Greece Pulls Back From the Precipice

 | Mar 08, 2012 | 6:36 PM EST  | Comments
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You know why you can't trust the European commentators? Because the information flow over there is ridiculous. How in heck could commentators over there almost in unison say that the Greek deal might not get 60% of the bondholders to exchange their toxic bonds, when in reality it was almost a breeze to do? How could people be so wrong over there?

Some of it, of course, is that the Germans strong-armed tons of holders to get it done. That happened in the last 72 hours. But part of this madness is that Europe speaks with so many tongues and there are so many know-it-alls, and they are such dissemblers in Greece that you can't get a handle on anything.

The good news is that when we get to the precipice in 2012, we get pulled back before leaping, as opposed to last year's leaps that ended in a trampoline.

But I think what's been undersold is the "Bernanke put." The Fed chairman did it again. When the stock market was teetering and gasoline roaring, he let it be known that he had the market's back. If you look at a chart of the S&P 500, it turned right when that happened, and then the turn accelerated today with the CurrencyShares Euro (FXE) ramp, the FXE still being, along with iPath Dow Jones Copper (JJC), the key to figuring out this market.

All that said, let's understand that all we did was go back to where we were and then some. Then tonight we got Altera (ALTR) and Texas Instruments (TXN) saying the wrong things that are going to, again, remind people that we have had several preannouncements -- Cypress (CY), Merck (MRK), Texas Instruments and Altera are signaling that there is more weakness in the economy than people realize. We weren't helped by McDonald's' (MCD) warnings.

Three years ago, Ben Bernanke started this bull market with a pledge that he wasn't going to let another big institution collapse, and stock prices had exhausted themselves.

It is only fitting that once again, Bernanke saved the market from what seemed to be a repeat of last year's 7% February-March correction. Instead, he stopped it down 3%, with some help by a Greek auction that the Germans co-opted in their own inimical way. Boy, have they ever gotten their cake and got to eat it too.

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