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Over the past month and a half, many people have made a big stink about copper's divergence from the S&P 500, and Jonathan Krinsky has been among them. In a Feb. 19 note, Miller Tabak's chief technical analyst wrote that a copper breakdown could lead to lower stock prices.
Now he's changed his tune. On Tuesday's episode of "Futures Now," Krinsky said, "The initial breakdown in copper is not necessarily a bearish indicator, if we are getting a structural change where a positive dollar is positive for stocks."
In other words, the negative correlation between stocks and copper can actually be explained by a third factor: the U.S. dollar. Since stocks and copper both tend to move inversely to the dollar, a rise in the currency tends to mean a drop in both copper and stocks. However, while copper's negative relationship to the dollar has held, we have recently seen stocks and the dollar become positively correlated.
You can see it on this chart:
Gold fell to a 2-1/2 week trough on Tuesday, moving down with other precious metals due to a session high in the dollar index and better appetite for assets seen as higher risk, such as European stocks.
Spot gold fell as low as $1,579.50 an ounce, its weakest since March 14, and was down 1.1 percent at $1,580.99. The metal was on track for its biggest one-day loss since a 2.6 percent slide on February 20.
U.S. gold futures were down $17.30 to $1,583.70 an ounce.
Many have worried we could see record gasoline prices this summer — but all of those fears appear to be overblown. Let me explain why we won't see record prices this summer.
Reason One: Refiners are running at 85 percent of capacity
Eighty-five percent is a bit higher than last year. The reason behind this increased refining is that the margin for turning a barrel of crude into gas is near record highs, and refineries want to take advantage of it by producing as much gasoline as they can. This trend will continue, driving down prices
Crude oil found our major resistance target early in Monday's session, before selling off to a low of $95.92. The low, although roughly 40 cents from our major support target and retracement point, showed strength to recover and trade back above 97.
So what moved this market Monday? Pure profit taking against $97.77 to $97.90. Although some may believe the pipeline issues through Arkansas had a hand in the recovery, all you have to do is look at the equity market and how it roared back. These markets have traded very technically, so stick to the technicals, keep the trade short, and if it is not working, then get out!
Look for a close above $96.45 to maintain momentum. A close above new highs and above $98 will be very bullish, signaling a likely test up to $100. Only a close below $95.92, and furthermore $95.55, will show signs of a failure.
The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high on Thursday and we have been waiting for this technical level to print for some time because it finally allows us to be comfortable in getting short.
We feel that a pullback can now happen — even though the real chart-watchers would really prefer to see the S&P make an all-time intraday high at 1,576 before they get short.
(Read More: Stocks Off Lows, but Weak ISM Data Weighs)
Stocks declined on the first trading day of the month and quarter as investors were disappointed by a weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing report, but an upbeat news on construction spending helped put a limit on losses.
If the S&P 500 finishes in the red, it would be the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011 that the index has been down on the first trading day of a quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined, dragged by Intel and Alcoa.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also slipped. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped above 13.
June gold futures have been in a tight consolidation pattern and appear poised for an explosive move, but in which direction?
Based on several global factors, I'm inclined to believe that the direction of the move will be higher. The dramatic down move in the Japanese yen, which has been a major factor in gold's weakness, seems to have lost momentum, as the markets have already priced in massive accommodation. A similar story has developed in the British pound, as that currency has found a base. The one currency that is not complying is the euro — and although the euro's near-term direction is lower, it shouldn't be able to drag gold down along all by itself.
Contagion risk in Europe could easily be used as a reason to buy gold, as money looks for safe-haven vehicles. And although this hasn't been the case over the last month, the gold market has a tendency to change its mind in a hurry.
If June gold trades up to $1,611, I will consider that a confirmation of further gains, and I will look at a long position with an immediate objective of $1,640. If the June futures trade down to $1,590 on the downside, I will rethink my long bias and return to neutral.
The S&P may continue to reach all-time highs. But looking beyond that benchmark index, Mark Dow of the Behavior Macro blog sees a reason why the market could sell off.
It is simply this: The chart of 2-year Treasurys over 10-year Treasurys has just turned around, and the chart line has fallen below its 50-day moving average.
(Watch: Chart Means Trouble for Stocks: Pro)
Natural gas shot up 20 percent in the first quarter, its fourth straight quarterly gain, begging the question — can this hot streak continue?
The second quarter is typically tough for natural gas because it's "between seasons," meaning the fuel is no long used to heat homes, but it's not used to cool homes yet either, cautioned trader Anthony Grisanti.
(Read More: Four Reasons Why Nat Gas Could Sell Off)
U.S. corn and soybean futures plunged on Thursday, with both commodities on track for their biggest daily loss in months, after a government crop report shocked professional traders in both Chicago and New York.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its annual plantings and quarterly stocks reports also said farmers would plant the most corn acres since 1936 and the fourth largest soybean area ever.
Corn stocks were estimated as 5.399 billion bushels, above the average analyst estimate of 5.013 billion bushels. Soybean stocks were pegged at 999 million bushels, above trade guesses of 935 million bushels.
Corn dropped more than five percent on the news, headed for its biggest daily loss since last May. Soybeans fell 3.8 percent, on pace for its worst daily loss in 2-1/2 months, with the declines limited relative to corn after the crop report estimated fewer-than-expected soybean acres.
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