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“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

It’s Friday again, and heading into the weekend, investors are preoccupied with the same issues they were last Friday, namely Russia and the Fed.  While a week has passed, there still hasn’t been much more clarity on either front.  Regarding the Fed, the question remains whether they will go with a 25 or 50 bps hike at the March meeting, and market expectations have actually shown a decline in expectations for a 50 bps hike down from close to 100% late last week to just about 36% now.  On the Russia front, the only real differences are that the 2/16 ‘invasion date’ came and went without much activity, but now rather than having investors on edge heading into a two-day weekend, this Friday, we’re heading into a three-day weekend which only increases the level of uncertainty.

Closing out the week, the only economic indicators on the calendar are Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators which will both be released at 10 AM.  Futures, which were indicated higher have now reversed into the red on headlines that separatists in Donbas are evacuating women and children into Russia as tensions escalate.

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Even when futures were trading higher, it did little to improve the technical picture for the S&P 500.  Besides the fact that the downtrend from the January high remains firmly in place, yesterday’s decline took SPY back below its 200-day moving average, so until that changes, bulls will have little incentive to take a stand.

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