are concerned that nothing has changed at all. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) reacted to the story, saying Goldman Sachs got $10 billion in taxpayer bailout money “and paid the largest SEC settlement in history for misleading its investors…  Putting its short-term corporate profits before the interests of its own investors and clients is exactly what helped cause the economic collapse and what continues to corrode Wall Street.”

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