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S&P 500 Pattern Looking Dangerous, Dollar Climb Already Slipping

S&P 500 Pattern Looking Dangerous, Dollar Climb Already Slipping

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist

Talking Points:

  • The S&P 500 is carving out a large head-and-shoulders pattern; but does it end in disaster or is it disarmed?
  • Dollar's climb is already slowing without rate expectations feeding the inherent drive
  • UK data will attempt to stir Brexit feelings and Chinese 3Q GDP is major event risk ahead

See the DailyFX Analysts' 4Q forecasts for the Dollar, Euro, Pound, Equities and Gold in the DailyFX Trading Guides page.

Tension over an extended period of time breeds complacency. That is the sentiment surrounding stretched risk exposure throughout the financial system but is particularly strong with the S&P 500. The market has proven so single-minded towards its buoyancy in the past, few have given a second thought about its permanence. Yet, skepticism is working overtime through the market's ranks nowadays. Fundamental worries are meeting technical fears. The benchmark for risk trends is carving out a strong 'head-and-shoulders' pattern with all the right moves in the congestion phase and clearly an over-exaggerated build up to ratchet the risks to greater levels. A significant move lower is inevitable, but it doesn't have to happen imminently. Fears are growing more pervasive such that reticence may promote the eventual collapse.

Meanwhile, the Dollar’s impressive rally over the past two weeks has already started to show serious signs of slipping. Rate expectations never represented a serious depth of support in this preceding move, so its absence now is not particularly important now. All we have seen on this front was Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer's remarks about low rates and how they could breed financial troubles, but that doesn't alter the existing forecast of a December rate hike (and skepticism of a November 2 move). Instead, it is a steadying Euro, Pound and Yen stumble that is righting the Dollar's performance. Will the Greenback take over its own drive tomorrow with the US CPI figure due? It will be a tough sell.

Ahead, the top event risk for potential market impact is focused on the Chinese GDP figures which will come out late Tuesday / early Wednesday. That has deeper potential for risk trends; but it can also unsettled secondary fundamental themes like Fed timing, ECB taper potential and Australian trade. That said, it's potential for surprise is likely low given the consistency of the data. Meanwhile, the UK data on tap is wide open to unexpected outcomes and wild Sterling response. The Pound has started the week with a mild bounce, but it doesn't take much to send the currency stumbling again. We discuss these and other trading themes in today's Trading Video.

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