Daily Investment Interpretations

November 18, 2011

2011-11-18: (Friday Night): The market marched in place today: Stocks: Investors sit tight at end of rough week, U.S. stocks thrown again by Europe, Stocks Languish On Credit Fears.The NASDAQ Composite slipped 15.49 points (-0.6%) to close at 2,572.50. The Dow added 25.43 points (0.22%) to 11,796.16; the S&P 500 lapsed 0.48 points (-0.04%) to settle at 1,215.65. Oil backed down further to 97.79: Oil slips further below $100; gold plunged to 1,726: Gold's the only euro-crisis winner: Lynn. The VIX fell 2.51 points(!) to 32.00.
    For me, the failure today of the markets to regain their footing above the low end of their trading range (1,220 for the S&P 500) isn't a good sign. The U. S. seems to be doing relatively well economically (at least at the moment), while Europe is hanging over the edge of a precipice. Of course, it was a Friday, and traders don't like to be holding stocks over the weekend given the vulnerability of the indices to headline news. Note, though, that the VIX (volatility or "fear" index") actually fell 2 points today. In the old days (ten years ago), the markets would be primed to fall further on Monday. 
    We'll have to see what happens on Monday. (it will presumably depend upon what headlines are generated over the weekend.)
    Europe bond dive rooted in Greek CDS deal. What this article is saying is that the treatment of the Greek problem was handled in a way that didn't trigger credit default swaps (CDS's), leaving investors who bought default insurance questioning whether default insurance will work after it failed this real-life test. This is encouraging (says the author) actual sales of stocks rather than sales of derivatives.
    Brett Arends' comments today are encapsulated in: How to steal like Wall Street
    Following this, Marketwatch' Jennifer Openshaw gives us: Europe’s debt crisis and your wallet.  
    Mark Hulbert's article explains What Nasdaq weakness is telling us.  
    European Central Bank to lend funds to the IMF for bailouts?  
    The Deficit Super-Committee is supposed to issue its recommendations on Monday: Deficit deal odds: Market bets it won't happen, Supercommittee: Looking for a smaller deal?
    State of the Markets' articles include: 
    The Games People Play  
    ECB's Draghi Says Governments Need To Move Quickly on EFSF Fund 
    Zoellick: Europe Could Get Support from China, U.S., BRICs from IMF  
    Germany's PPI Shows Inflation Holding Steady
    U.S. Leading Economic Index (LEI) Rises Sharply
    Even Building a Bomb Shelter Isn't Safe Anymore