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(ESH20:CME) GLOBEX Session(ESH20:CME) Day Session 
High 2886.25Opening Print: 2887.50
Low: 2843.50High 2881.75
Volume: 305,000Low: 2832.00

ES Settlement: 2833.50 Down 26.25 handles or -0.92%

Total Volume: 1.45 M

S&P 500 Futures: “Back and Fill”

If you’re having a problem getting a good read on the direction of the S&P 500 you have company. In one corner, the bulls and their never ending love affair with buying the dips and in the other corner are the bears who basically want the markets to go to zero. Over the last few weeks the S&P has rallied and fallen into a range trade. I know the bears are all screaming about the negative economic consequences of COVID19 but the federal reserve and the US government continue bailing out companies and add more quantitative easing. The intervention has helped firm up the S&P but that has not changed the direction of the US and world economies. It’s going to take some time for the S&P to digest the new world trading order and we are not going to like it!

The ES traded 2877.50 on Wednesday’s 8:30 CT futures open. After the open, the ES rallied up to 2881.75 and sold off down to 2847.25 in the first forty minutes and then gradually made its way back up to 2867.00 at 11:53. The ES then sold off down to 2856 at 12:23, rallied up to 2871 and then sold back off down to 2859 just after 1:00, pulled back and then traded the afternoon high at 2864.75.  

At 2:00 the ES traded 2860.50, traded 2854.50 at 2:30 and dropped down to 2840.00 as the 2:50 cash imbalance showed $350 million to sell. On the 3:00 cash close, the #ES traded 2837.75 and settled at 2833.50, down 26.25 handles or -0.92% on the day. 

In terms of the ES’s tone, everything acted tired. In terms of the day’s overall trade, there were a total of 1.45 million ES futures traded with 305,000 coming from Globex making total day volume only 1.145 million contracts traded on the day session.

Economic Calendar

Closing Prices

In the Tradechat Room


I had data issues  yesterday getting ready for the early indication data that is starting to disseminate again.   Our early data indicated a buy while the actual MOC reveal turned out to be a sell.  The 3:50 candle quickly shot down and then was bought, closing 5 points off the low.  Early data is back and we should be able to handle it better today. 

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Our View

Trump’s China Tariff / COVID19 War

Hey, it’s an election year so why not cause a fracas to pull attention away from some of your outrageous, unfounded comments? How do you do it? You start attacking China and threatening sanctions. With relations at a ‘cold war’ pitch it seems both sides are ready to battle but who will win? My guess is China will in the short run but why not play nice for now and announce a giant plan to pull US  companies out of there and bring that production back home? That would be a winning idea that ‘everyone’ could lock on to. 

I don’t want to be a drag, normally I’m not but this ‘lockdown’ stuff is really getting to me. I told the PitBull I try not to think about the virus and its long term effect and just live my life day by day. It’s not easy to do, I have a hard time sleeping at night and I always wake up early. I guess part of that is getting older but for sure  COVID19 is wearing everyone out. So what’s in sight?  I try to take a simple approach to this. The first part is I do not think there is a ‘depression’ coming, I really don’t but I do fear a major recession, defaults, and a drop in property prices. I don’t think this is a one and done deal, this is going to be a one step at a time deal and if along the way the coronavirus cases increase there will be new shutdowns and… restarts. This is going to be a real problem for the US economy and I really think it will last 12 to 15 more months until you can freely walk around without the fear of spreading the virus or getting it. I also think the upcoming summer will get very volatile.

Our view, it seems like the negative news is hitting the S&P a little harder than it was two weeks ago. It also seems like the ES is spinning its wheels. For the bears, I think the ES needs a close up 2780 and for the bulls a close above 2920. Right now… I do not see either but you can never say never in the ES and NQ. Our lean is to sell the early rallies and buy the midmorning pull back then get a look at the price action. 2810-2820 should hold. 

Danny Riley is a 39-year veteran of the CME  trading floor. He has helped run one of the largest S&P desks on the floor of the CME Group since 1985.

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