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Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 22:53:25 GMT
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Stocks try to Mount Comeback but Finish Lower

U.S. Equity investors bought stocks on the early session dip like they had been doing to erase all of their earlier losses, but the buying was scare enough to trigger a weak finish anyway. Mid-session gains were limited because major players remained on the sidelines ahead of Friday’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report leading to the lower close.


On Thursday, U.S. Equity markets opened sharply lower following a worse than expected ADP private jobs data report. Traders were looking for the creation of 40.000 jobs but the actual report showed that 24,000 jobs were lost. This pressured stocks because it is a sign the economy is still weak.


Trading has been light and volatility low this week as the stock market closed out a rather bullish first quarter. The strength this quarter came as a surprise to most analysts who expected flat returns due to last year’s huge run-up.


Rising interest rates have been negatively influencing the markets this week as 30-year bond and 10-year note yields have risen lately. This is creating competition with the equities because of the high guaranteed rates the government debt instruments are offering.


June Treasury Bonds held on to their small gains triggered early in the session after the ADP number indicated the economy was still weak. Gains were limited because of Friday’s U.S. jobs data report. Pressure has been on the Treasury Bonds and Notes because of rising yields. Thursday’s Initial Claims report is likely to move the Treasuries. Friday’s U.S. employment report is now up in the air following the release of a negative ADP number.


The weaker Dollar helped to support June Gold. Regaining $1109.40 is a sign of developing strength. The move through $1115.20 triggered an acceleration to the upside but gains were limited by profit-taking. The direction of the Dollar will continue to dictate how this market moves.


The June Crude Oil contract took out two recent swing tops at 83.70 and 83.80, extending the current uptrend. The stronger Euro helped drive up Dollar denominated crude oil. A stronger Euro and building upside momentum could take this market to the high of the year at 85.95 over the near-term. The rally in crude oil is all about the Dollar. Many traders felt that Thursday’s gains were limited by President Obama’s decision to increase drilling. The Department of Energy Report failed to move the market much as the 2.9 million barrel increase was in line with estimates.


The U.S. Dollar traded sharply lower on Wednesday against the European currencies and gave back most of its gains against the others following a weaker than expected U.S. ADP private jobs data report. The direction was strong but traders may have taken advantage of thin trading conditions ahead of Thursday’s and Friday’s key economic reports.


On Thursday, trader’s get to face U.S. Jobless Claims early followed by the ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending. Job claims will shed a little more light on the U.S. jobs situation. On Friday, the U.S. government will release the monthly Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Volatility may be strong early Thursday as traders may once again try to take advantage of the thin trading conditions.


The reaction in the Euro and British Pound on Thursday could be traders feeling that the poor ADP employment number is a sign that the recovery is not as strong as previously forecast and that the Fed is still months away from an interest rate hike. Investors also priced in the possibility that the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report on Friday will come in less than the currently estimated gain of 200,000 jobs.


The strong move in the June Euro turned the main trend up on the daily chart following the trade through the last main top at 1.3437.  This market still has to overtake the percentage retracement zone at 1.3542 to 1.3607 to trigger an acceleration to the upside.


The June British Pound finished higher because of the stronger Euro and on the thought that the weak ADP report means the U.S. is less likely to raise interest rates for “an extended period”.  Wednesday’s rally was initiated by follow-through buying following Tuesday’s better than expected U.K. 4Q GDP Report.


The stronger Euro helped to drive the June Swiss Franc sharply higher. Traders bought the Swiss Franc on the belief the Swiss National Bank would be less likely to intervene to defend its currency and economy against a decline in the Euro. In addition, traders felt the Fed had no reason to raise interest rates since the U.S. ADP jobs data indicated the economy was still in a weak state.


The June Japanese Yen started out lower this morning, but rallied following the weaker than expected U.S. ADP jobs report. The poor jobs report triggered a rally in the Japanese Yen as traders read this report as a sign the U.S. economy was weaker than previously estimated. The Japanese Yen began to weaken at the mid-session in response to the firming equity markets and finished near its low on the close.


The weak U.S. economy helped to underpin the June Canadian Dollar. In addition, the strong Canadian GDP data suggested that the Bank of Canada is more likely to hike interest rates before the Fed. This widening interest rate differential helped to draw investors into the Canadian Dollar. Additional help was provided by higher crude oil and gold.



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