Italian banks are falling hard this morning.
Following news that Mario Monti will be resigning, Italy's 5 largest banks are falling 6-7% and that's dragging the whole Italian market down 3.7% this morning and that's putting a drag on Europe and the US futures so it's a rough start to the week already – and we haven't even gotten out of the gate yet. As you can see on Dave Fry's DIA chart, we have a clear line at 13,146 to watch and that 50 dma has to hold to keep us bullish.
There's not a lot of data to guide us this week but we do have a Fed meeting on Wednesday where it's expected that the FOMC will increase monthly QE purchases from $40Bn to $85Bn per month to make up for the expiration of Operation Twist as it winds down at the end of the month. Bernanke will give a press conference at 2:15 on Wednesday and Thursday we'll see how he does as we sell both 7 and 30-year notes in the afternoon.
We'll also get the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 on Thursday and that will either confirm or deny Friday's awful Consumer Sentiment numbers and Friday we get CPI and Industrial Production but, on the whole, not a very big data week and our expectations are that we do drift higher ahead of the Fed – although the drag from Europe might make that tough today.
Of course, the Fiscal Cliff conversation will still dominate the markets. John Boehner met with the President in DC this weekend but neither one is talking about what actually happened – although Saturday Night Live seems to have captured the public's disgust with the whole process quite nicely this weekend.
Making fun of this manufactured crisis is a good sign – it means the public is ready to move on and hopefully the markets will stop running up and down 1% every time someone drops a cliff rumor. We need a little bit of stability if we're going to bring investors back off the sidelines before the end of the year – time is certainly running short for a "Santa Clause Rally."
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