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“Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the ‘Miracle on Ice’ when the US men’s Olympic ice hockey team stunned the world with an upset over Russia and Al Michaels uttered the now-famous question “Do you believe in miracles?” The investment community is hoping for its own miracle in Ukraine this morning as geopolitical concerns regarding a potential Russian invasion roil markets. Futures have been lower ever since they opened for trading and Putin’s speech yesterday that recognized separatist Ukrainian regions. Things could be worse, though, as futures currently trade well off their overnight lows as conditions remain fluid.
It’s a busy morning for data as we’ve already had a decent amount of earnings reports, including Home Depot (HD), which is trading down over 2.5%. On the economic calendar, later this morning we’ll get flash readings on Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs from Markit along with Consumer Confidence and the Richmond Fed
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Taking a look at where the major indices stand heading into the week, the picture isn’t pretty. Starting off with the Russell 2000 (IWM), which has been the weakest of the major indices, it is actually the least in danger of making an imminent lower low relative to January, even as it is down more than any of the other three. The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) will likely open below its closing low from January this morning, and whether it takes out its intraday low remains to be seen. Lastly, the S&P 500 (SPY) will likely manage to open above its closing January low this morning, and we’ll see how things play out from there. One question you may be asking yourself this morning is why the futures aren’t trading even lower this morning. To help answer that question look no further than the charts below. As shown, stocks have already been selling off sharply heading into this weekend’s events, and while we wouldn’t go as far as to say that a Russian move into Ukraine is fully priced in, markets have been anticipating this for the last several weeks.
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