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We Need a Bigger Check

Thursday, 17 May 2012 | 9:21 AM ET
Spain
Christopher Groenhout | Lonely Plant Images | Getty Images
Spain

We need a bigger check. Spain is paying a higher yield on its bonds after a series of three-year and four-year auctions. Spain's Ibex stock market is poised to close at a nine-year low; its 10-year bond is yielding 6.35 percent, the highest since November.

European banks are down two to five percent. This is almost every day now.

We are at multidecade lows (or near) for France's Credit Agricole, Italy's UniCredit, Spain's Banco Popular, Germany's Commerzbank, and many other banks.

This is really getting out of control. The contagion debate is over: Contagion has won. European banks are interlinked. The calls are getting louder: The European Central Bank has to step in again and provide liquidity. A lot of it. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to have to write a check. A big check.

Elsewhere:

1) Happy 220th birthday, New York Stock Exchange! The Buttonwood Agreement was signed on May 17, 1792, the document that started the New York Stock Exchange board, now called the NYSE Euronext. It was signed by 24 brokers under a buttonwood tree outside what is now 68 Wall Street in New York City. The original document is still in the possession of the NYSE.

2) Correction time? The slow decline of global growth stocks this month has moved several indices into correction territory — declines of 10 percent or more from their recent highs. Here are several S&P 500 sectors that have declined 10 percent or more from recent highs:

Sector % Change From Recent High

Energy -13.9% (from Feb. 24)
Materials -11.6% (from Feb. 3)
Financials -11.3% (from March 26)
Tech -9.5% (from April 2)

3) Ross Stores drops slightly pre-market after the discount chain matched first-quarter earnings estimates and provided guidance below analysts’ estimates. Ross reported first-quarter earnings per share of $0.93 and a same-store sales hike of 9.0 percent. The company sees second-quarter earnings per share between 72 cents and 75 cents, below the Street’s 76 cents estimate; the retailer raised its earnings per share range to between $3.26 and $3.37, also short of analysts’ expectation. The Ross report follows an earnings beat, albeit narrow, from rival TJX Cos. earlier in the week.

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ROST
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TJX
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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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