What You Need to Know Today
Global mkts end week in the plus column
Rumors of more trade talk pushing stocks higher
UK – moves BREXIT til June
It was a boring day…Mkts did almost zero – by the end of the day the Dow added 7 pts while the S&P, Nasdaq, Russell and Transports all traded marginally lower….Tech, Energy and financials all ended the day in the plus column while the balance of the groups came under pressure…..With little new news – the mkt waffled all day – once again focusing on a slowing global economy and continued trade talk concern/speculation….leaving the algo’s confused as the headlines weren’t wildly bullish or bearish…..The push up and thru ‘resistance’ at 2815 on the S&P proved once again to be a stumbling block for investors as the news yesterday did not cause the same excitement it did on Wednesday. Feels a bit toppy here….as we enter the four week period that will take us to Tax Day in April – (remember – it is usual for the mkt to dip during this period as we get ready to make ‘another payment’ to Uncle Sam).
The news that has driven the mkt up recently - FED pause, global central bank easing and trade talks – is getting to be an old story – and while central bank policy is what it is – the trade talks will be the KEY to the next move. Look – the FED is on pause – expectations of a rate rise are off the table (for the most part) while a rate cut appears to be being priced in….(thus the push higher) – and the only real news now that will drive the direction of the mkts is trade…and while we all expect a deal – until we have it, until the mkt can assess it, until Donny and Xi Xi rendezvous at Mar-A-Lago – the angst will continue….driving the mkts up one day only to take them down the next…..
Overnight the mood did change a bit – Asian mkts ended the day solidly in the plus column with the exception of Australia – which for some reason didn’t want to join in the fun. The BoJ (Bank of Japan) did just as expected and left rates where they are – and where are they? Negative 0.1%. In a statement – officials there painted a weak picture of the Japanese economy (nothing new there) as near zero inflation has kept the bank in a position to continue to stimulate – which is still not helping that economy turn the corner…. And in China – no new news on trade but Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reminded investors that the PBoC will remain ‘supportive of the Chinese economy as it faces new pressures on growth’. By the end of the day – Japan added 0.77%, Hong Kong was up 0.56%, China surged by 1.26% and the ASX lost 0.07%.
In Europe – mkts there are all nearly 1% higher this morning as the UK votes to DELAY BREXIT taking the March 29th D-Day decision and pushing it off until June. That takes the idea of No-Deal BREXIT off the table (for now) and appears to be offering some relief for investors in the EU. And while we still don’t have a US/Sino trade deal – the expectation is that it is coming so BOOM – the algo’s go into BUY mode sending all of the mkt centers on the continent into the plus column. FTSE + 0.64%, CAC 40 + 0.92%, DAX + 1.02%, EUROSTOXX + 1.25%, SPAIN +1..15% and ITALY +0.93%
US futs are surging this morning…currently up 12 pts – which will take us up and thru 2815 right on the opening…. As it challenges the highs of Wednesday (2821) – news that the Chinese gov’t will continue to support that economy as it slows and that a US/China deal is coming – to be sure – this is nothing new at all – seems to be driving the end of week action for global mkts – in fact -Treasury Sec Stevey (Mnuchin) said that a trade deal would NOT happen by the end of March as expected – which appears negative at first – but then positive in that no one has walked away from the table!
Eco data today includes: Empire State Manf – exp of 10 but it came in at 3.7 (weak – which gives the FED more cover), Ind Prod of 0.4%, Capacity Util of 78.5% (strong)….Today is quadruple witching day – which just means the expiration of 4 sets of options and that causes a surge in volumes both on the open and the close.
Risotto w/ Cauliflower & Truffle Butter
This is another great risotto dish that is easy to make and easy to present. For this you need:
Diced Spanish onion, olive oil, butter, 2 Cups Arborio rice, 1/2 Cup dry white wine, Cauliflower Florets Cut Into bite size pieces, warm chicken broth, s & p, truffle oil or truffle butter and shaved Parmegiana cheese.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until tender - maybe 10 mins...then add the risotto and stir until well coated with the oil mixture. Add the wine and continue to cook until it is almost completely absorbed.
Next - begin by adding one ladle of the hot chicken broth, stirring frequently until it has been almost completely absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook the risotto in this manner adding the broth one ladle at a time until the rice cooks.
While the risotto is cooking, heat some more olive oil in a frying pan and add the cauliflower. Cook over medium low heat adding a tablespoon or two of broth until the cauliflower is tender and just beginning to turn a golden brown. Remove from the heat.
After cooking the risotto for about 25 mins, should be tender to the bite, stir in the cauliflower and butter. Season with s &p to taste.
Once it is well mixed - serve the risotto into individual bowls, drizzling the top with the truffle oil or a spoonful of truffle butter. Garnish with shaved cheese and serve immediately.
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