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French, Greek Elections Send a Message

Voters pretty much say they're tired of austerity and they're not going to take it anymore.

Published on: May 7, 2012

Nicholas Sarkozy is getting a rest soon. The president of France, and soon to be former president, lost Sunday's election to Francois Hollande the first socialist to be elected to the country's highest office in recent memory and it's the first ouster of an incumbent since 1981.

Tack on news that Greek voters sent a strong message by defeating the dominant political parties and casting their votes in favor of far left and neo-Nazi groups.

Analysts will be all over the map looking at the impact of this vote, with some saying the markets will give France a grace period as it watches to see how Hollande will actually act. The incoming French president has promised that austerity isn't the right approach and that the rich are more likely to pick pu the tab for problems in the country. Whether he will moderate those actions now that he's gotten the job remains to be seen.

NEW BOSS: Francois Hollande has defeated Nicholas Sarkozy for the top spot in France. Its the first ouster of an incumbent president since 1981.
NEW BOSS: Francois Hollande has defeated Nicholas Sarkozy for the top spot in France. It's the first ouster of an incumbent president since 1981.

Meanwhile the turmoil in Greece, which has never really calmed despite votes for specific measure to meet European leadership requests to get the economy back on track has now seen a major setback. The scathing vote for new leadership sends a strong message that Greek voters may be seeking radical change, but how that may develop remains to be seen.

What has been true in the past is that worries over European handling of the debt crisis, along with any other speculation on trouble there, tends to sink markets worldwide when it appears change is going against expectations.

European markets are already down across the board with London's FTSE leading the way. And Asian traders saw a significant hit as the Nikkei fell 2.78%.

Dow futures are trading lower this morning after Friday's drop in the wake of soft U.S. job news and worries over the upcoming elections.

E-trade of U.S. commodities was generally soft with nearby corn prices off a quarter-cent, but new crop corn sliding more than seven cents. For soybeans, the nearby overnight prices was down more than a dime and the new-crop contract had slid more than 13 cents. Wheat prices are also softer on all three trading exchanges.