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Wednesday April 28, 2010 - 00:28:51 GMT
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S & P Chart Formation Indicates Plenty of Room to Downside

The June E-mini S&P 500 turned the main trend down on the daily chart on Tuesday signaling the start of a decline which could take this market to a major 50% level at 1134.00.


U.S. equity markets broke sharply lower shortly before the mid-session after the S&P Corp. cuts its debt ratings for Greece and Portugal. The move signaled that the situation in Euro is worsening, thereby slashing demand for higher risk assets.


June Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes soared to the upside following the stock market plunge. Yields fell hard and fast as traders bought up Treasuries in a flight to safety rally. The action in the T-Bonds was fast and furious. Upside momentum was strong enough to pierce a key .618 retracement price at 118’06 as well as an old top at 118’12. The charts indicate there is plenty of room to the upside as long as this market can hold above 118’06. The catalyst behind any further upside momentum will be a sharp break in the stock market.  


The stronger Dollar and weaker Euro helped to pressure June Gold and June Crude Oil after the downgrade announcement, but gold has since recovered and is now trading positively. Investors are buying gold as a hedge against a collapse in the Euro. June Gold closed in a position to take out the April high at $1170.70. A move through this level could trigger a fast acceleration to $1200.00.


June Crude Oil plunged sharply lower on the prospect of lower energy prices due to the lack of demand for higher yielding assets. Traders are also beginning to believe that a collapse in the Euro Zone economy will lead to a drop in demand for crude oil.


The U.S. Dollar was up substantially against most major currencies with the exception of the Japanese Yen as demand for higher risk currencies plunged following a downgrade of Greece and Portugal debt by the S&P 500 ratings company. Volatility is high at the moment and could continue to remain high on Wednesday even though both the Federal Reserve and Reserve Bank of New Zealand are set to release their recent policy statements.


The falling Euro helped drive down the June British Pound on Tuesday. This news came on the heels of bearish economic reports overnight as well as a shift in the polls which indicated no clear winner was emerging 10 days before the election. This uncertainty made traders nervous because it may lead to a hung parliament which would curtail any attempts to fix the budget deficit. The news that U.K. retail sales were less than expected as well as lower than expected mortgage approvals suggests the consumer may be cutting back on spending.


The June Euro made a new low for the year after plunging sharply after the S&P Corp. lowered Greece’s ratings to below-investment grade and cut Portugal’s long-term ratings from A+ to A-. The cut to junk status by S&P Corp, was another sign that conditions were expected to worsen.  Adding Portugal to the mix indicated that the rating service believes the crisis is spreading and the outlook remains negative.


From a technical perspective there is nothing to stop the Euro from trading down to 1.3000 over the near-term. The last two times the Euro made a new low for the year an announcement came out to trigger a short-covering rally. This time no such announcement is expected so the Euro is likely to accelerate to the downside.


What the S&P downgrade has effectively down was give permission to the hedge funds to continue to aggressively short the Euro.  It has also served as a warning to Ireland and Spain to get their finances in order. Furthermore, the downgrade also signaled that the S&P Corp. was not going to wait for the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to reach a decision regarding the bailout package for Greece.


Hedge funds are most likely licking their chops over the downgrade news. It seems at times they have taken heat for exasperating the situation in Greece, but with today’s downgrades, it appears their shorting activity has been vindicated.


The announcements by the S&P Corp. sent U.S. stock markets sharply lower while substantially lowering demand for higher risk assets. Commodity linked currencies such as the Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar and Canadian Dollar broke sharply lower on the news while demand for lower risk assets drove the Japanese Yen higher.


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