It’s been a roller coaster ride this morning in the markets, as ADP private sector payrolls came in above expectations, then shortly afterward, the markets were stunned by a the GDP report showing the U.S. economy was almost stopped dead in its tracks in the first quarter.
All of this is taking place in the looming shadow of the FOMC meeting ending today with a press release at 2pm ET.
Gold, which had been seeing pressure overnight, dropped on the ADP jobs report, which showed 220,000 new jobs in March, compared to expectations of 210,000. But then, only 15 minutes later, the GDP for the first quarter of 2014 was released. It was expected that it would show a weak 1.1% gain, due to the blizzards and polar vortexes that plagued the nation in January and February, but it came within a heartbeat of recession, at 0.1%.
This freaked the stock markets and send gold shooting higher, but things soon settled back down to previous levels. Wall St. opened lower, and is trading flat. Silver once again seems to be the stepchild, and is being pushed lower than the other metals. The PGMs didn’t seem phased much at all over this morning’s news.
EU composite CPI came in at 0.7% y/y for April, lower than expected. This gave new strength to the euro, as the dollar and yuan both fell moderately. The yuan touched an 18-month low in trading today, and the DXY dollar index is showing a loss of about a third of a percent.
Of course, the big news today is the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting, which winds up this afternoon. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will not be holding a press conference after the meeting (that happens every other FOMC meeting.) While everyone expects the taper to continue, every single word of the press release will be gone over in a desperate attempt to predict when the near-zero interest rates the Fed charges the banks will start rising to normal levels. With the way the market is being tossed and tumbled today, expect wild reactions to rumors.
Of course, we can’t forget about Ukraine. While things seem to have settled into name-calling in the press after more government buildings were seized by armed militants in eastern Ukraine, things could get messy in a flash.