Today the global markets shot up for a second day. Investors cited reports that European nations are making the right noises regarding efforts to solve their sovereign debt crises: EuroZone countries are said to be beavering away to expand the European Financial Stability Facility, the fund created to bail out Greece and the other EU nations, and massive recapitalizations of European banks are supposed to be in the works.
Jim Paulsen is Chief Investment Strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis. He says he saw "a lot of green on the screen" today, meaning the indexes were showing positive green on his monitor rather than negative red. But he doesn't believe that's because Europe's future is any brighter. He says it's more a matter of general volatility in the markets, and that the volatility won't settle down until investors can confirm whether the U..S is in a recession or not.
The big issue, Paulsen says, is the state of the U.S. economy. Europe is a side show, he insists, as are actions by the Federal Reserve and the coming repeat of the debt-ceiling debate in Washington.
He says that the longer term market trends will be determined by "what put us into panic" in the first place. Whether we continue to see "green on the screen" will depend on things like unemployment, retail sales, housing; all the indicators that tell us whether this country is en route to another downturn, or merely continuing the slow upward slog we've experienced the last two years.
Also on the show today, Goldman Sachs announced several months ago that it would make deep cuts in its operations to save as much as $1.2 billion. Today we heard those cuts will go deeper still, and touch on some surprising areas of the company's business. It was reported that Goldman has gone so far as to trim the size of its drinking cups from 12 ounces to 10 ounces. The news that as storied a bank as Goldman has to make cuts this deep is seriously affecting the Marketplace Daily Pulse today.