As clearly observable since no later than early last week, directional trend moves were lapsing into consolidation phases. And with those come a degree of consternation. While it might seem that the less directional trends might leave a more subdued psychology, the memory of the more aggressive trends leave many market participants on edge. That is often due to the degree to which there is concern over not missing the next major price move in spite of the current lower volatility.
We began last week by wishing everyone the obligatory Happy New Year. And as it turned out, it has already been very happy for the U.S. equities bulls. This is also true for their international counterparts, even if politically challenged Germany is lagging a bit.
No, not the sustained collaboration Troika between the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is overseeing the Greek Debt Bailout. While we feel the Greek Debt Bailout situation is still festering in the background on the IMF actually only funding its commitment once the European creditor nations agree much more extensive Greek debt relief, that is not the ‘troika’ of the moment.
There is nothing like the thought of your friendly neighborhood unstable dictator happily cheering along his newly confirmed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and miniaturized nuclear weapons to give the markets pause. And of course, we say ‘neighborhood’ in the sense that media genius Marshall McLuhan noted back in the 1960’s that the new high-speed video communications had turned the entire planet into a ‘global village’.
Thursday’s EUR/USD 1.1733 CPR "down" signal being negated above its 1.1740 Tolerance means the prospects are for an even more accelerated phase of the euro up trend. That should be to at least the 1.2000 area prior to any significant correction. That seems reasonable on the macro context of the comparative data and secular strength of the euro.
The FOMC was a bit more hawkish this Wednesday. That is in spite of the fact that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is right that federal funds at 1.00%-1.25% are nominally accommodative compared to the Core U.S. Consumer Price Index data that just dropped back from 1.9% to 1.7% Wednesday hours before the afternoon FOMC announcements.
There is a lot of argument on both sides why this was either the right or wrong thing to do. That said, the real point is the market response in what was a fraught environment due to the President returning to Twitter: U.S. equities decided that the U.S. leaving the Paris Accords was a good thing. And that was reinforced by the equities still strong performance after Friday morning’s less than bullish U.S. Employment report.
Major market decisions out of last week into this week seem stalled by the looming next House of Representatives vote on the Trump administration’s American Health Care Act, the fraught repeal and replacement for Obamacare. The fate of this legislation is a key indication for two key market factors flowing from Washington DC.