Stock market futures drafted down on the news of another Spanish bailout request ahead of this week’s European summit. The Dow and Standard & Poor’s 500 shed around 1 percent and 0.6 percent last week, while the NASDAQ gained 0.7. Long term sentiments look negative on the European crisis, as expressed by George Soros yesterday.
Markets are expected to be volatile throughout the summer over the European crisis, and ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the future of President Obama’s nationalized health care plan. The uncertainty over the crisis is expected to remain even after the summit where European leaders will meet this Thursday to discuss policy responses to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.
A planned meeting between representatives of the troika — the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank — and Greek ministers, is postponed due to the unavailability of Greek officials. The newly elected Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is recovering from an eye operation he underwent this weekend.
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Despite the leaked memo of the summit, outlining steps towards creating a cross border banking union, closer fiscal integration, possibility of a debt redemption fund and a possible clash between German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande over introduction of common bonds across the euro zone, helped little to rescue the market. European shares fell while Spanish borrowing costs rose on Monday and the euro weakened broadly on investor skepticism that the Summit would be no good in reducing the crisis.
George Soros, billionaire investor, commenting on the summit said “German resistance to such proposals and Merkel’s refusal last week to provide any relief to Spain or Italy at a meeting of the four leaders of the euro zone’s largest economies threatened to turn the Summit into a fiasco.”
Investors are much more concerned with Europe rather than the other issues like the slowing US recovery. Europe and the US each make up close to 25% of global GDP. An implosion of Europe is a lot more frightening to investors, than a less than robust US recovery.
However, other issues remain a concern.
“Europe doesn’t run the world,” Soros said. There are “lots of other issues going on in the world and it doesn’t begin and end with Europe.”