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North Korea and PIIGS Weigh on Stocks as Volume Rises

|Includes: DIA, IWM, Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ), SPY

Fears rise over PIIGS bailouts and potential war in the Korean Peninsula scare traders away from stocks


The markets were rocked with news out of the Korean peninsula where North Korea and South Korea fired upon each other.  Futures weakened considerably throughout the early morning session as European fears continued to put pressure on stocks.  A better than expected GDP results and a spike in the Richmond Fed Index couldn’t help push stocks higher.  Volume on the NYSE rose much higher than Monday’s level where the NASDAQ only saw its volume barely above Monday’s level.  Market leaders were largely positive, but overall the damage was done with the banks.  Today’s action was not ideal, yet we were able to find support at the lows with a few leaders finishing in the green.

Panic certainly struck the market today as fears regarding Ireland’s bailout, but now attention is turning to other countries making up PIIGS.  Spain is the real issue here whereby its bailout will certainly be the grand daddy of them all.  It is surprising the European Union hasn’t set up a TARP like program to deal with its banking issue, but what really needs to occur is for governments to run surpluses with slashing entitlement programs.  Many will cry foul and ask for bigger taxes, but increasing taxes does not solve the problem of insolvency.  It is an easy equation and for it to balance out spending needs to be drastically cut.  But, all of this, for our markets with leaders showing promise we may have seen one giant shakeout.

It is entirely possible to see the market roll over here and we’ll be very quick to cut our losses and push to the short side of the market.  However, with the market showing support at the lows today along with plenty of leaders finishing in the green today it shows a positive direction for the market.  Let’s not use “we are oversold” as an excuse for the market to go higher.  We can certainly stay oversold for quite some time, but with the recent selling we should see a drastic reduction in AAII and II Bulls.  Stick with the leaders and your stocks.

Tomorrow morning we are going to get a flurry of economic data the market will get a chance to digest.  More importantly will be how the market reacts to this as well as any news coming out of Europe and the Korean Peninsula.  Any further downside should throw caution to the wind and should get you on the defensive.  Always be prepared and have a plan and as always cut your losses.