stock futures are called higher this morning as investors look forward to a
positive earnings season. Late yesterday Alcoa kicked off earnings season by
reporting a $136 million profit on stronger-than-anticipated 22% revenue
growth. Shares climbed after the report helping to drive the Dow higher.
Once again the focus will be on earnings with economic news
taking a backseat. Last nightâ€™s downgrade of Portugalâ€™s debt by Moodyâ€™s could have
pressured equities but investors ignored this data acting as if it had already
been priced into the market.
The rise in the equity markets is pressuring fixed income
instruments while driving up demand for higher yielding currencies with the
exception of the Euro. Crude oil is expected to recover after a couple of days
of weakness. August Gold which is in competition for investment Dollarâ€™s with
equities is also showing strong gains. Traders are driving up gold as hedge
money returns to the market following the downgrade of Portugalâ€™s debt
and renewed concerns about sovereign debt issues in the Euro Zone.
On Monday, U.S.
equity markets see-sawed most of the trading session before settling higher.
After the markets closed, Alcoa reported a quarterly profit in line with pre-report
expectations but revenue projections exceeded expectations.
September E-mini S&P 500 futures found support early in
the session at a 50% price at 1066.00. Holding this level is the key to further
upside action to perhaps 1081.00. A break through 1066.00 is likely to trigger
sell-stops and possible cause an acceleration to the downside.
Early weakness in the stock market helped boost September
Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes, but investor demand for higher yields and a
firming equity market weighted on both markets into the close. Although the
main trend is up, the charts indicate a correction to 125â€™25 is likely over the
Lower Asian and European equity markets overnight triggered
a break in the Euro early in the session, but stable U.S.
stock markets helped to hold it in a range most of the New York session.
Without any major economic reports to push the markets
around, traders have decided to focus on two elements: the start of U.S.
earnings season and the European bank stress results.
earnings season began after the equity market close on Monday afternoon. Since
the Euro has been taking its cue from equity markets lately, traders expected Mondayâ€™s
first report from Alcoa to move this market.
European stress test results are not due until July 23rd,
but that hasnâ€™t stopped traders from expressing concerns about the event.
Traders continue to question the toughness and transparency of the report.
There is also confusion as to how much information will be revealed and if the
publication of the results will be limited to only large banks.
The question of ordering banks to recapitalize came up late
last week when European Central Bank President Trichet mentioned in a speech
that it may be necessary.
Technically, the September Euro confirmed last weekâ€™s daily
closing price reversal top at 1.2722. This pattern usually suggests a 2 to 3
day break coupled with a 50% to 61.8% correction. This would make 1.2436 to
1.2369 the next likely downside target.
Besides the cautious approach by investors ahead of the
Alcoa earnings report after the close, U.S. markets reacted to the
sell-off in the Japanese stock market. Japanese equities broke after the
nationâ€™s ruling party lost more seats than expected in Sundayâ€™s upper-house
This new round of political uncertainty could mean more
economic woes for the country. Traders are worried that a drop in equity prices
could increase the chance of a double-dip recession. In addition, some
investors feel the economy will be threatened by the possibility of deflation
once government stimulus fades and if global demand declines.
The September Japanese Yen was under pressure most of the
night as traders interpreted the news as bearish for the currency. Early last
week the Yen posted a daily closing price reversal top. This top was confirmed
by a subsequent three-day break. Although the chart indicates there is room to
the downside with 1.1030 a potential downside target, traders should be aware
of a possible short-term correction back to 1.1369 before moving lower.
Over the next two weeks earnings reports should be the key
market driver until the European stress tests are released. This means the Euro
is likely to take direction from the U.S. equity markets. Robust
earnings should drive stock prices higher and along with that, appetite for
higher yielding assets. Commodity-linked currencies should also see greater
demand if U.S.
stocks can breakout to the upside. Conversely, worse than expected earnings
results should trigger an equity market break taking the Euro and higher
yielding currencies with it. Lower demand for risky assets could be beneficial
for the Yen despite the recent political change.
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