Friday, May 20, 2011

More Problems In Euroland

The market was set to open relatively flat, but the news that Fitch downgraded Greece again led to some concerted selling in the market. Fitch lowered its rating on Greece to B+ from BB+. This also caused spreads to widen on other Euro bonds, and has put pressure on the euro as well.

It's funny that our market seems so tied to the euro, but lately any day that the euro is down, our markets are down also.

With the dollar higher, most commodities are under pressure as well. Gold is bucking the weakness, and trading above $1500 today. But oil prices are down again near $97, and soft commodities (cotton, cocoa, coffee, etc) are are lower on the day.

In corporate news, retailers are weak after Gap and Aeropostale (ARO) both lowered guidance and their stocks are getting hit.

Asian markets were mixed overnight; the 10-year yield is flattish near 3.16%; and the VIX is +8% higher today to 16.75.

Trading comment: Today's weakness is an example of how I said I though we would see renewed selling pressure after an oversold bounce. I continue to think the market will be choppy in the months ahead, with a possible slight downside bias. As such, the only real way to make headway in that environment is to trade around your positions to take advantage of the volatility. Opportunistic trading means adding to your positions on material weakness, and selling into any sizable rallies.


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