Monday's Market: All Eyes On Italy

by: Markos Kaminis

All eyes will be on Italy Monday morning as a post-Berlusconi era welcomes in new austerity. Wait a second, is that really good news to be celebrated on the streets of Italy by the Italian masses, or is it a disguised surprise pinned to the exiting Prime Minister, leaving his replacement clear of blame? Or it is more likely that the technocrats now leading Italy and Greece aren’t so interested in political futures, and are willing or ignorant to their new status as economic sacrificial lambs.

Italy will now move forward with an issuance of about 1.5 to 3.0 billion euros worth of five-year bonds, supposedly and hopefully to a receptive marketplace Monday. I suppose short-sighted markets will rally on this “change,” but keep an eye on the Italian bond yields, as they must come down from the 7% range reached last week for this to have a chance. Greece too awakens to a new leader this week, so a new day dawns for Europe. Here’s hoping it won’t rain fire as usual.

Keeping with international news, the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators, excluding Dennis Ross, will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials as the region boils over. Iran is still at the forefront of the geopolitical wire, with the latest Republican presidential debate keying on the issue. Interestingly enough, the fellas with the hardest game plans for Iran, Romney and Gingrich, scored best.

There’s no major economic data set for release in the U.S. Monday. However, the Financial Executives Conference convenes, with accounting officials keying on financial reporting issues. Meanwhile, at some point this week we’ll hear more with regard to the imperfect reporting at Olympus (OTCPK:OCPNY), as its lenders confront the company.

Look out, LinkedIn’s (Nasdaq: LNKD) IPO lockup curbs expire, so more pressure could drive against the shares this week. Look for investor and/or analyst meetings at Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI), Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR) and QEP Resources (NYSE: QEP).

Some of the noteworthy earnings reports for Monday include Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN), J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP), Lowe's (NYSE: LOW), American Midstream Partners (Nasdaq: AMID), Assured Guaranty (NYSE: AGO), Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), Varian Semiconductor (Frankfurt: VSE.F), Avatar Holdings (Nasdaq: AVTR), (AMEX: BNX), China Auto Logistics (Nasdaq: CALI), China Ceramics (Nasdaq: CCCL), China Natural Gas (Nasdaq: CHNG), China Shengda Packaging (Nasdaq: CPGI), Chinanet Online (Nasdaq: CNET), Craft Brewers Alliance (Nasdaq: HOOK), Dynegy (NYSE: DYN), (Nasdaq: DIET), Michael Foods (Nasdaq: MIKL), Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR), SORL Auto Parts (Nasdaq: SORL), Towerstream (Nasdaq: TWER), Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE), VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN) and several others.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.