With Stocks Near Highs, Heavy Position Squaring Today

09/28/2018 10:54 am EST

Focus: MARKETS

Nell Sloane

Principal, Capital Trading Group

Stocks remain near all-time highs as strong U.S. economic data continues to outweigh Washington drama. Don’t forget, today will mark the final day of trading for the week, the month, and the third quarter of 2018, so there could be heavy position squaring, writes Nell Sloane Friday.

Today’s economic calendar here at home is fairly light, with Personal Income and Spending data and Michigan Consumer Confidence and speeches from a couple of Fed members.

Things will pick up a bit next week, starting with Monday’s updated U.S. manufacturing numbers; Tuesday’s updated U.S. auto sales data and Fed Chair Powell’s speech in Boston; then on Friday the highly anticipated monthly jobs report.

The following week, we will kick off Q3 earnings season with reports from the big banks, Citi (C), JP Morgan (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Globally, there's still a ton of moving parts on our radar.

Fallout inside the European Union remains a concern. Not only does Brexit remain a big question mark, but Italy is also up in the air with their current budget crisis.

There’s certainly still some headline risk involving China and current U.S. trade negotiations. Canadian trade negotiations are also still on the burner. Washington would like to get a deal inked within the next few days, but that sounds highly unlikely at this point.

We also see uncertainties involving the energy sector and how things will play out with the Iranian sanctions.

Will the Russian's and or Saudi's step up to offset production losses from Iran and Venezuela?

Iran is threatening to wreak havoc in the Strait of Hormuz, which could increase complications involving global oil supplies. We also have greater uncertainties brewing between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.

It sounds like the U.S. might start to get more involved and that Russia is perhaps becoming a bit more aggressive.

This is a fluid situation so we need to pay close attention. We also have a highly controversial first-round of a Brazilian election about to take place. The leading far-right candidate, former military leader Jair Bolsonaro, was recently stabbed in an assassination attempt at a local rally.

He has been hospitalized for the past few weeks but still seems to be leading in the polls. The highly popular, former president and leading left candidate, “Lula” da Silva, has been ruled ineligible after being thrown in prison and now serving a 12-year prison sentence. 

Cheers,

Nell

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