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Stock Futures Trade Sharply Lower


21 September 2021

Futures in the United States and in Europe are trading sharply lower as investors worry about the domino effect of Evergrande’s massive plunge on the Chinese property market. Evergrande’s shares plunged over 17% today and it made the Hang Seng index sink by over 4%. In addition to this, investors are picking up the momentum where they left off last week. Remember, last week we saw a major slump in U.S. equities.

In Friday’s session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.48%, and the S & P 500 index dropped 0.91%. The Nasdaq, the tech-savvy index, declined 0.91%, while the Russell 2000, the small-cap index, hopped 0.18%. The dip is due to a variety of causes, including fading earnings estimates, uncertainty related to shifting monetary policy, and instability in the world’s second-largest economy as a result of escalating crackdowns.

The FOMC meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, is the most important event for investors this week. Stock market participants will be looking for clues about a possible timeline for the inevitable tapering of bond purchases.

FOMC Meeting

Investors should not expect a formal announcement of the tapering until November and should instead look for hints about how quickly the Fed is likely to begin its withdrawal. The main challenge for Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be convincing investors that the start of stimulus tapering does not imply an impending rate hike. He will also most likely make a case for strong economic growth in 2022, and he may provide reports, opinions, and statistics to back up his claims.

The decision to reduce the Fed’s ultra-easy monetary policy is a difficult one, and one that central banks around the world are debating. The conundrum is determining whether economic growth is sufficient to justify reducing a country’s stimulus and whether inflation fears are strong enough to warrant tightening at this stage. Therefore officials are closely monitoring economic data before taking any action.

Stock Market

Investors should be aware that the most recent drop in equity indices tested an important support level, the S&P 500 index’s 50-day moving average. The S&P 500 index fell several points below the 50-day moving average on Friday. Despite this, investors should keep in mind that except for April 2021, every time the index fell below this trend line, it recovered and bounced back up. As a result, the index has been able to stay above the 50-day moving average for 219 consecutive sessions. This is the index’s longest run of outperformance over this benchmark since 1996.

Stock traders are currently following a buy-the-dip strategy. This was evident in the S&P 500 index’s drop on Wednesday, when Americans pumped $46 billion into equity funds. This was the largest investment inflow since March, with a total of $28 billion pumped into large-cap companies.

On the other hand, investors should keep in mind that the performance of equity markets does not move in isolation and is correlated to economic metrics. Hence, Americans should factor a slowing economic recovery into their decision-making and risk assessment processes. However, low interest rates, combined with an improving economy, as evidenced by increased retail sales and a decrease in unemployment claims, are expected to support financial markets in the coming months.

Furthermore, the NAHB Housing Market Index will be announced today. The index would provide an update on the health of the housing sector in the United States of America.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and Ethereum have started the week on the back foot and the massive bullish signal that traders were focused on, the golden cross, seems to have lost its lustre. Crypto traders are certainly going to wake up to a rough day and it is likely that Bitcoin price may touch the early 40K price level now as the price has failed to keep its upward momentum. The situation is no different for Ethereum as well and it is highly likely that we may see more sell off for Ethereum today as well as bulls are not in control of the price. Having said that, investors should keep in mind that both coins at a lower price could be the best opportunity to bag some bargains as there is still plenty of evidence that large family offices and institutional traders are still buying Bitcoin.

Solana, an alternative coin to Ethereum, has been trending over the last few weeks, if not months, because of their breakthrough technology, which boasts the “world’s fastest” transaction time and claims that it is capable of carrying out 50,000 transactions per second. As a result, the digital coin’s market capitalisation boomed over $62 billion earlier in September and its price grew a whopping 6000% in a year. However, the digital asset faced an issue last Tuesday when its services were disrupted for 17 long hours. Officials blamed “resource exhaustion” for the hindrance caused.

Cryptocurrencies are a new phenomenon in the financial industry, so there will be ups and downs, but one thing is certain: the sector’s acceptance is growing rapidly, as evidenced by regulatory reforms in the works and the growing interest of institutional investors.

Oil

Some of the pressure on oil prices has subsided since oil companies resumed production, which had previously been halted due to recurring hurricanes in the United States’ Gulf of Mexico. Brent prices reached their highest level since July last Wednesday, as oil suppliers removed 26 million barrels of offshore production. Since then, the producers have recovered significantly and are working to restore normalcy. Moving forward, an increase in supply as planned by OPEC, as well as a resumption of supply by US producers, are likely to support economic growth.

Gold

The biggest event for the precious metal is the FOMC meeting. Gold prices have fallen in recent days because of strong economic data supporting the Fed’s decision to begin tapering before the end of 2021. Traders should closely monitor the FOMC meeting to determine how quickly interest rates will be adjusted following the tapering announcement, as a rise in interest rates raises the opportunity cost of holding the yellow metal, prompting investors to reduce their exposures and shift to other assets.

#source

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