Tue 1/24/12 1:24 PM – Europe, US Stock Market, Earnings

US stocks have been up 12 of the last 14 days. The volume has been low, with plenty of doubters, including individuals who have been pulling money out of stock funds for some time. The pace of the advance is also slowing. That implies either a flat or down market for the next few days.

In Greece, creditors have refused to agree to a settlement in which they would lose 65-70% of their investment. The remainder would be swapped “voluntarily” for long term Greek bonds lower than 4%. A rate of 4% is the minimum, creditors say. If they don’t reach an agreement and perhaps even if they do, Greece may end up going through an involuntary default. Europeans are apparently not as worried about that as they were last year.

The World Economic Forum Summit is this week in Davos, Switzerland and while a great number of the big name players in the world of finance plus the heads of certain governments will be there some big names are missing, like the heads of France, Spain and Italy. Because of that, don’t look for anything significant to come from that meeting.

Earnings for US companies have been disappointing this season. Many, especially the biggest companies are seeing slowing sales because of the slowdown in China and the recession in Europe. Still, they are growing revenues and profits but at a slower rate than the blistering pace seen the last two years.

Bonds are up today after three days of decline. Gold, stocks and oil are lower.

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