Friday's jobs report finally woke the market up to the reality that the global economic slowdown includes the US. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) both tumbled through their respective 200 day moving averages and appear to be headed lower in the coming weeks.
Globally, Europe remains a basket case with yields on Spanish and Italian debt against German debt blowing through the roof. Spain's banking sector is on track for a bailout with the prerequisite kicking of the can down the road by merging three small unlisted banks into one larger and just as weak bank. Apparently Spain did not learn the lesson from Bankia, the result of merging seven small banks together formed less than 18 months ago.
Greece remains in trouble as elections approach in just a few weeks which may determine their future in the EU. Final polling data is conflicted with no clear leader between the SYRIZA and New Democracy parties. The only certainty is that both parties are campaigning on platforms of changing the austerity programs currently in place.
Portugal remains on the sidelines due to low financing obligations for 2012 but when they have to come to market there will be pain.
The LTRO program, launched to great fanfare, can be declared a failure making the problem worse, not better, in either the short or long term. Allowing banks to borrow at ultra-low rates and invest the proceeds in sovereign debt, whose prices are falling through the floor, and possibly will be restructured later on, was not well thought out as the credit that was supposed to be trickling down to small businesses and exporters dried up.
Meanwhile, the European leadership remains gridlocked over just how to proceed. The Germans are reluctant to shift ground due to the austerity programs they went through integrating East Germany, allowing them to become the powerhouse they are now.
In Asia, growth is slowing across the board with the Australian PMI coming in at 42.4 for May and South Korea dipping to 51 after climbing back above the 50 line.
China's official May manufacturing gauge came in at 50.4, confirming the weakness already suspected by the market and warned of by Chinese leaders months ago.
India's economy slowed to a 5.3% growth rate from 9.2% a year ago as corruption and gridlock weighed heavily on the economy.
The market's shock on Friday sent it tumbling through some important technical areas with a possible retest of those areas this week before heading lower. Too often when rallies end people are staring off into the blue skies and not even noticing the growing clouds on the horizon.
Right now, investors should be protecting their longs by looking at short ETFs like the ProShares Short QQQ (NYSEARCA:PSQ), ProShares Short Dow30 (NYSEARCA:DOG) and the ProShares Short S&P500 (NYSEARCA:SH) along with reviewing strategies such as writing calls or buying puts for protection as the market heads lower over the coming weeks.
Disclosure: I am short a leveraged ETF as part of my strategy to be short the broad market and long Gold.