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Stocks Log 3-Day Rally in Choppy Session

August 30, 2011

On the economic front, consumer confidence plunged to in July to its lowest level since Apr. 2009. “Headline risk is still the biggest risk we have now,” said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. “All the economic numbers this week should confirm the economy is either slowing or at a standstill…everyone’s still looking ahead to the big jobs number on Friday.”

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Stocks Snap 3-Day Rally Ahead of Fed Speech

August 25, 2011

BBank of America soared almost 10 percent after Berkshire Hathaway said it will invest $5 billion in the bank. “There are two sides to this story—Despite BofA’s protest that they don’t need capital, they’re taking $5 billion in capital,” explained Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. “And they’re also getting the seal of approval from Warren Buffett…but in the end, the stamp of approval isn’t cheap and you know [Buffett] will benefit from it.” Battle said Buffett’s move is a net positive for Bank of America and also implies a bottom for financials.

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Dow, S&P Finish Near Flat, NASDAQ Slides

August 17, 2011

Despite the day's anemic movement, all three major indexes are poised for their best week in almost a month. “There’s no news today,” said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. “It’s been a headline driven market and has been for months. There are no headlines today, so we’re enjoying a nice day in the summer doldrums.”

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Indiana Sewer Bond Leads Utility Debt Sales as Yields Plummet: Muni Credit

August 16, 2011

Since the CWA Authority is borrowing in the municipal market for the first time, the transaction will require additional yield to help attract investors, Tom Boylen, a trader at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “It’s an essential-service revenue and that should carry it through the market in terms of clearing the deal,” Boylen said. “And right now it’s tough to find yield. So if you can go down the credit spectrum a little bit and pick up some yield with an essential-service revenue, I think people are going to look at it.”

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Debt-rating deluge could trickle down to cities and states

August 9, 2011
Chicago Tribune

Some downgrades came Monday to some bond issuers that rely on federal support, such as home-mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but S&P also is expected to cut credit ratings of some states, cities and local government agencies. Most likely to be affected are bonds that are paid back, in part, with federal funds, said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners. Often those finance pollution control, housing or transportation projects, such as the O'Hare International Airport expansion

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