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Sunday Briefing on February 14

Turmoil in the Hellenic Republic continues. This will be a three-day weekend in the markets with Presidents’ Day. Here is the important news from last week, and what to expect for next week.

Market moving events next week:

Monday Feb 15: US markets closed. L’Oreal SA releases earnings.
Tuesday Feb 16: Treasury International Capital report released. Housing Market Index released. Abercrombie & Fitch, Barclays PLC, Qwest Communications, Regal Entertainment Group, and Teva Pharmaceutical release earnings.
Wednesday Feb 17: Housing Starts report released. Industrial production report released. BNP Paribas, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, Hewlett-Packard, ING Groep NV, Las Vegas Sands, Norsk Hydro, NVIDIA, Priceline.com, Rhinemetall AG, and XTO Energy release earnings.
Thursday Feb 18: Producer Price Index released. Jobless claims released. BAE Systems, California Pizza Kitchen, and Trend Micro release earnings.
Friday Feb 19: Consumer Price Index released. JCPenny releases earnings.

Events last week were driven by concern in the Eurozone. Keep watching Greece and a possible bailout. This coming week has a number of high-profile earnings releases in financial companies, energy companies, and consumer goods and entertainment. These earnings releases will give insight into the current status of the economy, but continuing turmoil in the Eurozone may cause stocks not to trade on fundamentals. Remember that when the positive GDP numbers came out, everyone was looking at Greece.

Recapping last week

The New Orleans Saints win the Superbowl.

The Space Shuttle Endeavor lifts off.

Senate Democrats unveil $85 billion in additional stimulus.

US home sales increased in the 4th quarter of 2009 due to tax credits.

Greek crisis

Read my commentary on the implications of a Greek debt crisis here.

Remember the PIIGS acronym for debt-ridden countries? Now apparently there is a new one: STUPID, for Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy, and Dubai.

Editorials in the English edition of Kathimerini, a Greek newspaper, have slammed the Greek government for this crisis. Read the editorials here and here.

EU Demands Greek Cuts in Bid to Uphold Euro Stability. The EU has been very hawkish on the Greek deficit.

In a possible contrarion move, the asset management giant BlackRock has purchased more Greek bonds, saying that BlackRock does not expect a “Lehman-type crisis” in Greece.

In quite a provocative statement, strategists at SocGen have said that a breakup of the Eurozone is “inevitable” in light of the Greek crisis.

World developments

US, Afghan, British, Canadian, Estonian, and Danish forces launch a new offensive in Afghanistan to pacify Marjah, a Taliban hot-spot in the Helmand Province. Read commentary on the operation here and here.

Iran Standoff Heats Up With Ahmadinejad Nuclear Claim.

Japan, South Korea unite in demand for North Korean nuclear talks.

US and Iraqi forces kill Hezbollah operatives in Iraq. Hezbollah activity has been noted in Iraq previously. The Iranian and Syrian backed terrorist group operates primarily in Lebanon.

Current market stats

TED Spread: 0.1526
3-month Libor: 0.25

S&P 500: 1075.51
FTSE 100: 5142.45
Nikkei 225: 10033.12
Hang Seng: 20268.69

Oil: 74.17
Gold: 1089.50

Euro/US Dollar: 1.3613

30-Year Fixed Mortgage: 5.04%
Business Credit Cards: 11.32%

Best attempts at accuracy were made at 9:14 PM Pacific Standard Time on Sunday, February 14. These stats are for informational and educational purposes only, and no liability is assumed for inaccurate information.



Disclosure: No positions