It's been a week of ups and downs in the U.S. stock market, as investors have been watching developments in Europe while digesting mostly positive news in the United States.
With all eyes focused on Cyprus, U.S. stocks have taken a pause from the rally that has been underway since early November. The Dow has been bouncing around 14,500 while the S&P 500 has been drifting between 1,550 and 1,560, just below its all-time high from October 2007.
After falling on Monday and rebounding on Tuesday, all three major U.S. indexes were back in the red Wednesday as banks in Cyprus are set to open their doors Thursday for the first time since March 16. Worries about Cyprus have reignited fears about other troubled countries in the eurozone, including Greece, Spain and Italy.
The Athens stock exchange tumbled 4% Wednesday, while Spanish and Italian stocks dropped about 1%.
The pressure in the markets gave Stocktwits users plenty to chatter about.
So the Greek stock market is officially crashing? This constitutes a crash right? down over 25% since last month? si o no?
It's certainly a sharp pullback. But of course, Greece's stock market is up more than 80% from its low in June 2012.
Investors have been flip-flopping lately. CNNMoney's Fear & Greed index ticked down 8 points overnight, showing that investors are now in 'Greed' mode, compared to 'Extreme Greed' earlier this week.
That's a good point. While stocks have taken a breather from the rally, they're not even close to down and out. But even though investors aren't really seeking safety in ADT Corp., they are continuing to pad their portfolios with Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year Treasury has fallen to 1.86% from almost 2% a week ago.
That's fair. Experts continue to make the point that even though the U.S. economy is still struggling with high unemployment, sluggish growth and a dysfunctional government, it has benefited from the Federal Reserve's stimulus policies over the last few years, and it's in much better shape than other countries.
And as long as that continues, the U.S. stock market stands to benefit, said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. He emphasized that even during the past few weeks, the U.S. stock market has held up better than many of its foreign counterparts, particularly emerging markets.
Greece and its international creditors have agreed on the "core measures" of the nation's recovery plan, but discussions over the nation's latest bailout installment will continue.
The European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, known as the troika, said Wednesday that monitors will leave Greece after "productive discussions" over policies to restore economic competitiveness and reduce unemployment.
But the group has yet to complete a key review of Greece's MOREBen Rooney - Oct 17, 2012 3:42 PM ET
Following years of setbacks and shortfalls, efforts to stabilize the euro currency union finally appear to be taking shape, with policymakers scoring two key victories in as many weeks.
"It's encouraging to see, but all these measures were necessary to preserve the status quo," said Marie Diron, senior economic adviser at Ernst & Young in London. "Without these things, the situation would have been quite dire, but we've learned to be MOREBen Rooney - Sep 14, 2012 7:44 AM ET
Spain suffered the highest level of joblessness in the eurozone in July, as overall unemployment in the region held steady at a record high.
One out of every four citizens in Spain is unemployed, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat. The situation is even worse for young Spaniards. The unemployment rate for those under 25 years old is now approaching 53%.
Spain has been dealing with high unemployment for years. The MOREBen Rooney - Aug 31, 2012 11:23 AM ET
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi defended the euro currency Wednesday and reiterated that "exceptional measures" are justified to stabilize financial markets.
In an op-ed published in German newsweekly Die Zeit, Draghi said the euro was launched as a "currency without a state," built on an "institutional framework" that left it vulnerable to crises.
Draghi went on to say that the the euro area needs a "new architecture" to complete the monetary MOREBen Rooney - Aug 29, 2012 12:55 PM ET
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, and Abbott Laboratories, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
Investors were giddy Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi appeared to borrow Hank Paulson's old bazooka. Stocks surged after Draghi said that the ECB would do anything and everything it could to save the MOREPaul R. La Monica - Jul 26, 2012 12:18 PM ET
Good news from Europe! The euro surged Friday morning on news of a deal to help recapitalize banks. Bond yields in Spain and Italy fell. Stocks around the world rallied and there was a nice pop on Wall Street as well.
Bad news from Europe! The euro surged Friday morning on news of a deal to help recapitalize banks. Bond yields in Spain and Italy fell. Stocks around the world rallied MOREPaul R. La Monica - Jun 29, 2012 11:28 AM ET
Greece is an underdog, in many ways. But it faces particularly long odds in Friday's game against Germany in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals.
This is football we're talking about. Soccer for you Yanks.
The match, in official parlance, is fraught with political overtones.
(Insert witty sports metaphor here).
For Greece, it presents an opportunity to score a symbolic victory over the nation's "paymaster," as the Germans have become known.
Related: Fight for pride moves from MOREBen Rooney - Jun 22, 2012 10:20 AM ET
The bad news just keeps piling up for Europe.
An index of purchasing managers, formally known as the Markit flash eurozone PMI, came in at 46 in June, still showing contraction but unchanged from May. The index has been contracting since September, and it remains at the lowest level since 2009. The second quarter has also seen "the steepest downturn" in three years.
The only glimmer of hope is that the PMI MORECatherine Tymkiw - Jun 21, 2012 10:29 AM ET
Europe's financial problems are not over. Sure, a "Grexit" may now be off the table for a while following the New Democracy victory in the Greek elections Sunday. But Spanish 10-year bond yields continue to surge and are now above the psychologically important 7% barrier. Investors are still worried about Italy's banks and debt load too.
As a result, investors continue to scamper for safety. Yields on both U.S. 10-year Treasury MOREPaul R. La Monica - Jun 18, 2012 12:48 PM ET
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