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 14 febbraio 2012

Market Comment - February 14

(Marco Bonelli) Positive headlines are good for the market now, but even better to set up a correction phase later!

Favorable news out of Europe (bond auctions, economic data, Greece rescue package almost certain), the Bank of Japan following the BoE and launching a new round of QE and the positive reaction in the stock market further bolsters investor's new-found bullish sentiment and fills the widely believed scenario that US economic growth keeps on progressing, that Europe stabilizes, that China and emerging markets keep on showing healthy growth, that stocks are cheap under all measures, that the second half 2012 even looks better than the first half and that you should better get invested now instead of waiting another day or week or month!

As market sentiment only recently turned decisively to the positive and hasn't reached any extreme bullishness levels yet, positive headlines will help confirm the new bulls and convince all those who remained cautious so far to jump on the wagon. However, the switch goes fast and many bears-turned-bulls now try to make the big call to the upside. It's not only 15000 in the Dow by the end of 2013 (according to last weekend's Barron's cover) but 15000 in the Dow already gets mentioned as year-end target 2012 and there is more than one call that mentions the start of the bull-market of the decade or even generation. Again, so far, positive headlines still trigger some buying in the market but the migration from early stage to mature stage in the sentiment game goes fast and once you sit on your positions and hope that prices move higher, the rules change.

Alright, back to February 14, 2012, the headline number of January's retail sales and down-side revisions in the December readings was a bit disappointing, but the ex auto, ex gasoline, ex winter-boots, ex Christmas-lights, ex pancake-mix number is better, so investors might tend to buy any weakness in this early stage of the bullish sentiment game and not get discouraged. Given the decent rally yesterday on back of the successful (?) austerity vote in Athens, a little pullback - as indicated by the futures - is not a big deal. Market breadth improved considerably, financials and industrials lead the move and most major indexes regained the levels from last week Thursday (the Nasdaq even breaking out to another new 11-year high), more or less erasing Friday's losses that were dramatically described as the "biggest losses of the year". In other words, short and medium-term chart pictures still look promising and the right catalyst could easily push prices higher.

Nevertheless, I believe that the stocks have entered a transformation phase that features pullbacks and rebounds, maybe over the next couple of weeks or so. After that the recognition of fundamental reality will slowly take hold and will possibly lead the market into a correction phase over the next few months. Therefore, I would recommend reducing exposure, particularly in the high-flying financial, industrial and technology sectors.

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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