The start of the trading year has at least been a two-way market, which is great for those that trade within a range but still no good for those looking to hop on a new trend. Markets are gravitating towards big figure levels either to take the scalp or to push on as they mean to go for the rest of the year.
The Russell 2000 is leading most US indices lower today after it found resistance at the 50-period Donchian channel mid-level following the US ADP jobs numbers. According to Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), the number of jobs in the private sector rose by 807,000 in December, coming in far above market expectations. Major enterprises added 389,000 jobs in December. This was followed by midsized enterprises with 214,000 jobs with small businesses creating 204,000 jobs.
The Russell is comprised of 2000 small-cap stocks and represents the companies that are quickest to suffer in an economic downturn, so this index is generally a bell-weather signal for the rest of the large caps. A report published by IHS Markit shows that the US Services Business Activity Index fell by 0.4 index points from the previous month but rose by 0.1 index points from the preliminary figure. This will also have weighed on the indices.
With that said, today's ADP numbers boosted the 30 corporations within the Industrial average as the Dow Jones reaches for the 37,000 big figure. Later on this afternoon, we receive the FOMC meeting minutes which will add some colour to what the market can expect from the possible rate hikes this year and sped up tapering schedule.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported today that commercial crude oil inventories in the United States fell by 2.1 million barrels to 417.9 million barrels in the week ending December 31. This is bullish for oil as it shows a greater demand.
During the past week, US crude oil refineries processed 15.9 million barrels per day, a decrease of 163,000 barrels per day compared to the week prior. If the refineries taking in crude are not producing products that could lead to a reduced supply, again bullish for the oil prices. Gasoline production declined to 8.5 million barrels per day, despite refineries operating at 89.8% of capacity. Year on year, the 4-week average of product supplied is increasing, so this trend should lead to a moderation of prices in the future. Brent is now up to $81 dollars per barrel with the $82 level the nearest swing high prior to the drop in late November 2021. If the price of oil gets above there, the $86 and recent highs are likely to at least be tested. Which is not good for those looking for prices to decline and inflation to drop.
The EURUSD once again traded through the 1.1300 level and remains in a tight range between 1.1300 – 1.1350. The German 10-year Bund yields were slightly higher today which will have supported the euro after the German bond auction earlier.
At the London close, the relative strength of the euro is clear to see and it also shows how the market pivoted this afternoon as the euro had started the session as the weakest currency. The rest of the matrix is mixed up with no clear risk-on or risk-off bias, so maybe the markets are waiting to hear what the Fed had to say in their meeting minutes.
Tomorrow the big focus will be the US ISM Services PMI data and then we await the NFP on Friday. If the NFP follows the ADP today with a big surprise we should be ending the week with a very interesting market move.