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Another Snag in Greek Bailout + Long Weekend = Extended Correction

Investor's first read    -Brooksie's edge before the openThursday, February 16, 2012     9: 09 a.m.DJIA: 12,780.95      S&P 500: 1343.23Guess Yogi was prescient with his,

Investor’s first read    -Brooksie’s edge before the open

Thursday, February 16, 2012     9: 09 a.m.

DJIA: 12,780.95      S&P 500: 1343.23

Guess Yogi was prescient with his, “ain’t over until it’s over” wisdom, as we are seeing the transfer of rescue funds to Greece hitting one snag after another. Greece must receive the  second bailout money soon if it is going to meet its 14.5 billion euro bond payment on March 20. European finance ministers will meet February 20 (Monday, a holiday in U.S markets) to discuss the second bailout (again !).

CONCLUSION:  I didn’t like the drop in the euro from positive to negative yesterday before the open  and said I expected a brief correction which got its start with a 97-point drop in the DJIA.  In addition to new snags in rescuing Greece, Moody’s put Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) “on review,” not exactly a vote of confidence in the U.S. bankers, but probably expected.

All this injects “uncertainty” into the stock market at a time it has logged in a mid-December to mid-February uncorrected 11% up move. We are now at risk of more than a  “brief correction.”  How much depends on what hits the market in coming days.  (Note: small corrections can become more severe depending on the news that hits it after a small, normal correction is underway).

We have a key meeting in Europe on Monday, the third day of a three-day weekend, which throws cold water on the stock market’s ability to post any meaningful gains today and tomorrow.  From her on in, we simply cannot trust ANY info out of Europe about a second Greek bailout until the money actually changes hands. It is beginning to look like the European finance  ministers are looking for a way out of this deal, ergo a Greek default.

I don’t think they would bail if they didn’t feel they could concurrently prevent a serious fallout from a Greek default that jeopardizes the entire European Union, but common sense applied to this issue is becoming suspect.

TODAY and tomorrow:  U.S. economic reports this morning should help temper the disappointing news out of Europe, but uncertainty going into a three-day weekend stands to press stock prices lower by Friday’s close. Housing Starts notched up 1.5% in January, the Producer Price Index is well contained at its latest read, and Jobless Claims dropped another 13,000 in the week ended Feb. 11.

We are at risk of seeing a drop to DJIA 12,510 (S&P 500: 1315) by Friday’s close.


This will be a busy week for economic reports, what’s important is that there is no serious evidence of slippage in the U.S. economic recovery which is one of the key reasons for the stock market’s recent strength.


  • Retail Sales (8:30 a.m.): Up 0.1 pct in Dec, 0.4 pct in November and 0.7 pct in October, however latest strength came from autos, up 1.5 pct.
  • Export/Import Prices (8:30 a.m.): Trending down in last 5 mos.
  • Business Inventories (10 a.m.): Inventory/sales ratio unchanged last 5 mos.


  • MBA Purchase Applications (7 a.m.): Measures mortgage applications at lenders
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey (8:30 a.m.): Rose sharply in December and January.
  • Industrial Production (9:15 a.m.):


  • Housing Starts (8:30 a.m.): Dropped 4.1 in December  after a 9.1 pct rise  in November.
  • Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m.): Dropped another 15,000 for week ended February 4, bringing the 4-week average down to366,250.
  • Producer Price Index (8:30 a.m.): Dropped slightly in December after November bounce.
  • Philly Fed Survey (10 a.m.): Notched higher in January, though new orders were off


  • Consumer Price Index (8:30 a.m.): Unchanged in December for second month in a row  reflecting lower energy costs.
  • Leading Indicators (10 a.m.):  positive

Recent Posts:

Jan 23 DJIA: 12,720 “Europeans Seeking Long-Term Economic Cure
Jan 25 DJIA: 12,675 “Consolidation, Correction Likely though US Stocks Hold Strong Against EU Turmoil
Jan. 26 DJIA: 12,756 “Fed Would Raise Interest Rates If Inflation Picks Up
Jan. 27 DJIA: 12,734 “Warning! Tradable Market Action Lies in Waiting
Jan. 30 DJIA: 12,660 ““HUGE” Week for Economic Indicators
Jan. 31 DJIA: 12,653  “All That Is Needed Is a Spark
Feb. 1   DJIA: 12,632 “Week’s Economic Reports Could Be The Springboard
Feb. 3   DJIA: 12,862 “Investors Beating the Bullish Tune
Feb. 6   DJIA: 12,845 “Follow the Money as It Exits Safe Havens
Feb. 7   DJIA: 12,878 “Market Held Up By Sneaky Buying
Feb. 8   DJIA: 12,883  “Is It Safe For Bulls to Come Out and Play?
Feb. 9   DJIA: 12,890  “BIG Money Buying the Future
Feb. 10   DJIA: 12,801  “Can a Greek Deal Be Accomplished Over the Weekend?
Feb. 13   DJIA: 12,874  “Easy Does It! Some Selling Into Good News Expected
Feb. 14   DJIA: 12,878  “Investors Should Expect “Market Churn”
Feb. 15   DJIA: 12,780  “Market Churn to Include Brief Correction

George  Brooks


**National Journal


The writer of  Investor’s first read, George Brooks,  is not registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment decisions in keeping with their tolerance for risk.

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