European leaders racing to prevent their week-old debt crisis strategy from unravelling convene emergency talks today to tell Greece there is no alternative to the budget cuts imposed in the bailout plan.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, his hold on power weakening, was summoned to Cannes on the eve of a Group of 20 summit where he will hear from French President Nicolas Sarkozy that the “only way to resolve Greek debt problems” is through a deal hammered out last week in a six-day crisis-management marathon.
The premium Italy pays to borrow over Germany rose to a fresh euro-era high on Tuesday, leaping over a critical level that has previously exacerbated crises in Portugal and Ireland.
Despite the European Central Bank on Tuesday making its second biggest purchases of Italian government bonds since it started buying the country’s debt in early August, Italian 10-year bond yield spreads over Germany soared over 450 basis points, a key trigger point that could require bond investors to stump up more cash when using them as collateral.
Monday was just awful, and Tuesday was even worse. Greece was front and center with on-again, off-again news of a referendum on the EU debt solution — shades of Sophocles meets Aristophanes. The S&P 500 again plunged at the open, churned in the basement and closed near the low for the day, down 2.79%.
The index is in the red year-to-date, down 3.13% and 10.66% below the interim high of April 29.
From an intermediate perspective, the index is 80.1% above the March 2009 closing low and 22.2% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.
With the S&P 500 now on pace for its fourth ‘all or nothing day’ since last Tuesday, 2011 has now tied and broken the record from 2008 for the most all or nothing days in a single year. We consider all or nothing days in the market to be days where the net daily A/D reading in the S&P 500 exceeds plus or minus 400. With today’s current net A/D reading of -460, there have now been 55 all or nothing days for the S&P 500 in 2011. At this rate, 2011 is now on pace to see 66 all or nothing days, which is well above the prior high of 52 back in 2008.
In the 66 trading days since the start of August, more than half (35) have now been all or nothing days. As we noted last week, the number of occurrences that we have seen in the last three months eclipses the total number of all or nothing days that we saw from 1990 through 2001 (34).
- 8:15 a.m. ET: ADP releases its estimate of private-sector payrolls for October, which the market for some reason almost always takes as a gospel predictor of the Labor Department’s payroll report due on Friday. T’aint so. Economists estimate 105,000 jobs, up from 91,000 in September.
- 12:30 p.m.: The Fed announces the decision following its two-day policy meeting. Nobody expects much new.
- 2:15 p.m.: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a press conference. A good time will most assuredly be had by all.
Before the opening bell we get results from:
- Becton, Dickinson
- Time Warner
- Marsh & McLennan
- Cognizant Technology
- EOG Resources
At some point we hear from:
- Devon Energy
- Edison International
- El Paso
- Murphy Oil
After the bell we get results from:
- News Corp.
- Hartford Financial Services
- Prudential Financial
- Whole Foods Market