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Preliminary Verdict: Consolidation And Correction

 February 22, 2012 12:44 PM

In my last post, I wrote that I was watching the European bourses and the Hang Seng Index for signs of whether we are likely to see a continuation of the bull move or a consolidation period.

The preliminary verdict is consolidation and correction. You can tell the short-term tone of the market by how it reacts to news. On the weekend, China unexpected cut reserve requirements by 50 bp. The Shanghai Composite rallied on the news, but the Hong Kong market was unable to hold its gains and finished the last few days beneath a key technical resistance level.

In Europe, we saw the Greek bailout deal finalized late in the night. Markets staged a mild rally on the news and then sold off. The Dow rallied to kiss the 13K level and wound up roughly flat on the day. Does this sound like a market where the bulls are in control or does it sound like they're exhausted?

In the wake of the easing of financial tensions in the eurozone, can anyone explain to me why the EURCHF exchange rate hasn't rallied and appears to be slowly declining to the 1.20 level where the SNB said it would defend?

The Swiss Franc has long been regarded as a safe haven and the EURCHF rate is a measure of risk appetite so the above chart appears to be anomalous. What does the FX market know that the equity markets don't know?

I generally agree with Barry Ritholz's scenario for the market, though I believe that the Fed is likely to be proactive on QE3:
If the past is prologue (and that cannot be relied upon), we could see a scenario something like this (Note: Wild ass guessing to follow). Markets kiss 13,000, pullback and consolidate.

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