Thursday, June 05, 2014

Draghi Moves Closer to Qunatitative Easing

Markets were lower in early trading but have since bounced back to positive.  That has pretty much been the pattern recently, as any early morning weakness quickly dissipated and buyers re-emerged.  The gains haven't been big on a percentage basis, but the market continues to inch higher without much of a pullback at all.  That makes it tough for folks that are underinvested and looking for a good buying opportunity.

Of course, the big news this morning was the action by the ECB which announced several monetary easing actions.  The ECB lowered their key rate to 0.15% from 0.25%, lowered its marginal lending rate from 0.75% to 0.40%, and actually made deposit rates negative at -0.1% from 0.0%.  In addition, they will deploy targeted long-term refinance operations. 

These moves are aimed at spurring more lending and stimulating economic activity.  Negative deposit rates makes it unattractive for banks to hold cash, and encourages them to lend more.  Ditto the targeted LTRO program.  The ECB is also said to be preparing for further action which will likely include asset purchases (like the Fed and Banks of Japan and England have already done).

The euro, which has been weak for the last month, is actually higher on the news.  Oil prices are a bit lower near $102.31 while gold prices are rallying to $1254.

The 10-year yield is a little lower so far to 2.59%.  It was higher early this morning but ran into its overhead 50-day average and has retreated.

The volatility index is 2% lower so far back below the 12 level to 11.83.

Trading comment: The incessant creep higher in the S&P 500 is a little troubling.  Or at least its frustrating.  Investment managers don't like to pay up for stocks and would rather wait for a dip to do more buying.  But the SPX has basically been higher without much of a pullback for the last 11 consecutive days.  That makes it overbought, but not wanting to give back any gains.  We think a little patience is required as well as looking for stocks sporting fresh breakouts that are not yet extended.

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