The Day Ahead: Lots of European Data Plus Pending Home Sales


With the benefit of one additional day having transpired in this, the “Cyprus Bailout Week,” we’re quickly seeing that Cyprus-related trading fluctuations were too short-lived to have a whole week named after them, and even then, didn’t rock the boat nearly as much as other historical incidence of so-called Eurodrama.  There’s some small possibility that we haven’t heard the last of Cyprus as a broad-scale market mover, but apart from it’s impact on Greek credit spreads and it’s role as a jumping-off point for EU officials to bring new ideas into the fray, it hasn’t been in the same league as past EU panic spikes.

The lines in the upper section of the chart correspond to various EU “PIIGS” states (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) At the risk of overexplaining, suffice it to say that the higher those lines are, the worse the situation in that particular country was perceived to be.  In the lower section, the purple line is the VIX and white is Treasury futures prices (so the higher the white line, the lower the yield).  Conclusion?  Cyprus was only really a big deal for Greece, at least inasmuch as directly causing movement.

There’s still the matter of Italy to contend with–something we’ve been waiting on for nearly a month now.  In that regard, the Cyprus bailout may serve to allude to a certain firmness in the resolve of EU when it comes to doling out it’s various forms of aid, thus suggesting that Italy needs to have it’s act together when it comes to Austerity requirements if it hopes to benefit from EU money.  Incidentally, the most meaningful headlines out of Italy are expected on Thursday, the same day that Cypriot banks ostensibly re-open.  We’re not sure what sort of drama there can be in Cyprus considering the capital controls in place, but the Italy headlines could be big.  Coupled with a fairly decent batch of domestic economic data and a 2pm close ahead of Good Friday, and things could get interesting.

Today then, is probably slightly less interesting as we only really have Pending Home Sales on the calendar in terms of morning economic data.  MBA mortgage applications are “with us as always,” but not of concern to broader bond markets.  The afternoon at least provides a more relevant Treasury Auction, this time with 5yr Notes at 1pm.  It may well be the case that the vast amount of economic data in the European session will have set the tone overnight.

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