Still no end in sight in the latest Washington standoff. Futures are down a bit as the prospect of no official data makes analysts antsy–what to blame (or credit) the latest market moves! Of course, the world doesn’t stop and with earnings season beginning investors attention will gravitate there for any morsel possible. In what might be described as improbable news, Ireland has announced plans to exit its bailout program. This is most emphatically not meant to imply that Ireland is out of the woods. And Europe is still doing horribly, but any sliver of positive news may help them out of the hole:
“The news that Ireland plans to exit its bailout program is maybe also proving positive for the other peripheral countries,” said Marius Daheim, a senior fixed-income strategist at Bayerische Landesbank in Munich. “Spain and Italy are in a different camp from Ireland but I wouldn’t rule out a bit of sentiment coming across.”
That is not in any way meant to imply that the world economy is healing. In fact, India dropped a bit of a stink bomb with its latest inflation report. While India has been fretting about the amount of gold buying among its citizens, it may have been better off wondering why they were buying so much of the precious metal to begin with. Of course, the geniuses of the economic world have been asking for easier and easier money from the Indian central bank and this is not the news they were hoping for:
“Inflation numbers are a complete letdown,” said Deven Choksey, managing director of KR Choksey Securities Ltd.
“Markets are disappointed as traders have been expecting the Reserve Bank of India to go on a rate reduction programme, and that is where low inflation would have helped.”
Well, yes, that is indeed true, but the obvious disappointment may have some wondering just who’s side these people are on.
Yes, the budget mess in Washington continues, but there really isn’t much left to say at this point. Even the cable news channels seemed to back off the story as the weekend progressed. Unfortunately, both sides appear more concerned with the politics and leverage at this point in the process. The markets have been behaving as if this will get settled and they are probably correct. You will have little choice but to follow the news as CNBC will undoubtedly be wailing on and on about it until a resolution is hit upon. It still seems to be a huge long shot that any permanent harm will come to the economy despite the many complaints coming from the mouths of “analysts”. Earnings will be in the spotlight and will be vastly more important in the long(er) run. Still, it always pays to be prepared and having one’s portfolio in shape to withstand any sudden downturns is certainly a good idea.
Finally, how about Brady and the Patriots, followed by Ortiz and the Red Sox?! Ok, I know most of you don’t care about that, but hey, it was such a big day with my teams that I just had to mention it. Have a good week!