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S&P 500: Back Inside Recent Range, NFP in Focus

S&P 500: Back Inside Recent Range, NFP in Focus

What’s inside:

  • The S&P 500 moves back inside the range
  • Trading environment can be difficult in August
  • US jobs report in store at 12:30 GMT

Wednesday’s commentary was titled, “S&P 500: Range Finally Breaks, Now What?”. The answer: a return to the range. It wasn’t expected the market would move back inside the range given data and a market tendency we recently examined, but not completely unexpected either. There is evidence that the market should decline, but price action hasn’t very constructive for either side of the tape recently. The range prior to the break higher then lower was as tight as it has ever been in the S&P 500 cash index.

It’s also August, and barring any major catalyst which spurs a risk-off event, trading can be difficult as volume tends to dry up. It’s a vacation month when all is relatively quiet. The recent trading has been reflective of this environment outside of some FX moves spurred by central bank actions – BoJ, RBA, and BoE yesterday. Don’t press it if the trade isn’t there. If volatility remains low into September we want to keep our heads clear and losses very minimal so we are ready for when volatility returns. And it will, it always does.

Today, we have coming up shortly, the monthly US jobs report at 12:30 GMT time. Analyst are looking, via the Non-Farm Payrolls figure, for the economy to have added 180k new jobs during July, while the unemployment rate is expected to tick lower to 4.8% from 4.9%. The market will also be watching for signs of wage inflation; average hourly earnings are expected to hold steady at a rate of 2.6% YoY.

Predicting the outcome is a futile exercise, it’s anyone’s guess. How the market reacts to the numbers is what matters. Typically, the cleaner moves are in the FX/rates space, but sometimes a good fade-able trade can be made in the S&P as well following a knee-jerk reaction. We will likely stand aside on indices in favor of FX, but should we see a sizable deviation from expectations and a reaction to match in the market, we’ll be ready.

Levels to watch: Support comes in the vicinity of 2155/60, then 2147. Resistance lies at 2174/78, then right near 2183.

Improve your skills with technical analysis by checking out one of our free trading guides.

---Written by Paul Robinson, Market Analyst

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulRobinsonFX.

He can be reached via email at with any questions or comments.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.