After today, the payroll report seems like child's play
The thing about tables is, they ALWAYS turn; the same can be said of market trends.
Just as I was preparing to type the sentence, "In my decade+ experience as a commodity broker, I've never seen anything like what we saw in the euro today", a correspondent on CNBC pointed out the March 2009 euro rally. On March 18th of 2009, the Fed announced a round of Quantitative Easing that sent the dollar reeling and the euro soaring. On that particular day, the euro was up about 3.5%. At the peak of trade today, I believe the euro was up about 3.3%. (I'd to the math, but it won't change anything and I've had a long day).
Ironically, we had been looking for the seasonal euro rally for several weeks with a short put strategy, but couldn't justify holding on to the trade into the ECB meeting. Instead, we decided to buy back our puts and sell strangles; a decision that, and the time, was sound in nature; but in hindsight was horrible. We were bullish, why get into a neutral strategy?
Nevertheless, after a lot of intraday shucking and jiving, we appear to have survived. Unfortunately, I'm not sure many traders survived the day. The way the Euro was running high in clips of 10 to 20 pips at a time, is a clear indication of margin call buying and risk manager liquidation of futures accounts. We suspect the margin calls will continue into the night session and tomorrow (and this includes the ES). So look for another round of selling in the ES, and buying in the euro. We've heard rumours of some big hedge fund blow ups, and I can assure you there are enough retail trader casualties to fill a large graveyard.
Historically FOMC minutes have been an afterthought, but in today's climate they are a big deal to futures traders
The futures markets have been hanging on every word that trickles from the mouths of Federal Reserve members. Even off-handed comments made on their personal time have been moving through the grape vines.
Today's FOMC minutes didn't offer any surprises. The Fed feels like the U.S. economy is moving in the right direction, which justifies a rate hike. But overseas market turmoil (namely China) has them pressing pause. The market seemed to like what they heard.
In more bullish equity market news, the Chinese stock market opened for trade today after being closed for an entire week in observance of a national holiday (this is odd to us because it is essentially illegal in the U.S for the stock exchange to be closed more than 3 consecutive days). Once the bell rung, Asian traders bid prices higher to catch up with the global equity market rally that had taken place without them.
This is what professionals call a WTH market (the "H" stands for heck).
Markets undergoing vast changes in their technical outlook on a minute to minute basis are best described as WTH markets. I have no doubt that investors who have been trained, and thus far rewarded, to "buy the dip" were putting money to work early this morning as the S&P 500 screamed higher, but I also have no doubt they are now remorseful buyers.
The market looked equally as horrible on the close as it looked fantastic on the open. In such markets, typical market analysis techniques simply don't work and traders attempting to chase prices back and forth will wish they had never heard of momentum indicators.
In the past, WTH markets have been followed by big moves so traders should approach the S&P with more caution than usual.