If it was Trump's intention to spike futures with his Saturday tweet updating on the current state of US-China trade negotiations, he succeeded (at least for now).
Recall that on Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that he "Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!"
Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
A subsequent report by the WSJ cautioned to take Trump's tweet with a grain of salt, especially since given the market volatility Trump is liable to be exaggerating the chances of a deal, especially since trade optimism is expected to boost markets, Trump's favorite "barometer" of his administration.
... people familiar with the state of negotiations said the president may be overstating how close the two sides are to an agreement. They note Mr. Trump has looked to calm markets, which have gyrated in recent days, in part, because of concern that the trade fight between the US and China could spin out of control.
The tweet also followed a Friday CNBC report that the White House had spoken with a prominent hedge fund investor how to halt the market rout, who responded that the president should end his criticism of Powell on Twitter, stop administration turnover and reach a trade deal with China in order to help markets.
And while there is a long way to go before a deal is reached, the algos will certainly not be blamed for crashing the market this time because with the open for S&P futures for trading at 6pm, the Emini future spike, as much as 20 point, and was last trading 0.7% higher, just above 2,500 (which incidentally is exactly where SocGen predicted in November 2017 the S&P will close 2018). Then again, with the S&P so far failing to rise above Friday's high of 2,520 it would not be at all surprising to see the entire kneejerk reaction higher fade once algos realize that this is just Trump doing everything in his power to prop up stocks on the last day of the year, especially with the offshore yuan trading largely unchanged on the Trump prnouncement.