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Stocks trading weaker, near session lows - gradually paring back portion of Wed's rally
With wary eye on Russia/Ukraine headline risk, market focus on economic factors after ECB delivered "hawkish hold" policy message this morning: keeps rates steady but accelerates asset purchase wind down -- concluding in third quarter. ECB Lagarde: "persistence of higher price expectations uncertain" and of course "war is a substantial upside risk to inflation".

  • SPX eminis currently trading -1.18% 4216.0, comfortably between first technical support of 4094.25 Low Feb 24 and a bear trigger, and first resistance: 4335.19 20-day EMA.
  • SPX leading/lagging sectors: Energy sector +2.35% with oil rebounding after Wed's sale, Utilities and Consumer Discretionary sectors holding near steady; Information Technology sector lagging -2.85% with semiconductor stocks broadly lower; Financials sector recedes -1.62%, Bank of NY Mellon (BK) -6.11% after CEO steps down.
  • Dow laggers: Microsoft underperforming -7.62 at 280.88, with Goldman Sachs not far behind -7.23 at 326.36.
  • Technicals for ESH2: A break key first support would confirm a resumption of the downtrend. The 20-day EMA, at 4335.19, represents an important near-term resistance. Price has recently failed to hold above this EMA. A clear break of it though would suggest scope for a stronger corrective bounce.

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