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U.S. Stocks Cling on to Gains as Fed Minutes Underscore Inflation Concern

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U.S. stocks traded in record territory on Wednesday as the risk of persistently weak inflation hung over the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting.

Fed Debates Inflation

Federal Reserve policymakers last month debated whether stubbornly low inflation was transitory or permanent, with several voicing concerns that it could be the latter.

“Many participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect not only transitory factors, but also influence the developments that could prove more persistent,” the minutes of the September 19-20 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) revealed on Wednesday.

Several Fed officials said their decision to move forward with policy tightening this year would depend on economic data tied to inflation and growth.

The FOMC held interest rates steady last month and outlined a plan to begin unwinding the $4.5 trillion balance sheet beginning in October. Although the Fed’s dot plots imply one more interest rate increase before year’s end, the minutes struck a decidedly dovish tone.

The next reading on inflation comes Friday when the Department of Labor issues the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September. CPI is a closely-watched inflation measure, but not the one the Federal Reserve uses to measure cost pressures. That distinction belongs to the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which is packaged with the monthly personal income and outlays report.

Stocks Close at Record Highs

Wall Street advanced in mid-week trading, with all three major indexes closing in record territory.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index climbed 0.2% to close at 2,555.24, with eight of 11 sectors contributing to the gain. Among them, information technology and utilities rose 0.5% apiece.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 22,872.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index reported a gain of 0.3% to close at 6,603.55.

A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX fell back into the single digits, signaling prevailing calm on Wall Street. The VIX Volatility Index slipped 2.3% to 9.85, on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic mean.

Stocks are on an unstoppable run ahead of earnings season, which is expected to show another solid quarter of year-over-year gains for Wall Street. The benchmark indexes have returned between 14% and 22% this year alone.

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 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Market Overview

Market Update: Dow’s Slide Hits Eight Days as Trade Risks Reemerge 

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U.S. stocks retreated Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its losing skid to eight days as uncertainty over international trade undermined risk appetite.

Stocks Turn Defensive

Dow industrials were off 196.10 points, or 0.8%, by the close to settle at 24,461.70. That was the index’s worst settlement in three weeks.

The Dow’s losing skid is now the longest since March 2017. Another fall on Friday would bring the skid to nine days, the longest since 1978.

The broader S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% to close at 2,749.76. Seven of 11 primary sectors fell, led by energy and other commodity-sensitive sectors.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 0.9% at 7,712.95. The technology-heavy average closed in record territory on Wednesday.

Investor fear over a U.S.-China trade rift returned on Thursday, sending the VIX Volatility Index sharply higher. Wall Street’s gauge of investor anxiety climbed to a session high of 15.18 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. The index would later settle at 14.68 for a gain of more than 14%.

Trade War Looms Large Over Market

U.S.-China trade tensions were back in focus Thursday after U.S. policymakers urged Google to end its business ties with Huawei, a leading Chinese smartphone maker. Congress recently banned U.S. firms from selling products to Chinese telecommunication giant ZTE, a move that practically shuts down the company.

Under President Trump’s orders, Washington announced last Friday it would implement a 25% tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods, including semiconductors. Trump says additional tariffs of 10% will be applied on $200 billion of Chinese goods should Beijing choose to retaliate.

The first round of tariffs will come into force July 6.

In theory, tariffs will make American-made goods cheaper than imported ones, thereby encouraging consumers to purchase from local producers. Importers themselves will have to pay an additional tax on certain Chinese products they bring into the country – costs that are passed on to the consumer.

Saudi Arabia Proposes Crude Output Hike Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto head, is encouraging fellow producers to support a deal that would see oil production rise by one million barrels per day. However, Iran remains the key holdout in the deal, with the country’s energy minister suggesting that a compromise is unlikely before the cartel meets Friday.

Despite Iran’s opposition, the biannual meeting in Vienna is expected to result in the first coordinated output hike since the cartel decided to constrain supplies all the way back in 2016.

The Saudis are banking on a slowdown in U.S. shale production over the next two years until pipeline bottlenecks are solved in the energy-rich Permian Basin, energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Thursday.

International crude prices declined sharply on Thursday, with Brent futures reaching a session low of $72.94 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. The global benchmark was last down $1.57, or 2.1%, at $73.17 a barrel.

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 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Market Overview

It’s Getting Hot

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Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the first day of summer!!

Top news in crypto-land today is the flash announcement from world-famous rapper Akon, who is now getting into the ICO market with his own crypto called Akoin.

It doesn’t stop there though. Apparently, his vision includes building a brand new crypto city in Senegal to use the currency exclusively.

I suppose with the recent updates from the in the United States it would be very difficult to raise money for an ICO of the coin there. Perhaps Akon can do some other type of token introduction without raising money from the public to get started.

In Senegal of course, this isn’t the first attempt at localized currencies in the region.

As we’ve been saying, the real need for Bitcoin and other decentralized currencies comes specifically from emerging markets. Only once natural growth picks up there, will the institutions get involved. If that takes a day or a year, nobody can say.

Today’s Highlights

  • Dollar Rising
  • Gold Falls Further
  • Crypto Ramps up Regulation

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of June 21st. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Stocks are mixed to negative today but the currency markets are in the throes of a strong US Dollar swing.

This is primarily the result of the new direction in policy from the US Federal Reserve, which is planning to increase interest rates while the rest of the world largely sustains their very low rates.

We’ve discussed before how the Dollar may be reversing the trend but now we can see that it is at its highest level in almost a year.

On this chart, I’ve put a Fibonacci Retracement line. For those of you who are green on technical analysis, fib lines are used to predict the likelihood in nature of a specific price being reached, according to Fibonacci’s patterns found in nature.

As we can see, we’re now approaching the 50% level.

 

Metals Moving

The main mover lately has been gold and other precious metals which are currently dropping like it’s hot.

As the Dollar get’s stronger gold tends to get weaker as you can buy more ounces of gold with a single dollar.

The recent slide has brought us all the way back to the medium term trend line that we’ve been watching for the last year.

Of course, everyone draws their trendlines a bit differently, but for those that are bullish on the long-term prospects for precious metals, this might be a good time to start looking for an entry.

On the other hand, the hotter it gets, with the USD and other reasons, the more gold tends to melt.

Also watch out for the Bank of England today, which will deliver its decision (most likely not to raise rates) at noon in London.

Though there will be no press conference following this decision, Governor Mark Carney will be speaking later tonight at the Mansion House Dinner.

Crypto Regulation

As we go forward, the role that governments play in cryptocurrencies is increasing at a rapid pace.

In response to hacks on Coinrail and bithumb, the government of South Korea has already released the details of a new bill to regulate crypto exchanges.

Europol is also ramping up efforts to get a handle on the space and will be meeting this week with more than a dozen major crypto exchanges, discussing anti money laundering initiatives.

Here at eToro, we’re doing our part as well. Yesterday, our very own Iqbal Gandham,UK Managing Director, addressed the Treasury Select Committee in London and did an amazing job representing the crypto industry.

Iqbal is not only the managing director of eToro UK but he is also the Chairman of Crypto UK self-regulatory body and a huge advocate for the sensible regulation of cryptocurrencies.

You can catch the recording at: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/252986ff-cec8-4647-a208-787618136dfb

The more clarity we see from global governments about how the space will be regulated the more people will feel free to invest and use cryptocurrencies regularly.

Let’s have an awesome day ahead!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation. The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro. Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 103 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Market Overview

Market Update: Technology Stocks Power Nasdaq to Record High; OPEC Meeting in Focus

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Technology stocks propelled the Nasdaq Composite Index to record highs on Wednesday, as investors eyed potentially improving trade relations between the United States and European Union.

Technology Stocks Rally

The technology sector outperformed Wednesday as shares of Netflix (NFLX) and Facebook (FB) set fresh record highs. The large-cap S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% to 2,767.32. Its IT component advanced 0.4%. Meanwhile, real estate rose 1.1% and discretionary shares added 0.5%.

The Nasdaq climbed 0.7% to close at 7,781.51. The tech-driven index is up 4.6% for June, having set record highs on half a dozen occasions.

Dow industrials extended their slump to seven days, falling 42.41 points, or 0.2%, to close at 24,657.80.

Dow blue-chip Disney Co (DIS) upped its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) assets to $38 per share, or $71.3 billion, surpassing an earlier offer made by Comcast. Last week, the NBCUniversal parent offered $65 billion in cash.

Expected volatility over the next 30 days declined on Wednesday, as calm trading conditions returned to Wall Street. The CBOE Volatility Index fell 4.1% to 12.80. The VIX trades on on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic mean.

U.S.-EU Trade Rift Thaws

Investors received some reprieve Wednesday from trade-war rhetoric amid reports that the U.S. and European Union were working out a new deal on automobiles.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. ambassador to Germany has met with German automakers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, where they proposed the idea of ending car tariffs between the U.S. and its EU allies. Germany has reportedly offered to scrap the EU’s 10% tax on EU automobiles  as part of a broader pact involving industrial goods.

Stocks have been pressured all week by the threat of all-out trade war between the United States and China after President Trump announced tariffs on up to $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The president late Monday directed his administration to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional duties after Beijing threatened counter-tariffs on American-made products.

OPEC Meeting in Focus

A Saudi-led plan to boost oil production is being met with resistance by Iran ahead of a high-profile OPEC meeting later this week.

Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh called the cartel an “American organization” and signaled his country’s opposition to higher production quotas. Earlier, the Islamic Republic had reportedly agreed to make a compromise on a small increase in output.

“OPEC is not an organization to receive its instruction from President Trump,” Zanganeh said upon his arrival in Vienna, Austria, the venue of the upcoming meeting.

“The U.S. president has blamed OPEC for the price hike. Indeed, the real responsibility for the current oil price hike lies with the U.S. president himself,” he added, as reported by the Financial Times.

Saudi Arabia is scrambling to convince fellow members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to pass a resolution relaxing production cuts as the kingdom seeks to maintain market share.

Russia, which openly backs a production hike, wants OPEC and its allies to boost output by a combined 1.5 million barrels per day.

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 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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