Monday, January 30, 2012

Dallas Fed January manufacturing comes at 15.3, far better than consensus.

The good news is that Europe is running out of bankrupt countries.

The bad news is that concerns now are gravitating toward Portugal.

Yields on Portugal's two-year note are now nearly 21%, up 370 basis points on the day. The 10-year note has risen in yield by almost 200 basis points, to over 17%.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that Portugal is smaller than Greece (as Peter Boockvar noted an economy of $225 billion vs. Greece's $285 billion). More importantly, public debt in Portugal is less than half of Greece's $455 billion.

A strong U.S. dollar is not a prerequisite for a healthy U.S. stock market.

Recently, a number of market observers (most notably Hedgeyes's Keith McCullough and "The Kudlow Report's" Larry Kudlow) have opined that the health of U.S. equities is dependent on a strong U.S. dollar.

Based upon history, however, the notion that a strong U.S. dollar is a prerequisite for a strong U.S. stock market is a myth.

Intrade has Romney's chances of winning the Florida primary at 97% vs.Gingrich's chances at 4%. Intrade has Romney's chances of winning the Nevada caucus at 94.3% vs. Gingrich's chances at 4%. Intrade has Romney's chances of winning the Republican nomination for presidential candidacy at 87.8%. Intrade has Obama's chances of being reelected at 54.4%.