Trader Talk

Pisani: Is Greece Global Subprime?

Optimism on the jobs report is fading. Traders noting that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said earlier today there could be big revisions in the jobs report out tomorrow.

Some are saying total job losses could be near 8 million, as opposed to 7.2 million currently reported.

Greece: The new subprime?

How do your price sovereign debt risk? That's what everyone is trying to figure out. One thing's for sure: traders are a lot more wary than they were two years ago.

Remember subprime? A significant contingent of traders argued then that subprime was not that big — that it was a small part of the market in terms of dollar and volume. They were right, but they failed to account for the contagion aspects, because it spread into the prime area as well.

They won't make that mistake this time. "Think subprime on a world stage," one trader said to me.

Today's disappointing jobless claims number and the sovereign debt contagion has changed the way traders are playing the nonfarm payroll report tomorrow.

There was plenty of optimism over the manufacturing ISM earlier this week, but it has proved to be a false dawn.

The argument for buying into the jobs report tomorrow was the belief that the jobs picture was about to turn positive. But with the poor trend in jobless claims, many traders today simply told me, "You're hanging your hat on the U.S. employment market?"

Those expecting a full-blown correction (10 percent or more decline) are looking at the 1,035 level on the S&P 500 — that is a 10 percent decline from the recent high on January 19th.

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