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Tuesday April 20, 2010 - 00:03:58 GMT
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Stocks Recover as Buyers Step in after Midday Break

Buyers came out the second time bearish traders tried to flush weak stock investors out of the market about midday on Tuesday, triggering a late session short-covering rally which enabled the indices to close on their highs.

After an early morning short-covering rally, U.S. equity markets resumed their sell-offs, and made new lows about mid-session. The inability to follow-through to the downside scared shorts out of the market, triggering a strong rally that built upside momentum into the close. Fallout from the SEC/Goldman Sachs situation was the main reason behind the early session weakness in the U.S. equity markets. Last week’s closing price reversal top in the June E-mini S&P 500 was confirmed. This pattern sets up a potential break to 1178.75 but the strong close indicates it may take a day or two before the down move resumes.

Monday’s action took back about half of the break from the 1250.50 top in the June E-mini S&P 500. If this market is going to go down then look for selling pressure to begin between 1195.25 to 1198.75.

The current developing top formation appears to be the worst threat to the bull market since it began in March 2009. Going into Friday’s action, this “mature” bull market had been struggling despite better than expected earnings and an improving economy. Long traders had been coming in everyday looking for a reason to sell and may have gotten it with the Goldman news. This often happens in bull markets because long traders look at the size of the rally and wonder how the market is going to sustain itself if the buying stops because of lofty price levels.

The June Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes rallied late Friday in a flight to safety rally as equities and commodities broke hard, but sold off hard into the close on Monday after U.S. stock markets rallied. The inability to mount a strong rally in the face of weaker commodities and equities indicates that there is too much supply in the Treasury market. This makes every rally suspect as traders seem willing to short rallies.

June Gold was under pressure early in the trading session on Monday because of the stronger Dollar but fought back to nearly unchanged as the Dollar gave back most of its gains. Oversold conditions may have contributed to today’s rally. Technically, the market found support at a 50% price at $1128.40. This price must hold or the market will break to at least $1118.40.

Jude Crude Oil completed a .618 retracement down to 82.45 before profit-takers stepped in. The main trend is down, but the current chart formation suggests a rally to 84.66 is likely over the near-term.

The U.S. Dollar finished higher against most major currencies but intraday profit-taking helped the Greenback close well off its highs.

The early session rally in the Dollar began overnight in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the SEC against Goldman Sachs on Friday. Aggressive selling by investors of risky stocks and commodities helped trigger the rally. Weaker equities, gold and crude oil sent a message that risk was going to be taken off the table. Investors have been moving money to less risky, lower yielding currencies since Friday’s surprise announcement on speculation the investigation may broaden.

After an early session surge, the Dollar weakened throughout the day as commodity and stock indices recovered after anticipated follow-through selling during the New York session failed to materialize.

The June Euro continued its slide early on speculation that Greece would have to tap its rescue loans to meet its short-term obligations. The spread between Greek Bonds and German Bunds continued to raise concerns that Greece was on the brink of collapse if it couldn’t service its debt. News that European air traffic resumed after being shutdown for several days seemed to give equity markets a boost which helped trigger a turnaround in the Euro late in the trading session.

The June British Pound was down sharply overnight and early in the New York session as concerns continued to mount about the possibility of a hung parliament following the May 6th election. Investors are worried that a virtual tie between the Labor Party and the Conservative Party will mean that the next administration will have a difficult time working out solutions to its current budget deficit crisis. Continue to look for volatility as traders speculate on the direction of the British Pound following the release of pre-election poll results.

The falling Euro helped send the June Swiss Franc lower early in the trading session. Traders raised concerns that the Swiss National Bank would have to continue to intervene to protect the Swiss economy, especially its exports.

Increased demand for lower risk assets helped give the Japanese Yen a boost overnight as nervous traders sold off positions in higher risk, higher yielding assets. The inability to break stocks and commodities after a sharply lower opening triggered an intraday break in the June Japanese Yen that carried over into the close.

A sell-off in gold and crude oil triggered a sharp break in the June Canadian Dollar overnight, but the lack of selling pressure throughout the day helped the Canadian Dollar recover some of its earlier loss. This break was most likely profit-taking rather than fresh shorting. On Tuesday the Bank of Canada meets to discuss monetary policy. The Canadian financial markets are indicating that investors expect the BoC to lean toward increasing interest rates as early as June 1st rather than the earlier speculated July 1st.

 

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