July 2012 Flash Report

Last week, dovish comments by ECB president Draghi drove risk markets sharply higher. Yesterday, German finance officials dampened the enthusiasm by questioning the power of the ECB to refinance the sovereign debt of countries like Spain. The perpetual mixed message from European leaders is anything but encouraging for investors. With any luck, more clarity will come tomorrow as the ECB announces policy steps. 2nd quarter US GDP growth came in slightly ahead of anemic expectations (1.5% actual versus 1.3% estimate). The Federal Reserve will wrap up its latest meeting today where further easing is expected to be announced. We are just over halfway through earnings season and implied future volatility for the S&P 500 has ticked up over the past two trading days, likely in response to the Federal Reserve and ECB meetings.

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