Expectation of No Interest Rate Hike by Federal Reserve Sparks Massive Rally in U.S. Equity Markets

I am currently on the sidelines in the U.S. equity markets. I do believe there will be a good opportunity where I would look to get short the U.S. equity markets sometime within the next 10 days.

Last night the Shanghai Index closed down 6.4%. Typically a drop of this magnitude in the Chinese equity markets would lead to massive selling in the European and U.S. equity markets. Despite the weakness overnight in the Shanghai Index the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 282 points today, closing at 16,167.23. Tomorrow the Federal Open Market Committee will conclude its first meeting of 2016 and announce whether or not they will be raising the federal funds rate. The U.S. equity markets were up today in anticipation that the Federal Reserve would choose not to raise interest rates tomorrow. The markets believe as I do that there is no way the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow. I do not expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the first two quarters of 2016.

This morning before the U.S. equity markets opened JNJ (Johnson & Johnson) and MMM (3M) reported their earnings. Both companies reported better than expected earnings per share and both closed up around 5% today. These two stocks are components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, contributing to the gains we saw in the index today.

I believe the U.S. equity markets could work of the oversold condition and provide a good opportunity to get short. I do not think the U.S. equity markets are out of the woods yet. The S&P 500 futures must close above 2021 on the weekly chart before I would get a buy signal on the U.S. equity markets. Today the S&P 500 futures closed at 1896, 125 points away from where I would get the buy signal on the weekly chart.

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Crude Oil

I am on the sidelines in crude oil, waiting for a clearer pattern to setup.

Today crude oil traded up to a high of 32.41 before selling off towards the end of the day, closing at 31.45. Crude oil was up over 6% at one point today after reports that OPEC was considering cutting back on production. At 4:30 the American Petroleum Institute (API) report showed much high inventory levels than expected. The report was expecting inventories of 3.5 million barrels and the number came in at a massive 11.4 million barrels, the biggest weekly build since May 1996. Crude oil dropped 80-90 cents immediately after this number was released. I am waiting to see if crude oil gets into the 21.50-25.50 range on the next push down where I would be looking to buy crude oil.

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I have a buy signal on gold on the daily chart. If gold pulls into the 1078-1090 range I would be looking to buy gold using a 1065 stop. If gold pulls into this range I would also be looking to buy NEM (Newmont Mining) and GLD (ETF which mirrors gold).

Today gold traded up to a high of 1123.20 before closing at 1120.2, up almost $15 for the day. Immediately after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a 0.25% on December 16th gold sold off substantially. Gold held above the big 1040 level, trading down to a low of 1046.80 on December 17th. A couple weeks ago I started seeing a significant bid in gold and I caught a couple trades on the long side. Gold started to catch a bid because the gold bugs thought the Federal Reserve would not raise interest rates in the January meeting.

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