Monday, March 18–Jim Wyckoff’s Morning Markets Report
Asian and European stocks were mostly higher overnight. There were no major geopolitical developments during the weekend to move the markets, and trading is quieter to start the week. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward mixed openings when the New York day session begins.
Trader and investor focus is turning to this week’s FOMC meeting of the Federal Reserve, which begins Tuesday and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. The FOMC is not expected to change its monetary policy at this meeting. The Fed has become more dovish the past few months.
The Brexit matter continues to play out but it’s on the back burner of the world marketplace. The U.K. has no “soft Brexit” deal in place ahead of the March 29 “hard exit” (no deal) for the U.K. to leave the European Union. Look for Prime Minister Theresa May to soon propose another plan for a soft Brexit to the Parliament.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index weaker. Nymex crude oil prices are modestly lower and trading just above $58.00 a barrel. Oil prices hit a four-month high last Friday.
U.S. economic reports due for release Monday are light and include the NAHB housing market index.