U.S. equities remain of two minds
U.S. equities remain of two minds on the policy front even after the relief rally in Europe after the mixed message from the ECB saw the Euro Stoxx 50 surge 1.3% and the German DAX stage a peripheral-beating 1.6% rally. Wall Street has been vacillating in and out of the green on the blue chips even as the NASDAQ +0.7% continues to outperform, marking fresh highs as media merger mania has spilled over amid a counter bid from Comcast for Fox assets over Disney. Within the Dow top gainers are Disney +1.9% (assuming the don't counter for Fox), Cisco +1.5% and Verizon +0.8%, while JP Morgan -1.9%, GE -1.7% and Merck -1.2% are the largest decliners. A JP Morgan client survey showed rising concerns about late-cycle dynamics, but a curious lack of defensive positioning as a result for fear of missing out on further gains. The VIX equity volatility index meanwhile is 6.5% lower near 12.10, compared to its 13.07-11.88 session range, even after two out of three major central bank meetings left a mixed view of the policy outlook that sent the dollar index over 1% higher to 94.50 as the euro collapsed. It's up to Kuroda and the BoJ next tonight to split the difference, though few expect any change in the dovish tone from them.