Major averages finished mixed on higher, quadruple witching volume. With renewed headwinds from the Federal Reserve regarding their hawkish stance on interest rates and shrinking its balance sheet, the NASDAQ Composite Index is attempting to stabilize along its 50-dma following the ugly tech sell-off seen two Fridays ago. Despite the bearish backdrop, QE remains in full effect, so as long as the index can hold the 50-dma it stands a good chance of setting up again and making a bid for the prior highs. A breach of the line, of course, would be a very bearish development, and would likely correspond to super-cap technology names also breaking down as some trace out pennant formations.
Futures are gapping higher on no material news event though QE is most likely at least partially responsible. Each year brings with it new market manipulations and thus new challenges. QE has been the chief tool of manipulation as global central banks have actually increased its pace over the last few years. Meanwhile, the US is on the path of tightening/tapering.
Investors will hear from a slew of Fed officials this week. The fed funds futures market currently points to the March 2018 FOMC meeting as the most likely time for the next rate-hike announcement with an implied probability of 53.7%. The implied probability of a December rate hike has dropped to 41.3%.
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