The S&P 500 traded perfectly down to major three-star support on Friday and stabilized. As beautiful as the technicals were, (discussed in the ‘Technical’ section below) the bounce from major three-star support caught a tailwind from positive news on U.S.-China trade talks. It was reported that they are paving a path to resolve the trade dispute by November.
Commodities tried to turn the corner on reports of low-level talks about a framework to end the trade war and this made everyone realize that perhaps some of the fears of the backlash from a trade war were overblown. China is feeling the pain of the trade war while the United States looks to be gaining. If recent trade trends continue, it is possible that the United States may find it harder and harder to lift tariffs.
U.S. benchmarks are off yesterday’s swing high and the S&P 500 is contained below resistance as the week looks to wind down. Geopolitics remain in the headlines and the White House said it will ramp up sanctions on Turkey after the country hasn’t released the American pastor from house arrest.
The dog days of August that have set in on the moves in the commodities have been exaggerated. While crude oil holds the 200-day moving average, after a major seasonal sell-off, the concerns about a serious demand slowdown are most likely overblown. Turkey, of course, is a major oil producer and Consumer. NOT! The fears of contagion, steaming from the stepped upped pressure from the Trump Administration, has been overdone. We are in the dog days, and oil bears have begun licking their chops, mistaking seasonal weakness for a major bear turn in the market.
Crude oil prices got slammed on fears surrounding the Turkish economy, ongoing concerns about China, and a big build in crude supply, but really a lot of what is driving the bus is the strong dollar. Not just the traditional inverse relationship that oil has with the dollar, but how this massive up move is impacting oil supply and demand.
A bearish American Petroleum Institute (API) report, as well as the continuing drama surrounding Turkey is raising fears of a slowdown in oil demand based upon fears of raising contagion coming out of Turkey. The oil market that tried to mount a major comeback yesterday was thwarted by a risk aversion in the dollar that sunk oil, as well as industrial and precious metals.
The crude oil and petroleum markets took a Turkish bath yesterday, but in doing so it may have washed out the bearishness and put in our seasonal low. The moves in the market seemed beyond crazy because at the end of the day the Turkish currency crisis is a much more political than financial crisis. Oil moved on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, lowering its demand forecast and fears of a rise in supply, but it was Turkey that cleansed the market.
Global stock markets are rattled as the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is running his economy into the ground, raising contagion fear surrounding other European nations. Initially, crude oil was following the stock markets down, but then turned positive on a report from the normally more bearish leaning International Energy Agency, which is warning that as oil sanctions against Iran take effect, perhaps in combination with production problems elsewhere, maintaining global supply might be very challenging and would come at the expense of maintaining an adequate spare capacity cushion.
Even in long-term bull markets, you are going to have a day like Wednesday. Crude oil and products crashed down to major support as it was hit with a confluence of headlines and bearish weekly Energy Information Administration data. Fears of the impact of sanctions on China, Iran, Russia and Turkey did not help and another big drop in U.S. gasoline demand has some worried that U.S. consumers were showing resistance to higher pump prices.