Opportunistic Trader Overnight Recap 12/13/18

– ECB set to confirm that it will end its asset purchasing program at the end of this month; but tone likely to be caution going into 2019 die to headwinds on growth and inflation
– UK PM May wins confidence of party 200-117. PM May stated afterwards that was pleased to receive backing of colleagues in confidence vote
– US Soybean Export Council: Chinese importers have bought 1.5-2m tons of US soy over the last 24 hours , shipments were expected during Q1 2019

European stock markets were mostly weaker overnight. Asian stock indexes were mostly firmer. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins. World equity markets have been assuaged this week by the perceived progress between the U.S. and China in their trade talks. Reports say China is making somewhat significant changes to come into line with U.S. demands.

The marketplace will be watching the conclusion of the meeting of the European Central Bank, which is presently in progress. The ECB is expected to today announce the end of its quantitative easing of monetary policy. As always, the markets will closely scrutinize ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference after the meeting, to see if he tips his hand on future ECB policy direction.

Brexit turmoil was kicked up a notch earlier this week, but U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote from members of Parliament late Wednesday, to ease just a bit the uncertainty on the matter. Most global markets are not being significantly impacted by the political turmoil in the U.K. surrounding Brexit.

The key outside markets early today find the U.S. dollar index slightly lower on a corrective pullback from recent solid gains that pushed the index to a new for-the-move high Tuesday. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are slightly down and trading around $51.00 a barrel.

U.S. economic data due for release Thursday is light and includes the weekly jobless claims report, and import and export prices.

U.S. STOCK INDEXES

March S&P 500 e-mini futures: Prices are slightly higher in early U.S. trading today, on a continuation of the recovery after the market Monday hit a contract low. Bears are still in firm technical command. The shorter-term moving averages (4-, 9- and 18-day) are bearish early today. The 4-day moving average is below the 9-day and 18-day. The 9-day is below the 18-day moving average. Short-term oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Today, shorter-term technical resistance comes in at this week’s high of 2,690.50 and then at 2,725.00. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Downside support for active traders today is located at Wednesday’s low of 2,636.00 and then at the October low of 2,609.50. Sell stops are likely located just below those levels.

March Nasdaq index December futures: Prices are slightly higher in early U.S. trading, on a corrective bounce from Monday’s losses. Bears are still in technical control. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9-and 18-day) are neutral early today. The 4-day moving average is below the 9-day and 18-day. The 9-day average is above the 18-day. Short-term oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Shorter-term technical resistance is seen at this week’s high of 6,897.00 and then at 6,950.00. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. On the downside, short-term support is seen at Wednesday’s low of 6,707.00 and then at Tuesday’s low of 6,675.50. Sell stops are likely located just below those levels.

U.S. TREASURY BONDS AND NOTES FUTURES

March U.S. T-Bonds: Prices were firmer overnight. Bulls are in solid technical control. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9- 18-day) are bullish early today. The 4-day moving average is above the 9-day and 18-day. The 9-day is above the 18-day moving average. Oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Shorter-term technical resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of 143 11/32 and then at this week’s high of 143 31/32. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Shorter-term support lies at the overnight low of 142 16/32 and then at 142 even. Sell stops likely reside just below those levels.

March U.S. T-Notes: The market is firmer in early U.S. trading. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9- 18-day) are bullish early today. The 4-day moving average is above the 9-day and 18-day. The 9-day is above the 18-day moving average. Oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Shorter-term resistance lies at Wednesday’s high of 120.15.5 and then at 120.20.0. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Shorter-term technical support lies at this week’s low of 120.06.5 and then at 120.00.0. Sell stops likely reside just below those levels.

U.S. DOLLAR INDEX

The March U.S. dollar index is slightly lower in early U.S. trading. Prices Tuesday hit a contract high. Bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. The shorter-term moving averages for the dollar index are bullish early today, as the 4-day is above the 9-day. The 9-day is above the 18-day moving average. Short-term oscillators for the dollar index are neutral early today. The dollar index finds shorter-term technical resistance at the contract high of 96.995 and then at 97.250. Shorter-term support is seen at 96.310 and then at 96.000.

NYMEX CRUDE OIL

January Nymex crude oil prices are slightly lower in early U.S. trading today. Bears are in firm overall near-term technical control. There are still no early clues that a market bottom is close at hand. The shorter-term moving averages are bearish early today as the 4-day is below the 9-day. The 9-day is below the 18-day moving average. Short-term oscillators (RSI and slow stochastics) are bearish early today. Look for buy stops to reside just above technical resistance at the overnight high of $51.67 and then at $52.50. Look for sell stops just below technical support at $50.00 and then at the November low of $49.41.

GRAINS

Grain futures prices were mixed overnight. There is some optimism the U.S.-China trade talks that appear to be going well. Traders will closely examine this morning’s weekly USDA export sales report. The grain market bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but it does appear corn and soybean prices have put in market bottoms.