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Dollar Surges, S&P 500 Stumbles after Yellen Speech...Does it Last?

Dollar Surges, S&P 500 Stumbles after Yellen Speech...Does it Last?

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist

Talking Points:

  • Fed Chair Yellen offered an optimistic outlook at Jackson Hole with others shoring up hawkish interpretation
  • The Dollar posted its biggest rally in two months while 'risk' assets stumbled
  • Fundamental fodder ahead includes NFPs, a G20 meeting and Brexit data; but can it overcome holiday quiet?

See how retail traders are positioning in the majors using the SSI readings on DailyFX's sentiment page.

After an extended period of quiet for the markets, traders were once again tempted by the jolt of volatility that ended out the past week. Speculative interpretation following Fed Chair Janet Yellen's and a range of FOMC members' speeches spurred the biggest Dollar rally in two months as well as the largest S&P 500 daily range since July 8th. A remarkable catalyst is needed to overcome a structural and seasonal slump in activity; and traders must ask whether that was enough of a shove to achieve it. Some are optimistic over - perhaps even desperate for - volatility and trend, but circumstance between participation and the countdown to the Labor Day holiday drain need to be weighed objectively.

In the week ahead, both the Dollar and broader 'risk' theme will navigate plenty of event risk that can charge speculative response. For the Greenback, the PCE deflator (the Fed's favored inflation reading) and August NFPs will outweigh noteworthy - but lesser - indicators and Fed speak. For those keeping tabs on the shaky foundation of sentiment via benchmarks like stock indexes, the final day of the Jackson Hole Symposium and next weekend's G-20 gathering represent imposing lightning rods. It is worth noting that in both cases, these crucial catalysts bookend the week. And, the disruptive liquidity drain of the US Labor Day market holiday on Monday, September 5th will be difficult to contend with.

While it is possible that major market swings and perhaps even a fundamental trend can arise through the coming week, it is not the most probable scenario. Therefore, it more strategic to head into the new trading week looking for more discrete opportunities that can evolve into larger trades should the fundamentals support it. Amongst the majors, that de-emphasizes pairs like EUR/USD and USD/JPY while bolstering AUD/USD and GBP/USD. Scheduled event risk for the Dollar, Pound and Yen among a few others can offer reasonable moves in the limited market scope. We look at what next week can bring for activity and market bearing in this weekend Trading Video.

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