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European Markets: Oops!

May 23, 2012

by Doug Short

My quick snapshot yesterday of major European markets showed a massive rally, which I playfully suggested was driven by a "Don't bet against the EU Summit" sentiment. Well, the market today showed that yesterday's bet belonged in the same category as Facebook IPO (if somewhat less extreme).

The Bloomberg table below shows the savagery of today's decline in the major European indexes. Not surprisingly, the worst performers were Spain and Italy.

So let's take a closer look. Note that Spain's IBEX 35 today hit a new interim low. The Italian market is fractionally above its 2009 low.

Greece's Athens Index is too small to warrant a row on the Bloomberg table, but it also finished in the red, although at 1.79%, it was less severe than most of the other European declines. But today's loss puts the Athens Stock Exchange Index in "uncharted" territory -- over 90% off its all-time high set at the end of October 2007.