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Technical Updates (S&P 500, 10 Year, Copper)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • ECB Decision Takeaways (Not As Dovish As Expected)
  • Why ECB QE Infinity Might Not Work
  • Should We Buy European ETFs?

Futures are slightly higher as “chatter” about an interim U.S./China trade deal continues to build.  Otherwise, it was a quiet night.

Nothing official has been released or confirmed, but based on multiple press reports the market now expects: 1) No more tariff increases and 2) Large agricultural purchases by China  (which is essentially where we were back in June, although now we have more actual tariffs).

Economically, EU trade balance met expectations.

Today the focus will be on Retail Sales (E: 0.3%) and for stocks to continue this rally, we need to see a “Goldilocks” number (better than expectations but not too strong).  If that happens, then the S&P 500 will hit new all time highs, likely led by cyclical sectors (XLY/XLF/XLB/XLI).

Technical Update (Important Levels to Watch)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Technical Update – Important Support and Resistance Levels To Watch
  • Have Stocks Fallen Too Far Too Fast?

Futures are enjoying a modest oversold bounce following a quiet night of news.

There was no new trade news or notable economic data overnight.

Sentiment has turned negative very quickly this week, despite the lack of any incremental bad news (so far) and this morning we’re seeing stocks attempt to bounce.

There are multiple economic reports today including (in order of importance):  Revised Q1 GDP (E: 3.0%), Jobless Claims (E: 215K), Pending Home Sales Index (E: 0.5%) and International Trade in Goods (E: -$71.9B).

But, the most important event of the day will be a speech by Fed Vice Chair Clarida at 12:00 p.m. ET, and the key here will be whether he sounds more open to a preventative rate cut, or whether he reaffirms the Fed’s “transitory” view of low inflation.  The former will be positive for stocks, the later will be negative.

Technical Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update – What The Charts Are Saying About This Market

Futures are moderately lower following more disappointing European economic data.

EU flash PMIs were a disappointment again, as the composite EU PMI fell to 51.3 vs. (E) 51.4.  Manufacturing was especially bad as the EU flash manufacturing PMI dropped to 47.6 vs. (E) 49.5, a five year low.

Today the highlight will be the Flash Composite PMI (E: 55.2).  That number was always going to be important, but it’s even more important now following the disappointing EU economic data, as markets will need more proof the U.S. can withstand failing global growth to continue this rally.  Other events today include  Existing Home Sales (E: 5.080M), Wholesale Trade (E: 0.1%) and Fed speaker  Bostic (9:30 p.m. ET) but none of those should move markets.

Technical Tipping Point

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update – We’ve Reached the Tipping Point
  • Why Copper Really Rallied Yesterday

Futures are slightly lower and international markets were mixed overnight as investor focus is shifting to today’s release of the January FOMC Meeting Minutes.

Japanese Exports in January were worse than feared (-8.4% vs. E: -6.1%) while the British CBI Industrial Trends Survey was 6 vs. (E) -5 but neither release moved markets o/n.

There are no economic reports in the U.S. today however the European Commission releases Flash Consumer Confidence data for February (10:00 a.m. ET) and given the recent string of underwhelming EU data points, another bad number could weigh on EU (and to a lesser extend U.S.) stocks into the European close.

The big event today will be the release of the January FOMC Meeting Minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET. Investors will be looking for any further clues as to the Fed’s plans for the balance sheet as a dovish adjustment is one of the few potentially bullish catalysts left for this stock rally right now.

Other than the Fed, U.S.-China trade negotiations continue in Washington however a deal is largely priced in and the talks are now a risk to the market as any “bad news” regarding the trade war would likely hit stocks hard.

Technical Update (Bounce or Bottom?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Market Update – Bounce or Bottom?
  • U.S./China Trade Update (What’s Next and What Sectors Benefit)

Futures are modestly lower as markets digest the recent rally following a quiet night of news.

Economically, Chinese inflation underwhelmed as CPI rose 1.9% vs. (E) 2.0% and PPI gained just 0.9% vs. (E) 2.7%.  However, those soft numbers give Chinese authorities more room to further stimulate their economy, so low inflation isn’t a negative.

On trade, there were no further comments from either side (a slight negative) as some were hoping for some optimistic official statement from the Chinese.

Today focus will remain on the Fed as we get multiple Fed speakers, highlighted by Fed Chair Powell (1:00 PM) and Vice Chair Clarida (5:30 PM).  We expect more dovish language from virtually all the speakers today, but at this point most of the benefit from dovish Fed speak is priced in, so don’t expect the comments to be a major positive catalyst unless there’s a surprise.

Economically, the calendar is quiet although we do get Jobless Claims (E: 224k) and we want to see those move back towards 200k and away from 250k.

Was that the Bottom? (Technical Update)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update: Was that the Bottom?

Futures are lower and giving back about 1/3 of yesterday’s massive rally on digestion and potentially negative U.S./China headlines.  There was no notable economic data overnight.

The Trump administration is considering an executive order banning U.S. companies from using Huawei and ZTE products (both Chinese firms).  This represents a potential escalation in ongoing U.S,/China tech/trade conflict, although so far China has viewed the trade and tech issues separately, and that needs to continue otherwise this market will face additional headwinds.

Today markets will try and digest yesterday’s massive rally with the best case scenario being a continued rally that sees the Dow and S&P 500 close above near resistance levels.  Economically, we do get multiple reports including  Jobless Claims (E: 217K), FHFA House Price Index (E: 0.2%), New Home Sales (E: 560K) and Consumer Confidence (E: 134.0) although none of those should move markets materially.

Technical Update: Ugly Breaks

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update: Ugly Breaks

S&P futures are bouncing this morning but only modestly so relative to yesterday’s sizeable declines in U.S. markets which weighed broadly on global shares overnight (although the losses were not as bad as feared).

Growth concerns remain the primary driver of the recent risk-off money flows and the German Ifo Survey released o/n did not help as the headline missed estimates and Business Expectations hit a four year low.

Oil is notably down almost 3% as concerns have shifted from the supply side to demand side in recent weeks and if that continues, expect further pressure on energy shares today.

Looking into today’s session, there is only one economic report to watch: Housing Starts (E: 1.22M) but if it is a “whiff” like yesterday’s Housing Market Index was, which hit a multi-year low, it could keep growth concerns elevated and prevent a material relief rally.

Aside from the one economic report, the Fed meeting begins today and investor focus is likely to turn ahead to tomorrow’s FOMC Announcement, Forecasts, and Press Conference which is one of the last major catalysts of the year.