European Central Bank officials dismissed speculation that Greece’s budget crisis will spill over to other countries in the euro region.
“There is no economic cause for a contagion discussion,” ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said in an interview in Washington.
Concern that Greece’s woes could spread to other indebted euro-area countries has been pushing up borrowing costs of nations including Portugal and Spain. The countries’ budget deficits as a share of gross domestic product were more than three times the European Union limit of 3 percent last year.
“Of course Spain is not Greece,” ECB President Jean- Claude Trichet said April 23 after meeting with Group of 20 finance chiefs.
Greece on April 23 asked to activate the funding mechanism agreed by euro-area nations earlier this month. The request for as much as 45 billion euros ($60 billion) is an unprecedented test of the euro’s stability and European political cohesion.
Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou yesterday told investors they will “lose their shirts” if they bet cash- strapped Greece will default. Speaking to reporters in Washington, where he was negotiating terms for a three-year loan package with the International Monetary Fund and European governments, Papaconstantinou expressed confidence the talks will be “concluded rather soon” and said his country wouldn’t restructure its debt.
With 8.5 billion euros of Greece’s bonds maturing May 19, finance chiefs want a swift agreement amid concern any delay may trigger a further sell-off in its assets and hurt global markets.
“Is there a risk for other countries in the zone? No, the other situations have absolutely nothing to do with that of Greece,” Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer, who represents his country on the ECB council, said April 24.
Riots erupting during workers’ protests over planned public spending cuts, just hours after Greek Premier George Papandreou sought emergency £35billion of loans from eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
Readers may know that one point of contention in the worries about Greece’s deficits is that it had hidden the fact that it violated Maastricht rule that fine eurozone countries whose fiscal deficits exceed 3% of GDP.
How was this subterfuge achieved? While the Greek government engaged in some bogus accounting on its own, it also got some help from Goldman. Der Spiegel explains how:
Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country’s already bloated deficit.
There is plenty of economic data this week and earnings season is in full swing. Despite this, I suspect that news from Europe will dominate the market discussion.
I expect market participants to be watching closely for The Message from Europe.
Prior Theme Recap
In last week’s WTWA I predicted that there would be a focus on the message from corporate earnings reports. That was very accurate for the week as a whole. The big exception was the ECB celebration and commentary on Thu...
The middle class has shrunk consistently over the past half-century. Until 2000, the reason was primarily because more Americans moved up the income ladder. But since then, the reason has shifted: There is a greater share of households on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.
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Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...
It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, Regular dropped two cents and Premium three. Regular is at its lowest price since April 2009.
According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest average price at $3.23. The highest continental average price is in California at $2.45. Missouri has the cheapest Regular at $1.78....
An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software
Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?
John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common. In both ...
So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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