By Jack Barnes, Global Macro Trends Specialist, Money Morning
It turned out to be a ruinous Friday the 13th for Europe week before last. After the market close, Standard & Poor's downgraded nine of the sovereign states in the European Union (EU). That included dropping Austria and France to AA+ status from their formerly lofty AAA rating.
While the decision was expected, and will most likely be followed by additional downgrades from the other rating agencies such as Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO) and Fitch Ratings Inc., it's the knock-on effects that will have larger implications for investors around the world.
by Jeff Miller
Normally the State of the Union Address would be the focal point for the week's events. In a general sense this is still true, but our focus in this weekly series is much narrower: What will influence markets?
This SOTU speech is unlikely to have a big market effect. The political lines have been drawn. We can all hope for initiatives that will generate some compromise, but I am not hopeful. I expect themes related to the major national problems - -housing and jobs.
My forecast last week was that by Thursday we would all be talking about earnings. I expect earnings to dominate the story this week as well.
I'll take this up further in the conclusion, but first let us do our regular review of the week's news and data.
by Trefis Staff
Below is a summary of the activity on Trefis during the past week that we thought you would find interesting. Trefis is a financial community structured around trends, forecasts and insights related to some of the most popular stocks in the US. It provides the unique feature of allowing the user to model future valuation based upon projected changes in components of each business. It also provides communication capabilities among members, including consensus of member analysis compared toTrefis staff analysis and blogging opportunities for members.
Click on graphic for larger image and go to Trefis for interactive page.
by William Kurtz, CandleWave LLC
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is considered a good coincident to leading indicator of economic activity. When the global economy is strong the demand drives up the cost of shipping and the BDI goes higher. When the global economy is pulling back, everything goes the other way, including the BDI. There are dramatic developments in the BDI which we will review shortly, but first I have a little discussion about the stock market rally.
by Dee Gill, Y Charts
2011 was middle school all over again for Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM), the year the ace student spent getting the crap beaten out of it by losers benefiting from growth spurts. General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Volkswagen – competitors that seemed so insignificant two years ago – gleefully trounced Toyota in sales milestones, causing Toyota to lose its top dog credentials.