This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Investors Punish Italy ETF

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Italy has become the new focus of euro skeptics as pessimism over Europe grows.

Many investors were focused on the Spanish housing and banking situation, expecting it would be the source of financial turbulence for the currency union, when Greece stepped into the picture and seized global attention.

Over the course of a month, the euro fell from $1.45 to $1.35, but the decline has slowed recently. Greece has until March 16 to come up with a plan to cut its deficit, and this has calmed the markets for the moment.

However, the pause in activity didn't turn attention back to Spain; instead, investors have taken a deeper look at Italy. At the national level, and similar to Greece, Italy used currency swaps to help it enter into the common currency. Although Italy is not in the same fiscal situation as Greece, the parallel is still a disconcerting one.

Italy's municipal governments also used derivatives. Earlier this month, the Italian government seized assets of Bank of America (BAC) and Dexia SA as part of an investigation into derivatives contracts within one municipality.

All told, 519 municipalities have used derivatives contracts that have resulted in nearly a billion euros in losses. The amount isn't the concern here, but rather the widespread use of derivatives, which for obvious reasons carry a negative connotation with investors.

On top of these concerns, this weekend, Columbia economics professor Robert Mundell, widely credited as laying the intellectual groundwork for the creation of a common currency, said Italy is the greatest threat to the euro. Italy has about 25% of eurozone debt, several times larger than Greece's share, and a crisis there would be several times larger than the crisis in Greece.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
EWI $15.04 0.00%
EWP $35.18 0.00%
EWK $17.28 0.00%
AAPL $126.78 0.78%
FB $77.90 0.44%

Markets

DOW 17,928.20 -142.20 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,089.46 -25.03 -1.18%
NASDAQ 4,939.3270 -77.6020 -1.55%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs