Markets closed off the prior week on a strong note, with the bullish buying activity being driven by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, where he stated that the central bank would taper by the end of the year, however there no certainty around hiking rates as there is “much ground to cover”before the economy hits full employment. On the back of these comments, the US Dollar slipped while equity markets rallied as the S&P 500 cleared and closed above the 4500 level for the first time ever. Both the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average was also higher however it was the Russell 2000 that rallied the most as it closed higher by 2.87% on the day and +5.07% for the week. Also driven by a weaker USD were Gold Futures which closed higher by 1.35%, to settle at $1819. Silver also traded higher, adding 2.17% to settle at $24.07 while Platinum rebounded by 3.37%, reclaiming the psychological $1000 level. Brent Crude Oil closed higher by 11.% for the week, boosted by a rebound in risk sentiment and oil producers including BHP and BP began shutting production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of storm Ida while optimism about fuel demand recovery holds strong. In economic data, US GDP for Q2 was revised upward while personal income and spending continued to rise in July and core PCE inflation eased for a second straight month. Technically, risk assets, particularly US stocks appear extended at an index level, with the S&P 500 now +41% above it’s 200-week moving average. Based on Friday’s close and price action, it’s likely however that the market may continue to be supported by the view that interest rate hikes are a way off. We will however judge any short term trading opportunities in real-time. On the local market, several companies out with earnings, both interim and final. Monday: Steinhoff, Super Group, Sun International. Tuesday: Old Mutual, Harmony Gold, Motus, Advtech and Hulamin. Wednesday, Naspers, Aspen Pharmacare, Mediclinic, Tiger Brands, Barloworld, telkom, Astral Foods and Murray and Roberts. Thursday: Impala Platinum, Discovery, Santam, Truworths, Hyprop Investments, WBHO. With earnings, comes both opportunity and volatility. As we have noted before, take profits tactically by selling into significant strength and overextensions. This morning, Asian equities are positive territory , with the Nikkei leading the way by 0.42%. US equity futures are slightly positive . The local currency currently trades at R14.73 versus the USD. Tencent is -0.43% , while BHP in Sydney is +2.91% .