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Traders' Espresso: AM Edition (02/21/18)


US equities broke a six day winning streak yesterday; the Dow led the markets, down 1%, while the NASDAQ composite demonstrated the least weakness, down only 0.07%.

Asian indices were broadly higher overnight, while European bourses are broadly down; only the U.K. FTSE is up, 0.19%.

The U.S. Dollar index is up 0.12%, while the yield on the 10 year Treasury is down at 2.879%.

With the exception of natural gas energy commodities are down; precious metals are up while copper, palladium and platinum are down.

Fed minutes from its January meeting will be released today at 2:00PM ET; traders are hoping for important clues as to the future of the Fed's rate hike path.

Although posting a bumpy morning that ultimately trended higher, U.S. equities succumbed to selling pressure over lunchtime and closed the day broadly down.  The Dow was the biggest laggard, down 1.01%, followed by the Russell 2000 (-0.88%), S&P 500 (-0.58%) and the NASDAQ Composite (-0.07%).  The VIX closed yesterday higher; and although currently down on yesterday's close, is still above the 20 handle at 20.37.

After posting solid gains yesterday, the U.S. Dollar index looks set to add a third day to it's current streak; at this writing the index is up 0.08%.  Yields are down slightly on the day.  Yesterday's Treasury auctions witnessed a bump in yields.  I'll be watching tomorrow's auction on the 10 year; those results should be out at 5:00PM ET.

Markets will probably see only mild action and volume today as traders await the release of the FOMC minutes from the January meeting at 2:00PM ET.  Traders and analysts will be carefully dissecting the language and any changes in language for clues as to the future of rate hikes.  We may not learn much yet about the new Fed chair, Jerome Powell, as January was Janet Yellen's last official meeting as Fed chair.

Earnings after the bell today include Roku, Pandora, Jack in the Box, Wendy's and Avis Budget Group.  Tomorrow before the bell investors will hear from Chesapeake, Lending Tree, Sprouts and Hormel Foods, among others.

For expanded discussion and chart views, please check out the video edition of Traders' Espresso here.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.