European and Asian stock markets were narrowly mixed overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins.

There are several world news elements at work early this week, which are making traders and investors a bit nervous. Gold prices are benefitting from the risk aversion and hit a seven-month high overnight, at just above $1,308.00.

The U.S.-China trade war that has been playing out for months finds high-level officials from both countries meeting in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday and Thursday. There is no consensus on any progress that may or may not be made at this week’s talks, but stock and financial market traders are this week leaning to the negative side of any successful outcome. The U.S. government this week has filed new charges against the high-tech company from China, Huawei. Comments from U.S. and Chinese officials have been all over the map recently.

The political situation in Venezuela is still very fluid at present, with the potential for civil violence. The U.S. on Monday slapped economic sanctions on the country, which is a major oil producer.

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets on Tuesday morning through Wednesday at midday, with a statement on monetary policy on Wednesday afternoon. No change in monetary policy is expected. Markets could become active and volatile following the results of the meeting, which includes a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Powell is getting a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth while making comments to the press or at speeches.

The U.K. parliament on Tuesday votes on the “Plan B” Brexit initiative from Prime Minister Theresa May. May’s last Brexit plan was voted down a few weeks ago and May survived a no-confidence vote by Parliament.

The outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index trading near steady. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are firmer and trading around $52.50 a barrel.

U.S. economic reports due for release Tuesday include the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, advance economic indicators, S&P/Core-Logic home indexes, and the consumer confidence index.

U.S. STOCK INDEXES

March S&P 500 e-mini futures: Prices are slightly 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 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 modestly 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 neutral early today. The 4-day moving average is even with the 9-day. The 9-day average is above the 18-day. Short-term oscillators (RSI, slow stochastics) are 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 last week’s low of 6,592.25 and then at 6,500.00. Sell stops are likely located just below those levels.

U.S. TREASURY BONDS AND NOTES FUTURES

March U.S. T-Bonds: Prices are slightly up 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 slightly higher in early U.S. trading. Bulls have the overall chart 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 resistance lies at 121.20.0 and then at 121.24.0. Buy stops likely reside just above those levels. Shorter-term technical support lies at Monday’s low of 121.08.5 and then at the January low of 121.02.0. Sell stops likely reside just below those levels.

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 Monday’s high of 95.595 and then at 96.000. Shorter-term support is seen at the overnight low of 95.305 and then at 95.000.

NYMEX CRUDE OIL

March Nymex crude oil prices are firmer in early U.S. trading, on a corrective bounce from solid losses seen on Monday. 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 neutral early today. Look for buy stops to reside just above technical resistance at Monday’s high of $53.64 and then at $54.00. Look for sell stops just below technical support at Monday’s low of $51.33 and then at $51.00.

GRAINS

Grain futures were again mixed overnight. The choppy and sideways trading seen in the grain markets for several weeks could see a jolt later this week as the U.S. government being reopened means fresh economic data for the markets to digest, starting with Thursday’s weekly USDA export sales report.