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Greece Gone Fishin' Until June 7. Seriously?


How high is this week's Wall of Worry? Get your waterproof matches and salt tablets ready because we're back in financial survival mode, folks.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL I didn't like this movie the first, second, and third time (having seen it twice in the US, and once in Europe), and this fourth viewing feels like it might be the worst of all. It's become a daily tug-of-war between a euro collapse and a global QE fire-hosing with the Dow (^DJI), S&P (SPY), Nasdaq (^IXIC), Dax (^GDAXI), gold (GLD), copper (CU), and oil (USO) performances telling you who wins the day. So far the only consistent winners are the VIX (^VIX) and the 10-Year US Treasury (^TNX), which leaves behind a lot of losers in investment land. Coming up this week, more housing numbers, consumer sentiment, and yet another low-profile, low-expectation meeting of the Euro leaders. Get your waterproof matches and salt tablets ready because we're back in financial survival mode, folks.

This week's Wall of Worry stands at a soaring 29 blocks. Scroll down for a text-only version of this column and an explanation of how it works.

Lloyd's Wall of Worry [Text-only]

QE3 to Ber-nan-ke: "I want you to want me, I need you to need me…."

US ECONOMY: Mayday! Mayday!

Twenty-four percent unemployment rate in Spain. And that's before their recession is official.

INVESTOR SENTIMENT: Financial markets' approval rating right up there with Congress and those pirates off the coast of Somalia.

HOUSING CRISIS: House? House!? Who wants a house? I want a bunker.

CENTRAL BANKS: Looking like it's going to be a choice between printing money or untying the European Gordian knot. Start the presses!

EUROPEAN ECONOMY: "I'm on a highway to hell…!"

THE EUROPEAN UNION: They need a major Hail Mary pass. And considering that they don't play American football in euroland, they may want to bring Brett Favre out of retirement…again.

Rapidly moving toward a eurozone Goodfellas moment. "Business bad? F.U., pay me." Oh, you had a fire? F.U., pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F.U., pay me.

SPAIN: "Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away, ay, aaaaaaay, AWAY…!"

10-YEAR TREASURY YIELDS: Looking to break the all-time intraday low of 1.672%. Collateral damage: breaking the back of the equity markets at the same time.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: "Yes, it's over, call it a day, sorry that it had to end this way…."

VOLATILITY: Does it count as volatility if stocks only go down? Mr. Market says yes.

Lloyd: I read that high frequency trading is like 86% of daily volume in the US.
HAL: Yep, only 14% away from perfection.
Lloyd: What does that mean for all the humans in the market?
HAL: More leisure time.

CHINA: Hope springs eternal as a whisper of growth stimulus is heard in the halls of the PBOC (People's Bank of China).

STOCK MARKET TECHNICALS: Tipping point gone breaking point? On the razor's edge we are.

"Alone again, naturally…."

OIL PRICES: Saudi Arabia says Brent should be $100/barrel. "So it is said, so it shall be done."

INDIA: Inflation up, GDP down. Fortune-telling the future for the rest of us? Gulp.

TOO BIG TOO FAIL BANKS (TBTFB): A problem, yes. But the real situation is the TBTFC -- Too Big To Fail Countries.

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Winner? Who knows? The question is why someone would actually want to win this peach of a job for the next four years.

JAPAN: Hey, Japan, how about giving the world some GDP growth one of these decades? Preferably this decade.

Some multi-national companies losing some assets and getting a little less "multi."

BANK RUNS: Hey Greece, Spain, "Go on, take the money and run…" to Switzerland.

THE CLIFF: The Bush tax cuts expire January 1, 2013. I had a dream that a grand bargain was reached this summer and it solved this impending US catastrophe. The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy were brilliant and reasonable negotiators.

GREECE: Got the "Gone fishin' " sign out until June 17. Seriously?!

GOLD: Gold-mining companies scream past bear market right into full-on crash mode.

There are some movies like Caddyshack, The Godfather, and Forrest Gump that I gladly watch over and over. But this one? Once was enough for me.

Still gotta own them, and better late than never, right? "We'll see," says that Zen master once again.

What Is Lloyd's Wall of Worry?
by Lloyd Khaner

Welcome to my at-a-glance guide to the issues facing investors this week -- a unique tool for traders and money managers.

Typically the term "wall of worry" refers to the entire body of concerns influencing stock market action. When the wall is high, meaning the market is nervous, stocks tend to get cheaper.

This wall of worry is even more specific. Every week I list the exact concerns in the marketplace and use the list to help me make buying and selling decisions. As I like to say, "Buy fear, sell cheer."

In other words, once the the wall rises above 15 blocks, start looking for deals. If the worry count sinks below 10, consider selling; prices have likely peaked.

Follow the markets all day every day with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter. Over 30 professional traders share their ideas in real-time. Learn more.
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