|Current Value||Weekly Change|
Traders could almost hear the collective sigh of relief in the financial world, as the French election removed the risk of an imminent political crisis in the Eurozone. Global stock indices surged to new bull market and all-time highs in the aftermath of the referendum, with the European indices understandably leading the way higher. The NASDAQ also continued to outperform the other majors, boosted by corporate earnings, while the Nikkei ignored the pronounced weakness in Chinese stocks, as Japanese traders celebrated the decline in the Yen. The markets held up well throughout the week, although a lot of stocks failed to join the party, and the weak economic numbers in the US caused a dip towards the end of the week.
Not surprisingly European currencies were the strongest this week, but on an interesting note, the Pound fared better excluding the Monday morning gap higher. The currency remains in a robust short-term uptrend since the announcement of the snap elections in June. The Dollar index remains near its 5-month lows, thanks to the recent strength in the Euro, although the Yen was heavily sold this week, as the demand for safe-haven assets dwindled. Gold was also the victim of the positive sentiment, but it remained relatively strong and gained ground near the end of the period, following the slightly dovish meetings of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan. Oil remained under pressure despite the rally in risk-on assets and finished the week near the $49 support after several days of choppy trading.
Dollar Index, Daily Chart Analysis
The cryptocurrency market had another blowout week, as not only did Bitcoin hit a new all-time high, but several other currencies experienced fierce break-outs. The change in the value of the market reflected the buzz, as the sum of the coins’ market capitalization topped $34 billion, just a few weeks after reaching $30 billion for the first time. Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and NEM were among the notable winners of the week, as all of them surged to new highs. Towards the end of the week, even the previous laggards among the majors, such as Ripple, Monero, and Dash rallied strongly. Ripple and Dash are flying high so far in weekend trading as well, being up by more than 30%, and 20% respectively. Litecoin failed to rise above last weekend’s highs but it remains just below those levels after a choppy consolidation week.
The US economy provided another round of reality check for bulls, as almost all of the major releases posted significant negative surprises. Although the numbers themselves were not terrible by any means (excluding the three-year low in GDP growth), the string momentum that carried the Trump-rally to new highs earlier on this year seems to be fading. While markets don’t expect a rate hike on next week’s Federal Reserve meeting, the additional tightening steps could also be in danger should these tendencies continue. The German IFO index as among the positive surprises, boosting the Euro on Monday, but the British GDP reading also missed expectations, with only the Eurozone inflation number providing evidence of growth.
S&P 500, 4-hour Chart Analysis
The S&P 500 finished the week slightly lower following the negative GDP surprise, but the “election-gap” is still well below the current levels. As the strong rally in the NASDAQ couldn’t carry the index above its prior high, it seems likely that it will test the 2355 level in the coming days. The long-term picture remains bullish despite the current weakness, and with strong support zones found near 2332 and just below the 2300 level.
Key Economic Releases of the Week
|Monday||GERMANY||IFO Business Climate||1.26 million||1.25 million||1.22 million|
|Monday||CANADA||Wholesale Sales (monthly)||1.22 million||1.25 million||1.30 million|
|Monday||US||FOMC’s Kashkari speaks||0.50%||0.50%||0.0%|
|Tuesday||UK||Public Sector Borrowing||1.50%||1.50%||1.50%|
|Tuesday||US||CB Consumer Confidence||–||-1 million||-2.2 million|
|Tuesday||US||New Home Sales||22.0||25.6||32.8|
|Wednesday||CANADA||Core Retail Sales||–||–||–|
|Wednesday||US||Crude Oil Inventories||0.50%||0.60%||0.50%|
|Thursday||JAPAN||Monetary Policy Satement||-0.10%||-0.30%||1.70%|
|Thursday||EUROZONE||Base Interest Rate||-3.6 million||-1.1 million||-1 million|
|Thursday||EUROZONE||Monetary Policy Satement||–||–||–|
|Thursday||US||Core Durable Goods||0||0||0|
|Thursday||US||Initial Jobless Claims (weekly)||–||–||–|
|Thursday||US||UOM Consumer Sentiment||-0.20%||0.40%||0.50%|
The Story of the Week: Volatility and Short-Interest Near Record Lows on Wall Street
Volatility minimums and market tops in the S&P 500
The Volatility Index (VIX) which is one of the simplest measures measuring fear among investors is close to its multi-decade lows. Several commentators draw the conclusion that this has to mean that investors are too bullish, and participants are all in on the long side, so a market decline is inevitable. While the logic might be intriguing, and, in fact, several other measures point to a way overvalued market in the US, don’t fall into the trap of this simple conclusion. Looking at the history of the VIX, we can see that it did a poor job in forecasting the previous two bear markets, and you could even argue that according to this indicator, we are still in for years and years of advances.
On another note, short interest is also hitting record lows, as bears seemingly capitulated after 8-years of gains, and this week’s post-French-election euphoria delivered another blow for the remaining short sellers. The $1 million dollar question is, of course, that are these extremes any indication of a long-term top or not? The correct answer is the usual maybe… Trying to find the “ultimate indicator” (look at this great article on the infamous Hindenburg Omen) is generally a bad idea, but every once in a while all indicators will nail the top. This doesn’t mean that the current overvaluation and these signs of capitulation together shouldn’t be taken seriously, but using more robust methods, like trend analysis should be your primary tools, even if they won’t point out the exact tops and bottoms.