NASDAQ 100 Index Powers to New Record High

An increasing and persistent expectation of earlier rate cuts is pushing US stock markets firmly higher, led by the tech sector which has pushed the NASDAQ 100 Index to reach a new record high yesterday.

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  1. Stock markets are mostly bullish, especially in the USA, where the NASDAQ 100 Index yesterday made a new record high, and the benchmark S&P 500 Index made a new 23-month high, very near its all-time high. The bullish environment is caused partly by a weaker US Dollar and partly by a more dovish expectation of the Fed’s rate cuts in 2024. The CME’s FedWatch tool is priving in a 67.50% chance of the first 25 bps rate cut being implemented in March 2024, despite pushback yesterday from Bostic and another FOMC member who say the Fed will be in no rush to cut.
  2. In the Forex market, since the Tokyo open, the Japanese Yen has been the strongest major currency, while the Euro has been the weakest, although the numbers are small enough to be mostly meaningless. There do not seem to be any valid long-term trends to exploit in this asset class right now, although with the US Dollar weakening again, eyes will be on EUR/USD to the long side if we get a daily close above the key resistance level at $1.1008.
  3. Crude Oil has continued to rise strongly after trading at a new 6-month low price, reaching a new 2-week high, due to attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi forces which have pushed major shipping companies to refuse to transit goods through the Red Sea. The USA is stating that it will put together a military operation to fully reopen the Red Sea to shipping traffic, which may temper this rise.
  4. Bitcoin seems to have found support at the level of $40,907 and is now rising more firmly from that area as risk-on sentiment takes stronger hold in the market and helps to boost Bitcoin.
  5. Cocoa futures remain within a valid and very strong long-term uptrend.
  6. There will be releases today of:
    • UK CPI (inflation) data
    • US CB Consumer Confidence data
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