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Greece Has Spotlight but Bigger Pressure is on Fed’s Yellen to Deliver Clarity

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June 16, 2015

U.S. stock averages were on track for a third straight session in the red with Wall Street cautious given the lack of progress for Greece’s debt talks (in this case, no news is bad news). Tread carefully as this is a day-to-day, really hour-to-hour, news story that’s still in flux.

Early losses follow a sour start to the week on Monday after Greece’s weekend debt negotiations sputtered, raising murmurings of default unless it reaches a deal with lenders later this week. Europe’s stock markets were lower almost across the board Tuesday, and followed weakness in Asia. The dollar remains underpinned but did droop overnight, sending most commodities prices higher.

So right now, Greece, is overshadowing the Fed’s meeting; members gather today for a two-day sit down and will issue a statement, followed by Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference, Wednesday afternoon. Ahead of that, it’s likely market attention does eventually swing back to interest-rate policy and short-term volatility could spike in the build-up.

SPX-holds-range

FIGURE 1: HOME ON THE RANGE?

Monday's action was volatile but the S&P 500 (SPX) still closed within its recent range. Data source: Standard & Poor’s. Chart source: TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® platform. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Range Holds For Now. Interesting that Monday’s selloff still drew a late-day bounce to keep the S&P 500 (SPX) in this multi-week range. We poked below SPX 2080 but closed above it. We’re in the lower end of the range, sure, but until there’s a convincing break, “range trade” continues to describe this action. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Mixed Housing Report. Construction started on new U.S. homes fell 11.1% to an annual rate of 1.04 million in May, pulling back from a surge in April, which saw the fastest starts pace since late 2007, MarketWatch and other news outlets report. Importantly, starts for single-family homes fell 5.4% to an annual rate of 680,000. Revisions tweaked April's starts rate to 1.17 million. For context, there was an average starts pace of about 1.5 million over the 20 years leading up to the housing bubble's 2006 peak, according to MarketWatch.

Potential Movers. U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba (BABA) dipped in pre-market trading and could remain active after news report hit saying the Chinese e-commerce giant is in talks to jointly invest about $500 million in Snapdeal.com with iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Co. From the retail corner, Gap (GPS) late Monday said it’ll shut 175 of its namesake stores in North America over the next few years, including about 140 this year.

Good trading,
JJ
@TDAJJKinahan

JJ Kinahan

JJ began his career in 1985 as a Chicago Board Options Exchange...

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