Monday, September 19, 2011

Early Look: Renewed Worries Over Greece

The markets are sharply lower this morning on the heels of overnight losses in Asian markets last night as well as pronounced weakness in Europe this morning. Last week was a nice reprieve to the selling, as the markets bounced back 5%. But this morning there are renewed worries about Greece's ability to meet its debt obligations.

President Obama is set to deliver a speech about balancing the federal budget, which will include some ideas for new taxes on the "rich". Don't expect this to do much of anything to help the markets.

Outside of that, there isn't a ton of news. There was some M&A speculation that Goodrich (GR) will get a bid, and Tyco is set to spit itself up. But most of the days action is simply sentiment driven.

The dollar is higher today relative to the euro and yen. And commodities are lower. Oil prices have fallen back to $85, while gold prices are also lower near $1785.

As for the 10-year yield, is has fallen back below the 2.00% level and currently is hitting 1.96%. The VIX bounced off its 50-day average and is up 12% right now to 34.75.

Trading comment: It was a little uncomfortable to remain so defensive last week as the market climbed higher for 5 straight days. But without any improvement on the fundamental front, it seemed that any bit of bad news to resurface could knock the market right back down. That is the feeling I have this morning, although technically the market is still in this rangebound battle. SPX 1140 has been holding in as support while 1230 has been resistance. As the range narrows, we will get closer to a breakout. The high levels of bearish sentiment support a breakout to the upside, but the fragility of the market make it a tough bet.

long SH


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