Russell 2000 (US2000) and Nasdaq-100 (US100) have been lagging S&P 500 (US500) and Dow Jones after US President Joe Biden nominated Jerome Powell for the second term as Fed chair. A potential for higher interest rates hurts small-cap and tech indices more than broad market indices (S&P 500, Dow Jones) as they tend to have a small share of the banking sector within. Note that it was banking shares that helped buoy S&P 500 and Dow Jones on the day the Fed chair nomination was announced.

Having said that, Russell 2000 (US2000) will be on watch during today’s FOMC minutes release at 7:00 pm GMT. The Federal Reserve announced QE tapering during its latest meeting and investors hope that today’s minutes release will provide more clarity on criteria for accelerating pace of tapering. Rate hike odds jumped following Powell’s nomination signalling that the US central bank may be more eager to react to incoming data in a timely manner now.

A look at the US2000 chart shows us the the index has pulled back over 5% off its recent all-time highs. Stock tested the upward trendline yesterday but bulls have managed to defend it and push the index back above the 38.2% retracement of recent upward move. However, should the downward move be resumed, key supports to watch can be found in the 2,295-2,305 pts area (upward trendline, 50-session moving average, lower limit of market geometry).A