Stock Markets Helped by Healthy US Economy

Emmett Rice
July 12, 2017

"Normalization of monetary policy in the coming months is nearly priced in, and the Fed will start shrinking its balance sheet in September, and this does not necessarily mean a delay of rate hikes", said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

US crude futures rose 0.4 percent to $44.58 a barrel after adding 0.4 percent on Monday, while Brent crude was 0.4 percent higher at $$47.08.

Perceptions that an era of ultra-cheap money is gradually ending have been reinforced by European Central Bank minutes showing policymakers are open to reducing monetary stimulus. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,403.

US stock futures traded lower on Tuesday, July 11, as Wall Street traded cautiously ahead of testimony later in the week from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, earnings from big USA banks, and economic data on USA inflation and retail sales. The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,354. S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 104,412 contracts traded.

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"Looking ahead, we think improving corporate earnings are the key ingredient needed to sustain the equity bull market", said Bob Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management LLC. Newfield Exploration added 59 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $26.95. Invesco lost 76 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $35.71. Benchmark U.S. crude picked up 64 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $45.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Canadian dollar was down slightly against its US counterpart as investors awaited a Bank of Canada interest rate decision on Wednesday. A higher dollar, in which gold is priced, would also lower the value of the yellow metal. That appeared to weigh on the company's shares, which slid 58 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $113.69.

Spot gold is expected to rise into a range of between $1,225 and 1,231 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci projection analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index closed up by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

German bunds came under renewed selling pressure early in Europe on Tuesday with the increase in yields providing net Euro backing with EUR/USD finding support just above the 1.1380 level.

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