What Traders are Talking About:
* Futures exchanges temporarily relax margins requirements. There was concern of excessive liquidation and market volatility as clients impacted by the MF Global bankruptcy filing struggle the meet margin requirements to maintain positions as not all funds have been transferred. But CME Group and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) announced over the weekend they have eased margin requirements for some to avoid heavy market disruption in the aftermath of the MF Global situation.
The long and short of it: The move by CME Group and ICE should calm fears of massive liquidation and help stabilize futures markets.
* Euro-zone focus shifts to Italy. Italy is the new focal point in the euro-zone financial mess as region's third largest economy struggles with its financial future. While tiny Greece is causing plenty of ripples in the water, Italy has the potential to cause major waves. As a result, the threat of a region-wide contagion are heightened. This situation could be very fluid as there are media reports this morning that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may step down as he faces a confidence vote that he may not win, although he is denying the reports.
The long and short of it: There was a modest risk-off attitude overnight, but so far, investors haven't gone into panic mode.
* Greece fears ease. Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down over the weekend with the opposition party saying it will vote for the bailout package. Papandreou will reportedly step down as soon as the country's new coalition government is decided.
The long and short of it: There finally appears to be some clarity (and possibly some closure) to the Greek situation -- at least for now.
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