Another Volatile Day on Wall Street

US stock markets had an ugly morning after a bearish overnight session, with the major indices all hitting new correction lows, and with the Russell 2000 confirming the under-the-hood weakness on Wall Street yet again. The afternoon session saw another violent counter-trend rally, led by the Nasdaq that almost erased the 2+% losses accumulated during the first hours of trading.

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The most-awaited US earnings releases were a mixed bag today, as although the bottom line of the majority of companies beat estimates, the likes of 3M (MMM) and Caterpillar (CAT) outright crashed due to their disappointing guidance, putting even more pressure on the already shaky stock market.

Caterpillar (CAT), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Verizon (VZ) and McDonald’s (MCD) performed much better after their earnings beat, but both companies are considered more defensive, and their encouraging results didn’t help the broader market in the gloomy environment. Texas Instruments (TXN) reported after the closing bell and as the semiconductor giant cut his guidance, the stock is down by around 5% lower in after-hours trading.

Treasuries Bounce Hard as Safe-Haven Flows Intensify Again

As for economic news, the German monthly PPI came in much higher than expected, the European Consumer Confidence Index was in line with expectations, while the US Richmond Manufacturing Index came in at 15, well below last month’s reading of 29 and the consensus 25.

XHB, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Tomorrow we will have the flash manufacturing and services PMIs from Europe and the US together with US new home sales, and the housing market gauge will be in the center of attention. US homebuilders have been plunging lower in recent weeks, and the XHB ETF is deep in a bear market already, as rising yields and mortgage rates hit the sector hard this year.

Today the segment outperformed thanks to the pullback in yields, and a positive surprise in sales could spark a meaningful short-covering move.

10-year US Yield, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the swift rise in yields triggered the seep correction, at least on the surface, today the decline in stocks pushed yields lower thanks to strong the strong safe-haven flows, which also helped the Japanese Yen and gold, especially in early trading.

WTI Crude Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities had a very volatile day even as copper was relatively calm, with the plunge in crude oil and the pump & dump in gold drawing a lot of attention to the segment. While gold simply followed the risk trade, hitting multi-month high in European trading and pulling back in line with the rally on Wall Street, oil was reacting to the news from Saudi Arabia regarding a pledge to increase supply this year.

The WTI contract fell to a $65 per barrel handle, a new 2-month low, shedding almost 5% in one day, and it’s hard not to spot the connection between Donald Trump’s demands regarding lower crude prices, the disastrous Saudi cover-up of the Khashoggi murder, and today’s announcement that could help in easing the tensions between the US and the Kingdom.

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Author:
Trader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.