Dow Drops as Obama Secures Key Republican Support for Syrian Action

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Stock Market Trading

: 06 September 2013

European equities are set to take guidance from Asian stocks and open marginally lower ahead of today's US jobs report.

Since markets started to get bored of reacting to every mention of 'tapering', they have generally tracked sideways, with some volatility being driven by events in the Middle East.

However, with today providing the last major data release before September's FOMC meeting, all eyes will turn to the Non-Farm Payroll number this afternoon.

Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to stay true to his word and start reducing bond purchases if the number comes in as expected or better.

In the past, markets have reacted very badly to any taper talk, and there is no reason to suggest that this time will be any different, so good data could still be bad for equity markets.

Despite this, there is a strange air about the markets at the moment; nothing seems logical.

While the US economic recovery continued to surprise investors, with manufacturing figures and the job sector posting strong results, the political arena is getting increasingly tense regarding Syria.

The G20 summit is looking like a failure so far and so the Dow Jones closed 26 points in the red at 14,923 and remains under pressure this morning.

Stock Market Trading

: 05 September 2013

European equities are set to open marginally higher as the bulls run up a head of steam.

The markets acted rather strangely yesterday.

Fear of two things has seen investors running for cover recently, a Western attack on Syria, and sooner Fed tapering fuelled by strong economic data.

So it may seem odd that global spread betting markets rallied despite both of these events becoming more likely.

A majority vote from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to authorise military action has given President Obama's plans a boost but he must now wait for Monday's vote in Congress before taking action.

This, coupled with the best monthly US motor sales since before the recession, will have left many traders scratching their heads, although the Beige Book did suggest that the economy is expanding at a 'modest to moderate pace'.

As a result, the Dow Jones rebounded 121 points to 14,952.

Stock Market Trading

: 04 September 2013

European stocks are set to open flat this morning, with little news overnight to cause a significant move in either direction.

We are seeing something of a stalemate at the moment, with equity spread betting markets really struggling to get up a head of steam.

In the last couple of days, positive global manufacturing data has helped to lift the markets, with the US ISM manufacturing index also rising to 55.7 yesterday, the strongest level for more than two years.

However, yesterday's confirmation that a strike on Syria is looking more likely resulted in an immediate about turn in sentiment.

After President Obama showed Syria his right bicep last week, yesterday saw his left sleeve being rolled up by several of the other key US political figures.

In particular, the President appeared to have won endorsement from two Republican leaders for military action, as the US re-iterated its tough stance towards terror.

There was certainly a message that action would only need to be 'limited', in an almost patronising manner.

Nevertheless, the Dow Jones plunged 93 points to close at 14,829 for the day.

President Assad now has until Monday, when Congress vote, to decide whether to give into the Obama's demands.

Stock Market Trading

: 03 September 2013

European equities are set to open flat as investors seek further cues from the US as they return from Labor Day.

Whilst the Syrian debate and voting session amongst US lawmakers won't happen until next Monday, the Senate Foreign Relation Committee is expected to hold talks today and tomorrow.

Most investors will be paying close attention to this as the Syrian issue returns to the forefront following a day dominated by strong data in other parts of the world.

Yesterday, better-than-expected data from China and Europe resulted in strong gains for the equity markets, with the FTSE making some of its biggest gains for some time.

Chinese PMI and a large gain from the heavily weighted Vodafone helped lift the FTSE by nearly 100 points.

We saw a very quiet day due to the Labor Day holiday in the US, with the futures closing early and investors waiting on the sidelines for Friday's Non-Farm Payrolls report.

Nonetheless, the fact that an intervention in Syria has been put on hold has triggered something of a rally and the Dow posted a gain of 51 points to 14,921.

Stock Market Trading

: 02 September 2013

European equities look set to open significantly higher as the immediate threat of Western intervention in Syria seems to have lost its intensity.

In a break from taper-talk grabbing the headlines, the woes within Syria will continue to determine the short-term movements of the markets.

As Western global leaders start performing U-turns after laying down their feisty pre-bout intentions, markets are sensing a reduced likelihood of a strike on Syria.

The US will now wait until next Monday to vote on possible action when lawmakers return from their breaks.

The bulls will now attempt to put an awful August behind them as indices suffered large losses across the board.

The Dow Jones fell by nearly 5% in August but, after today's US holiday, volumes should start to pick up as the summer ends.

Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday will provide the focus for data releases this week.

US personal spending figures showed a surprise drop of 0.1%, versus forecasts for a 0.3% rise, which disappointed investors.

With investors already feeling edgy after an eventful week where the politicians' rhetoric did not get voter support, the Dow Jones fell by another 44 points to 14,817.

However, we saw a sharp rebound overnight as even the US President looks in no mood to rush things, deciding to pass the buck to Congress.

By Jonathan Sudaria, 6 September 2013

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