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E-mini S&P (March)
Last week’s close: Settled at 2742.50, its third record high close in a row.
Fundamentals: Equity markets have picked up this week right where they left off last. Most major European indices are up more than .33% while the Nikkei is up nearly 1% (futures which saw some of these gains on Friday are up nearly .5%). Friday’s read on Nonfarm Payroll showed steady job growth and though much less than expected, last month’s revision higher helped the overall read. Average Hourly Earnings came in at a respectable +.3% MoM and overall this is not a report that is going to encourage the Fed to tighten policy faster than already priced in. Data out of Europe this morning that included Business Confidence and Retail Sales was superb. Fed speak and reads on inflation will be the highlight. Fed president Bostic speaks at 11:40 am CT, Williams at 12:35 pm CT, and Rosengren at 3:00 pm CT. The Russell 2000 took out its all-time high last night before retreating, this will continue to be a concern of ours and we will watch this closely.
Technicals: The S&P gained 2.5% in the first week of the year and we remain Bullish though introducing some slight Neutrality as price action is due to take a breather for a session or two. Yes, we refrained from an outright trade recommendation in the second half of last week once our target of 2728.75 was hit, but our levels and Bias continue to work. From Friday’s levels price action achieved and settled near R1 and extended to hit R2 Sunday night. Our next major upside target is 2759.25, we have made this major three-star resistance. However, as for an outright recommendation, we would like to be buyers closer to what is now major three-star support at 2728.75. The NQ is also in a breakout trade, we put out a target of 6707 last week. The small caps Russell 2000 continues to concern us, and is a factor in waiting for a pull back in the S&P before recommending stepping in. Last night it traded to a new all-time high of 1565.9, but has since failed to hold ground, key support levels to watch here are 1557, 1551-1552 and then major three-star support at 1543.
Resistance – 2747.75**, 2759.25***
Pivot – 2740.50
Support – 2728.75***, 2718.25*, 2708.50-2711**, 2698.25-2700***
Crude Oil (February)
Last week’s close: Settled at 61.44, the highest weekly close since December 2014
Fundamentals: Prices are edging up into this morning after Baker Hughes reported a drop in U.S Oil Rigs Friday afternoon from 747 to 742. Unrest in Iran continues to take center stage as it has led to speculation that the U.S could use this as another reason to withdraw from the nuclear deal signed in 2015. Doing so will further tighten supply with the interesting factor being OPEC’s reaction regarding the current production cap. Though an official decision might not come until July, every three months the president must waive sanctions. The last deadline was October 15th, and the next is right around the corner.
Technicals: Friday’s weekly settlement was the highest since Oil plummeted in Q4 2014. Last week’s swing high of 62.21 fell shy of our resistance mark and the May 2015 highs at 62.58. From here, we introduced a Bearish Bias in order to begin positioning for a consolidation lower this week at minimum. Price action traded to a low of 61.09 on Friday, testing into S2 before moving back north. We are watching the 61.79 level today which was edged this morning. However, it will be more critical on a closing basis and the bulls look to settle prices out above here in order to regain the immediate-term upper hand.
Resistance – 61.79**, 62.21**, 62.58**, 63.39**, 66.87***, 68.43**
Support – 61.37**, 61.11**, 60.85**, 59.87-59.96***, 58.97-58.99***
Last week’s close: Settled at 1322.3, the highest since September 15th
Fundamentals: In a choppy Nonfarm Payroll session, Gold came out a winner on the day gaining 60 cents. Headline job growth fell largely short of expectations at 148k vs 190k, however, a revision higher from the previous month of 24k helped chip into some of it. Average Hourly Earnings were a respectable +.3% MoM and met expectations, however, last month was revised a tenth lower to +.1%. In a seasonally bullish time of year for the metal, bulls should walk away satisfied. Today, Fed president Bostic speaks at 11:40 am CT, Williams at 12:35 pm CT, and Rosengren at 3:00 pm CT.
Technicals: Gold remains about as constructive as you can get and by maintaining a close above 1317 it has left the bulls with the clear upper hand. We remain immediate term Bullish until a close back below major three-star support at 1302-1303.4. However, we are beginning to be concerned that much of the bull camp has already positioned, with the net-long position at the highest since the 21:1 on the week ending November 28th. Still, it is only at young but mature 8.5:1. While some longs may have added late last week, we believe this read still eludes to upside potential on a technical basis.
Resistance – 1323*, 1335.8**, 1358-1365***
Support – 1317-1317.2**, 1314.6-1314.8**, 1302-1303.4***, 1292.9**, 1279.5***
Natural Gas (February)
Last week’s close: Settled at 2.795
Fundamentals: With a storm being dubbed the “Bomb Cyclone” bitter cold temperatures reinvigorated Natural Gas prices to start the year. Not so fast, prices in the front month February contract finished the week 10% from the high on the first trading day of the year. As we discussed last week, the cold temperatures that not only spread across the northeast but as south as Texas and Florida can also have a two-sided effect. When schools and factories are shut down, demand also drops. Cash Natural Gas, saw a meteoric rise, one that was only felt in a minor fashion in the futures before disappearing altogether by Friday. Prices have edged higher into this morning but if a storm like this cannot keep futures above $3, then what will?
Technicals: Our Bias began to turn Neutral last week when prices failed to hold $3. Friday’s low of 2.746 and settlement did hold first key support at 2.734-2.7664 which has helped encourage a bounce this morning. The key level to watch today is 2.88-2.887, this is first resistance, a key retracement, Friday’s high and Thursday’s settlement. We are now introducing a slight Bearish Bias and believe if prices stay below this first key level, the bears will take it lower once again. Remember, we are expecting a record storage draw this week between -325 and -340, but this is already priced in.
Resistance – 2.88-2.887**, 2.9215**, 2.9415**, 2.963**, 3.00-3.01***, 3.108-3.145**
Pivot – 2.795
Support – 2.734-2.7664**, 2.562***, 2.486-2.522****
Last week’s settlement: Settled at 123’15
Fundamentals: Strength in the global equity market has brought cash off the sidelines to further support momentum and this has kept a heavy tape in the treasury complex. Friday’s Nonfarm Payroll report as we discussed above was not something that would force the Fed to tighten policy at a faster pace. We believe Friday’s weakness is a direct correlation to global equity markets extending record gains. This can be seen even closer this morning as the S&P peeling back just a slight bit has brought in some support for treasuries. This week will be all about Fed speak and reads on inflation Thursday and Friday.
Technicals: We were Neutral last week as prices were depressed. However, we are introducing a slight Bullish Bias as we believe there is value in the lower half of 123. Key support at 123’10-123’13 has remained sticky and has kept price action in check. First resistance comes in at 123’215. Friday’s Nonfarm spike stayed in complete check against the 123’27-123’28 level and this will be key to watch on the week.
Resistance – 123’215**, 123’27-123’28**, 124’01*, 124’06-124’07
Support – 123’10-123’135**, 122’29****
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