Europe is a wonderful destination for vacation, especially now that the euro is cheaper, but it’s not so much for investing these days. Nearly any exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks Europe – whether it’s currencies or equities – is getting hit hard now as the crisis in Greece plays itself out.
Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about what the crisis in Greece could mean for our own economy, if only because the fears are sending the stock markets on a ride that makes Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride look like a leisurely Sunday drive.
Christopher S. Rugaber for the Associated Press notes that two ways the crisis could impact the U.S. economy are:
1. If the economy weakens further across the Pond, it could drain demand for U.S. exports and hurt the sales of American companies doing a heavy load of business in Europe.
2. Banks here holding European government debt could trim lending in order to save cash.
The risk overseas is that the crisis will have a serious contagion effect and drag the 16 countries on the euro into a recession. The eurozone is the second-largest economy in the world after the United States. Over there, just as here, the recovery has been tepid and slow going.
While economists say it’s unlikely that Europe’s troubles will tip the United States back into a recession, when it comes to investing in Europe, it may be best to take a “wait-and-see” approach. Most of the ETFs below are 10% or more below their long-term trend lines (the 200-day moving average) and may have further to fall if things keep going the way they have been. [How to Follow Trends.]