March index futures have moved down ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union address to a jointly convened Congress this evening. The impressive post-election equity surge has pushed ever higher through record levels, but skeptics warn of a long overdue correction, even if the overall trend remains up.
April gold futures are lower, trading near $1,251 (-7.4), with silver down at $18.37 per ounce. Precious metals have traded strongly during the first two months of 2017, but are eager for additional Trump economic detail (perhaps tonight) and an indication of the Federal Reserve rate hike schedule. The March S&P contract is down near 2362 (-5.75 pts.) and the Dow is in the red by 8 points at 20,806. March bond futures are near unchanged, at 12504 (-1) and 15230(+11.0) for Notes/Bonds respectively.
Crude oil is running into headwinds above $54 ($53.95 currently), as the market weighs rumored ethanol regulation changes, but is well off the daily lows. Natural gas futures are up after a sustained period of selling, in the green at $2760.
The ethanol news also pushed grains sharply higher, although it settled back late in the session. Corn ($3.74), wheat ($4.44) and soybeans ($10.36) are up at today’s close.