The market continues to seesaw back and forth but news out of Europe jolted shares higher as it feels like the cavalry has come to the rescue of Greece. ECB Chairman Jean-Claude Trichet is leaving a meeting in Sydney early and will cobble together a deal despite the proud stance Greek officials have taken with respect to not asking for outside help. Pride cometh before the fall, and at this point even the Greeks should accept a gift horse. This is a high stakes game as it has been reported there is a record short position against the Euro and Spain is very vocal about traders pressuring their assets. This is no time for a marathon as this is a flat out sprint that will see speculators make a ton of money on Greece's and Spain's ruins, or be carried out on their shields. Deals can be cut, and aid can come, but these are serious issues and problems that need less spending to be part of the cure.
The economic news out today isn't top-tier stuff and is not moving the market, but it does buttress the notion this is going to be a long recovery. Wholesale inventories declined by 0.8%; the Street was looking for a decline of 0.3%. Sales edged slightly higher, and the inventory/sales ratio continued to trend lower from its February 2009 high.
The Jobs Opening Report, also known as "JOLTS", saw a dip from November's record of 6.35 job seekers for every job opening. But, at 6.11 to 1.00 it's still a shocking figure. Of course, within the report there is even more jaw-dropping news. There are 50 unemployed construction workers for each construction job opening. The numbers for 2009 are just as sobering.
* 2009: 49.4 million were hired, down from 56.5 million in the prior year period
* 2009: 22.0 million people quit, down from 30.9 million in 2008
In December, there was a surge in retail job openings, and manufacturing also posted a noticeable improvement.
The action today is positive but volume is suspect and so, too, lulls will see much ground yielded swiftly. But a surge into the close would send a very positive message.