Over the weekend, the Spanish crisis was semi-resolved with the EU agreeing in principle to give money from the ESM (which isn't operational yet) or the EFSF to the FROB (the Spanish banking entity). The €100bln will likely be senior to other Spanish government obligations, although this is not clear.
In fact, there is a fair amount that isn't clear. Equities shot higher by 20 S&P points overnight, only to fall back to +7 before the NY open and finishing the day down 16.7 points, -1.3% on the day.
Stocks may have been taking a cue from Spanish and Italian bonds, which were smashed Monday. Spanish 10-year yields rose 30bps (see Chart, Source: Bloomberg) while Italian 10y BTP yields rose 12bps.
It may seem like the market is lodging a no-confidence vote, but I am not so sure that's indeed what is happening. Yes, in general it has been a good trade over the last couple of years to bet that the grand plans will come to nothing, and quickly, but this is still the most decision-like announcement that we have yet seen come out of one of these weekend meetings. Yes, this only helps the Spanish banks, and Spain is likely to still need money while the ESM/EFSF now has €100bln less in capacity. But depending on the details, this isn't a horrible attempt to address a very specific problem. The question, of course, is whether this is a specific problem, or a general one! (Pete Tchir had a great line; he said "Fixing Spanish banks is a bit like drowning one lawyer - a good start.")
But the rise in Spanish government bond yields doesn't necessarily mean investors view the announced measures as a failure. Rather, it might indicate that investors view the announced measures as a success and likely to happen - since once element of that program would be (probably) the subordination of the claims of Spanish government debt holders. It is entirely rational to mark yields higher when debt goes from a senior position in the capital structure to a junior position in the capital structure. The question is, what does it do next? That will be the real indication that the announcement quelled some of the fear that had developed…or did not.
Let's not forget that Greece goes to the polls next weekend, so even if you thought the result of this weekend's meeting was terrific, we still might be sitting here in a week staring down a Euro exit or breakup.