Debt-ceiling woes continue to pressure equity indexes downward as investors await a consensus from Congress regarding the matter. Stocks have wildly fluctuated this week as a whole given all of the uncertainty plaguing financial markets as the U.S. government faces a potential default next week. To make matters worse, credit-rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, have warned that the U.S. could lose its coveted AAA rating without a credible plan to slash deficits and bring spending more inline with revenues. Amid all the confusion and doubt, gold continues to shine bright and the precious metal kept its head above $1,600 an ounce on Thursday, managing to set an all-time high at $1,631 an ounce earlier on Wednesday. Meanwhile, crude oil was fairly flat on Thursday as it struggled to hold support above $97 a barrel, after tumbling more than 2% during Wednesday’s trading session.
The latest rounds of housing, manufacturing, and employment data have all been a bit dismal to say the least, and likewise investors will keep a close watch on the U.S. GDP report slated to come out later today, prior to Wall Street’s opening bell. A bullish surprise to the upside is much needed to restore some confidence back in the American economy and analysts are expecting 2Q GDP to come in at 1.6% growth, versus the previous reading of 1.9%. An upbeat GDP report will likely restore some confidence in the U.S. dollar as well, which has gotten crushed lately (especially by the yen), which makes the PowerShares USD Bullish Index Fund (UUP) our ETF to watch for today.
UUP is the most popular Currency ETF on the market and the fund’s underlying index is designed to replicate the performance of being long the US Dollar against the following currencies: Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc [see UUP Fact Sheet].
Consider the 1-year daily chart for UUP below. The U.S. dollar is undoubtedly in a long-term downtrend and it is quite clear that the fund has been making lower-highs and lower-lows [see ETFs To Watch As Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears]. Notice the fund’s most recent decline and the fact that it has been able to hold support above the previous low at $20.84 a share (5/4/2011).
UUP appears to have established a triple bottom (see blue line) assuming that it holds support after the GDP report, in which case it’s very probable that the fund will bounce higher. If UUP holds its head above $21 a share level it’s very likely the fund will climb back to $21.50 a share, if not even higher towards $22 a share.
A worse-than-expected GDP report can easily send UUP down below the $21 level and into new uncharted territory. Investors should note even if support holds above $21 a share it doesn’t necessarily mean that UUP will reverse its ongoing downtrend [see UUP Fundamentals]. If the currency winds turn in favor of the greenback over the next week or so, UUP may easily get to $21.50 a share, however, it’s highly unlikely that it will be able to break-out past the $22 level.
In terms of downside, investors should consider closing their long positions if shares slip below the previous low of $20.84 a share. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit taking techniques.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.