The US Dollar (USD) is printing new session’s and weekly highs against several other currencies on the back of a batch of strong US data, while traders are hearing signals out of Washington that a plan on the debt ceiling is taking form. The strong US data points confirm the stance of the Fed that inflation remains sticky and possibly another rate hike is acceptable. US President Joe Biden gave more details on Thursday night about the debt talks and reiterated that there will be no default on his watch.
On the macroeconomic data front, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation numbers came out above estimates with most important: the PCE Core Delfator MoM at 0.4% against the previous 0.3% and the YoY at 4.7% against the previous 4.6%. The Fed is right to remain vigilant in terms of sticky inflation as Personal Spending for April jumped from previous 0.0% to 0.8%. The CME Fedwatch tool now prices in a 102% probability for a July hike with only just one rate cut left for this year. This is a seismic shift against the odds from last week with three rate cuts and no hikes at all priced in for the rest of the year.
Traders are not done yet for this Friday with the University of Michigan expectations and inflation expectations still due at 14:00 GMT. Although these are final readings for May, it can still move the needle further in favor of a stronger US Dollar. Should inflation expectations head higher as well, expect to see the DXY consolidate above 104 and see the Greenback print several weekly highs against most G10 currencies.
The US Dollar Index (DXY) has taken out both the 55-day and the 100-day Simple Moving Averages (SMA), respectively, at 102.43 and 102.85 on the upside. The US Dollar safe-haven status keeps seeing bids for the DXY, with 104 having been broken early on Thursday and now eases a touch as a debt-ceiling deal takes some shape.
On the upside, 105.73 (200-day SMA) still acts as long-term price target to hit, as the next upside key level for the US Dollar Index is at 104.00 (psychological, static level), and acts as an intermediary element to cross the open space.
On the downside, 102.85 (100-day SMA) aligns as the first support level to confirm a change of trend. In the case that breaks down, watch how the DXY reacts at the 55-day SMA at 102.48 in order to assess any further downturn or upturn.
The Nasdaq is a stock exchange based in the US that started out life as an electronic stock quotation machine. At first, the Nasdaq only provided quotations for over-the-counter (OTC) stocks but later it became an exchange too. By 1991, the Nasdaq had grown to account for 46% of the entire US securities’ market. In 1998, it became the first stock exchange in the US to provide online trading. The Nasdaq also produces several indices, the most comprehensive of which is the Nasdaq Composite representing all 2,500-plus stocks on the Nasdaq, and the Nasdaq 100.
The Nasdaq 100 is a large-cap index made up of 100 non-financial companies from the Nasdaq stock exchange. Although it only includes a fraction of the thousands of stocks in the Nasdaq, it accounts for over 90% of the movement. The influence of each company on the index is market-cap weighted. The Nasdaq 100 includes companies with a significant focus on technology although it also encompasses companies from other industries and from outside the US. The average annual return of the Nasdaq 100 has been 17.23% since 1986.
There are a number of ways to trade the Nasdaq 100. Most retail brokers and spread betting platforms offer bets using Contracts for Difference (CFD). For longer-term investors, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) trade like shares that mimic the movement of the index without the investor needing to buy all 100 constituent companies. An example ETF is the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ). Nasdaq 100 futures contracts allow traders to speculate on the future direction of the index. Options provide the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the Nasdaq 100 at a specific price (strike price) in the future.
Many different factors drive the Nasdaq 100 but mainly it is the aggregate performance of the component companies revealed in their quarterly and annual company earnings reports. US and global macroeconomic data also contributes as it impacts on investor sentiment, which if positive drives gains. The level of interest rates, set by the Federal Reserve (Fed), also influences the Nasdaq 100 as it affects the cost of credit, on which many corporations are heavily reliant. As such the level of inflation can be a major driver too as well as other metrics which impact on the decisions of the Fed.