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U.S. Stocks Weak Ahead Of Powell

Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2019 by
Shain Vernier • 2 min read

U.S. stocks have opened lower for the second straight day ahead of this week’s congressional testimony of Jerome Powell. For the first half-hour of trade, the DJIA DOW (-118), S&P 500 SPX (-9), and NASDAQ (-10) are firmly in the red.

Earlier today, FED Chairman Jerome Powell gave a speech at the Boston branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve. As a point of emphasis, Powell avoided addressing monetary policy or the U.S. economy in any specific terms. The event brought little volatility to the markets, much less than we will see during the semiannual testimony of Wednesday and Thursday.

A few minutes ago, the U.S. labor market was once again in focus, with the JOLTS Job Openings (May) release. The number came in at 7.323 million, beneath expectations and the previous release. Following last Friday’s blockbuster NFP report, today’s weak JOLTS figures are somewhat of a surprise.

S&P Traders Cautious Ahead Of Powell Testimony

Three-day losing streaks have been hard to come by for the U.S. indices this year. Nonetheless, traders appear to be going risk-off ahead of the midweek news cycle. If we see a negative close in the September E-mini S&P 500, it will mark the first three-session slide since early June.

September E-mini S&P 500 Futures (ES), Daily Chart
September E-mini S&P 500 Futures (ES), Daily Chart

Two levels to watch for the remainder of the day:

  • Resistance(1): All-Time High, 3006.00
  • Support(1): 38% Current Wave Retracement, 2971.00

Overview: Currently, the late-June/early-July uptrend for the September E-mini S&Ps remains valid. Prices are above the 38% Current Wave Retracement, suggesting that a late-week run at all-time highs is a possibility.

However, the trade of the U.S. indices is going to depend greatly upon the performance of Jerome Powell on Capitol Hill. The rate-cut mania of late-June has given way to tempered expectations. If Powell retreats from the dovish tone of the June 19 FED meeting, then the U.S. indices will very likely retreat further from recent all-time highs.

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