The drama of the Fiscal Cliff and the recent sequestration circus, plus the trials and tribulations of these four countries (which have run up huge deficits) have been well documented and known for quite some time. What is more important, in my opinion, is not the size of the debt which is staggering, but rather what is happening in the market and the market's perception of current events.
Market perception trumps everything else out there. Market perception trumps market fundamentals every time. Market perception is the one card that the government cannot control. It is the card that can potentially give the individual trader an edge.
So what is market perception? Well, have you ever noticed that when some big world event happens, or a new "hot" IPO hits the markets (remember FaceBook, Zynga and Groupon?), traders expect that market to go in the talked about direction and typically it does. What doesn't get talked about is how the market then corrects itself and the technicals really come into play.