Stocks Expected to Open Flat; Indices at Psychological Resistance
stock indices are expected to open flat this morning. The stronger Dollar on
Wednesday kept a lid on prices despite better than expected U.S. economic
news and a positive FOMC report from the Fed.The trading action shows that risk is still a concern for investors, and
that traders are reluctant to buy strength. This may mean that another
correction may be necessary to attract fresh buying. The psychological 1000
barrier in the March E-mini is providing resistance this morning.
The March Treasury Bonds turned the main trend to down
following yesterdayâ€™s friendly U.S.
economic reports. Without any new supply hitting the market this week, bond
traders will be focused on the U.S.
economy. Better than expected economic reports should continue to push yields
up and bonds and March Treasury Notes lower.
News that the International Monetary Fund is getting ready
to resume gold sales is pressuring the precious metal. Itâ€™s hard to tell at
this time if there is enough liquidity available for the gold market to absorb
the sales. More supply is leading to price weakness. A break out in the Dollar
is likely to keep the pressure on gold prices although short-term oversold
conditions may trigger a slight rebound to the upside.
The U.S. Dollar is trading mixed overnight. The focus this
morning will be on both risk and economic data. This could create volatile
trading conditions as some currencies are poised to break recent bottoms while
others are finding support.
The March Euro remains under pressure overnight after the
sell-off on Wednesday erased all of the previous dayâ€™s gains. Both positive U.S. economic data and renewed concerns over
debt issues in Greece
helped drive the Euro sharply lower.
The Dollar rose against the Euro on Wednesday after fresh
economic data showed improvements in housing, import prices and industrial
production. The FOMC minutes released late in the session confirmed that the
Fed is strongly considering becoming the first major economy to begin reducing
stimulus measures. In addition, this report indicated that the Fed discussed
strongly the possibility of a hike in the discount rate. While not actually
resuming a â€śtightâ€ť economic policy, a move by the Fed to raise the discount
rate will be one of the first signs that it is poised to begin lifting the
Federal Funds rate later in the year if necessary.
Today, traders will be focusing on Conference Board and
Philadelphia Fed data to reaffirm the strength in the U.S. economy.The Philly data is expected to move up from
15.2 to 17.0.
In addition to the better than expected U.S. economic news,
Euro traders reacted negatively to the news that Moodyâ€™s Investor Services
downgraded certain Greece hybrid bank debt after it was revealed that a number
of unsecured transactions may have been used to conceal the debt.
The news that the European Central Bank extended loans of
more than 15 billion Euros or $20.4 billion over February 11, 12, 15 and 16, is
a sign that the region may be nearing a liquidity crisis. Furthermore,
aggressive short traders failed to budge even after Tuesdayâ€™s strong
short-covering rally and on reports that the EU had approved Greeceâ€™s plan to shore up its
Finally, it has been reported that the International
Monetary Fund is poised to resume gold sales in an effort to raise cash. This
move strengthened the Dollar and may be a sign that the IMF is getting ready to
inject cash into the Greek economy.
The March British Pound remains under pressure because of
the weakening economy and the possibility of a debt rating downgrade should the
budget deficit continue to grow. Investors may be losing confidence in the Bank
of Englandâ€™s ability to pull the economy out of its tailspin. Most traders feel
that the U.K. economy is
failing behind the U.S.
economy and may be one of the last to post signs of a recovery.
The March Japanese Yen is trading higher this morning after
a sharp break on Wednesday. Although strong U.S. economic reports could turn
this market around today, last nightâ€™s announcement by the Bank of Japan to
reduce its buying of Japanese Bonds is lending support to the Yen this
Higher than expected Canadian inflation, is helping to lift
the March Canadian Dollar. This is likely to be a short-term position evening
move. The strengthening U.S.
economy along with IMF sales of gold should exert pressure on the Canadian
Dollar once this inflation news blows over.
The stronger Dollar and signs that the U.S. Fed are poised
to begin removing stimulus and hiking interest rates, is pressuring higher
yielding currencies such as the March Australian Dollar and March New Zealand
Dollar.Technically, yesterdayâ€™s closing
price reversal top was confirmed overnight which is a strong indication that a
2 to 3 day break is likely.
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