Low holiday volume was not enough to push cynics out-of-the-way last week. Tomorrow will also see extremely low volume and Tuesday will come to a standstill in many respects for the New Year’s holiday. Equities in the U.S. across the 3 major indexes continue to feel the negative weight from the political entanglements surrounding the budget crisis and the ‘fiscal cliff’. There has been little holiday cheer on Wall Street and a Christmas rally never materialized.

Chinese Manufacturing PMI data will be released tomorrow evening, but other than that investors will have little to look over until Wednesday until more Manufacturing PMI comes from Spain, Italy, the broad European reading, the U.K., and the States, this as the nations and investors begin to wake from their holiday slumbers.

In forex the EUR has maintained a strong trend versus the Greenback, but the GBP and AUD both began to run into some declines the last week. The JPY has continued its weakness and could continue to test new lows in value versus the USD. Traders should note that volumes are a slippery slope in the fx markets during the holidays and quick markets can be dangerous places regarding risk management. And when the gauntlet of the fiscal cliff barometer is equated into the formula traders have plenty of reasons for double checking their own sentiment.

Gold moved in a consolidated manner the past few sessions as did Crude Oil. The precious metal is around 1655.00 USD per ounce. Gold is certainly going to have many eyes on it this coming year with questions surrounding the economic foundations of Europe and the States in focus. Crude Oil has been around its current values of 85.00 – 86.00 USD per a barrel of WTI for a while and until demand comes into fashion and the onslaught of grim political haggling evaporates, the physical resource may continue to remain within a fairly steady trading range.

While trading will certainly be light this coming week. The debates from Washington D.C. between Democrats and Republicans are likely to grow in stature and noise as they try to avert automatic mandates that center around spending cuts to vital services. President Obama and Congress will be meeting again today and they ‘supposedly’ have an interest in finding some type of limited agreement that will grease the wheels until a full accord can be found.

Also of noteworthy interest will be the Non-Farm Employment Change numbers that will be published this coming Friday. Traders should remain aware that volatility could be steep and fast until many financial institutions return from the holidays.