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Ear to the Floor: The Friday Trade

Stocks in this article: SLV GLD TLT SPY VIX

Well aside from the media pundits monopolizing the wire today with headlines like "U.S. Stocks Bounce back from Selling Spree", it was an otherwise uneventful day in the futures market. The December S&P 500 contract started out the day quickly hitting its high point of 1693.10 and then falling back to the 1688 level of the previous days close. The range for the day was a modest 5 points.

The metals on the other hand continued with their recent erratic behavior as the December Gold contract traded in a $20.8 range today, closing out the day slightly off the lows at 1322.60, down over 1% on the day. In the silver market, the December Silver contract found itself trading lower today as well, settling at 21.766, off just over .50% for the day. Additionally we found the USD gaining some ground in the FX market as the December EUR/USD contract settled at 1.3490, down .26% on the day.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, I would suspect that the market jitters related to the political uncertainty surrounding the government shutdown and debt ceiling talks will persist. However, I cannot see anything of substance coming from Capitol Hill either before or during the weekend, so the likelihood of there being some sort of a catalyst on that front to drive the market significantly higher or lower is slim.

From an economic calendar standpoint, we have a number of reports hitting the wire first thing in the morning. These include: Personal Spending (8:30am EST), Personal Income (8:30am EST), PCE Prices - Core (8:30am EST) and Michigan Sentiment - Final (9:55am EST).

My guess is that we will see a fairly active trade in the morning, as the numbers are released, but most business and portfolio positioning will be complete by the noon hour on the east coast. However, the one wild card here is that we have 3 different Fed Presidents speaking tomorrow, any one of which could move the markets as recent Fed speeches have done. With that said please note that Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is set to speak at 10:15am EST, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengeren will speak at 8:30am EST and New York Fed President William Dudley is speaking at 2:00pm. A Q&A session is expected for all 3 speeches.

Travis McGhee


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