Market Preview: A Risky Bet
The culprit seems to be that it's difficult to parse just yet how much this really changes anything over there. The one solid positive is that the Greek people are no longer resisting austerity wholesale, but it remains to be seen how well the political parties are going to be able to work together. Credit Suisse is looking on the bright side.
"Our economists believe that there is an 80% chance that Greece will negotiate a workable compromise with the troika, by spreading Eu11bn of spending cuts over four years (rather than two), a possible reduction of interest rates and growth-enhancing measures," the firm said in the wake of the election's outcome, adding later: "Greek politics will not run smoothly! Overall, the election result buys some time."
Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ , was a bit less optimistic in his commentary early Monday.
"When I think of the equity markets' recent advances despite rising global risks, I can't help but picture an individual in a catastrophic earthquake that has become optimistic that the cracks in the crust will go around them rather than underneath them," he said. "If global investors were confident all along that the central banks and government leaders would step in to support faltering economies and suppress sovereign debt yields, why then did equity prices decline in the first place?"
Stovall argues that "something's gotta give" between U.S. Treasury 10-year bond yields sitting at historic lows and stock prices working their way higher again, and he thinks investors may want to consider low-volatility names.
"Near term sector performances hint that the Risk-On trade is returning to favor, as investors are reminded of the old Wall Street saying: 'Don't be wrong for too long.' Yet being too quick to embrace risk may simply land them in the eye of the storm," he wrote. "For those eager for excitement, but still exhibit a bit of prudence, may I suggest the merry-go-round instead of the roller coaster?"
Tobias Levkovich, chief equity strategist at Citigroup, though ranks it as a positive that U.S. equities are still so widely held.
"Baby boomers have not dumped stocks the way one might have expected," he wrote Monday. "While outflows from US equity mutual funds have climbed to almost $500 billion (using the Investment Company Institute source) since 2007 (versus more than $995 billion flowing into bond funds), Americans still have roughly $4.3 trillion in US stock funds (modestly less than at the 2007 peak) and another $1.5 trillion in international funds, suggesting that the feared mass exodus has not occurred. In addition, investors own another trillion dollars of ETFs."