Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 8, 2010 Market Commentary By Art Cashin

Greek Rescue Rumor And Chippier Consumer Brings Stocks Back From Brink – For much of Friday’s session, fears about the European Union (particularly Greece) sent folks seeking the safety of the dollar. That, in turn, put pressure on oil; gold and stocks as carry trades were liquidated. The carnage began in earnest as the European markets closed. The dollar began to move steadily higher causing the above-noted damage.

The dollar driven selling was not as vicious as the selling on Thursday, but around 12:45 things started to turn rather ugly. They got even uglier as they headed to the day’s lows at 2:00. Rumors circulated that a trading firm in the crude pits was being forced to liquidate contracts.
But, shortly after 2:00, bids began to pop up in stocks as the dollar eased back. With some investigation, traders learned that there were rumors, or at least speculation, that the ECB and others might be cobbling together a rescue package for Greece over the weekend.

That late rally was a bit of a mixed blessing. Had they closed on the lows, the probable course of the market might be a touch clearer. A close at the lows would have suggested an “oversold reflex rally” for Monday extending half-way into Tuesday’s session. The rally would then fail followed by a sharp and severe selloff. The late rally took that specificity off the table. We’ll have to review the napkins for clues to the amended course.

The large Treasury auctions will get lots of attention. The government can postpone raising taxes as long as it is able to refund with easy auctions. A failed auction could throw things into disarray. The form chart says things should wind down a bit toward week’s end as Lunar New Year approaches. Thursday’s claims data will get lots of attention.

The latest speculation is about the inverted yield curve for Greek bonds. That doesn’t allow any wiggle room or time to ease into austerity. Therefore “instant austerity” runs the risk of public backlash, strikes and maybe even unrest in the streets. To buy some time, some folks speculate, that the ECB or some entity could guarantee short term Greek debt – maybe up to one year. That might buy some time. It will be interesting to see if that’s the road that is taken.
Cocktail Napkin Charting – As noted above, the late Friday reversal rally was primarily the result of rumors of a Greek rescue package. There were also technical contributors to the bounce. The S&P made its intra-day low at 1044. That’s its 200 day exponential moving average. Both Walter Murphy and Stock Market Cycles had listed 1043 as a probable target (darn good call). Friday’s lows will be a critical testing area.
For today,
the napkins suggest early support in the S&P may be around 1048/1052 with the backup 1040/1043. Resistance looks like 1070/1074 and then 1080/1085. We need to be careful because the Friday bounce may have released enough of the oversold to allow the bears another shot.
Spots Spotty Yet Again – Our ham radio pal passed along the latest data on sunspots. The spots did not exactly disappear but activity clearly diminished. The sunspot numbers for January 28th through February 3rd were: 13, 12, 25, 14, 16, 11, 11. Longtime readers will recall that the lowest spot number, other than zero, is 11. That represents a single weak spot. So for six of the seven days, we had a single, lonely spot. Keep that sweater handy.

Full Report HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment