Trading has been mixed overnight as the initial reactions and repositioning following the Fed decision and outlook run their course and traders prepare for the weekend. US index futures have stabilized at lower levels and are trading up 0.1% this morning. The FTSE is up 0.1% holding above 7000 while the Dax
is up 0.4%.
Currency markets are also mixed today with gold and EUR bouncing back a bit, GBP and JPY levelling off and CAD down slightly. Gold is up 0.5%, copper is down 0.9%, crude oil is flat and natural gas is down 1.9%.
It feels like markets are pausing with some momentum traders taking profits as very hawkish Fed expectations get priced into the market and with the Dow having approached 20,000.
I think what has been really driving the big market moves of recent weeks is that a lot of business had put off decision-making until after the election and a lot of investors had been sitting on cash through the election campaign. The decisive result broke a logjam and since then, business have been getting on with decisions. Meanwhile, institutions have been plowing money into the market ahead of year end not wanting to show a huge stockpile of cash when US indices are up over 10%. Individual investors have been putting more money into funds as well, increasing demand for stocks and other investments.
It remains to be seen how long this rally can last. Although we may see intraday swings now and again, traders appear to be inclined to keep the markets up through the holidays maybe into early 2017. I suspect, however, that the earnings season that starts mid-January could be rough with the impact of the higher USD likely to inspire another round of whining and guidance cuts from Corporate America. Recall this time a year ago companies were complaining about the negative impact of the higher dollar on exports and the earnings of overseas operations and note that the Dollar index is higher now and still rising.
Heading into the weekend, there have been a number of announcements but they are mainly second tier in nature such as consumer confidence and trade data from a number of countries. US housing data is of particular interest following a positive industry survey yesterday. The big question facing the markets is whether traders are looking to take profits or add to positions ahead of the weekend.
On Monday the US electoral college is scheduled to vote to complete the election process. This is usually a formality but US electors have apparently been inundated with thousands of emails, petitions from celebrities and individual Democrats asking them to deny Donald Trump the presidency by breaking their oaths, rejecting the will of the people they have been appointed to represent and voting for someone else. They may find 2 or 3 faithless electors but finding the 30 or so votes needed to overturn the election looks very slim at this point. Still, the vote could spark another round of trading either from relief on confirmation of the results or shock if there is a surprise rejection. Most likely it will blow over just like the recount challenges from the Green Party.
The main event next week is the Bank of Japan meeting. The Yen has been crushed on expectations the BoJ will maintain or increase stimulus in 2017 while the Fed cuts back stimulus. Recent Japanese economic data has been improving however, likely at least in part to their currency decline so the Bank of Japan may not be under as much pressure to go full throttle on stimulus. This meeting could keep trading interest in the Yen high for the next several days.
There have been no major corporate announcements this morning.
UK CBI orders 0 vs street (5)
UK CBI selling prices 26 vs street 20
Eurozone trade balance €20.1B vs street €29.0B
Eurozone consumer prices 0.6% as expected
Eurozone core CPI 0.8% as expected
NZ ANZ consumer confidence 124.5 vs previous 127.2
Singapore exports 11.5% vs street (2.7%)
Singapore electronic exports 3.5% vs previous (6.0%)
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
8:30 am EST US housing starts street 1,230K
8:30 am EST US building permits street 1,240K
12:30 pm EST FOMC Lacker speaking