If U.S. markets are open, they're likely getting hammered because of something related to Greece. Yesterday's news was former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou calling this a "make-or-break moment for Greece and Europe." Papandreou followed that banal observation by estimating the cost of a Greek exit at anywhere from €500 billion to €1 trillion ($640 trillion to $1.28 trillion).
The comment, and apparently off-hand financial estimate, immediately took about 1% out of stocks yesterday afternoon and is being cited as one of at least half a dozen causes behind Wednesday's sell-off.
Mark Luschini, of Janney Montgomery Scott, says that specifying the reason for selling is largely pointless. What's driving U.S. stocks is "Europe. Every day, all day." Until something resembling a resolution—or a fiscal triage strategy—emerges from the EU, markets will take a dim view of almost any new development.
Luschini isn't entirely pessimistic, believing as he does that European leaders are quietly "working toward the eventuality of Greece leaving the euro currency." If EU leaders are going in that direction it's not happening quietly. It may be a different story beneath the surface, but what can be seen looks a lot like a 26 on 1 fight between Germany and the rest of the European Union.Read More »from U.S. Sell-Off Sparked by Concerns of Disorderly Greek Exit