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The S&P 500 Starts 2020 At New Highs, Runs Into Geopolitics

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Includes: BAPR, BAUG, BJUL, BJUN, BOCT, DMRL, EPS, IVV, PAPR, PAUG, PJAN, PJUN, PPLC, RSP, RVRS, RWL, RYARX, SDS, SFLA, SH, SPDN, SPLX, SPUU, SPXE, SPXL, SPXN, SPXS, SPXT, SPXU, SPXV, SPY, SSO, SSPY, UAUG, UJAN, UOCT, UPRO, USMC, VFINX, VOO
by: Ironman at Political Calculations
Summary

Picking up 2020 from where we left off in 2019, the S&P 500 continued to record new highs through December 27, 2019, reaching a total of 35 record highs during 2019.

Then, after a brief pause, the S&P 500 set one more new record high of 3,257.85 to open 2020, before retreating 23 points as geopolitics dampened investor outlooks in early 2020.

All this combined to place the S&P 500 right in the middle of the redzone forecast range we added to our alternative futures chart several weeks ago.

The last two weeks have been surprisingly busy. Picking up 2020 from where we left off in 2019, the S&P 500 (Index: SPX) continued to record new highs through December 27, 2019, reaching a total of 35 record highs during 2019. Then, after a brief pause, the S&P 500 set one more new record high of 3,257.85 to open 2020, before retreating 23 points as geopolitics dampened investor outlooks in early 2020.

All this combined to place the S&P 500 right in the middle of the redzone forecast range we added to our alternative futures chart several weeks ago.

That range has another day or two to go before it runs out, where we'll introduce our first spaghetti forecast chart to anticipate the S&P 500's future in 2020-Q1 next week.

We would be remiss if we didn't point out that the last 22 of the S&P 500's new closing highs coincides with a period during which the U.S. Federal Reserve actively flooded U.S. money markets with liquidity, which began on October 11, 2019, with the Fed's announcement it would begin buying massive quantities of U.S. Treasury bills.

That quantitative easing-like policy has taken some of the pressure off the Fed to announce additional rate cuts, where, according to the CME Group's Fedwatch tool through the close of trading on Friday, January 3, 2020, investors are split in betting whether 2020-Q4 will see a quarter-point rate cut or a quarter-point rate hike.

That particular outlook may be very short-lived given the onset of new information to influence how far into the future investors may focus their attention. Here are the headlines we noted throughout the holiday season for U.S. markets.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

Monday, December 30, 2019

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Friday, January 3, 2020

Over our holiday break, Barry Ritholtz continued summarizing the positives and negatives he found in the economics and market-related news over both weeks of 2019's year-end holiday season.

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Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.