Why Do We Watch U.S. Shoppers So closely?

In the markets, we are very focused on geopolitical developments, central bank actions, global trade, debt levels and other economic indicators to help us decipher where the global equity, commodity, debt and currency markets are headed.

We hear a great deal of talk about Chinese actions having lifted the global economy the past couple of times we have run into trouble on the growth front.

We also spend a great deal of energy trying to decide if the U.S. consumer is in a good mood or if there are signs of worry after a long economic expansion that has lasted more than 10 years. This is with good reason:

According to the WSJ: The Daily Shot: an interesting graph produced by SunTrust analyst:

Given the above graphic it is of the utmost importance that the U.S. consumer continues to have a positive attitude in terms of:

Employment, housing prices, inflation and 401k/pension plan.

The article by the Wall Street Journal goes on to highlight:

CEO confidence is at the lowest level in years.

Railcar loadings have slowed in the past 3 quarters compared to last year.

The Midwest has been hit by the manufacturing slowdown we have seen since early 2018.

It will be interesting to see if the dovish Federal Reserve and other central banks, will be enough to counteract:

Trade talk disappointment

U.S. political turbulence (this is going to get worse before it gets better)

Brexit stress

Weakening German (recession coming soon?) and European economy.

European/U.S. escalation of tariffs.

U.S. blacklisting of Chinese companies and organizations for human rights abuses.

China/Hong Kong situation

Pension stress, as many start to realize that the company pension they think they have, they most likely won’t get.

The U.S. Administration:

Recent Tweet from Donald J. Trump:

As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done it before!).  They must, with Europe and others watch over…

We at Minter think the equity markets are struggling to make new highs and a close below 2900 will open for a test lower. 

Support: 2905, 2860, 2825 
Resistance: 2950/2960, 2980, 3050

Gold is holding around the $1,500 level. We still expect higher levels to come.

Support:  $1,488, $1,480, $1,460 
Resistance: $1,510, $1,530, $1,550

EURUSD is holding around the 1.10 level. The downward channel has held since the middle of the summer.

Support 1.0940, 1.0880 
Resistance: 1.1010, 1.1035, 1.1085

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