Friday, November 11, 2011

The intrinsic...

...and pathological need for order in humans takes various (but universal in frequency and intensity) manifestations.

One of these is the requirement that market changes have a "cause". Any cause will do. So last weeks volatility was immediately ascribed to problems in Europe. But, as we know the discounting nature of the markets, there is likely something else causing trepidation in U.S. stocks.

So the following article is a more likely "cause".

Call it Wall Street's other geopolitical driver, one played out not in Athens or Rome, but close to home in Washington.

WSJ's Janet Hook reports on yet another week ending without a deal from the congressional deficit supercommittee. Plus, what is likelihood that the deficit negotiations will come down to the 11th hour?

As stock-market investors fret over sovereign-debt contagion in Europe, a Nov. 23 deadline for the U.S. Congress's so-called budget supercommittee is fast approaching. The committee is assigned to devise at least $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures over 10 years, or else automatic cuts ordained by Washington's summer debt-ceiling agreement are triggered.

Friday's market action gave little hint that investors remain perturbed over Europe's debt situation, much less any happenings in Washington, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by triple digits. But the gains came on the kind of light volume that usually suggests a lack of participation.

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