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Nasdaq Climbs to Record High

Nasdaq Smashes Previous Records Reached During the Dotcom Bubble

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Equity benchmarks trended higher despite disappointing economic data from the manufacturing sector. Although still in growth territory, the manufacturing renaissance might be reaching its end.

Equity Benchmarks Reach New Records

The three major US equity benchmarks including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose to new records as the divergence between macroeconomic data and financial indices grows wider. Equities shrugged off the data even after February proved the worst month for US economic indicators since 2011. The rise in personal income missed forecasts, but personal spending down contracting more estimated will be a drag on the economy in coming months. Although west coast ports have reopened following the standoff between the union and employers ending, the backlog continues to slow the flow of goods through the American economy. Manufacturing indices were still in expansionary territory, but manufacturing employment fell more than forecast, missing estimates by a wide margin.

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Australians Keep Monetary Policy on Hold

In an unexpected move following the previous surprises interest rate cut, the Reserve Bank of Australia moved to keep interest rate policy steady at 2.25%, beating estimates of a 25 basis point cut. This move comes amidst renewed speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia under the stewardship of Governor Stevens will continue to cut interest rates in an effort to spur growth in an economy weakened by the drop in commodity prices. Stevens is walking a fine line as any further interest rate cuts might stoke an overheating housing sector. He did highlight the willingness of the Central Bank to cut further and also remarked about the preparedness to reduce the key rate, but provided no specific timeline for these policy actions. AUDUSD rose moderately on the announcement, since pulling back from earlier momentum higher.

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Europe Prepping a Third Greek Bailout

Spain dropped the ball yesterday in announcing the likelihood that Greece would require a further 3rd bailout to complement existing programs as the nation rapidly runs short of operating cash. Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos mentioned these needs and ability of Spain to fund a portion of the bailout during remarks yesterday. He highlighted the nation will need an additional €30-50 billion to meet outstanding obligations, many of which are coming due in mere weeks. Spain will furnish approximately 13-14% of the required funds if approved by other regional governments. This proves that the latest deal with Greece is merely a stop-gap measure and will not solve the underlying problems facing the economy as it seeks to recover. The Euro weakened broadly against peers, with EURUSD falling back below 1.1200.

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AUDJPY Equidistant Channel Technical Setup

The decision by Australian policymakers to keep rates on hold sent the Australian dollar higher against peers as expectations of a rate cut have been pushed off to subsequent meetings of the Central Bank. With no imminent changes to the policies of the Bank of Japan, AUDJPY is likely to continue rebounding from 1-year lows reached back in February. The pair is currently trending higher in an equidistant channel formation with the bias towards the upside. The prevailing strategy is to initiate long positions at the bottom of the channel to be closed at the upper channel line. Any move outside the channel lines should be treated as a breakout trade which will likely be accompanied by volatility and momentum. Fighting the uptrend is not suggested because of worsening reward and rising risks.

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