After a day of several notable trading swings/reversals in equity markets that finished with US indices down 1.0% to 1.4%, US index futures are bouncing back a bit this morning with gains of 0.7% to 1.1%. There weren’t any major new military developments in Ukraine overnight, so current action appears to be an easing of selling pressure. As the situation remains volatile, it’s unclear if this action is just selling pressure easing off for now or if bargain hunters have started to step in, and sentiment may continue to change quickly through the day based on whatever happens (or doesn’t happen).
Similarly, the recent stampede into energy and defensive havens appears to be subsiding for the moment. US bonds appear to be dropping back with the 10-year treasury note yield climbing back up closer to 2.00%. Gold has slipped back under $1,900/oz with a 0.4% decline so far today, while Bitcoin has bounced back with a 2.8% gain this morning. WTI crude oil is down 0.3% but holding above $90.00/bbl so far.
In other news, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to 1.00% as expected overnight, indicating that central banks remain under pressure from rising inflation to raise and keep raising interest rates after falling behind the curve.
In earnings news, US home improvement retailer Lowes* beat the street on earnings ($1.78 vs street $1.71). Royal Bank kicks off Canadian bank earnings tomorrow which could potentially be impacted by the market volatility of the last several months and may show the impact of the Omicron wave lockdowns on the Canadian economy.
*Shares of Lowes are held in portfolios managed by SIA Wealth Management.