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Late Session Selling Pressures Stocks

James Hyerczyk from ForexHound.com at 12/04/09


Stock index futures ended the day lower after bids were pulled late in the session allowing the market to plunge to new session lows.  Although the December E-mini S&P 500 made a new high for year, the inability of the Dow and NASDAQ futures to follow-through to the upside created a bearish divergence that helped weaken the market throughout the day.


At the time the S&P was making its high, the Dollar was weakening but not making new lows.  This made traders nervous since the driving force behind the 9 month rally in the equity markets has been the weaker Dollar. Many traders got trapped on the long side of the market this morning following a gap higher opening and a friendly initial claims report.  The gap opening was triggered by aggressive Asian buying following yesterday’s late session report that Bank of America was going to pay back its TARP money.


Although the main trend is still up in the equities and some will say it was position evening ahead of tomorrow’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report, today’s failure and subsequent break looks a little more bearish.  The outside move down so close to a major 50% retracement level in the S&P at 1122.00 makes one wonder if this was the final leg up.  A trade through 1077.75 will officially turn the main trend down on the daily chart, but a trade through today’s low at 1097.50 will confirm the reversal top and give traders the first clue that a top has been formed.


March Treasury futures had little reaction to the sell-off in the equities.  The stronger initial claims report earlier in the session basically took control of the markets by pushing up demand for higher yields.  Fixed income futures treaded water most of the day ahead of tomorrow’s U.S. employment report.  The March Treasury Bonds settled right on a 50% price at 120’06. 


The U.S. Dollar Index withstood another test of the low for the week at 74.31 and last week’s low at 74.27.  The higher close is impressive, but this market is still lower for the week. 


The December Euro rallied early in the session following the announcement from the European Central Bank to begin withdrawing its stimulus money from the Euro Zone economy, but backed-off last week’s high at 1.5144 when ECB President Trichet called for a stronger Dollar. 


Worries over a weakening economy helped to pressure the December British Pound, but there is still not enough evidence to say that a secondary lower top has been formed.  Today’s lower close produces a closing price reversal top, but a follow-through break through 1.6556 is needed to confirm the pattern.


The December Japanese Yen traded lower for a third straight day.  Earlier in the week, the Bank of Japan announced another stimulus plan designed to promote economic growth.  Pressure could be on this currency until December 17th when the BoJ holds its formal meeting.  Traders are nervous about holding long positions because of the possibility of an intervention.


Trichet’s call for a stronger Dollar helped pressure the December Canadian Dollar, but the most bearish influence came from lower equities and flat crude oil.


February Gold surged to a new all-time high overnight, but selling pressure began to hit this market before the U.S. opening in New York.  Heavy Asian and European trading helped boost prices but the subsequent sell-off and lower close has formed a closing price reversal top.  A break through $1205.20 will confirm the reversal and trigger a 2-3 day break to $1165 - $1150.  If Asian buyers don’t come in tonight or last night’s buyers decide to liquidate their positions, then look for the beginning of a sharp sell-off.


March Crude Oil closed lower on Thursday.  The combination of a stronger Dollar, weaker equities and growing supply helped weaken this market.  Today’s lower-low has helped form another lower main top at 81.52.  This is the third lower top since the high for the year was formed at 83.60 in October.  The last rally is beginning to look like a retracement of the 83.60 to 74.88 range.  A failure at 79.24 to 80.27 could set up another break to 75.53 to 73.63. The catalyst behind the next leg down will be aversion to higher yielding assets.



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