US equity benchmarks muscled out of Tuesday’s early bludgeoning and finished on firm footing, though still down significantly on the session, states Bill Baruch, president of

That wave of strength quickly dissipated on the European open early this morning and after analysts in a Bloomberg survey downgraded China’s 2022 GDP forecast from 5.5% to 4.5%.

Additionally, the Nikkei Asia reported Apple (AAPL) as having delays in developing its new iPhone due to China’s virus lockdowns, the stock is down more than 1% ahead of the bell. Although Apple warned such lockdowns could impact revenue by up to $8 billion at its earnings release last month, this is not the type of market environment that digests negative news well.

The US Dollar Index (USDX) is on the mend after falling from its peak for six out of the last eight sessions.

Weakness in the Chinese Yuan (CNY) cannot be seen directly in the Dollar Index, but it is a broad driving force this morning, weighing on everything from the Aussie Dollar (AUD) to Copper (HG=F). The Euro (EURUSD) is also slipping after more hawkish members of the ECB are confirming only a 25-basis point hike in July as recession fears rise. Still, we cannot ignore that a major factor in the US Dollar’s pullback this week was due to comments from Federal Reserve committee members. Specifically, the influential Atlanta Fed President Bostic and Kansas City Fed President George, a 2022 voter. Both had pointed to a pause in rate hikes once reaching 2%. The Federal Reserve releases the Minute from their May third-fourth meeting at 1:00 pm CT. Narratives have certainly developed since and the Minutes could be viewed as a bit stale, but still impactful.

In yesterday’s Midday Market Minute, we highlighted the test and hold of major three-star support at 3872.75-3874. In fact, this was a right shoulder in a bullish inverse head and shoulders pattern with May 19 being the left shoulder and Mat 20 the head. The Nasdaq (NDX) developed the exact same pattern and a rebound ensued. However, strength through the close and early overnight could not chew through the massive damage left from yesterday’s session reopen on Monday evening after the Snapchat (SNAP) news. This is defined as major three-star resistance at 3971.75-3975.50 in the S&P 500 (SPX) and 12,035-12,075 in the NDX. It is now imperative that we see a move out above here in order to repair just this damage and then begin on that from last Wednesday.

A large draw in Gasoline reported by API after the bell has underpinned overnight strength, along with news that Russia’s port loadings will fall about 3% in the first half of June. Crude Oil and the energy space as a whole is sharply higher, diverging from the broad commodity space as the US Dollar strengthens. This pins EIA data is front and center at 9:30 am CT. Analysts expect -0.737 mb Crude, -0.634 mb Gasoline, and +0.917 mb Distillates. Cushing will be a critical component after inventories fell to near one-month lows last week and nearing the lowest since August 2018. API reported Cushing stocks as falling by 0.731 mb last week.

Major three-star support at 108.63-108.96 has done heavy lifting all week and will be a continued line in the sand in defining immediate-term strength and the potential of a breakout above strong overhead resistance at 11.82-112.39.

Gold (GL=F) and Silver (SI=F) each settled at the highest level since May 6th yesterday, but are both now on their back foot. A rebound in the US Dollar and weakness in the Chinese Yuan is certainly a significant catalyst for the slip, but we cannot ignore Gold’s June Option Expiration. Next to December, June is the biggest month for Gold and Open Interest builds into this critical expiration. In fact, many significant rallies in Gold have historically begun the day after this expiration, and we see exactly this potential here today.

It is no coincidence that Gold is down by about 1% on the session and hugging the 1850 mark as 11,450 Puts and 11,287 Calls are open here at the 1850 strike. This is the equivalent of $4.2 billion, yes billion, of notional Gold. Furthermore, this does not even include the Puts and Calls above and below the 1850 strike. What a massive expiration! This aligns with a historical precedent that a large move is to be expected in the coming days. Coincidentally, these options expire at 12:30 pm CT and the Fed releases the Minute from their May meeting at 1:00 pm CT. Stay nimble and do not hesitate to reach out to our trade desk.

Highs in both Gold and Silver were hit in the first half of yesterday’s session and price action has ultimately retreated since. As we highlighted above, this is a massive options expiration for Gold and we expect a large move after. Of course, we favor and believe such a move will be higher.

Learn more about Bill Baruch at Blue Line Futures.