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Bases Covered, Futures Up

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Following its second quadruple-digit loss in the past 3 days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average now looks to be up 200 points going into the final trading day’s open for the week. It’s a week, anecdotally, that is on pace to perform the worst since August 2011, when the U.S. credit rating had been downgraded from AAA by Standard & Poor’s for the first time since World War II.

The next leg down on the Dow Thursday helped force international markets into the red while we were sleeping. The Nikkei fell another 2.3%, where the FTSE 100 in Europe has seen a weekly sell-off of 4.4%. But after-the-bell earnings reports from companies like NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) , Skechers (SKX - Free Report) and Activision (ATVI - Free Report) Thursday afternoon helped tie the domestic market indexes back to earnings strength reality. For more, click here.

Should we be looking at other reasons for the recent volatility in the market, we’re seeing bases being covered, at least for now. Part of the initial hysteria in the sell-off that got heavy a week ago was that wage growth was going to lead to inflation, which was going to lead to increased interest rate hikes by the Fed. Yesterday, Kansas City Fed Chair Esther George said the already expected 3 interest rate hikes in 2018 is still a solid benchmark.

Also, should perceived instability in Washington DC play a role in investor shakiness this week, Congress yesterday approved a 2-year budget deal that brought a quick end to the second shutdown of the U.S. government in the past month. A bipartisan agreement worth $400 billion passed in the middle of the night last night (actually very early this morning), which will allow lawmakers to focus on other things, for now.

So there we have it. As of this minute, it would appear we’ll be avoiding the worst single week in Dow trading since the collapse of the U.S. economy in October 2008. Then again, it’s still very early. Happy Friday!

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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