Markets Looking For Stability Ahead of Weekend

November 11, 2011 12:01 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* A salute to all veterans. Government offices are closed for Veteran's Day today. The bond market is also closed, although most other markets, including grains and livestock will observe normal trading hours.

The long and short of it: A heartfelt thanks goes out to all those who served or are currently serving in our military to make this country so great. I salute you for your dedication, service to the country and bravery!

* Macro focus remains on Europe. Happenings in Greece and Italy continue to draw the bulk of traders' attention. In Italy, the country's senate is voting today on austerity measures demanded by the European Union. Also, former EU commissioner Mario Monti is set to take over as prime minister for outgoing Silvio Berlusconi. In Greece, the new government is scheduled to be sworn in today. Lucas Papademos will take over as prime minister there and will name a crisis cabinet to enact austerity plans.

The long and short of it: Fears over the European situation have calmed -- for now. But there are still a lot of hurdles Italy, Greece and the rest of the euro-zone must clear in the days, weeks and months ahead. Macro-economic headwinds will remain an issue for global markets, including grain and soy futures.

* CFTC steps up regulatory watch of brokerage firms. A New York Times report says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is auditing brokerage firms to make sure clients' money is protected in the aftermath of the MF Global mess following its bankruptcy filing. CFTC also announced it had previously opened an investigation of MF Global. Click here for the story.

The long and short of it: Too much government regulation is not good, in my opinion. But the right regulation is required. In this case, CFTC is late. Protection of clients' funds should have been regulated all along.


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