Basically, kids, if you play this sport, you went to bed a little richer last night than you woke up yesterday morning. That is unless you came in short the market; then you went home bloody. For you, today is another day. You were saved last night by a hefty MOC imbalance that put pressure on the key 2356 level for the S&P 500. That level will likely matter again early this morning. Let the games begin. Don't forget to tape on the foil.
Pulling a Rabbit Out of This Hat
If Steve Mnuchin was batting clean-up yesterday, the President himself was hitting third in the order. The president ordered a probe into whether or not steel imports from China and other countries actually hurt national security. Can you say tariffs on this slice of the materials business are likely on the way? Can you say that Nucor (NUE) , US Steel (X) , and AKSteel (AKS) all easily outperformed markets that were themselves performing very well? The NYSE MKT Steel Index ran 3.7%. Can the president top that? He can try.
Today, we expect President Trump to sign an executive order that will direct Treasury to review significant tax regulations issued just last year in order to determine if any of them impose undue tax burdens on the American taxpayer, or exceed statutory authority. This can only have a positive outcome from my point of view. Is that all? No.
The president is also expected to sign two memoranda today that will ask Treasury to review the Orderly Liquidation Authority and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. What does this mean to you and me? Simply means that he's going after Dodd-Frank today. Rabbit, meet hat.
09:30 - Fed Speaker: Minneapolis Fed Pres. Neel Kashkari will speak this morning on the state of the economy from St. Paul, Minnesota. Keep in mind that Kashkari votes this year and has been the FOMC's only dovish dissenter. Kashkari will take questions from the audience throughout the event.
09:45 - Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash (April): Expecting 53.7, March 53.3.
09:45 - Markit Services PMI Flash (April): Expecting 53.2, March 52.8. The ISM reports for the manufacturing and service sectors don't do "the whole flash thing". Therefore, the Markit data, which lies almost completely ignored when the final numbers are reported, can sometimes get attention with the flash numbers. Still, any trader looking to trade off the macro today, will likely wait for the housing data, or the rig count if looking for a market catalyst.
10:00 - Existing Home Sales (March): Expecting 5.61 million, February 5.48 million SAAR. The March numbers for this series, though still running at elevated levels, came in at the weakest annualized pace after seasonal adjustment since August. The cause for this seemed to be more of a lack of supply than anything else. The expectation is for a return to data near the top of the chart for today's release. This is likely the macro event of the day.
13:00 - Baker Hughes Rig Count (Weekly): Last Week total 847, oil 683. U.S. oil rigs currently in production just keep on rising in number. I would not think that we'll see this trend change anytime soon, as long as WTI crude stays supported above $50 a barrel.
Sarge's Trading Levels
These are my levels to watch today for where I think that the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000 might either pause or turn.
SPX: 2370, 2362, 2356, 2347, 2340, 2334
RUT: 1405, 1398, 1389, 1382, 1372, 1367
Friday's Earnings Highlights (Consensus EPS Expectations)