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Gary Smith’s Market Take

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Here’s my take on the markets today, August 6, 2012. If you’d like to read more of my articles, click here.

Credit gauges are mostly improving again today. The 3M Euribor-OIS Spread is rising +2.3% to 29.3 bps. The 2Y Euro Swap Spread is gaining +2.3% to 68.23 bps. The Japan sovereign cds is rising +.43% to 87.50 bps. However, the TED Spread is down -1.5% to 35.8 bps. The 3M EUR/USD Cross Currency Basis Swap is gaining +1.8% to -38.80 bps. The European Investment Grade CDS Index is falling -1.3% to 147.78 bps. The European Financial Sector CDS Index is falling -1.4% to 241.88 bps. The Germany sovereign cds is falling -1.99% to 66.37 bps. The Spain sovereign cds is falling -4.1% to 514.12 bps. The Italy sovereign cds is down -3.5% to 458.50 bps. The Spain 10Y Yld is falling -1.7% to 6.73% and the Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread is falling -.26% to 461.28 bps. The Spanish/Italian 10Y Ylds remain stubbornly high and overall gauges remain at stressed levels despite recent improvements.

Major Asian indices were higher, led by a +2.1% gain in South Korean shares. Major European indices are also higher, boosted by a +3.9% surge in Spanish stocks. The Bloomberg European Bank/Financial Services Index is rising +1.1%. Brazil is gaining +1.6%.

There is no follow-through weakness in the 10Y T-Note today as the yield falls back -2 bps to 1.54%, which is a concern. As well, commodities are mixed.

It remains unclear to me whether or not Germany will puts its own balance sheet on the line to save the euro as sentiment towards Draghi’s recent actions deteriorates even as investors continue to price this outcome into stocks. The S&P 500 has rallied +10.0% off its June 4th low, however the quality of the rally has been poor as breadth, volume, new highs/lows, leadership and other internal gauges are lacking. I continue to believe this fall will prove very challenging for stocks unless the macro backdrop begins improving soon. Tech shares are boosting the major averages, however the Transports aren’t participating today. I have not traded so far 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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