A seasonal slide in stocks continues this morning. The Hang Seng fell 1.2% while the Dax is down 0.7%. ‎Dow futures are down 0.2% and have broken under 22,000 while NASDAQ futures are down 0.5%.

The bull market of recent months has become overextended and exhausted to the point that it wouldn’t take much to spark a correction. Even though people actually planning an attack usually don't advertise their intentions, threats between North Korea and the US have become a catalyst for a market correction. Capital leaving risk markets like stocks and the Euro continues to head for defensive havens, boosting Gold and the Japanese Yen again.

Sterling is steady with Cable still stabilizing near $1.3000. Disappointing UK economic data today, which saw construction output the trade deficit come in worse than expected, has knocked the FTSE to a 1.0% loss even though industrial production exceeded expectations. Reports of a split in Cabinet over Brexit strategy may also be taking a toll on sentiment.  

Crude oil is up 0.6% today with WTI taking another run at $50.00 on the back of big drawdowns in WTI and DOE inventories this week. ‎CAD, however, continues to struggle as it corrects a recent big advance. NZD has also been under pressure overnight after the RBNZ ramped up its efforts to talk down the Kiwi Dollar, including threatening direct forex market intervention (which it has done in the past). 

The final phase of earnings season gets underway today with results starting to come out from major retailers. The retail industry has been under a lot of pressure lately and a number of companies announced store closures last quarter, headlined by Sears Canada’s financial distress. Retail results may also have an impact on trading in Amazon.com, as a good chunk of its gains this year have come from expectations that online retailing is mopping the floor with traditional retailing.  Macy’s and Nordstrom kick things off in the US, while in Canada Canadian Tire is out this morning with a positive report. Canadian life insurance giants Manulife and Sun Life may also be active today after beating the street last night. In tech, two high profile middle tier companies, Nvidia and Snap, report results after the close today.   

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