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Tuesday May 18, 2010 - 01:31:34 GMT
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U.S. Stock Markets finish Mixed; Watch for Short-Covering Rally

U.S. equity markets were under pressure at the mid-session but mounted a strong short-covering rally into the close. The turnaround to the upside in the Euro was the catalyst behind the rally. The June E-mini NASDAQ managed to close higher with the Dow and S&P 500 trailing closely.


Investors are concerned that the weakness in the Euro Zone will have a negative effect on future corporate profits. Early in the session on Monday, the June E-mini S&P 500 tested a key 50% level at 1115.50. Although downside momentum took the market through this price level, the mid-session recovery at this price helped trigger a short-covering rally into the close.


The turnaround in the equity markets helped pressure June Treasury Bonds. Overbought conditions and oversupply could be the main reason for the weakness. Retracement zone resistance is at 122’05 to 122’22. This area stopped the rally today. The daily chart indicates that a move to 119’12 is possible over the near-term.


June Gold traded flat to lower despite the stronger Dollar. Last Friday’s closing price reversal top helped to limit upside action. The chart pattern suggests that once this reversal top is confirmed, the market could correct back to $1203.00 to $1192.00.


The weak Euro and the prospects of lower demand for crude oil helped drive June Crude Oil under the February bottom at 70.75. The close under this level is likely to keep the downside pressure on this market. Regaining 70.75 could trigger the start of a short-covering rally.


Oversold conditions and the lack of fresh bearish news helped the June Euro turn around and close higher for the day. Fundamentally, nothing happened to change the minds of traders. Investors are still concerned that the European Union is not doing enough to fix the financial problems in the Euro Zone. The lack of confidence in the European Union continues to remain the major reason behind the selling. Investors want clarity not just ideas from the EU. This would include the implementation of new austerity measures by the five countries at the center of the financial problems: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.


Technically, the Euro made a daily closing price reversal bottom at 1.2233. A confirmation of this formation on Tuesday could trigger the start of a rally to 1.2787 to 1.2918. A rally into this zone will not be a change in trend, but is likely to attract fresh selling pressure.


The June Swiss Franc posted a daily closing price reversal bottom. This type of formation sets up a possible correction back to .8952 to .9002. The direction of the Euro will dictate the movement in the Dollar/Swiss.


The recent divestment out of the Euro is putting strong appreciation pressure on the Swiss Franc. The Swiss National Bank fears that continuous selling pressure will hurt price stability and put the Swiss economy at risk. The main concern is damage to the export market will stall the economy. SNB President promised to act in a decisive manner which could mean another round of interventions.


The June British Pound was under pressure throughout the day, but still managed to close off its low. Bearish talk was circulating that the previous government pushed through spending measures which will make the new government’s attempts to cut the U.K. deficit and balance the budget more difficult. Pressure is likely to remain on the British Pound as the new government is likely to propose severe budget cuts and tax increases which could put a strain on the economy.


Like the Euro and Swiss Franc, conditions are oversold which could mean the start of a 2 to 3 day short-covering rally. Unless there is fresh news regarding the economy, traders should be careful about shorting the Pound at current levels.


A late session turnaround in the U.S. equity markets helped push the June Japanese Yen higher. Earlier in the session, the Dollar/Yen was under pressure because of risk concerns. Once the Euro and stock markets bottomed, traders started to pare their positions in the lower yielding Japanese Yen.


The June Canadian Dollar fell Monday morning but ran into support at a 50% price level at .9592. The minor reversal to the upside indicates that a 2 to 3 day rally is likely. The next upside target is .9735 to .9772. A change in investor sentiment is should help the Canadian Dollar. Traders should watch crude oil and equity prices for direction. Greater demand for risk means greater demand for the Canadian Dollar.


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