Today's ECB Policy Meeting Takes Center Stage

March 11, 2021 11:50 AM
Overnight, the Dow set a fresh record high for the 4th straight session
Ahead of the bell today, the Nasdaq was up 1.5% and battling at 2 critical levels of technical resistance
Weekly Jobless Claims are pivotal this morning, but take a back seat to the ECB’s policy meeting
Stock Market Update for Traders

Stock Market Update for Traders

Wednesday's Close

E-mini S&P 500 Futures (March): Settled at 3896.50, up 23.25

E-mini Nasdaq-100 Futures (March): Settled at 12,749.25, down 39.50

Overnight, the Dow set a fresh record high for the 4th straight session. The S&P and Russell each lurked less than 1% from their records. The Nasdaq hasn’t only lagged, but weakness across tech due to higher rates and the reopening rotation has broadly handcuffed U.S. benchmarks. Regardless, the leadership needed to surpass current records is in place. 

Over the last month, energy is +21.3%, financials +10%, industrials +5.8%, and materials +5.6%. Much of tech, information technology in particular, is flat over the last week and down 5% over the last month. 

Ahead of the bell today, the Nasdaq was up 1.5% and battling at 2 critical levels of technical resistance. A strong close today could set the wheels in motion for a melt-up breakout across the board into next Friday’s quadruple witching.

Weekly Jobless Claims are pivotal this morning, but take a back seat to the ECB’s policy meeting. The ECB said it’d purchase bonds at a faster pace through its PEPP program and that it expects yields to remain at their current levels or lower. Bund yields dove, as did rates from the U.S., and have brought a tailwind to risk-assets at the onset of U.S. hours. ECB President Christine Lagarde began her press conference at 7:30 a.m. CT.

Last Friday’s Nonfarm Payroll displayed the rebound in job growth, particularly the services sector, as many state and local governments begin to relax restrictions. Today’s expectations of 725,000 initial claims, due at 7:30 a.m. CT, would be the lowest since the week before December 3rd. 

This was on the heels of holiday hiring and just ahead of Congress’ 2nd fiscal bill. Ironically, President Biden signs his lauded $1.9 trillion fiscal package on Friday. It’s become obvious that economic activity is picking up and jobs are lagging, but both rely heavily on stimulus measures. 

Yesterday’s soft CPI read paves the way for continued accommodative policy and it’s no coincidence that U.S. benchmarks are, as mentioned, lurking just below their respective records 1 day removed.

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