ORIGINAL POST: 10:15 AM
Depending on your point of view, Lockhart was testing the market’s reaction/letting us down easy/managing our expectations. And, the market reacted predictably.
According to Lockhart — the economy has been growing at 2% (versus hoping for 2 1/2%) which is very modest growth, won’t bring great progress in bringing down unemployment. While inflation remains subdued at a little over 2%. He said it was a close call in terms of warranting further easing.
It would be an easier decision if we were to see persistence of less than 100k monthly employment growth or signals of deflation. But, the question remains as to shorter and longer term costs.
Forecasting low rates into 2014 has kept rates low, could take rates even lower. Lower mortgage rates would help qualify more real estate buyers. But, lower rates isn’t really the issue — even though they would have some positive effect
Re Draghi no-showing at JH — a signal that all hands are on deck in Europe, paying attention to their issues, which have contributed to the uncertainty that we’re dealing with. The fact that they’d stay home in august is a good thing.
Re the costs and benefits of additional QE: costs are speculative, don’t really know what costs are over longer term. We could see some benefit, but limited benefit for limited risk and I think manageable costs over the longer term. Not overly concerned with costs of more action, but see limited benefits, too.
I continue to believe the Fed really doesn’t want to implement more QE unless they have no other choice. I believe this morning’s announcement was, as George Carlin would call it, a test fart. How crazy would the markets go if we don’t announce it now. What if we don’t announce on Sept 13? What if we never announce it again?
UPDATE: 10:30 AM
Note that 1398 is not only the previous low, it’s the level of one of our channel lines (parallel to the former neckline.) Breaking it would make an upside harmonic pattern that much less likely.
more in a few…
UPDATE: 11:00 AM
UPDATE: 11:30 AM
The 5 minute RSI broke through double resistance. I’ll stay long and raise my stop to 1399.
UPDATE: 1:15 PM
Still sitting with a small long position. SPX tested our white channel line again and it held. Our upside probably isn’t terribly great right now. Resistance is overhead at the purple channel (1402) and the intersection of the white channel with the lower of the two fan lines from 2007 — right at the Fib .886 of 1404.64.
If we can get to and somehow break through that level (somewhat unlikely) the upside would appear to be capped at the intersection of the top white channel line (the previous neckline) and the larger downward sloping channel right at 1409.
The larger trend does appear to be down — probably a Crab pattern with a target on the 1.618 at 1386.84 — also the white channel bottom and a purple channel line. The key will be the white channel line currently providing support.
UPDATE: 2:45 PM
The dollar has broken up through the channel midline and is currently testing the recently broken purple channel line.
The purple channel line is a major feature on the long-term chart. DX broke down through it about a week ago, but it’s done this in the past and managed to bounce back in short order.
If it can retake this line, the larger upward trend can resume. The chart below shows how influential these channels have been in the past.
But, there are other speed bumps to deal with. The dollar is at a critical intersection of these purple channels with the white channels and the big yellow channel shown below. The big yellow channel (used to be purple) has been in charge for almost 14 years.
And, of course, this intersection is occurring in the vicinity of an election that has major implications for the economy, Fed composition (and thus policy) and our relationship with the rest of the world.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see DX stay relatively close to this nexus for the next 10 weeks — until we get past the election. Breaking out of this tangle of intersecting channels would signal an economic sea change — one that’s decidedly not beneficial to equities.
The wild card remains the euro. It’s such a major component of the dollar’s value that a failure of the EZ to produce a fix the market can believe in will boost the dollar — regardless of what Bernanke announces tomorrow or on Sept 13.
The red channel I show extending to the right up above is the likely path forward. Reaching the upper bound is the next major move, but there’s a lot of ground to cover first.
Our medium-term objective for DX remains 87. It’s the Fib .886 retracement of move down from June 2010 to May 2011 (purple pattern) and the 1.618 extension of the Jan to May 2011 decline (yellow pattern.) The intersection of a Bat and a Crab pattern is almost always significant, so we should expect a serious reaction at 87. The charts say it’ll happen at about the same time as the election.
This timing intrigues me. What would it mean? Would the administration and the Fed allow the dollar to rise (and equities to fall) as we approach the election? I think it more likely they’d pull the trigger on QE enough in advance of November 6 to make a difference.
More in a few…
UPDATE: 3:20 PM
Just hit 1402, so I’m raising my stop to 1400.50. I still plan on being largely in cash by the end of the day (though I’ll probably put on a small, highly leveraged short just for fun.)
UPDATE: 3:40 PM
Almost to 1404, and just tagged purple channel line. Raising stop to 1403.30.
Thanks to OnTheFly, who correctly pointed out the H&S pattern that began on Aug 6 and completed today (dashed yellow neckline.) It’s very lopsided, but if it plays out it indicates a downside of 1370.