Technicals Remain Supportive to Indices


The March Empire State manufacturing index was -20.9 when -8.0 was expected.

Import prices in February increased 0.3% when up 0.2% was anticipated, and export prices advanced 0.8% when a gain of 0.1% was forecast.

Industrial production in February was up 0.1% when unchanged was estimated and capacity utilization was 78.3% when 78.4% was expected.

The 9:00 central time March consumer sentiment index is anticipated to be 77.3.

Stock index futures have traded higher this year despite a Federal Reserve that is slow to pivot to accommodation.

The fundamentals are mostly bullish, while the technicals remain supportive to stock index futures.

bull and bear


The U.S. dollar index is steady.

European Central Bank policymaker Olli Rehn said the central bank started discussions about  when it is appropriate to start cutting interest rates.

The Germany’s economy ministry said in its monthly report a tangible recovery is not yet in sight despite positive trends in industrial production, construction and foreign trade at the start of 2024.

U.K. inflation expectations fell to the lowest level since the summer of 2021. Households in February expected prices to increase 3.0% over the next 12 months, which is down from 3.3% in November, according to the BOE’s quarterly Inflation Attitudes Survey.

Speculation is increasing regarding an exit from the BOJ’s negative short-term interest rate policy. A recent poll showed the BOJ may exit negative interest rates at its April meeting, but the March 19 meeting cannot be ruled out.

Canadian housing starts in February were 253,500 compared to 230,000 that were expected, and 223,600 previously.


Financial futures markets are predicting there is a 1.0% probability that the Federal Open Market Committee will lower its fed funds rate by 25 basis points at the March 20 meeting, and there is a 99% chance that the Fed will keep rates unchanged.

Analysts are becoming more confident that any interest rate cuts will probably occur later in the year, especially after recent consumer price index and producer price index reports exceeded expectations.

The fundamentals and technicals remain bearish on balance for futures at the short end of the yield curve.


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