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Wall Street Takes a Hit Following Moody’s Downgrade; Dollar Strengthens Amid Global Tensions

Market Update - Daniel Ang The Accidental Trader Traders Academy International 6

U.S. Markets: Wall Street struggled Tuesday as Moody’s cut credit ratings of various small-to-mid-sized banks and placed six larger banks, including Bank of New York Mellon, US Bancorp, and State Street, under watch for potential downgrades. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.8% to 13,884.3, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5% to 35,314.5. The S&P 500 retreated 0.4% to 4,499.4.

Treasury Yields: The U.S. 10-year yield fell 5.4 basis points to 4.02%, while the two-year rate was little changed at 4.76%.

Federal Reserve’s Mixed Signals: Barely a day after Fed Governor Michelle Bowman expressed an expectation for further rate hikes to combat inflation, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker suggested a pause on the benchmark lending rate in September, unless economic data points to surprises.

Economic Indicators: The U.S. trade deficit for June narrowed less than projected, shrinking to about $65.5 billion from May’s revised print of $68.29 billion. Small business optimism improved more than projected in July but remained below historical norms due to labor challenges and inflation, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Forex Insights: The Dollar Index rose 0.4% to 102.52 after Moody’s warning of potential banking sector challenges. AUD/USD and NZD/USD both fell due to weak Chinese trade figures, while GBP/USD dropped 0.3% to 1.2745 after a British retail slowdown. EUR/USD and USD/JPY also experienced notable movements.

Chinese Economic Concerns: China’s import and export data for July disappointed, with imports down 12.4% from last year, and exports contracting by 14.5%, signaling a slowdown in the economic recovery and global demand.

Commodities Update: U.S. crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly this week by 4.067 million barrels, according to API data. WTI traded up by 1.03% at $82.78 per barrel. Gold prices fell, with spot gold slipping 0.6% to $1,925.79/oz.

Cryptocurrencies Rally: In the digital asset market, Bitcoin (BTC/USD) gained 2.8% to $29,875, and Ethereum (ETH/USD) advanced 2.2% to $1,861, partially reversing their recent declines.

Outlook and Future Movements: The market’s reaction to Moody’s downgrades reflects underlying concerns about commercial real estate risks and potential regulatory capital weaknesses. The dollar’s strengthening is indicative of safe-haven bidding in uncertain global economic conditions.

Investors should keep an eye on U.S. inflation figures, the FOMC’s future decisions, and the Chinese economy’s performance, as these factors may continue to shape market movements in the coming weeks.

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