I was hoping for a pullback below $100 and we got it.
Bernanke told Congress that he believes the economy could stagnate, or even contract, in 1H08.
"It now appears likely that real gross domestic product (GDP) will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly," Bernanke said.
Bernanke sees several negative trends in the economy. Demand for workers has begun to decrease in industries not related to housing, while real disposable income growth has slowed to a 1% annual rate, from 3% over the first three quarters of 2007.
Meanwhile, the effects of the credit crunch have spread to the municipal bond and student loan markets, as well as mortgage-backed securities issued by the government. Yields and spreads on corporate bonds rose until mid-March. These negative trends in the financial markets have slowed real economic activity.
Did you catch the Wall Street Journal? Here is a summary...
Bullish on bank stocks? Watch those balance sheets-WSJ The news for financial stocks lately has been nothing but positive. But the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" says that a number of those institution's balance sheets are loaded with bad loan costs and questions if write-downs from assets have been adequately marked down. "You get these bear market rallies, and they can be pretty sharp," says Sean Ryan with Sterne Agee. "This triumph of hope over experience occurs every few weeks -- and then there's another leg down for financials." Up next: Reporting of first quarter results this month. Particularly of concern, analysts say, are Citigroup (C) and Merrill Lynch (MER), which possibly could report write-downs in the first quarter that are worse than expected.