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Gary Smith’s Market Take

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Here’s my take on the markets today, June 18, 2012. If you’d like to read more of my articles, click here.

Credit gauges are deteriorating today. The 3M Euribor-OIS Spread is surging +7.8% to 44.1 bps(+13.1% in 5 days). The 3M EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap is falling -5.0% to -52.75 bps. The 2Y Euro Swap Spread is rising +4.0% to 81.52 bps. The European Investment Grade CDS Index is rising +2.2% to 178.58 bps. The European Financial Sector CDS Index is gaining +3.0% to 287.54 bps. The France sovereign cds is gaining +1.7% to 200.65 bps. The Spain sovereign cds is jumping +4.0% to 623.65 bps(new all-time high). The Italy sovereign cds is gaining +1.8% to 553.62 bps. The UK sovereign cds is gaining +2.4% to 73.56 bps. The Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread is gaining +3.3% to 463.84 bps. The Spain 10Y Yld is surging another 4.1% to 7.16%(+10.2% in 5 days). Overall, credit gauge reaction to Europe’s weekend events is poor and gauges remain at stressed levels.

LinkMajor Asian indices were around +1.25% higher overnight, led by a +1.9% gain in Australia. However, India fell -1.44% as the RBI didn’t cut rates as expected, their CPI came in at 10.4% y/y and Fitch cut its credit outlook on the country to negative. I still don’t believe inflation in China is subsiding as much as investors seem to perceive and that a major new easing is likely there anytime soon. Major European indices are mostly lower, led down by a -3.0% decline in Spain. Spanish equities are now down -23.9% ytd, which remains a huge red flag. The Bloomberg European Bank/Financial Services Index is falling -1.94%.

The euro currency continues to trade poorly and stocks are also not reacting well to the Greek news. Oil remains technically weak. I suspect global central bank stimulus/European fiscal union hopes are preventing an otherwise more serious decline in stocks today given what is going on in Spain. As I cautioned last week, I still suspect investors will become more focused on Spain/Italy, the US fiscal cliff and the headwinds for the upcoming earnings season as this week progresses. (XLF) is heavy today, but (XLK) trades well. I covered some index trading hedges on the open and I am positioned 75% net long.

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Gary D. Smith

Gary D. Smith

Gary Douglas Smith actively trades his portfolio as well as the portfolios of family members. In addition, Mr. Smith maintains Between the Hedges, an investment-oriented blog. Previously, he was founder and managing member of Olympus Capital Management, an alternative investment firm. Olympus consisted of a long/short diversified hedge fund and a long/short technology sector hedge fund. Prior to the formation of Olympus, he spent five years as Vice-President of Research and Portfolio Manager for an independent money management firm. Mr. Smith has been engaged for the past 23 years in the analysis and selection of equity and other investments. His expertise is in long/short U.S. equity investing across all market sectors with an emphasis on technology stocks. He uses a top-down investment approach, investing in securities at a reasonable price relative to their growth prospects. As well, technical analysis plays a role in the timing of his investment decisions. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and subsequently received an MBA, with a concentration in finance, from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School.
Gary D. Smith

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