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Stocks stumble, EUR bounces on politics, USD keeps climbing‎ on Fed speculation

Even though nonfarm payrolls aren't until next Friday, there is still a lot of news moving markets heading toward the weekend.

Stocks continue to look tired following the euphoric gains seen earlier in the week. US index futures are down 0.1% with Dow futures hovering near 21,000.‎ The FTSE and Dax are down 0.25% while the Nikkei fell 0.5%. 

Considering how far indices have come, they continue to be well supported, but it wouldn't take much to spark profit-taking or a correction. Reports US Attorney General Sessions has stepped away from investigations involving Russia since he had contact with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign reminds the street that the political road can be a rocky one. Traders are still waiting for answers to key questions on Trump promises particularly when and how much?

The US Dollar continues to rally on speculation the Fed could raise interest rates on March 15th. This week, the heavy hitters at the Fed have been out building up expectations including NY Fed President Dudley and Governor Powell. Even Governor Brainard, who usually has been the one to dump cold water on rate hike talk, has stepped back from the dovish side. Today the Fed's two top leaders, Chair Yellen and Vice Chair Fischer have the opportunity to weigh in as well which could spark trading in currency markets. 

The US Dollar's gains has knocked down most other currencies with Gold down 0.6% and JPY, CAD and NZD also falling. GBP is down against EUR and USD today amid the potential for disputes between the PM May and the SNP over a possible second Scottish referendum and between the two Houses of Parliament over amendments to the Brexit bill.

The one exception today is in the Euro where recent poll results in the Netherlands and France suggest Euroskeptics may be losing ground. ‎A new French poll shows Macron taking the first round lead from Le Pen. Meanwhile Fillion continues to lose key supporters and could drop out of the race with former PM Juppe ready to step in if that happens. Also talk of a possible World Bank loan to Greece to jumpstart youth employment programs could be a positive easing stress in another flashpoint.

‎Service PMI reports are also out from around the world today which could have some impact on trading heading into what could potentially be a really big month for market moving news. 

Corporate News

Costco        $1.17 vs street $1.36

Economic News

Japan unemployment rate        3.0% as expected
Japan consumer prices            0.4% as expected

NZ ANZ commodity prices        2.0% vs previous (0.1%)

Germany retail sales            street 0.7% vs previous (1.1%)
Italy GDP                 street 1.1%
Eurozone retail sales            street 1.5% vs previous 1.1%

Service PMI reports:

Australia        49.0 vs previous 54.5
Japan            51.3 vs previous 51.9
China Caixin        52.6 vs previous 53.1

UK            53.3 vs street 54.1
Germany        54.4 as expected
France            56.4 vs street 56.7
Italy            54.1 vs street 52.8
Spain            57.7 vs street 55.2

Upcoming significant economic announcements include:

10:15 am EST        FOMC Evans and Lacker panel
12:15 pm EST        FOMC Powell speaking
12:30 pm EST        FOMC Fischer speaking
1:00 pm EST        FOMC Yellen speaking

Upcoming Service PMI reports:

9:45 am EST        US Markit        street 54.0
10:00 am EST        US ISM            street 56.5

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