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Tuesday May 4, 2010 - 23:26:03 GMT
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Stocks Finish Lower; Markets May Settle Ahead of Jobs Data

U.S. stock markets finished sharply lower in expanded range trading. Traders were reducing risks because of a multitude of factors including Euro Zone debt issues, financial market regulation, the threat of international terrorism and possible criminal action against Goldman Sachs. Despite Tuesday’s volatility, market conditions could begin to calm ahead of this Friday’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report.


Tuesday’s action in the June E-mini S&P 500 reaffirmed the main down trend while also confirming the weekly closing price reversal top. This pattern usually suggests the start of a 2 to 3 week correction. Downside momentum could take this market back to 1134.00 over the near-term.


June Treasury Bonds soared in a flight to safety rally. Money left the stock market and traders dumped higher risk assets such as gold and crude oil. This encouraged traders to seek safety in the lower risk, lower yielding T-Bond. Traders are also taking protection against the possibility that sovereign debt issues in the Euro Zone could surge to global proportions.


June Gold finished lower after an initial surge to the upside. At first speculators were buying gold as they hedged against a possible collapse in the Euro. Traders took profits as the market neared $1200 and the U.S. Dollar soared. Technically, the closing price reversal top indicates more downside action is likely. This type of trading pattern suggests that a break to $1158.60 is likely over the near-term.


A drop in demand for higher risk assets and the possibility that a slowdown in the Euro Zone would lead to lower demand for energy helped to drive June Crude Oil lower. The 4.78% drop in price is a sign that this break was triggered by more than profit-taking. The bigger picture suggests that a correction to 79.17 to 77.18 is likely over the near-term. Losses could be limited by the lingering problems in the Gulf with the oil spill.


The Dollar Index continued to soar on Tuesday as it touched its highest level since May 2009. After spending April trading on both sides of a monthly 50% level, the Index is now in a position to test the .618 price. Based on the major monthly range of 89.62 to 74.17, traders should look for the market to test 83.72 over the near-term. This market should continue to remain strong as long at 81.90 holds as support.


The drop in gold, crude and equities helped to trigger a break in the June Canadian Dollar. After building a distributive top throughout April, this contract finally crossed a swing bottom at .9789 to turn the main trend to down on the daily chart. Downside momentum indicates that .9705 is the next downside objective followed by .9649. The weakening Canadian Dollar is most likely pleasing to the Bank of Canada which hinted last week that a strong currency is likely to have an impact on inflation and monetary policy. This led this analyst to believe that the BoC was intervening to weaken the Loonie. Look for the USD CAD to continue to strengthen unless there is renewed demand for higher risk assets.


The June Euro traded sharply lower on Tuesday, reaching a 12-month low at 1.2993. Although a bailout agreement was reached by the Greek government, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund over the week-end, bearish traders have shifted their focus to the growing fiscal problems in Spain and Portugal. Hedge fund and large traders continue to press the short-side, but the technical bounce after briefly breaking the psychological level at 1.30 may be an indication that this currency is ripe for a short-covering rally.


The sharp break in the June British Pound is an indication that concerns are building that the U.K. economy could face similar fiscal problems as Greece. The main concern among investors at this time is the May 6th election. In my opinion, the election outcome is expected to yield two results and both of them are bearish to the Sterling.


Firstly, recent polls suggest that the election is too close to call. This means that a hung parliament is likely. A hung parliament results when there is no clear majority winner following the election. If no majority is in control of the parliament then it is highly unlikely that moves will be made to shore up the U.K. economy and budget deficit problem. If this occurs, then the British Pound is likely to weaken because of the threat of a possible credit rating downgrade and the possibility of sovereign debt default.


Secondly, even if a majority party is elected to parliament and moves are made to try to fix the economy, the first move is likely to be massive budget slashing. The Pound is likely to break further if the U.K. is forced to make austere financial cuts just like Greece. Mistimed budget cuts when the economy is in need of stimulus could set the U.K. economy into a double-dip recession.


The weak Euro sent the June Swiss Franc sharply lower. Traders expect the Swiss National Bank to intervene to defend its currency. Based the 12-month range of .8222 to 1.0099, the market is now trading inside the retracement zone of this range at .9161 to ..8939. Look for this contract to continue to weaken as long as the high end of the range holds with the lower end the next objective. The severely oversold Euro may trigger a short-covering rally in the Swiss Franc. Aggressive traders have to be careful about chasing this market higher.



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