Fed Commentary, Greece Action, and More
Closely watched today will be U.S. Fed commentary at 12:30p EST and Chmn. Bernanke's last press conference of 2011 (following the strong U.S. economy 2011 Q3 results), and the EU Group of 20 Summit meeting in Cannes where the focus is on Greek PM Papandreou and a supposed January 2012 referendum vote in Greece -- announced October 31 by the PM -- on last week's eurozone sovereign debt agreement.
The Fed commentary today is expected to present no immediate action, however speculation remains that there could be some form of stimulus program in early 2012.
The Greece and EU sovereign debt scenario is far more unpredictable, and possessing a potentially broad negative impact on global markets (note the equities volatility this week); comparatively, U.S. policies and economics are stable. If PM Papandreou continues to press for a January 2012 vote in Greece on last week's eurozone agreement (EU members are pressing the Greek PM to adopt the agreement unequivocally), it is speculated that Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy have a Plan B: instead of funding Greece directly, fund the EU central fund and continue only to loan monies to Greece as the country complies (or not) with its expenditure and debt reduction. Meanwhile, PM Papandreou is amidst a precarious scenario of triangulation -- agree to the EU plan and face certain unrest in Greece, a dysfunctional government, and the confidence vote of November 4, or press for a January 2012 referendum vote and become moreso subservient and a captive of EU sovereign and bank lending rules and required austerity provisions while still encountering potential unrest and government dysfunction and mounting debt and illiquidity, as well as the mistrust of the EU.
At 9:06a EST U.S. equity futures are flat while Mastercard beat 3Q estimates -- a lot of good news regarding earnings reports thus far today.
More to come.