The good news is there's a plan. The bad news is we don't really have the details pinned down as noted
. More good news is this stock market rally, should it hold Monday, will mark the largest rally in the last quarter century if records make for good news. Make of it what you will but shorts have been squeezed out of whatever positions they maintained. That might in itself be bad news.
The pressure to make a deal was very high. After all, if the banks didn't (and still haven't actually) accepted a "voluntary" restructuring of Greek debt, the an "involuntary" event would mean default. This would in turn trigger CDS (Credit Default Swaps) activity which counter-parties probably could not pay. Contagion would burn through the financial system creating chaos. This is why the FT article from above is so interesting and worrisome.
Where will the firepower come from to push stock markets higher given the high rate of equity fund redemptions over the past three years? The last I checked equity mutual fund cash balances were only 3.4%). No, juice for bulls will come from private investors with managed funds switching from bonds to stocks. The other source for buying is from the usual suspects--hedge funds, trading desks and HFTs.
Bonds did sell-off as switching to equities and more risk was apparent. On the other hand, commodities rallied as authorities have chosen inflation (no surprise here) over deflation. It's easier to do politically if you don't care about succeeding generations. Gold, silver, base metals, energy and most commodities rose sharply as a result. You want to pay more for stuff don't you? That's the trade-off when pursuing Keynesian policies and big government.
Economic data Thursday was shrugged-off as the two problem areas Jobless Claims (still over 400K) and Pending Home Sales (-4.6% vs unchanged expected) continued to struggle. GDP data was reported at 2.5% growth matching expectations and vs 1.3% previous. Most of the growth there was from consumer spending the bulk of which was in the computer category (iGadgets?).
Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Personal Consumer Consumption vs Confidence clearly displays the disconnect between the two:
Earnings reports, if any mattered vs the news, were good overall led by Exxon Mobil (XOM), Aflac (AFL), Akami Technologies (AKAM) and Aetna (AET) to name a few. The biggest winners on the day had been the worst performing sector previously--financials. There bank stock prices were higher across the board.
The stock market is at least short-term overbought as the trusty daily McClellan Oscillator ($NYMO) reveals at the end of this posting. Remember this was the case on Monday and then we had Tuesday's massive sell-off, remember??
Volume was high on this epic rally while breadth per the WSJ probably was a 90/10 day.
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is a market breadth indicator that is based on the difference between the number of advancing and declining issues on the NYSE. When readings are +60/-60 markets are extended short-term.
McClellan Summation Index
is a long-term version of the McClellan Oscillator. It is a market breadth indicator, and interpretation is similar to that of the McClellan Oscillator, except that it is more suited to major trends. I believe readings of +1000/-1000 reveal markets as much extended.
is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to as the "investor fear gauge". Our own interpretation is highlighted in the chart above. The VIX measures the level of put option activity over a 30-day period. Greater buying of put options (protection) causes the index to rise.
Continue to Concluding Remarks
It was an interesting day in many ways. The euro zone is "fixed" rally was impressive that's for sure despite the lack of details, and as the FT noted, things weren't nailed down yet. But the buy programs hit the tape and away we went. The most worrisome thing is how overbought we are just on a short-term basis. The trusty NYMO rarely gets above 100 but I've seen it there a few times. The other thing that stares you in the face is how highly correlated all these markets are away from bonds and perhaps currencies. It seems when the "risk on" trade is present you only need to buy one security with the highest beta (volatility measure) and not bother with doing anything more thoughtful. This is the result of easy money policies globally and how integrated the world has become.
Friday we get more earnings and economic data led by Personal Income and Outlays, the Employment Cost Index and Consumer Sentiment. The latter doesn't seem that reliable.
Let's see what happens.
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