July 21, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of many of Europe's major banks were soaring today with Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE ) leading the way with a gain of as much as 18%. Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB ) , Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS ) , Barclays (NYSE: BCS ) , and Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG ) were all very much part of the party, with gains at or near double-digit percentages.
So what: Greece isn't saved yet, but as new details of the country's latest bailout emerge, banks and their investors are excited that they may be spared -- at least for now. Rumor has it that the next round of financial aid to Greece won't require private creditors to take a haircut on their Greek debt holdings or create a special bank tax to help pay for the bailout.
Now what: Don't get me wrong, if this is all true, it's good news for the banks. However, the news is a bit like some guy suffering from some horrible pestilence waking up one morning and cheering that his arm was a slightly less sickening green color. There's a long way to go before the eurozone is out of the woods, so investors who are jumping on these banks today better be ready for plenty more turbulence in both directions.
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