Looking for Reasons

 | Feb 25, 2013 | 2:55 PM EST
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Pin the tail on what? On the Italian election? Do we think that it really matters for us? Europe's stock markets have been going higher because austerity policies have been in sync with what the central bank wants. This vote could upset the apple cart but, frankly, I think that it is much ado about 3% to 5% in Italy, not here. Bad there, but OK here.

Pin it on House Speaker John Boehner's press conference after the close of the market? That does matter because I presume it will be all about how much the GOP and the Democrats simply can't get along. It's been ages since a Republican has said something good that moves the market higher.

But I think people are setting up short positions to get ready for Fed chief Ben Bernanke's testimony. What's worked of late is this: First, lay out the shorts the day before testimony/minutes, whatever. Second, blast out the futures the moment the testimony goes on to color the testimony negatively. Third, find your way to a microphone or a website and tell it like it isn't -- that it's all bad and the Fed's about to tighten yesterday.

These three reasons are all in play -- alibis that work given the 200-point run we had from the bottom last week.

Random Musings: Kudos to Herb Greenberg for nailing the ITT Educational Services (ESI) stock as a danger zone. It used to be at $40, now it is at $16. Well done. Housing index now down 8.5% from the high. Painful.

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