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 25 settembre 2012

Market Comment - September 25

(Marco Bonelli) These days news headlines send a strange message...

§  "Stock futures follow European markets higher amid optimism that Spain has started working with the EU on a potential bailout";

§  "Spain presses ECB to quantify bond buying in aid plan as bill yields rise";

§  "U.S. stock rally fades as Apple trims gains";

§  "Apple iPhone 5 misses estimates as more than 5 Million sold".

Apparently stock markets around the world seem to be dictated by the question whether Spain applies for a full-scale bail-out and whether AAPL sells 5, 10 or 15 Million iPhones in 72 hours, which is a sad and short-sighted testament of what is important to successfully invest in the stock market these days. Or is it that investors are highly skeptical and worried and basically don't know what to do?

"Liquidity rally over as global growth worries are back" mirrors the thought process of some market players and isn't it also a strong sign how nervous investors are at these levels when the most defensive sectors (1. utilities; 2. telecommunications; 3. healthcare; 4. Consumer staples) immediately make it to the top performer list when stocks see some minor profit-taking (that more qualifies as a consolidation day)?

The fact that all major averages hold well after a very strong performance in the first half of the month and basically consolidate above break-out levels has probably a lot to do with the fact that the "global growth worries" but also uncertainty regarding Spain and the European debt crisis are no longer seen as surprising bad news (coupled with stimulus-supported improvements). How does this obvious change in perception towards most macro-economic and fundamental issues (that got triggered by the actual and perspective monetary easing measures) go with the current skepticism and nervousness about the stock performance in the near-term future? As stocks had a 13% front-run to new highs prior to the QE3 announcement, consensus formed quickly that we might see a near-term pull-back (backed by the obvious macro-economic head-winds) followed by further QE-fueled advances. So many market participants seem to follow the text book (" wouldn't be surprising to see a pull-back after the run we had...") and consensus, probably hoping to get a chance for lower entry prices before the rally resumes!

It's a very fine line between the perception towards macro-economic and other fundamental issues and the actual macro-economic and fundamental developments. So far, global macro-economic data continues to come in mixed to disappointing and there is little doubt that economic activity in Europe will most likely continue to deteriorate and at the same time there is the risk that China's slowdown may last longer than expected.  Unless investors see underlying fundamentals really improve over the next weeks and months, the perception of a stable slow-growth environment can quickly fade but so far hope is alive: consumer spending holds up, housing continues to recover (last confirmed by LEN and KBH) and even the latest reading on manufacturing sentiment (Philadelphia Fed Index, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity and Richmond Fed manufacturing Index for September) showed some improvement from August and were even reported better than expected.

So far, the unexciting performance of stocks over the last seven trading sessions, the weakness in the Euro (whose impressive performance since end of August just failed at the 16-month downtrend line) and commodities and probably even the mediocre market breadth represent a healthy consolidation of strong gains. With that, relatively cautious sentiment in combination with a few better than expected economic numbers could easily push the major averages up another 5 to 10% within the next few weeks!

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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