So what: Optimists exulted that the Portuguese auction proved the country wouldn't be next in line for a eurozone bailout. For Banco Santander, a not-floundering Portugal means that its eurozone sovereign debt holdings may not get crushed, and that its financing costs won't skyrocket. Of course, Santander isn't alone in celebration. Shares of fellow Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria
Now what: This is hardly the end of Europe's sad story. While many hail today's Portugal auction as "successful," some, including PIMCO's Bill Gross, aren't so impressed. Today's news is a step in the right direction, but Portugal and the rest of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) need to show continued progress toward sound financial footing if they hope to retain whatever shreds of confidence bond investors have left.
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