We know that the mortgage market is better, despite what the Case-Shiller home-price data say. When in doubt, trust the number from Wells Fargo (WFC), which is 25% of the market. Wells told it straight the whole way, and Wells says housing has bottomed. Or trust Toll Brothers (TOL), the national builder that had been so bearish and which is now more hopeful about home volume and home price.
But we have nothing good when it comes to employment, which means that if we get a weak national number Friday on top of something bad in Europe, then Thursday will spell the end of this rally.
Personally, I hate these situations. Europe is a total black box. Who knows how Merkel is going to respond to the pressure? China, so important, seems to be disappearing as a force of growth, in part because of Europe. Most of the estimates for the non-domestic companies in our country, any touched by international, will be at risk. We're simply hoping for a resolution, and the longer we don't get one, the more banks that will fail and the more Humpty Dumpty the situation will become.
So we play the game of chicken, with days where the market rallies because things got too negative, rather than seeing Europe's screw turning on the Germans. And then days when we lose strength ourselves on top of a Greek poll or a Spanish bank seizing that makes even help from Germany seem too little and too late.All the while, we have to deal with the hazards of JPMorgan not knowing what it is talking about and Facebook (FB) creating huge waves of disappointment. And we have to deal with the mechanics of the hedge funds and mutual funds, as in, are they just taking this market up to improve their performance in a very horrible month? All of the good can turn on a dime. All of the bad seems to be with us for any company that has ventured beyond our shores.
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