Wednesday 19 December 2018

Powell breaks the equity market

US equity indexes closed significantly lower, sp -39pts (1.5%) at 2506. Nasdaq comp' -2.2%. The two leaders - Trans/R2K, settled -3.1% and -2.0% respectively. VIX settled u/c at 25.58. Near term outlook offers a bounce, but ALL bounces are to be seen as such.




US equities began the day in minor chop mode, but built significant gains into the early afternoon.

The FOMC announcement saw the Fed raise rates for the fourth time this year, and the ninth of the cycle, +25bps to a new target range of 2.25-2.50%.

Each additional word from Powell caused equity carnage

Equities saw an initial spike to 2585, but then imploded to 2533, and recovering to 2565. Once Powell start speaking at 2.30pm though, it all fell to pieces, falling to 2488, and settling at 2506. The daily close was decisively under the Feb' low, and offers further downside to the 2300/250 zone within the near term.

Volatility saw some swings, but relative to equities, those swings were relatively moderate. The VIX unusually settled exactly flat. A burst >30 is long overdue.

Bonus chart: Japan, monthly

The Nikkei is currently -6.1% at 20987. A monthly settlement <21k would be decisive, and offer the low 19000s. Grander support of 12k.

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