Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the US Launch a Trade War?

The economic calendar is normal but featuring the monthly employment report. Usually that would be the focus, and it might become so by week’s end. Until the situation is clarified, the paramount question will be:

Has the US ignited a trade war?

Last Week Recap

My last full edition of WTWA, two weeks ago, asked whether the coast was clear. Good question, and I guess we got the answer. Last week’s indicator update post pointed to a discussion of an infrastructure bill. In the wake of other events that got no attention at all.

I did cite an escalation of trade rhetoric as among my worries, but it went from worry to major impact much faster than anyone expected. It took only a few minutes!

The Story in One Chart

I always start my personal review of the week by looking at a great chart.The Investing.com version of the S&P futures shows the action while the stock market is closed. The interactive version also lets you specify your choice of both time and intervals. Finally, there is a tag for significant news at various key points.

The decline this week included a 5% trading range, continuing the recent record of higher volatility. I summarize actual and implied volatility each week in the Indicator Snapshot.

Personal Note

Spring vacation is coming, even though Spring has not yet arrived. I will be off the week after next, including the weekend before and afterward. I will try to post an indicator update, especially if there are important changes.

The News

Each week I break down events into good and bad. For our purposes, “good” has two components. The news must be market friendly and better than expectations. I avoid using my personal preferences in evaluating news – and you should, too!

The economic news was mixed. Once again, the market reaction had little to do with the news flow.