Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1% annual rate, up from a previously estimated 0.1% drop, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today. Also, weekly jobless claims declined by 22,000 to 344,000 in the week ended Feb. 23, and the number of people collecting unemployment insurance dropped to the lowest level since June 2008. With that fairly positive set of data releases, the MAR13 E-mini S&P 500 is up slightly on the day, trading up 1.5 pts to 1517.25. We see 1530 as the top of the recent range and think that the market does have a chance of moving beyond those levels if more really solid economic data comes out of the USA. The next big release is in the beginning of March with the employment numbers. Overall, even with the spending cuts looming, the market seems bullish and is having trouble holding below 1500 as of now.
The grain markets have picked up some bullish activity today, with MAY13 corn futures trading up $.08 to $7.03, or more than 1%. MAY13 soybeans are also up more than 1% today, trading up to $14.57. Wheat, after a very steady descent this year, has turned around today and is trading up more than 1% as well. We believe a lot of this activity, especially in the wheat market, is short-covering and value seeking.
We focus more on the Swiss franc futures today. Like the euro, the pound, and the Aussie dollar, the Swiss franc has been in a very bearish trading environment in February 2013. Today the franc is down further to the tune of -.23%. We notice that the Swiss franc is at the bottom of its five-month range, and if it stays below this level, we look for our next downside target of 1.0650 and then 1.0400 to be hit. 1.08 is our first upside resistance. We would not be surprised to see the Swiss franc break lower and trade in a new range between 1.04 and 1.07 for a while.
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