NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- OK, so Germany and France finally got a decent PR firm when they figured out the market wants them to say they will clean up European banks' balance sheets.

Really? All I know is that short-sellers are cashing in their chips ever since last week, when the market retested the Aug. 9 intraday low. Please, like you would suddenly believe the Euro heads of state will finally "get closer" to a solution? What is happening is trader sentiment is turning from selling anytime those leaders open their mouth to buying the hope.

Is this a bad thing? No. The market was oversold, but rightly so with a VIX that has been in the 30s and 40s for months until this week. Who wants to buy when the probability of bigger negative outcomes persists? We do have some indicators that things will improve, but I say Europe is not one of them.

First off, do any of us know how much it will cost to shore up the banks or what measures the leaders will use in the recapitalizations? Plus, at this point it is unclear what will be deemed risk-free for the purpose of stress-testing in the future. We now know that government debt is not risk-free when it causes billions in losses. Is Europe going to join the zombie debt crowd by keeping government and public sector debt off the books in measuring capital strength?

Who knows and who cares at this point -- all I know is, it will be a mess. Why not turn our attention to tea leaves that might have more meaning.

For example, Tom McClellan made a good point last week when he suggested traders look at contango in lumber prices one year out.

Why? Unlike copper, which I have given up on trading since "everybody does it now" and simply mimics the broad stock markets, lumber has some complex inputs that are still of value. When buyers are willing to pay a 30% premium for delivery a year from now over spot prices, it tells us a few things.

At best, buyers believe next year will be booming enough that securing supply is worth the premium. Perhaps buyers think a number of other inputs like shipping, transportation, energy and unit labor costs will simply go up. That can't happen without demand. Either way, it suggests that people are betting on demand in some form, from the supply chain to the end product.

Why not focus on the price of dead wood rather than the dead wood in Europe?
Lee Munson, CFA, CFP, is chief investment officer of Portfolio Asset Management, a wealth-consultant firm based in the Southwest. He is a regular guest on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money and Kiplinger Personal Finance. Munson began his career in the 1990s as a trader on Wall Street. He runs a hedge fund and oversses his firm's capital.