Kevin Cook here, starting off the week for Steve.
Because our markets twist and turn on the whims of European politicians and financial leaders these days, stocks must restrain their enthusiasm for fundamental tailwinds. Thus the strong reading we received Friday from the index of Leading Economic Indicators had to take a back seat to debates about the ECB's willingness and freedom to "be like Ben."
And with elections in Spain over the weekend, the risk of being "long risk" was definitely greater than the upside reward. The marriage of economic cooperation and convenience that is the eurozone probably faces internal battles we don't even imagine, as evidenced by the story that German leaders leaked the most recent Ireland budget austerity proposals before the Irish parliament had even seen them.
Speaking of politicians "enhancing" markets, we get our own masters of malfunction to deal with again this week as the Super Committee deadline (debacle?) looms. All we can do is hope that some form of cooperation prevails here. Otherwise, the S&P 500 is looking a lot like it is merely resting before falling through the 50-day moving average at 1,207.
Pardon my lack of enthusiasm, but I'm afraid my prediction last Monday that waiting for Europe to get quantitative easing religion would eventually prove exhausting for the market has come true. This said, I am still buying big, fear-driven dips. So let's sit back and see if 1,200 holds, or we get to buy this market again closer to 1,150.
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