As noted in the video below, the
markets have little margin for error from a technical perspective, which
means they have been in need of some good news. Good news did come this
morning from Europe in the form of better than expected factory orders in Germany.
On Sunday night, S&P 500 futures hit a low of 1,342. As of 8:30 a.m. EDT,
they stood at 1,358 or 16 points above Sunday night's low.
Why were the S&P 500 futures so
weak on Sunday night? Elections were held over the weekend in France and
Greece. The markets knew there was going to be some political turnover, but
the magnitude of the turnover, especially in Greece, was worse than
anticipated. Two key problems have surfaced:
will be very difficult to form a new government in Greece with no clear
majority party/coalition coming out the other side of the elections. It
is possible another round of elections will need to be held creating
more fear, uncertainty, and doubt for market participants.
Sarkozy was ousted by disgruntled voters in France. The Sarkozy-Merkel
tag team is no more, creating uncertainty relative to the direction of
future debt crisis policy.
A third problem relates to the
market's slowing momentum from a technical perspective. Daily and weekly
charts have little room for error as of Friday's close. Given the news from
Europe over the weekend, it is unlikely the technicals
will improve during Monday's session. The video below shows clear
deterioration in trends and momentum; it also explores an excellent way to
monitor the battle between "risk on" and "risk off".
One thing we have noticed over the
years while building financial models is markets that are on the edge
technically can find their footing just as they appear to be ready to
accelerate to the downside. That's not a forecast for the current market,
which remains on the edge technically, but it serves as a reminder to keep an
open mind about where we go from here.
Shifting back to the process of a
forming a new government in Greece, Bloomberg
leader Antonis Samaras is trying to put together a
government after a Greek election that raised fresh questions about the
country's euro membership and triggered the biggest stock-market rout in four
years. Samaras will be given three days from today to put together a
coalition from an assembly split down the middle on whether to renege on the
terms of bailout agreements negotiated since May 2010. New Democracy and the
socialist Pasok party, enemies until the country's
crisis threw them into a national government together this year, are two
seats short of the 151 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.