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 Ireland's Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB) jumped as much as 19% on hopes that its home country's finances aren't as bad as feared.

So what: Along with a handful of other European countries -- Greece, Spain, and Portugal in particular -- the outlook for Ireland has been pretty bleak. How bad is it? Results of a recent Bloomberg survey show that 51% of respondents consider a sovereign default likely. That compares to 71% who think Greece will default and 38% who think Portugal will end up with the same fate. And an Irish default would certainly be bad news for all of Ireland's major banks -- Allied Irish included.

Now what: But the Irish are nothing if they're not scrappy (I should know, my family is from County Tyrone), and they weren't about to let speculation like that fester. Ireland's Finance Ministry today responded that the country isn't in talks regarding a bailout and, in fact, the country is fully funded through the middle of next year. It seems that investors have taken the optimistic comments as reason to be a bit more sanguine about Allied Irish's future. Personally, I've got my rally cap on for the Emerald Isle, but Allied Irish's stock is still a bit too speculative for my taste.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.