Yellen Wins S&P 500 Fresh Record, Longest Rally in Three-Years
- Fed Chair Janet Yellen's first day of testimony was this past session's top event risk, offering chart to SPX and USD
- Risk trends were once again outpaced by US assets while neither Euro nor Pound offered a meaningful response to data
- The second day of Yellen testimony likely to offer less drive than CPI or TICs, and G-20 Summit ahead will distract
The Dollar and US equities once again paced global markets this past session. For the Greenback, the bullish channel break has extended another session - though neither historical levels nor pace were at hand. For the S&P 500 and other key benchmarks, records were extended out to another day. In particular for the SPX, the six-day climb matches the longest stretch for the benchmark in three years. It is understandable that traders' and investors' guard would start to slip in this remarkable run. As has been the case for some time, the motivation for this move still struggles for conviction.
This past session, the drive for markets was Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's first day of testimony before Congress. Despite the hearty response from the markets, the Chairwoman was careful to keep to the tack she has been following over the months. On monetary policy, she left the door open for a March (15th) hike but proffered little to bolster its actual probability. Her growth assessment was optimistic but had the appropriate shade of disappointment commensurate with the figures as of late. And, on the market's most charged and underpriced risk - Trump administration policies - she would not deign to weigh in on programs for which no details were yet available. Given how 'in-line' this event was, it may prove difficult to source further drive from that push alone.
Ahead, Yellen is set for her second day of testimony; this time before the House. She is unlikely to deviate from the boundaries she set yesterday. For potency, the January CPI and December TIC capital flows figures are more likely to offer surprise - though they will struggle to tap conviction. For the Euro's round of GDP updates and the slide in regional investor sentiment statistics, there remains a disconnect that forthcoming data will not be able to bridge. The Pound too has a noteworthy event risk in jobs figures, but they will face the same roadblock for generating currency response as the inflation figures - it doesn't alter the Brexit focus. With risk trends stretched, the Dollar charged by questionable fundamental backing and the G-20 finance ministers' meeting Thursday; bearing and volatility should be monitored closely.