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Wednesday May 19, 2010 - 13:55:56 GMT
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Germany’s Plan to Curb Naked Short-Selling Drives Stocks Lower

U.S. stock index futures are trading lower overnight in reaction to Germany’s plan to curb naked short-covering in some financial instruments. Traders are mystified by the action by the German government who once again are demonstrating that the European Union leaders do not have a grasp of the situation in the Euro Zone.

 

Germany seems to be acting alone in its effort to stop the slide in the Euro which could be a sign it’s preparing to wash its hands of the entire situation. Once again the leaders are ignoring the primary causes of the problems in the Euro Zone and attacking the market participants. The easiest thing to do is to blame the hedge funds and the short sellers; the hardest thing to do is to make reasonable attempts to fix the lingering debt problems in the Euro Zone.

 

The June E-mini NASDAQ is getting hit particularly hard in the pre-opening market. The falling Euro is helping to raise concerns about the impact of a weaker Euro Zone economy on technology sales to Europe.

 

Weaker equity markets are triggering a flight-to-quality rally in the June Treasury Bonds.  The surge in the T-Bonds has helped put this market in a strong position to rally further. Regaining a 50% level at 122’05 is the first sign of strength, followed by 122’23.

 

June Gold is trading lower. This market confirmed last Friday’s reversal top and is currently testing a key 50% price level at $1203.00. A failure to hold this price will drive the market to $1192.00. News that a major hedge fund has stopped buying gold due to excessive volatility is helping to pressure the metal. Watch for a technical bounce off $1203.00.

 

Oversold conditions triggered a short-lived short-covering rally on Tuesday, but this rally failed to attract any fresh buying once the Euro turned weaker. The falling Euro continues to exert downside pressure on crude oil. Traders feel that the demand will plunge as the Euro Zone economy is expected to show almost no growth while it tries to sort out the current financial crisis.

 

The June Euro continued its slide overnight and signs are developing that indicate the problem is with the European Union and not the Euro. The market seems to be content with the weakness in the Euro. It’s the inability of the European Union to act as a cohesive unit that makes traders feel that a breakup may be coming. France and Germany are obviously upset at the turn of events and both feel in my opinion that its time to walk away from the notion of one unified currency.

 

After ten years, it appears that both the Germans and the French have finally realized that they cannot afford to support the wild spending habits of the other Euro Zone countries. Although some of the weaker countries are taking pre-emptive steps to shore up their economies through austere financial measures, it may be a case of too little, too late.

 

Tuesday’s announcement to ban naked short-selling by the Germans is clearly a sign of desperation. This goes back to what I was saying a couple of weeks ago when I said the European Union has no, and may have never had a plan to deal with the situation that is taking place at this time 

 

The question is ……what is going to happen next? Will the EU announce they are intervening to prop up the Euro? This usually never works. Shorts will eat up any fresh money pumped into the market. The only time an intervention works is when a central bank tries to drive its currency lower since they control the printing press. If they don’t intervene then the European Central Bank may slash interest rates to zero. This will also have a negative effect on the Euro since it will mean the ECB is expecting no growth in the Euro Zone economy.

 

The June British Pound is falling in sympathy with the Euro and on concerns that new austere financial measures will pressure the economy. Talk is also circulating that the Bank of England will use the poor economy as the reason to being buying government bonds once again. This action would put liquidity back into the financial system thereby pressuring the Sterling.

 

Technically, the lack of follow-through to the downside could be an indication that traders are beginning to discount the current events. Oversold conditions are also contributing to the limited losses. This market could be setting up for a closing price reversal bottom, but more work has to be made throughout the day to establish a support base.

 

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