Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Equities Drift, Then Rally on More False Hope from Europe

Following events in Europe's ongoing credit crisis is becoming counter-productive and in many ways, simply stupid.

Today's duller-than-usual session (and that's saying a lot, because it's been pretty dull the past few days) caught a bit of fire mid-afternoon when the Financial Times reported that European leaders were considering a permanent fund with which to deal with sovereign debt issues in addition to the "temporary" EFSF. The new, European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is proposed to come on line mid-2012 and roughly double the firepower Euro financiers will have to deal with any exploding budgets in Euro-zone countries.

While that's all well and good, it's yet another proposal - not anything concrete - from the foot-draggers across the pond who have neither the wherewithal, the money, nor the will to effectively deal with their generational debt issues. Still, Wall Streeters wait with baited breath on every syllable from European leaders as though they are all that matters here in the United States.

The truth is that Europe's problems are large, but America's may prove to be much larger. Besides, stocks moving up and down on the whims of our friends on the continent has little to do with fundamental strength or weakness of individual stocks traded on US markets. While it's almost a certainty that Europe will enter a recession early in 2012, companies doing business over there will adjust, but the situation is not getting materially better.

To think that just throwing more money at their problems, or, the mention of throwing said money, raises stocks in the US on a correlation trade of a stronger Euro and a weaker US dollar is simplistic as well as not rooted in reality. If Europe is headed for a recession, their currency should weaken and US officials should welcome the relative strengthening of the US dollar, though it's become quite clear that Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Geithner see things differently than the rest of US. Their future and the future of the US economy has been and continues to be predicated on a continually weakening US dollar, a condition that eventually is ruinous to our economy and probably that of many other developed nations.

The Europe-watching-and-waiting needs to come to a head, an end, a conclusion, though it's probably not in the cards any time soon.

The farce of 21st century economics continues, it should be noted, on extremely low volume.

Dow 12,150.13, +52.30 (0.43%)
NASDAQ 2,649.56, -6.20 (0.23%)
S&P 500 1,258.47, +1.39 (0.11%)
NYSE Composite 7,539.32, +8.31 (0.11%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,495,232,875
NYSE Volume 3,732,697,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2659-2918
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 111-58
WTI crude oil: 101.28, +0.29
Gold: 1,731.80, -2.70
Silver: 32.74, +0.37

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