Greece decided not to leave the euro Sunday as the pro-bailout New Democracy party narrowly won elections tallying just over 30% of the vote. Investors had feared a win by an anti-austerity movement could lead to a breakup of the euro and possibly the European Union.
That's all good news except stock markets opened lower Monday following the announcement.
Maybe investors really wanted the worst to happen concerning Greece, insuring more action by the Federal Reserve when they meet later this week. QE3 is still a possibility but it seems that some are disappointed by the Greek elections, which could just be a postponement to Greece's eventual "Grexit" from the euro.
European markets rallied following the election results, but by the time U.S. markets opened investor sentiment had become neutral. It seems that until the Fed's meeting concludes on Wednesday investors will be stuck waiting for more news out of Europe to guide them.
One sector that has been vilified recently is financial stocks, and today's headliner is Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).
The Wall Street Journal this morning highlighted Morgan Stanley for its leading role in Facebook's IPO debacle.
But Greece's trials and tribulations are far from over, and the relief is temporary. Concerns are increasing over the global cost of a Eurozone bailout package as the mounting woes in Spain and Italy persist.
Citizens of Greece are clamoring for change, but many recognize that the election results are no quick fix. There was no cheering in Greece and global markets reacted cautiously following the vote.
Borrowing costs across Europe rose with Spain taking the lead. The yield on Spain's 10-year bonds spiked to a euro-era high of 7.18%. A reading above 7% raises a red flag that a nation may be approaching the need for a bailout.
Italian bonds also sold off on fears that if Spain is in need of a bailout, an Italy bailout package might not be far off. Italian bonds' 10-year yields are around 6%.
While the Greek election results staved off a calamity, they failed to fix the wider problems facing Greece and its struggling neighbors.
Moody's Analytics' chief economist Mark Zandi told USA Today, "We dodged a bullet, but they've got more bullets coming."
Now I understand that you probably don't follow Greek elections. But this is one you'll want to keep an eye on. At the moment, it dwarfs the contest between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.
In fact, come Monday it will be what every banker, politician and trader is talking about.
In the balance is the very fate of the Eurozone.
ripple effects could be enough to actually bring the EU down.
That's the first part of the story. Admittedly, it's not a very pleasant one.
The second part concerns your portfolio, since the solutions will involve more money-printing and, in the long run, more inflation.
But you needn't worry. We've already read the central banker's playbook for you.
In this case, the message is clear. Don't buy Europe. But do buy hard assets -- whether gold, oil, or other commodities.
These safe-havens are one of the best ways to hedge yourself against these characters and their money printing schemes.
Now that you know why Sunday is so important, here is how it will likely play out-in both the short term and in the long run.