Key News

Australia Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate at 3% to Gauge Economic Recovery (Bloomberg)

`Green Shoots' Won't Lead Economies Out of Woods: Matthew Lynn (Bloomberg)

Euro-Zone PPI Falls Further (Wall Street Journal)

Key Reports Due (WSJ):

7:45 a.m. ICSC Chain Store Sales Index For May 2: Previous: -0.7%.

8:55 a.m. Redbook Retail Sales Index For May 2: Previous: +1.6%.

10:00 a.m. April ISM Non-Manufacturing Index: Expected: 42. Previous: 40.8.

4:30 p.m. API Oil Industry Report For May 1

5:00 p.m. ABC/Wash Post Consumer Conf For May 2: Previous: -45.

Quotable

“It is pretty much the same message pumped out by central bankers around the world: We have cut interest rates, printed money and pumped up demand. We have a computer in the basement that says when you do all of those things, the economy will start to recover. There is just one snag: What if you have the wrong diagnosis and the wrong cure? Just applying the medicine doesn't tell us anything, and certainly not that the patient is about to get up and start walking again.”

Matthew Lynn

FX Trading – Juggling Risk

Juggling is a rather simple skill. But it's impressive nonetheless. Perhaps the appeal is in its inherent uncertainty – the number of juggled items exceeding the number of hands doing the juggling. Whatever it is we like watching someone juggle while it's going smoothly, but we get nervous once we feel there are too many balls in the air for too long.

Right now, the markets aren't considering the potential for things to come crashing down. Alternatively, market players have become rather confident ... almost as if they've gotten sick of all the negatives and decided to take a glass-half-full approach.

Stock markets here in the US are cranking. And in sort of a self-feeding cycle, market gains beget further market gains. The next target for the S&P 500, a meaningful one, sits at $943.85:

Besides being key daily chart resistance, this level represents the last lower high of the S&P 500's downtrend. A breach of that level could quickly add positive sentiment to stock prices and risk appetite.

So what risks are the markets juggling as key levels are being approached?

For starters, we're lending a lot of credence to what leading officials tell us. In other words, we're biting down on ‘recovery' because we're continually being told that policy and actions have been effective ... and will continue to be effective in propping up the economy.

The philosophy among top officials has seemed to be: “Do anything. Just don't do nothing.” And at first that wasn't sitting well with the public. Today the philosophy seems unchanged, but the public and market reaction is largely absent. Take the soon-to-be-announced stress tests for example ...

The regulators have done “something” here, though the details (or lack thereof) don't seem to matter. And based on the rumors and reports ahead of the official findings, the results of the stress tests aren't going to matter much either.

Likely because we're already on the path to recovery, right?

And how does unemployment factor into this equation? Yes, we're often told it's a lagging indicator. But its impact on growth, when we're talking about the largest consuming force in the world, is nothing to be shrugged off.

Sure, some recent economic data points upward (or not as steeply downward). And the global lending situation is, for the most part, no longer dead where it stands. But considering all the emphasis being placed on the need to restore demand, should we be concerned that fewer jobs and lower income might pull back on the chances at recovery?

It makes no sense fighting against the market – up is up and down is down. And right now the market is going up. The US dollar is going down.

Key levels of support (US Dollar Index) are in the crosshairs. Price action at those levels should hopefully tell us something about whether investors can keep all the balls in the air. Maybe the Australian dollar is already telling us the answer: