Many analysts have opined that last week's three-day joyride to the upside, during which the DJIA (DIA) spurted more than 450 points higher, was based on (a) the hope that the European Central Bank would quit dinking around and finally do something about the spike in interest rates that is threatening the Eurozone and (b) the idea that the Fed would soon drop the flag on another Risk-On trade in stocks (SPY, QQQ), emerging markets (EEM), Gold (GLD) and commodities (DBC). And with both Super Mario and Helicopter Ben having dropped some pretty big hints that something was coming, the bulls had visions of more green screens dancing in their heads coming into Monday.
But Bernanke did nothing on Wednesday. And then to the surprise of just about everyone, ECB President Mario Draghi followed suit on Thursday, disappointing traders and causing the fast money crowd to throw a bit of a hissy fit in response. On that note, the bear camp had been warning for days that the market had gotten its hopes up far too high regarding the implementation of more bond buying by the U.S. and European Central Banks. Our furry friends warned that if either banker didn't deliver the goods, well, things were going to get downright ugly.
We were told that the current uptrend seen on the charts of the DJIA and S&P 500 (SPY) would be toast. We were told that the likes of gold, copper, the euro, and emerging markets would be beaten to a pulp. And in the case of one uber-bear in particular, we were told that nothing short of a global recession would ensue if either of our two superhero bankers dared to disappoint the mighty markets.
However, disappoint is exactly what Bernanke and Draghi did. True, both central bankers made it very clear that they are on high alert and ready to act. Bernanke says the FOMC "will provide additional accommodation as needed," which, as I wrote yesterday, was a significant upgrade from the Fed's previous two statements. And based on Gentle Ben's track record, there is no reason to doubt that the Fed won't take action if the jobs reports in August and September are weaker than expected.
As for Draghi, the bottom line is the ECB needs some help from EU governments before it can implement its two-pronged plan to put out the flames of the latest flare-up in the sovereign debt crisis. If you recall, Draghi wants the EU's bailout funds to be able to buy up any new debt offerings from Spain (EWP) and/or Italy (EWI). And then he plans for the ECB to go into the open market and buy existing bonds with the goal of both operations being to push rates down to more manageable levels.