Big week for economic data, FOMC, and corporate earnings!

European and Asian stock markets were mostly weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. There is some risk aversion in the marketplace to start the trading week.

The U.S. government is open after being partially shut down for a month. However, the government could shut down again in mid-February if President Trump and the Democrats can’t reach a deal on the U.S. budget. Traders and investors are glad to be able to scrutinize some more fresh U.S. economic data to help the drive markets prices.

The U.S.-China trade war that has been playing out for months this week finds high-level officials from both countries meeting in Washington, D.C. There is no consensus on any progress that may or may not be made at this week’s talks. Comments from U.S. and Chinese officials have been all over the map recently.

The political situation in Venezuela is very fluid at present, with the potential for civil violence. The country is a major oil producer.

This week finds the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a statement on monetary policy on Wednesday afternoon. Markets could become active and volatile following the results of the meeting.

The U.K. parliament votes on the “Plan B” Brexit initiative from Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday.

The outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index trading near steady. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are lower and trading just below $53.00 a barrel.

U.S. economic reports due for release Monday includes the Chicago Fed national activity index and the Texas manufacturing outlook survey.

U.S. STOCK INDEXES

March S&P 500 e-mini futures: Prices are weaker in early U.S. trading. Prices are still in an uptrend on the daily bar chart. The shorter-term moving averages (4-, 9- and 18-day) are still 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. Short-term oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral to bearish early today. Today, shorter-term technical resistance comes in at last week’s high of 2,677.75 and then at 2,700.00. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Downside support for active traders today is located at last week’s low of 2,612.50 and then at 2,600.00. Sell stops are likely located just below those levels.

March Nasdaq index December futures: Prices are lower in early U.S. trading. Prices are still in an uptrend on the daily bar chart. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9-and 18-day) are bullish early today. The 4-day moving average is above the 9-day and 18-day. The 9-day average is above the 18-day. Short-term oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral to bearish early today. Shorter-term technical resistance is seen at the January high of 6,828.75 and then at 6,900.00. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. On the downside, short-term support is seen at Friday’s low of 6,676.75 and then at last week’s low of 6,592.25. Sell stops are likely located just below those levels.

U.S. TREASURY BONDS AND NOTES FUTURES

March U.S. T-Bonds: Prices are slightly weaker in early U.S. trading today. Trading has been choppy recently. Bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9- 18-day) are neutral early today. The 4-day moving average is even with the 9-day. The 9-day is below the 18-day moving average. Oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Shorter-term technical resistance is seen at last week’s high of 145 30/32 and then at 146 11/32. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Shorter-term support lies at the January low of 144 9/32 and then at 144 even. Sell stops likely reside just below those levels.

March U.S. T-Notes: Prices are weaker in early U.S. trading. Bulls still have the overall chart advantage. Shorter-term moving averages (4- 9- 18-day) are bearish early today. The 4-day moving average is below the 9-day. The 9-day is below the 18-day moving average. Oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are neutral early today. Shorter-term resistance lies at 121.16.0 and then at 121.20.0. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Shorter-term technical support lies at the January low of 121.02.0 and then at 121.00.0. Sell stops likely reside just below those levels. Wyckoff’s Intra-Day Market Rating: 4.5

U.S. DOLLAR INDEX

The March U.S. dollar index is near steady in early U.S. trading. The shorter-term moving averages for the dollar index are neutral early today, as the 4-day is below the 9-day. The 9-day is above the 18-day moving average. Short-term oscillators for the dollar index are neutral to bearish early today. The dollar index finds shorter-term technical resistance at the overnight high of 95.595 and then at 96.000. Shorter-term support is seen at the overnight low of 95.350 and then at 95.000.

NYMEX CRUDE OIL

March Nymex crude oil prices are lower in early U.S. trading. Bulls are fading. The shorter-term moving averages are neutral early today as the 4-day is even with the 9-day. The 9-day is above 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 $53.64 and then at $54.00. Look for sell stops just below technical support at last week’s low of $51.86 and then at $51.00.

GRAINS

Grain futures were mixed overnight. The choppy and sideways trading seen in the grain markets for several weeks could see a jolt this week as the U.S. government has reopened, meaning fresh economic data for the markets to digest. The grain market bulls still possess the overall near-term technical advantage.