Wall Street Eyeing New Records

Written by: Craig Erlam | OANDA Europe

Wall Street is eyeing more records when the bell rings on Monday, with all three major index futures up around a quarter of one percent as the open approaches.

Jerome Powell's soothing tones are continuing to provide that calming reassurance for investors, even as we head into what could be a rollercoaster ride in the final months of the year. Investors as ever are optimistic. A vaccine is on the way and perhaps Biden wouldn't be such a bad thing for the markets afterall. A multi-trillion dollar US stimulus package is just the icing on the cake. 

I mean, none of these things are guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination and the most important of them is far from it. For those that harbour any lingering doubts, the Fed has your back. A small tweak to the monetary policy framework last week means, in theory at least, that rates should remain lower for longer. 

Not that they were rising any time soon anyway. It may not be clear from looking at equity markets but we are in the middle of a global pandemic and the US unemployment rate is in double digits, for at least four more days anyway.  Current forecasts suggest it has fallen to 9.9% in August, all the more reason for Congress to get this relief package sewn up asap. The economic recovery may start to look very different if they don't. 

The first week of the month as ever is littered with data, none more important than the jobs report on Friday. We're now just over two months from the US election and with Trump pinning his hopes on being the right person to get the economy booming again, a few knockout jobs reports won't do him any harm. And looking at the polls, he needs any help he can get. 

Oil rises on promising Chinese data 

Oil prices are rising on Monday, up more than 1% early in the European session. The Chinese PMI data overnight is giving crude prices a nice lift, with the services PMI in particular offering encouraging signs. China is living a very different reality to the rest of us and that is evident in the data, with the services PMI rising to 55.2 but the manufacturing reading slipping to 51. 

Domestic demand is keeping things ticking over nicely while the rest of the world contends with gradual reopenings - and setbacks that come with it - and travel restrictions. Brent and WTI are pushing their 200 day simple moving averages at the moment as the gradual price recovery continues.  A close above here on a weekly basis could make things interesting.

Gold steady as USD tests its lows

Gold is a little flat today after bouncing strongly in Friday's session as the dollar sunk back to its August low. The promise of low rates for a very long time not only gets equity investors excited, bond investors quite enjoy those soothing tones as well. Yields on the 10-year remain a little off their lows but with inflation expectations now rising, real yields fell back below -1% on Friday and took the dollar down with them. 

This remains a very nice environment for gold, although it continues to look jittery in the short term. August was a wake-up call for gold traders, markets don't move in straight lines. A move back above $2,000 should get them back on board though.

Related: Who Needs Yield Curve Control?