Trump leaves no new incentive for Democrats in his speech last night, S&P500 battles with a 200-day moving average.
US futures are trading lower as dollar extends gain, losing some of their momentum from yesterday. Speaking from a technical analysis perspective, the S&P500 index still needs to break above the 200-day moving average, something which we have not seen since early December. Only 50% of the S&P500 stocks are trading above the 200-day moving average. Having said this, more than 80% of the S&P500 stocks are trading above their 50-day moving average. This confirms that the upward momentum (which we are experiencing for the past five consecutive days) is broadly supported by a large number of stocks rather just a handful number of stocks.
The S&P 500 is up 9.21% year-to-date, the NASDAQ index is up 11.51% YTD and the Dow Jones is up 8.93% YTD. There are some genuine concerns that the markets are moving higher without any strong volume behind them and a trend like this doesn't end well.
In terms of economic data, the US services industries are showing signs of slowing down. To put things in perspective, the non-manufacturing industries growth data touched a level not seen in the past two years, in other words, it was the lowest number in nearly 2 years. This is mainly due to the drop in the new orders which is due to the ongoing trade war between China and the US.
The ISM manufacturing number released yesterday also echoed a similar message and the drop in the reading (actual 56.7 vs forecast of 57.2) was mainly due to the fact that the effects of the tax cuts have started to fade away. Speaking of Trump, the president has called for immigration compromise yesterday but gave no new incentive to Democrats. This keeps the risk on the table about the possibility of another government shutdown.
Back in Europe, the chances of the European Central Bank offering new long term loans to banks are still not prominent because it doesn’t seem like that the bank is convinced for such a need. If this remains to be the scenario then the upcoming meeting, ECB meeting in March, could provide enough catalyst for the Euro to move higher.
Over in the U.K., there is one focus for sterling traders; if the policymakers are going to extend the Brexit timeline or no? There are reports that the Cabinet Ministers have secretly discussed the possibility of this but there is no public announcement as of yet. How long the Brexit can be delayed? Well, I think the Parliament easily go up to eight weeks.