Andres Iniesta Lifts Spain Over the Netherlands in the World Cup Soccer Final

A band of vuvuzelas set the backdrop to a World Cup match.

Andres Iniesta scored in Extra Time to help Spain defeat the Netherlands for their first ever World Cup Soccer victory in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The tournament’s top goal scorers, Wesley Sneijder and David Villa were held in check the entire game.  It took 116 minutes of playing time until either team was on the board.

After Group Play, it appeared that the South American countries were poised for a strong showing, while the European powers seemed destined to follow the Euro’s treacherous downward spiral.  Sure enough, it was Spain defeating their European rival the Netherlands to the tune of the vuvuzela for soccer’s (or football’s) holy grail.

We’re happy to report that not only did the world economy survive this month long event, in the course of the month, it seems as though things have improved as represented by a variety of key charts.  Some charts definitely stood out for their performance over the past month, so let’s take a look at what I’d like to call the Top Five Charts from the World Cup 2010:

5.  Host South Africa’s stock market (as represented by the ETF EZA) ends the tournament above its 50 and 200-day moving averages.  This is significant relative strength compared to most global indices, which have taken a thrashing over the last few months.  While many expressed concern over the host’s readiness for the event, South Africa impressed in its performance under the spotlight.

South Africa's equities as measured by the EZA ETF.

4. Early in the competition, all the talk about Europe was how their currency was tanking and their teams were slumping.  Perennial powers, Italy and France failed to move past Group Play and England could not even beat the US in soccer before failing pitifully against Germany in the Round of 16.  Meanwhile, the Netherlands snuck past Brazil and Spain ousted Germany, the perceived island of strength in the Eurozone, setting the stage for an all Europe finale.  In the meantime, the Euro closed above its 50 day moving average for the first time since April and has spent more time above that key sentiment indicator than at any point since November of 2009.

The Euro bounces as the world focuses on soccer.

3.  Who says markets aren’t efficient?  The Netherlands (as represented by EWN) had been exhibiting relative strength for months now: it held up far better than other European and Global indices leading up to the World Cup and bounced back nicely as their team marched on in the tournament.

The Netherlands' stock market holds up relatively well.

2.  Did anyone else notice all the Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) ads covering the sidelines throughout the World Cup?   The company featured their ads prominently for global broadcasts of this incredibly popular event.  Whether it was subconscious or not, traders were clearly impressed, as the company’s shares surged over 25% since day 1 of World Cup play despite the recent sluggish performance of Chinese stocks.

Yingli's shares shine as company sports a well-positioned ad throughout the World Cup.

1.  Before the World Cup all Spain talk centered on the country’s status as the “S” in PIIGS.  Today Spain is both world soccer royalty after winning their first ever World Cup and the Top Chart of the 2010 World Cup.  Spanish stocks (as represented by EWP) bottomed just before the World Cup.  Clearly markets anticipated a catalytic turnaround for the country’s troubled economy.  Adding fuel to the fire, Spain’s index rallied mightily on July 7th, as their soccer team scored a triumphant victory over rival Germany.  8 goals in 7 games was good enough to win the world cup.  As traders complain about the lack of volume on this latest bounce-back rally, everyone needs to take note: sometimes a little goes a long way.

Investors flock to Spain as team comes through with World Cup victory.

The Wall St. Cheat Sheet Premium Newsletter has delivered 15 out of 16 winning picks since inception in November 2008. Let the Hoffman Brothers give you their best investing and trading ideas: click here now for your free trial.