What's Next for Stocks?
What's next for stocks? Alec Young at S&P Capital IQ noted to me that there are five near-term events that the markets are counting on:
1) announcement of quantitative easing (QE3)
2) Spanish aid
3) Dutch elections
4) German constitutional court ruling on ESM
5) China easing or initiating infrastructure programs
We have seen parts of the market rise Friday (commodity stocks) as No. 5 has now happened: China announced an infrastructure program. (Read more:Huge Rally in Asia as China Steps on the Gas)
That is significant, because there was considerable uncertainty about whether that would happen. It was not priced in.
But most traders believe that the market has already priced in the other events. The nonfarm payroll disappointment today made QE3 all but certain, Spanish aid request will likely come before the end of the year, Dutch elections next week will likely result in a left victory that would support aggressive bond buying with a light "conditionality" that will further isolate the Bundesbank, and the German constitutional court is widely expected to uphold the EU bailout program (ESM). (Read more: Spain Can't Avoid a Bailout With Conditions)
So what's left to move the markets forward? An improvement in the fundamentals would certainly help. I've noted how frustrated the trading community has been due to the divergence between the fundamentals and the stock action.
They have reason to be frustrated. We can't create 100,000 jobs a month three years after the last recession ended. With QE3 now coming, it would be nice if it really did get the economy going. Of course, you can be a lot more cynical than that: if stimulus works, why do we need QE3?
Don't worry, though. If it doesn't work, there will be more lists like the one above. I really do believe Draghi when he says there is a lot more they can do. I don't like it, but I believe it. It may be true that the effects of stimulus are diminishing, but they are not done. (Read more: Bank Chiefs Back Draghi's Bond-Buying Plan)
—By CNBC’s Bob Pisani
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