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Big Fed Decision Ahead

Fresh on the heels of today’s surprisingly low inflation data for the United States, all eyes will be on the big Fed decision ahead. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm ET, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC; the policy-making body within the Federal Reserve) will reveal their latest increase in the Federal Funds Rate, along with a corresponding statement and a new set of economic projections for the next two years (including interest rate forecasts). Following this, at 2:30 pm ET Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at the FOMC press conference, where he will answer questions regarding monetary policy strategy, economic outlook, and more. All these events are likely to cause a great deal of volatility across financial markets, especially as equities investors eagerly await a slower rate hike pace.

With a 50 basis point rate hike forecast for tomorrow, instead of another brutal 75 basis point hike like those that have been implemented consecutively the past several times, traders and analysts will be on the lookout for more signals regarding a further pivot away from hawkishness. They may feel further emboldened in this search in light of the latest CPI data released this morning, showcasing another month of slowing inflation, bolstering stock market optimism and reducing US Dollar bullishness. However, whether evidence for this narrative continues to build has yet to be seen: there is still the chance that the FOMC could further upwardly revise interest rate forecasts while slowing the pace, which would not be quite as bullish for stocks and bearish for USD as it may seem.

Three Indices to Watch

In yesterday’s article we discussed three pairs to monitor for those who are bullish on USD; they remain worth checking on for potential trade setups this week. Today, however, let’s examine three stock market indices worth watching for those who may be anticipating a fundamental catalyst related to potential Fed dovishness tomorrow. Though two receive neutral signals, the EdgeFinder currently offers positive ratings for all three listed below, as can be seen among their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘3’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

2) SPX500 (S&P 500) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

3) NAS100 (Nasdaq-100) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 am ET, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the month of November. Widely considered a proxy for inflation, the rate at which CPI increases will help the American public and the Federal Reserve discern how much of a threat high inflation continues to pose. Month-over-month CPI is forecast to slow to a 0.3% increase, while month-over-month Core CPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) is anticipated to clock in at 0.3% as well. If the real numbers exceed these expectations, this would be bullish news for USD and bearish news for stock market indices, whereas the inverse would be true if the numbers come in smaller. This is because hotter inflation data gives the Fed further incentive to raise interest rates to cool the economy, which strengthens the Greenback while diminishing demand for stocks. With the Fed’s next rate hike and press conference coming just two days from now, we must issue a warning: US CPI tomorrow is just the beginning for major pairs and equities.

Three Pairs to Watch

Considering that the latest Producer Price Index data released last week was quite bullish for USD, it seems plausible that tomorrow's CPI updates could yield similar results. With this in mind, for those interested in going long on USD, here are three potential pairs to watch for trade setups. While the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s handy market scanner, is reasonably cautious about some of them, new momentum from a fundamental catalyst could correlate with new biases being generated which are more optimistic for US Dollar bulls. They are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

2) USD/JPY - Earns a ‘1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

3) AUD/USD - Earns a ‘-1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

Between fresh numbers for US PPI and more tomorrow, there is a good chance that forex and equities traders could encounter increased volatility across financial markets. First, at 8:30 am ET on Friday, tomorrow morning, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest increases for the Producer Price Index (PPI; measures changes in the prices of goods and services sold by producers) and Core PPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices), both month-over-month. These measurements of inflation are both currently forecast to have risen by 0.2% in the month of November; if the real figures fall short of these expectations, this would be bearish news for USD and bullish news for the US stock market, whereas the inverse would be true if the real PPI numbers exceed these expectations.

Second, at 10 am ET tomorrow, the University of Michigan in the US is going to publish the Preliminary release of their Index of Consumer Sentiment report. Released monthly, the index is based on data regarding the economic confidence of consumers gathered via survey; it acts as an indicator for economic optimism or pessimism, which can have big implications for financial markets. With the index anticipated to hit 56.9 this month, a larger number would signal more consumer optimism, which would be bullish news for USD and bearish for stocks. However, if the report fails to hit these forecasts, this could likely be bearish news for USD and bullish for the stock market. This is because, as with the PPI reports, hotter-than-expected growth and demand could cause the Federal Reserve to lean further into monetary tightening and hawkishness, which would fly in the face of investor hopes as reflected in the recent months’ stock market rally. Regardless of bullish or bearish biases, traders would be wise to keep an eye on these releases, as they may have a significant impact on price action tomorrow.

What Assets to Watch

While the EdgeFinder does not currently view the US Dollar in a particularly favorable light, it has generated one such bullish signal for a major pair. That pair is listed below, along with two assets worth watching for potential trade setups if tomorrow’s news is bearish for USD. They are all listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

2) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘4’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

3) XAU/USD (Gold) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

This morning’s economic news pertaining to the United States has been rather complicated. Because of this, we would like to issue a word of caution: bizarre US labor data like this can have odd effects on price action for major pairs. On one hand, Non-Farm Employment Change (NFP, for Non-Farm Payrolls; a key gauge of private sector labor market activity) estimates for November came in far from strong. Released at 8:15 am ET by Automatic Data Processing, Inc., a meager 127,000 jobs were projected to have been added to the US economy over the latest month, a far cry from the 196,000 that had been forecast. This implies a cooling labor market, which is bearish for USD.

On the other hand, however, the latest findings in the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS jobs report, published this morning at 10 am ET, has seemingly contradictory implications: an impressive 10.33 million job openings remain in the US, still almost double the number of unemployed individuals looking for work. Coupled with better-than-expected quarter-over-quarter real GDP growth, with the latest numbers clocking in at a 2.9% expansion this morning, and a smaller decline in homes sales than anticipated, this news paints a different picture of the US labor market and economy, one that is still red hot. This is quite bullish news for USD.

What to Make of This?

While it does appear that more reports are signaling USD bullishness than bearishness, we can also wait for further confirmation about US economic strength over the next few days. For example, tomorrow morning the latest changes in the US Core PCE Price Index month-over-month will be made public; this is a key fundamental indicator for those trading USD, as it is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. Likewise, Friday morning will be a pivotal day in the financial markets, since the official new NFP numbers, wage growth data month-over-month, and new US unemployment rate will be published too, all at 8:30 am ET. Between all these crucial updates on fundamentals, traders will have much to chew on, far more than just today’s confusing data.

3 Potential Pairs to Buy

According to the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner, EUR/USD and USD/CAD remain the optimal pairs to monitor right now for opportunities to go long on USD. Because we just explored their respective charts in Monday’s article, let’s take this time to examine the EdgeFinder’s highest rated pairs to buy, which all happen to be NZD pairs. A strong currency in its own right, the New Zealand Dollar is well worth focusing on as we await further USD developments. Without further ado, here are the three pairs that rank highest on the EdgeFinder’s score summary chart, along with their respective ratings, biases, and corresponding charts.

1) NZD/CAD – Receives a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

2) NZD/USD – Receives a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

3) NZD/JPY – Receives a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
4 Pairs to Be Wary Of

As many of you already know, the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner software, can be incredibly helpful for discerning which securities are especially worth watching for potential trade setups. Whether you are planning on buying or selling a currency pair, commodity, bond, or more, EdgeFinder analysis is so robust that its ratings and biases can be a go-to supplement for traders. However, one feature of the EdgeFinder’s that is little mentioned, yet quite meaningful, is its generation of ‘0’ ratings and ‘Neutral’ biases. Most days, there are a small handful of pairs or securities that earn these reviews; rather than being irrelevant, these ratings can be quite convenient to keep in mind, as they can alert traders to risks in terms of lack of signals. With that in mind, here are 4 pairs to be wary of next week, as they currently earn such ‘0’ ratings, indicating that an extra measure of caution could be helpful.

1) GBP/CAD - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

4 Pairs to Be Wary Of
Most institutional traders are shorting both GBP and CAD while Canada wrestles with low inflation and the UK contends with potential stagflation.

2) USD/CHF - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

4 Pairs to Be Wary Of
Though most institutional traders currently favor USD over CHF, US Dollar bullish momentum remains in limbo while CHF retains safe haven status.

3) XAU/USD (Gold) - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

4 Pairs to Be Wary Of
Gold warrants a similar commentary to that given for USD/CHF above. Uncertainty about the Fed's next moves makes this battle between safe havens complicated.

4) GBP/USD - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

4 Pairs to Be Wary Of
Though this pair earned a 'Strong Sell' signal not too long ago (and well could again), GBP's historic rally amid the UK's return to fiscal responsibility currently offsets USD's myriad advantages over GBP.
Time to Buy Treasuries?

While the A1 EdgeFinder can aid traders and investors by compiling analysis for currency pairs and stock market indices, it also offers great insight into bond markets as well. This can be helpful to remember considering that US Treasuries, debt securities backed by the US government, often become more enticing for buyers as interest rates rise. This is because Treasury prices fall, and yield rates rise, in conjunction with increases in the Federal Funds Rate; for example, the yield on the 10 Year Treasury Note has risen from about 1.5% to over 3.8% since the beginning of 2022. With the Federal Reserve continuing their aggressive rate hike campaign of historic proportions, and the EdgeFinder issuing bullish signals for certain government bonds, it is worth asking: is it time to buy Treasuries?

10 Year Treasuries or 'T-Notes' are reviewed particularly favorably for traders and investors by the EdgeFinder. They are listed below with their respective rating, signal/bias, and corresponding EdgeFinder breakdown chart. The ten years number within their name refers to their maturation period, one decade over which fixed interest will be paid to the owner; for more information, read here.

US10Y - Earns a 4, or ‘Buy’ Signal

Time to Buy Treasuries?
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

This morning at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI; a proxy for inflation) numbers. Included in this report was month-over-month CPI, year-over-year CPI, and month-over-month Core CPI, which cuts out volatile food and energy prices. Rather than exceeding market expectations as USD bulls have become so accustomed to, last month’s inflation rather decelerated, and by large margins too. Month-over-month CPI was a meager 0.4%, a far cry from the 0.6% forecast, and month-over-month Core CPI only increased by 0.3% instead of 0.5%. The shocking US inflation data this morning is bearish for USD at face value, painting a picture of a US economy that is beginning to cool, implying less urgent need for Fed aggression while providing encouragement for stock markets.

Three Pairs to Trade

Despite this news, a bullish USD bias can still be meaningfully tied to fundamentals, because Fed Chair Powell made it clear that the Federal Reserve will not reduce rate hike goals based on one or two occurrences of lower-than-forecast inflation data. Thus, the bearish USD price action that arises from this news grants USD bulls potential opportunities for trade setups. With this in mind, here is a selection of pairs that the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner, still views favorably for USD bulls; they are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD (Earns a 6, or ‘Strong Buy’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

2) USD/CHF (Earns a 3, or ‘Buy’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

3) EUR/USD (Earns a -3, or ‘Sell’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
What Will the Fed Do?

This week has been fascinating for financial markets: stock markets have performed quite well despite global interest rate hikes and some disappointing tech earnings in the US, while the US Dollar Index continued to decline from late September’s highs. These movements are perhaps only more surprising considering that key data on the US economy was released both yesterday and today, and the chances of it further emboldening the Fed are plausible. With the Federal Reserve scheduled to adjust the Federal Funds Rate (a key interest rate in the US) on Wednesday next week, and full-blown recession still looming in the minds of investors, it is worth unpacking this fresh data in order to ask: what will the Fed do?

Consideration #1: Surprising GDP Growth

Yesterday morning at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis released some shocking information. Quarter-over-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the US, a measure of economic output, was estimated to have grown by a whopping 2.6% from July through September, even more impressive than the 2.3% which had been forecasted. This is a welcome respite for a country that had just met the criteria for a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth). However, this remarkably positive growth may leave the Federal Reserve only feeling more at peace with their monetary tightening regiment, since GDP contractions may have kept them somewhat cautious about the severity of their rate hikes.

Consideration #2: High Core PCE Index

This morning at 8:30 am ET, the Bureau of Economic Analysis also released new inflation data. The month-over-month Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, which measures the cost of goods and services purchased by consumers (excluding volatile food and energy prices), rose by 0.5%, perfectly meeting market expectations. While not bullish in the sense of exceeding forecasts, context is crucial: not only are these figures high, but they are also identical to last month’s increase. Considering that the Core PCE Index is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, it seems likely that the FOMC, the Fed’s policy-making committee, could interpret these numbers as an indication that recent rate hikes have been insufficient for quelling inflation.

Consideration #3: High Personal Spending

The Bureau of Economic Analysis also reported higher than expected personal spending this morning, clocking in at 0.6% month-over-month, much higher than the 0.4% forecast. Though not holding the same significance as other indicators and measures of inflation, this increase marks a pattern, with personal spending similarly beating market expectations with a 0.6% increase the previous month. Considering that the intention behind the Fed’s interest rate hikes is to curb consumer demand by limiting borrowing and spending, hot personal spending numbers help indicate that their goals have yet to be realized.

Likelihood of Fed Decisions

In light of these latest developments in economic fundamentals, the odds of continued Fed hawkishness seem only more likely. Between a return to positive economic growth, persistently high changes in core prices, and historically hot labor markets and consumer spending, a 75 basis point rate hike seems all but certain next week. A full 100 basis point hike, while not currently forecasted, may not be off the table either, though they may refrain due to concerns about inflation data as lagging indicators (rendering current data somewhat unreliable for exhaustive Fed decision-making).

Conversely, some analysts are predicting the Fed easing up on their contractionary monetary policy aggression soon. The Employment Cost Index (ECI), administered by the US Department of Labor, revealed that wages in the private sector grew by 1.2% in Q3; though still remarkable, it is a decline from the 1.6% increase in the previous quarter. While these slower increases in pay could theoretically bring core inflation a bit lower soon, these numbers are still incredibly hot. Considering that the Fed has made it clear that they are willing to err on the side of hawkishness for the sake of returning annual inflation to 2% (down from the current rate of 8.2%), the notion that a Fed pivot towards smaller hikes will be coming soon seems rather premature.

My Biases

Personally, I am anticipating further bouts of Fed hawkishness, and a corresponding return to bullish momentum for USD across major pairs. Likewise, I am expecting that the bear market for equities is not over, and that the recent rally will only make the Fed more comfortable indulging in rate hikes. Regardless, this coming Wednesday’s FOMC Statement and press conference will keep us updated on the Fed’s vision for the near future. The Statement and rate hike will be made known at 2 pm ET on Wednesday, November 2nd, with the press conference immediately to follow. The EdgeFinder, A1 Trading's market scanner which aids traders by providing supplemental analysis, is currently bullish on both USD and the S&P 500.

USD Falling on the Philly Fed News

This morning, at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released an unfortunate batch of news for the US economy. The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, otherwise known as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, which surveys over 200 Philadelphia manufacturers on a monthly basis, indicated worsening business conditions this month. While a score of -5 was anticipated, and would have already been a pessimistic indication, the real number was a bleaker -8.7. Considering that American manufacturing is a crucial component of US exports, these disappointing conditions ostensibly highlight the toll that a strong US Dollar is taking on trade, which carries negative implications for US GDP growth, or the lack thereof. With USD falling on the Philly Fed News today, monetary tightening-induced recession fears continue to haunt financial markets.

End of the Road for USD?

While the USD bullish run cannot last forever, a reversal currently seems unlikely anytime soon. High core inflation and hot labor markets are still incentivizing the Federal Reserve to continue their aggressive rate hike strategy, which they show little sign of stopping, regardless of UN criticism. Those bullish on USD may want to watch bearish movements like these for potential trade setups, which could yield potential discounted opportunities for going long on the Greenback.  

Three Potential Pairs to Trade

According to the A1 EdgeFinder’s market analysis, the following pairs rank favorably for those interested in going long on USD. They are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CHF (Earns a Score of 4, or a ‘Buy’ Signal)

USD Falling on the Philly Fed News
USD Falling on the Philly Fed News

2) EUR/USD (Earns a Score of -5, or a ‘Sell’ Signal)

USD Falling on the Philly Fed News
USD Falling on the Philly Fed News

3) AUD/USD (Earns a Score of -4, or ‘Sell’ Signal)

USD Falling on the Philly Fed News
USD Falling on the Philly Fed News
3 Surprising Pairs to Buy

Many retail traders are likely aware of how US Dollar strength has surged to decades-long highs over this past year. This is primarily due to the Federal Reserve’s hawkishness in response to staggering increases in the cost of living, as well as USD safe haven status as the world teeters on the brink of a global recession. While major pairs such as GBP/USD and EUR/USD are particularly popular for those aiming to go long on USD, there are other promising, less frequently traded pairs that are worth watching as well. Here are three such USD pairs to consider, all of which are viewed favorably by the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner software. These 3 surprising pairs to buy are listed in order of favorability, i.e., their respective EdgeFinder ratings and biases, along with some additional technical and fundamental analysis.

1) USD/CAD (Earns a 5, or ‘Buy Rating)

3 Surprising Pairs to Buy
3 Surprising Pairs to Buy

This pair is a bit unique in terms of fundamentals, because a portion of Canada's economic performance is predicated on exporting energy to the US, a primary trading partner, knitting their economies together. Regardless, the US economy has remained far hotter than Canada's, which reflects accordingly in the COT data above, as institutional traders clearly favor USD over CAD. Price action is retesting the lower depicted zone as support following a stunning breakout to the upside of trendline resistance in September.

2) USD/TRY (Earns a 5, or ‘Buy’ Rating)

3 Surprising Pairs to Buy
3 Surprising Pairs to Buy

This pair is an unusual case that might spook newer traders; after all, wouldn't fundamentals favor the currency with the higher interest rate, and high inflation to match? However, that has not been the case here as Turkey grapples with horrific stagflation, much of it due to the Lira's near collapse in value. Turkey's interest rates have not been allowed to rise accordingly in order to mitigate hyperinflation, sending this pair to historic highs. It appears a breakout to the upside of resistance may be occurring.

3) USD/ZAR (Earns a 4, or ‘Buy’ Rating)

3 Surprising Pairs to Buy
3 Surprising Pairs to Buy

South Africa's economy is one of Africa's strongest, having grown rapidly over the past few decades post-Apartheid. However, many structural problems remain, including an unemployment rate exceeding 30%. Similar to USD/TRY's fundamentals in a sense, this is another case where interest rate divergence is not as compelling for forex traders, since South Africa's economy is not overheating in a comparable way to the US. It appears that recent price action may have found a key support zone prior to trendline support.

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There is a significant degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable risk exposure, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. The vast majority of retail client accounts lose money when trading in CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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