After setting another new closing high yesterday, the U.S. stock market retreated today. The S&P 500 lost as much as nearly 1 percent before recovering some lost ground and finished the day with a loss of 45 basis points.
Negatively impacted by poor weather (many areas experienced record-low temperatures) in February, most U.S. automakers missed analysts’ monthly sales expectations. No doubt helped by low fuel costs, SUVs and trucks—the roomier but more gas guzzling vehicles—enjoyed a strong month but the overall numbers were disappointing. Read more about China's Changing Stance 03-03-15
Today, the “troika” approved a list of reform promises submitted by Greece, putting the stamp on the bailout extension agreement reached late last week. Freshly ushered into power, Greece’s ruling party Syriza approached the negotiations with tough demands, but was humbled by reality, essentially extending the bailout deal—which it had promised to reject—to buy time to work on a more extensive agreement. Read more about Previewing the March Issue 02-24-15
Talks between the leaders of Greece and those of the rest of Europe so far have yielded little progress toward an accord and discussions have halted. Germany has demanded that Greece file for an extension of the bailout deal (set to expire at the end of February) if it wants euro zone ministers to meet to discuss financial aid for the beleaguered Mediterranean nation.
It appears that the rest of the euro zone wants Greece, at minimum, to agree to use the existing bailout agreement as framework to renegotiate for relaxation of austerity conditions. Read more about Who Will Blink First? 02-17-15
Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek head of state, will attend the European Union summit this week to discuss a possible new line of critical funding for Greece as the current bailout deal is set to expire at the end of the month; if the country cannot work out another package, that would leave Greece with insufficient liquidity to meet its financial obligations. Read more about The Clock Ticks for Greece 02-10-15
Oil prices have rebounded above $52 in recent days as a strike by refinery workers threaten to keep more than one million barrels of refined petroleum products per day off the market and a slew of energy company budget cuts and decline of rigs in operation spurred bets that oil may have bottomed. Read more about Oil Heats Up 02-03-15
This issue we take a look at the ECB's ambitious new plans and what the Greek leadership change may mean for investors. As usual, we review what our indicators are saying about stocks, bonds, and precious metals and we re-rank our related ETFs accordingly.
We also look at what the CRB Raw Industrials Index is telling us about the industrial commodities market and implications for the future.
See the issue for details. Read more about The ECB Joins the Party