Global markets start the week mixed with Asian stocks rising (Japan was closed for holiday), European stocks sliding, weighed down by declines in oil-and-gas shares and banks, and S&P500 futures also down. The dollar fell to a six-week low, falling four days in a row for the first time since early November as G20 leaders scrap a long-standing commitment to reject all forms of trade protectionism.
A quiet start to today's quad-witching St. Patrick's day, with European stocks mixed, Asian shares and U.S. index futures (-0.1%) little changed ahead of industrial production data with just Tiffany's set to report earnings.
While the CBO poured cold water on the RyanCare plan - and implicitly delayed the bill and thus tax reform - Bloomberg's Michael McDonough discovered that deep inside the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey, there is reason for President Trump to be optimistic on passing his fiscal agenda.
A pivotal, catalyst-filled week for global markets is now underway as investors brace for the second US interest rate hike in 2 quarter, a Dutch election, the expiration of the US debt ceiling deal, the imminent invoking of Article 50 by Theresa May, the first G20 finance ministers' meeting of the Trump era and perhaps the disclosure of Trump's proposed budget.
European bourses advance and Asian share rose led by a surge in Hong Kong stocks which rose the most in three months as Japan hit 15 month highs. U.S. futures are little changed along while the dollar rebounded from session lows after Friday's selloff. Crude oil has continued its retreat, down 0.2% and sliding for a 6th straight day after breifly dropping below $48 in overnight trading.
"First, 'record levels' of anything are records for a reason. It is where the point where previous limits were reached. Therefore, when a ‘record level’ is reached, it is not the beginning, but rather an indication of the maturity of a cycle. While the media has focused on employment, record stock market levels, etc. as a sign of an ongoing economic recovery, history suggests caution."
The near-record string of 10 consecutive Dow Industrials record highs, a streak not seen since early 1987, may be about to end if futures, which are currently trading -0.3% lower, fail to stage a rebound.
A student activist group at the University of Michigan is demanding campus officials provide them with "a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work."
"There is chalk on the oval saying "Build the Wall" which could be construed as hate speech against Hispanic students and undocumented citizens. This is unsafe for the University community and cannot be allowed."
In this holiday-shortened week, attention will be on the US FOMC minutes, housing data and consumer confidence. There will be GDP, PMI and inflation releases across the Euro Area as well as the latest Greek Eurogroup meeting. Look for GDP and public finances data in the UK.
Despite US markets being closed in observance of Washington's birthday, S&P futures spiked during overnight trading, reaching new all time highs before fading some of the gains. Both Asian and European markets traded modestly higher after paring early gains.