Here come earnings. Several large companies report over the next few days and then the floodgate on second quarter results opens wide next week. The S&P has been in rally mode heading into the reporting season and now the question is: Can corporate America deliver numbers that justify the lofty increase in share prices?
We finally went ahead and did the damn thing! The S&P 500 broke through the 3,000 level for the first time ever this past Wednesday following some favorable talk on rate cuts from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. But before we pop the Cristal, crank the tunes, and slaughter the fatted calf, it might be wise to take a step back and think about what all of this exactly means.
Smaller versions of popular stock index futures contracts started trading last month and they’re off to a respectable start. CME Group announced plans to launch the contracts a couple of months ago. Each “micro” equals one-tenth of some of the more popular stock index futures. Investors seem to like the new products: trading volumes are ramping up.
President Trump’s Twitter feed, which has become perhaps the best leading indicator for equities lately, sent a strong sell signal last Friday morning after the President suggested that, “there was absolutely no need to rush” trade negotiations with China. This comes after a week of saber rattling that sent markets into a volatile tailspin.
This bearish setup was confirmed when the President revealed that the administration was still in the process of implementing 25% tariffs on an additional $325-billion-worth of Chinese goods.
The stock market initially took this breaking trade news… not well.
Time for earnings. Several large banks release results on Friday, and the floodgates on first-quarter reports open wide the following week. With the S&P 500 up sharply year to date, the rally will be tested when companies discuss the outlook for the remainder of 2019.
Here's why that matters.
Smaller versions of popular stock index futures contracts are on the way. CME Group announced this week that it will list Micro E-mini futures in May. The new products will equal one-tenth of some of the more popular stock index futures contracts today and these new vehicles are intended to make index futures trading more accessible to individual investors.
And before you ask, we know what you're thinking: Will TopstepTrader offer some of these new indexes if and when they become available?
Since making new, all-time highs in January and then crashing 10% in February, the E-Mini S&P has consolidated. As the chart below indicates, it put in lower highs in March and April, but each lower high was also accompanied by a higher low.
To anyone looking at the daily candlestick chart (shown above) the market was clearly gearing up for its next move. In this episode of The Trade, Coaches Dan Hodgman and John Hoagland revisit the breakout as prices approached that descending trend line on May 7, 8 and 9.
They talk about how they analyzed the market at the time, why it may have been more natural to take a short position as the market approached that line (with a stop above), and why the E-Mini typically doesn't confirm breakouts higher with high volume.