Macro trend: Low oil, low euro, low bond yields

The macro trend continues: Low oil, low euro/strong dollar, and low bond yields.

1) European debt yields keep dropping. I got in this morning and had to re-check my terminal: German 10-year bond yields down 15 percent to 0.44 percent? Huh? French yields down 10 percent to 0.72 percent? They have risen a bit since early in the morning, but still. If that's not a sign of deflation worries, I don't know what is. It seems to be driving money into U.S. Treasurys as well, with the U.S. 10-year yield down 7 basis points to 1.96 percent, an 18-month low.

Read MoreBond yields sink below 2% in flight-to-safety bid

2) With West Texas Intermediate crude trading in the $40s, and Brent threatening to break below $50, a lot of traders are nervously eyeing the stock markets for the major oil exporting countries. Keep an eye on the exchange-traded funds of countries such as Russia, Brazil, or Nigeria.

Any of the major oil exporting countries rely on oil reserves to pay for social programs. Oil this low could threaten social stability, and, of course, drive even more money into the U.S.


1) Everyone keeps talking about the beneficial effect of lower oil for consumers, but how do we quantify it? We will be hearing from retailers this week on the holiday shopping season, maybe they can help.

Surveys suggest consumers are spending, but it may not be translating into higher profits for retailers because of the offset in discounting—and because retailers are a bit shell-shocked at how difficult 2014 had been, with most of the growth in electronics and cell phones.

We will likely hear holiday sales reports from a raft of retailers on Thursday, including Barnes and Noble,American Eagle, and Pier One, as well as Signet Jewelers and Urban Outfitters. We may also hear from Macy's and Target. Tiffany, GameStop, and Best Buy should report next week.

Read MoreThis year's top three retail themes are...

How was the holiday season? The National Retail Federation projected a respectable 4 percent increase in holiday sales. My only concern is that auto sales reported on Monday were terrific. Every dollar going toward a new car payment is less going toward the mall.

2) Speaking of January and the so-called January Effect—January is a seasonally strong month due to redeployment of capital and end of tax-loss selling—Jeff Saut at Raymond James suggested this morning that the trend is not what it used to be.

"Going back to 2000, the S&P 500 has fallen during the month of January eight times, and we actually managed to finish the year higher five out of the last six of those instances, including in 2014," Saut writes.

Read MoreDoes the January Effect still have legs?

On the subject of selling, I've received inquiries about why Apple was down five days in a row, going from $113.99 on Dec. 26 to around $106.25 today. Why is selling continuing into 2015?

One trader cited the opposite of tax-loss selling: Apple had such a terrific year that those who wanted to take profits in 2014 would have faced a hefty tax bill, so they have deferred selling until now. The logic being, if you owned Apple at $50 and it's now $115, selling in January rather than December means you don't have to pay capital gains taxes for another 16 months.

  • Bob Pisani

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

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