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Will the stock market battle continue today?
January 13, 2016

The Stock Market Battle
-- Market Bites --

Wednesday, 13th January, 2016

The stock market battle continues – yesterday saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) contesting both sides of the starting line due to a huge sell-off in oil for part of the session – but by day-end a triple-digit gain was recorded. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also made headway, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finally broke out of its eight-day dive – both went through the volatility pendulum swings that we discussed yesterday before cracking through the barriers and have battled back into positive ground.

The U.S. economy is certainly moving along nicely with the jobs opening displaying a nice improvement as an example. Despite the problems externally the markets are starting to again respond to the home-ground stability.

As previously mentioned, Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) has officially kicked-off the earnings season with an expected dismal report, and it is thankful that the usual emphasis placed on this report in regard to the markets going forward is now quite depleted and is not likely to impact much on the stock market battle as such.

Blue chip Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) will report earnings after the market closes tomorrow, and members of Stock Options Made Easy (S.O.M.E.) are already well positioned, and in the black, in regard to their option trade based on this fact.

There is a great deal of bullish option trading on Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), and S.O.M.E. members are, again, well positioned to gain from an expected positive earnings report, which will be out Friday. Even though Citigroup Inc has struggled on the charts, expectations are high ahead of the financial firm's fourth-quarter earnings report – in the last eight quarters, Citigroup has advanced six times in the session subsequent to reporting. On average, these gains have been about 3.4%.

Whereas, on the-other-hand, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), which reports earnings Thursday morning, and is at present extremely volatile, is bearishly aligned according to options traders, and S.O.M.E. members may be getting a taste of this action as well.

Now, a quick look at the Chinese influence on world markets! The Shanghai Composite Index has made modest gains again today as the China's central bank has held the line on its yuan for a fourth straight session while putting the squeeze on offshore sellers of the currency, dampening fears of a sustained depreciation - at least for now.

Investors globally seemed to welcome the stabilisation, bidding up equities and yuan proxies while knocking back the safe-haven yen. The People's Bank of China on Wednesday set the mid-point for the yuan at 6.5630 to the US dollar, virtually unchanged from firm fixes on the previous two days.

The central bank has also used aggressive intervention to engineer a huge leap in yuan borrowing rates in Hong Kong, essentially making it prohibitively expensive to short the currency. The result has been to drag the offshore level of the yuan back toward the official level, closing a gap that had threatened to get out of control just a few days earlier.

Therefore, it is very likely that trading today will continue positively overall, although the “stock market battle” will still be in force, with plenty of volatility thrown in.

Best of Trading,
Ian Harvey
Director of Stock Options Made Easy

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