The markets have retreated from their highs as traders position before the Federal Reserve makes their interest rate announcement Wednesday afternoon. Volatility is higher than averages as well.
The S&P 500 ETF (SPY ) has fallen 2.11% off its recent high but managed to find support at the 50 day moving average. Tuesday was a range bound day as is typical before the fed announcements. Year to date the SPY is still up over 2%.
The Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ ) has also pulled back from its recent high but is noticeably weaker than the other markets. Traders keep noting the strong resistance area just above $110 where the QQQ was unable to break through for over a week. For the year the Nasdaq 100 has under performed as well, down just over 3%.
While Oil (USO ) has pulled back this week, traders continue to note the strong and consistent uptrend on a daily time frame. Volatility in crude remains very low as this uptrend has been slow and steady. With over a 6% gain on the year so far, traders are slowly forgetting all about the carnage of last year.
Gold (GLD ) remains on a tear, continuing to show impressive strength. Up over 3% since this time last week, this most recent bounce has been almost straight up. The buying volume has been heavy until this point, but it's likely traders are noticing the strong resistance up at $124. The rally in precious metals has taken the company specific ETF's along for the ride as well. The Gold mining ETF (GDX ), and the Junior gold miners (GDXJ ) both remain near their highs with very little sign of selling.
Lastly, we comment on the biotech sector (IBB ) which has been noticeably weak. This weakness, which has held back the Nasdaq, has been very consistent since hitting prior highs 2 weeks ago. The bad news is that, since this time last week, the IBB is down almost 6%. The good news is that the selling pressure seems to have subsided slightly as traders notice support near $250.
The fed will dominate the news cycle Wednesday and the afternoon will be active for sure.