February 26 2015
It was all Greek to investors.
Last Thursday, things weren’t looking so good for Greece. Barron’s explained:
“…Germany scotched Greece’s request for a six-month extension to its existing aid package. Athens had sought more time to renegotiate the Draconian austerity package imposed on the land of Pericles, to keep from going bust and, perhaps, being kicked out of the euro zone.”
Just a day later, though, Eurozone leaders found grounds for compromise and Greece became the beneficiary of a four-month extension to its current aid package. The deal was contingent on Greece coming up with a list of economic reforms by this Monday for European leaders to approve.
The Irish Times reported Greek Prime Minister Tsipras gave the conditional agreement an interesting spin, telling Greek citizens, “Yesterday’s agreement with the Eurogroup… cancels the commitments of the previous government for cuts to wages and pensions, for firings in the public sector, for VAT rises on food, medicine.” After all, that’s what he promised during his campaign.
World markets were unconditionally thrilled with the news. In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index both closed at record highs. Markets across Europe and Asia finished the week higher. The only stock markets reported in Barron’s International Perspective that didn’t finish the week higher were in Taiwan and Canada.
Closer to home, The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee minutes indicated to some rate hikes may not begin in June, as had been expected. However, Reuters pointed out employment data has been very strong since the January 28 meeting and could affect the Fed’s decision about when to tighten.
- Data as of 2/20/151- WeekY-T-D1-Year3-Year5-Year10-Year
- Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks)0.0060.02514.715.70.1380.06
- 10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)2.1N/A18.104.22.168.3
- Gold (per ounce) -20.8-8.2-11.31.611
- Bloomberg Commodity Index-1.7-1.5-23-11.4-5.2-3.9
- DJ Equity All REIT TR Index-0.54.224.815.717.89.4
*Indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly in an index.
*Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
*S&P 500, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend).
*The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends.
*All investments involve risk – coins and bullion are no exception. The value of bullion and coins is affected by many economic circumstances, including the current market price of bullion, the perceived scarcity of the coins and other factors. Therefore, because both bullion and coins can go down as well as up in value, investing in them may not be suitable for everyone. Since all investments, including bullion and coins, can decline in value, you should understand them well, and have adequate cash reserves and disposable income before considering a bullion or coin investment.