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Market Update: U.S. Stocks Rattled by Trade-War Rhetoric; Cryptocurrencies Stabilize After Brief Dip

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U.S. stocks turned lower Thursday, with the S&P 500 Index easing off five-month highs as trade tensions and mixed corporate results weighed on investors’ sentiment.

Wall Street Sees Red

The benchmark averages were down across the board, with the large-cap S&P 500 Index edging down 0.4% to 2,804.49. Financials shares were the biggest laggards, falling more 1.4% as a cluster. Materials stocks were also down sharply. In total, eight of 11 primary sectors tracked by the S&P 500 finished in negative territory.

Dow industrials finished down 134.79 points, or 0.5%, to 25,064.50. The Travelers Cos Inc. (TRV) and American Express Co (AMX) were the worst performers, falling 3.7% and 2.7%, respectively.

The technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4% to close at 7,825.40.

The CBOE VIX, also known as the fear index, rebounded from six-month lows, though the underlying picture continued to show complacency in U.S. stocks. The VIX rose more than 6% on Thursday to close at 12.90. Readings below 20 are generally associated with periods of calm on Wall Street.

On the earnings front, shares of eBay Inc. (EBAY) fell after the company offered disappointing guidance in its quarterly report released late Wednesday. Dow blue-chip American Express Co (AXP) posted per-share earnings that were higher than expected, but revenues fell short.

Trade Tensions Weigh

The market downshifted one day after U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated his vow to tax European automakers. Trump threatened “tremendous distribution” against Washington’s allies unless “something fair” could be negotiated.

Earlier this month, levies on $34 billion in Chinese goods came into force as part of an original plan to tax up to $50 billion in imports. The U.S. president has also threatened to implement levies on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports – a move that Beijing would not be able to match dollar-for-dollar.

Resistance to the president’s tariff policy is growing within Congress, with a bipartisan group of 149 House members urging Trump to abandon his protectionist stance.

Crypto Market Recovers After Dip

The cryptocurrency market remained on track for its second weekly advance in three as bitcoin recovered from an intraday slide and altcoins came off session lows.

After reaching a high of $299.8 billion Wednesday, the cryptocurrency market saw its total capitalization fall to $287.9 billion. Still, trade volumes were $17 billion, which is considered robust in comparison to the last three months.

Bitcoin, the largest crypto asset by market cap and trading volume, was little changed compared with 24 hours ago. BTC values are currently hovering north of $7,450.

Stellar XLM defied the market downtrend to report minor gains on Thursday. In doing so, Lumens overtook Litecoin for sixth spot in the crytpo market cap rankings. At the time of writing, Lumens were trading around $0.31.

EOS was among the worst performers in the top-ten, falling 4.5% to $8.31. IOTA was also down more than 4% to $1.05.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 649 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Analysis

Pre-Market Analysis And Chartbook: Chinese Stocks Extend Rally

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Monday Market Snapshot

Asset Current Value Daily Change
S&P 500 2,773 0.22
DAX 30 11,629 0.65%
WTI Crude Oil 69.42 0.07%
GOLD 1,226 -0.28%
Bitcoin 6,406 -0.10%
EUR/USD 1.1513 0.01%

Global stock markets started out the week on a positive note, with Chinese equities surging higher, extending their late-day gains from Friday. European and US indices are not that enthusiastic though, and from a technical standpoint, today’s early rally didn’t change anything yet, with the declining trends in the majority of risk assets being intact. With the economic calendar being empty today, technicals, the EU-Italy debate, and the Khashoggi-assassination will likely be in focus.

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Shanghai Composite gained the most in two days in over 2 years, with the active help of PBOC, and the benchmark is now testing the previous support that held up Chinese stocks during the bear market. The index broke above one declining trendline and that could open up the way for a larger correction, even if the broader trend is still clearly bearish. The 2700 level could be in the center of attention this week, especially if global markets can also rally following two weeks of turmoil.

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

US stock futures are broadly higher in European trading, but the momentum of the move is very weak, and the gains of the Asian session are already eroding. From a technical standpoint, the short-term picture is clearly bearish and the charts suggest a test of the lows this week, especially as small-caps continue to underperform and market internals are negative.

Treasury yields are unchanged so far, as Italian assets are up today, and safe haven flows slightly reversed in early trading. The short-end of the yield curve is still very close to its recent highs, and with the European Central Bank’s rate decision on tap this week, we expect further fireworks in bonds, and in turn equities.

Currencies Already Active as Emerging Markets Still in Trouble

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the Chinese rally helped equities across the board, other emerging markets lagged on Friday, and despite today’s bounce their technical position still suggests troubles ahead. The EEM ETF is set to open well below the break-out level near 41, and with that, the segment is among the weakest parts of the global market. While the most vulnerable currencies are still performing very well, stocks are seemingly sinking into a grueling bear market.

Elsewhere in currencies, we already saw relatively large moves to start the week, as the EUR/USD rallied up to 1.1550 thanks to the optimism regarding the Italian budget. The most traded pair already sunk back in the red, and the Dollar is higher against most of its peers, reversing some of Friday’s pullback. The Japanese Yen is the weakest so far, due to the Asian risk-on shift, and gold is also lower today as safe-haven assets are struggling.

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Besides gold, the key commodities are higher thanks to the Chinese rally, but both crude oil and copper are still below key resistance levels, as technicals are unchanged, so far today. The WTI crude contract is trading below the $70 per barrel level, while copper advanced up to the declining trendline of the consolidation pattern that has been dominating trading in the metal for almost a month.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 380 rated postsTrader 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.




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Analysis

5 Things To Watch Next Week

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An Italian Budget Deal?

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Outside the European Union, the ongoing debate regarding the Italian budget might be quite perplexing, especially given the strong reaction by financial markets. While the relatively small budget deficit of the country is really violating the rules of the Eurozone, we have seen much larger deviations from the fiscal rules without meaningful consequences.

That said, the sorry state of the Italian financial system, the stealth capital flight from the country, and the structural imbalances of the ECB’s bond purchasing program validate the scrutiny of the EU. Some analysts say that the Italian banking system is outright insolvent, but in any case, deep structural reforms would be necessary, and the real issue behind the debate is the populist anti-EU rhetoric of the new government. With that mind, even if the two sides reach a deal on the budget, which could lead to a strong relief rally in Europe, Italy will likely cause further severe headaches down the road.

Trillions in Market Cap Reporting

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The US earnings season is entering its crucial phase, with next week being one of the busiest in this quarter. The Nasdaq will be in the focus throughout the week, but the sheer size of the tech giants reporting means that the whole market could experience wild swings.

The three largest companies Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), and Google parent Alphabet (GOOG), alone represent more than $2 trillion in market value, and Intel (INTC), Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), Visa (V) are also very important for the US and the global economy.

So far, the quarter surpassed expectations, and should the string of earnings beats continue, it could provide stability to the shaky stock markets. Besides the largest firms, we will keep a close eye on anything China-related, to get authentic information on the real state of the country’s economy.

The European Central Bank Behind the Curve, as Usual…

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

As global economic growth is clearly slowing, and the Italian worries already caused a widening in the yield spreads between the core and the periphery in the Eurozone, the ECB seems to be way behind the curve with its monetary policies.

Although the tightening the schedule of ECB is very gradual, we could still get a hawkish surprise next week, and that could enter the hall of fame among the disastrous decisions by the central bank. The ECB managed to hike rates in the middle of financial crises before (the summers of 2008 and 2011), and although the Euro’s weakness and the Fed’s tightening steps could give the impression that there is room for a hawkish shift, the macro backdrop suggests otherwise. Look for a strong bounce in the Euro and further weakness in equities, should Draghi & Co. confirm our suspicions.

Will the Chinese Bounce Last?

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

2018 for Chinese stocks has been nothing short of disastrous, with the key benchmarks entering deep bear markets, fading all rally attempts so far. With the largest credit bubble in history threatening the country’s financial system, and with Chinese growth being more important than ever for the global economy, what happens in the coming months could be crucial for all investors.

On Friday, one of the lowest (official) GDP prints came out from China, while auto sales also dropped for the first time in decades, suggesting that the stock market could be correct in pricing a hard landing. While the verbal and other forms of intervention lifted stocks before the weekend, should another rally attempt fail, the bear market could enter an accelerating, mainstream phase.

US Midterms Drawing Closer

The Chinese problems are likely not caused, but definitely amplified by the ongoing trade spat with the US, and before the midterm elections in three weeks time, it’s unlikely that we will see easing in the conflict. According to polls and prediction markets, the GOP will likely keep the Senate majority. While the Democrats are still expected to take the House, the Republicans and Trump seem to have the momentum.

As stocks usual suffer in times of political uncertainty, risk assets would likely be better of, at least short-term if the current trends would continue, as A blue House + Senate combination could mean two very stormy years in Washington.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 380 rated postsTrader 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.




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Analysis

Volatile and Flat US Session Ends a Hectic Week for Stocks

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The major US indices finished virtually unchanged today, despite the positive open, while short-dated Treasuries closed the week near their multi-year lows. The session had several ups and downs, but the uptick in yields and the weakness in Europe proved too much for a sustained move higher to develop, despite the string of better-than-expected quarterly earnings reports.

S&P 500 Index Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

From a broader perspective we can say that another bounce faded in stocks, with small-caps underperforming yet again, so the risk-off trend got one more confirmation.

Russell 2000, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We have been tracking the main US small-cap benchmark all week long, as it has been precisely leading the broader market in recent weeks, and today the index got very close hitting a new 6-month low. The next week will be crucial for global risk assets, as given the long-term breakdowns in the main European benchmarks, the new bear market lows in Chinese stocks, and the ugly market internals on Wall Street, this might be the last opportunity to avoid protracted bearish period, or even a global bear market.

While Italian assets are under severe pressure, with government bond yields charging higher, decoupling from the “core” of the Eurozone, credit markets in general are not showing signs of broad distress. With that in mind, we don’t expect 2008-like dislocations in financial markets, for now, but investors should watch high-yield corporate bonds, where large excesses built up in recent years.

Forex Markets Turn Choppy as Dollar Pulls Back Again

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The China-led rebound in equities, which faded in late trading, and the Dollar’s retreat were the two main drivers in forex markets today. The EUR/USD recovered above the key 1.15 level after reaching as low as 1.1430 in early trading, while the Dollar index also failed to rise above its recent swing high, so the reserve currency could continue to consolidate before re-testing the August lows.

The bounce in the Euro was helped by the rumors regarding a possible new budget proposal from Italy, and as Moody’s downgraded Italy after the US market close, we will likely see further choppy, hard-to-trade action in currencies, especially given the large moves in US Treasury yields.

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities had a mostly bullish day thanks to the Dollar’s dip, with copper and crude oil both recovering after yesterday’s selloff. The WTI crude contract bounced back all the way to the $70 per barrel level, while copper avoided a key breakdown out of its lengthy consolidation pattern.

Gold is also consolidating, albeit in a much different technical position, as the precious metal is trying to form a swing low that would confirm a short-term uptrend after last week’s breakout. A move above short-term resistance would likely lead to a test of the $1245-$1250 zone, with a likely rally up to the next major resistance level near $1260.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 380 rated postsTrader 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.




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