Il Primo Ministro greco Lucas Papademos riceve l'approvazione del governo su tagli al bilancio che corrispondono al 7% del Pil nei prossimi tre anni e su una ristrutturazione finalizzata a ridurre di €100 mld gli oltre €200 mld di debito detenuto dai creditori privati, atteso il voto del parlamento • Standard & Poor's declassa il merito creditizio di 34 banche italiane tra cui UniCredit a BBB+ da A, Intesa Sanpaolo a BBB+ da A e Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena a BBB da BBB+, S&P anticipa "una redditività decisamente debole per le banche italiane nei prossimi anni" • La produzione industriale italiana aumenta a dicembre +1,4% da novembre +0,3%, oltre le stime degli economisti +0,5%, anche se i dati del quarto trimestre -2,1% suggeriscono che la terza economia della zona euro è entrata nella seconda recessione dal 2009 • I Btp decennali salgono per la quinta settimana consecutiva, il periodo di recupero più lungo in oltre cinque anni, la prossima settimana il Tesoro vende €4 mld di buoni al 6% con scadenza 2014 • L'euro cala dal massimo di due mesi contro il dollaro, il mercato azionario europeo cala dal massimo di sei settimane e l'azionario Usa registra la prima settimana di perdite del 2012 dopo che i ministri delle finanze europee non hanno concesso il pacchetto di aiuto necessario a prevenire il collasso economico della Grecia

martedì 17 gennaio 2012

Market Comment - January 17

(Marco Bonelli) Let's say, a lot of things fit together these days: Unexpected good news and expected bad news that remove any overhanging uncertainty and has consequently be treated as a positive as well!

The rating downgrade of a number of European sovereign debt and the EFSF papers itself has been feared, discussed and expected for a long time, now that it happened , it can be checked off and investors can concentrate on their day-to-day business. (There may be some implications as a result of higher borrowing costs at a later stage, but that doesn't concern anybody right now.) The situation in Greece appears to be a more complicated issue but even there, optimism rides high that some kind of solution will be found. Overall, a few voices are already heard that the European debt crisis is "probably behind us" - well, this is a very brave statement and time will tell.

Economic data continues to surprise to the upside (January Michigan Consumer Confidence from Friday and January Empire Manufacturing Index) although the state of the US consumer is not entirely clear. After some big publicity of record Black Friday sales and eventually record holiday sales and online sales, many retailers preannounced disappointing earnings due to massive promotions and discounts, official December retail sales turned out to be disappointingly low and even hardware and software sales in the hot computer games sector dropped double digits according to the latest NPD report. Then you see the Michigan Consumer Confidence survey from January jump to the highest level since February 2011 and you wonder what's going on. Obviously a lot of these different statistics cannot be compared apples to apples as some contain certain components like online sales and others don't. Fact is that in the last decade, retail sales always followed rising consumer confidence (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010) while it sometimes didn't react or had substantial delays in reacting to falling consumer confidence (2007, 2011). So given historic data, the recent rise in confidence should be reflected in better overall retail sales in the upcoming months.

Despite better economic data, discussions about QE3 are still alive which also provides some psychological support, especially when you see the Monetary Base expand by 2% in the first two weeks in January, a development that already happened beginning of December after almost six months shrinking (only to be reversed in the latter part of the month). Central Bank action also continues to support confidence in Europe and expected action in China keeps hopes alive that the second largest economy in the world will construct a perfect soft-landing.

One last comment regarding earnings: disappointing earnings from the banking sector can easily counted to the initially mentioned expected bad news and should surprise anybody. On the other hand, in the technology sector, CHKP reported solid number and tonight investors will get a first impression from the semiconductor sector when LLTC reports. With overall earnings growth for the S&P500 at a mere 4.6% for Q4 and 3.4% in Q1, any better than expected reports will likely get celebrated. So let the party begin!

Trade well.

(Marco Bonelli is the Managing Director of International for CL King & Associates in New York. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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