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Nasdaq 100 E-Mini Mar '19 (NQH19)

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Nasdaq 100 E-Mini Futures Market News and Commentary

U.S. Stocks Close Higher On Trade Hopes and German Fiscal Stimulus Report

The S&P 500 Index ($SPX) on Friday closed up +41.08 (+1.44%), the Dow Jones Industrials Index ($DOWI) closed up +306.62 (+1.20%), and the Nasdaq 100 Index ($IUXX) closed up +119.22 (+1.59%). U.S. stock indexes posted moderate gains Friday as U.S./China trade tensions eased along with speculation Germany may engage in deficit spending to bolster its economy, Europe's biggest. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China receded slightly after President Trump late Thursday said he had a call scheduled "very soon" with Chinese President Xi Jinping over trade. The yuan fell slightly Friday by -0.13% at 7.0428 yuan/USD, modestly above Tuesday's 11-1/4 year low of 7.0726 yuan/USD. U.S. stocks were boosted Friday by a rally in European stocks based on a report by Der Spiegel that the German government is ready for deficit spending if the German economy falls into recession. Strength in technology stocks was another positive for equities Friday as chipmakers rallied, led by a 6% gain in Nvidia, after it reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $1.24, stronger than consensus of $1.14. Friday's U.S. economic data was mixed for stocks. On the positive side, July building permits, a proxy for future construction, rose +8.4% to a 7-month high of 1.336 million, stronger than expectations of +3.1% to 1.270 million. On the negative side, July housing starts unexpectedly fell -4.0% to a 5-month low of 1.191 million, weaker than expectations of +0.2% to 1.256 million. Also, the preliminary-Aug University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index fell sharply -6.3 to a 7-month low of 92.1, weaker than expectations of -1.4 to 97.0, suggesting that the early-Aug sell-off in the U.S. stock market may have dented consumer sentiment. The VIX S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX) on Friday fell by -2.71 points to 18.47%. The VIX is down from Thursday's 1-1/2 week high of 24.10% and last Monday's 7-month high of 24.81%. Big Picture U.S. Stock Market Factors: Bullish factors for the U.S. stock market include (1) expectations for an SPX earnings growth of +3% in 2019, although that is sharply lower than 2018's stellar +23% pace, and (2) general strength in earnings and buybacks from the 2018 tax cut. Bearish factors include (1) comments from Fed Chair Powell that diminished speculation the Fed will aggressively cut interest rates when he said the 25 bp rate cut on Jul 31 was to "insure against downside risks," (2) US/Chinese trade and tech tensions, and (3) slower U.S. and global economic growth.
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