March 19, 2013 at 09:31 AM EDT
Euro-zone crisis needlessly back in the headlines!
Tuesday, March 19, 9:25 a.m. The economy of Cyprus is smaller than the economy of Vermont, which is the smallest state economy in the U.S. Just 16 billion euros would bail Cyprus’s banks out of their problem, and the European Union has agreed to provide it. But it insists that Cyprus has to take a [...]

Tuesday, March 19, 9:25 a.m.

The economy of Cyprus is smaller than the economy of Vermont, which is the smallest state economy in the U.S. Just 16 billion euros would bail Cyprus’s banks out of their problem, and the European Union has agreed to provide it.

But it insists that Cyprus has to take a different route than other bailed-out countries, and force its savers, those with deposits in its banks, to contribute roughly a third of the cost.

It’s one thing to have bond-holders take a loss on their holdings, as has been a requirement of other bailouts. Bond-holders are investors in bonds and investments involve risk of losses. But those merely depositing their savings in bank savings accounts as a safe storage place, are not investors.

The outrage that followed the announcement is understandable.

Yet officials were shocked at the public reaction, and the fear it raised in other euro-zone countries that this may be a new direction in the overall euro-zone crisis?

It is being hastily re-thought and the situation will no doubt be calmed by watering down the demand. But they were lucky it did not cause a dreaded ‘run on the banks’ of other nations, in which depositors rush to get their money out of the banks’ hands. That would be a real crisis.

Gold has been trying to rally again, but can it succeed this time?

Gold became short-term oversold beneath its 30-day m.a. again and has been attempting to rally again off that short-term oversold condition.

The jury is still out on whether it will even succeed in breaking through the short-term resistance at the 30-day m.a., which is at $1,608. (It managed a fractional move above the m.a. on each of its previous rally attempts).

Yesterday, it rose fractionally above the m.a. intraday, but pulled back to close just beneath it.

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To read my weekend newspaper column click here: Remain Invested But Alert!

Subscribers to Street Smart Report: There is an important hotline from Saturday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website. We will have an in-depth U.S. market, gold, bonds, update for you tomorrow.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market.

A down day. the plunge at the open that had Dow down 110 points, followed by a recovery by mid-afternoon to fractionally positive, then a late day sell-off to a negative close of 62 points. Volume was average at 0.7 billion shares traded on the NYSE, 1.5 billion on the Nasdaq.

The Dow closed down 62 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 closed down 0.6%. The NYSE Composite closed down 0.8%. The Nasdaq closed down 0.4%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 0.3%. The Russell 2000 closed down 0.6%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed down 0.3%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.6%.

Gold closed up $12 an ounce at $1,605.

Oil closed up $.25 a barrel at $93.71.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.6%.

The U.S. Treasury bond etf TLT closed up 0.8%.

Yesterday in European Markets.

European markets closed down yesterday in reaction to the bank crisis in Cypress. The overall Europe Dow closed down 1.6%. Among individual countries, the London FTSE closed down 0.5%. The German DAX closed down 0.4%. France’s CAC closed down 0.5%. Italy closed down 0.9%. Spain closed down 1.3%. Russia closed down 2.2%.

Asian Markets plunged Sunday night but some recovered last night.

The Asia Dow closed down 1.9% Sunday night and up 0.2% last night.

Among individual markets last night:

Australia closed down 0.5%. China closed up 0.8%. Hong Kong closed down 0.2%. India closed down 1.5%. Indonesia closed up 0.4%. Japan closed up 2.0%. Malaysia closed up 0.3%. S. Korea closed up 0.5%. Singapore closed up 0.4%. Taiwan closed up 0.4%. Thailand closed down 1.5%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are down again this morning. The Europe Dow is down 0.3%. Among individual countries the London FTSE is up 0.1%. The German DAX is down 0.3%. France’s CAC is down 0.6%. Norway is up 0.2%. Portugal is up 0.1%. Spain is down 0.8%. Switzerland is down 0.1%. Italy is down 0.2%. Russia is up 0.1%.

Oil is down $.05 a barrel at $93.69.

Gold is down $4 an ounce at $1,600.

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

This week will be an average week for potential market-moving economic reports, and will include the first new info on the housing industry in a while; New Housing Starts, Existing Home Sales, FHFA Home Prices, plus the Fed’s FOMC meeting announcement, Chairman Bernanke’s press conference, etc. To see the full list click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

Yesterday’s report was that the NAHB Housing Market Index, which measures the confidence of home-builders, declined to 44 in March from 46 in February, its second straight monthly decline, and to its lowest level since October.

This morning’s report was that Housing Starts ticked up a bit, 0.8%, in February. Permits for future starts were up 4.6%. Starts for single-family homes were up 0.5% to an annualized rate of 618,000, the highest level since 2008, but still well below the peak in 2006.

Our pre-open indicators were not affected by the report but remain somewhat positive as Cypress concerns ease.

Our Pre-Open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being up 35 points or so in the early going this morning.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here: Remain Invested But Alert!

Subscribers to Street Smart Report: There is an important hotline from Saturday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website. We will have an in-depth U.S. market, gold, bonds, update for you tomorrow.

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