A U.S.-China Tech War Too?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why the Trade War is Becoming a Tech War (And That’s Bad)
  • Brexit Update – Is a “No Deal” Brexit A Possibility (Yes)
  • EIA and Oil Update – Bearish Supply News

It’s an ugly morning as futures are down about one percent as markets digest disappointment from the week’s two big events, the FOMC Minutes and the global flash PMIs.

EU flash PMIs missed estimates at 51.6 vs. (E) 51.7 but EU and German manufacturing PMIs were especially weak (47.7 & 44.3) and that’s negative for global growth.

Yesterday’s FOMC Minutes were slightly hawkish and confirmed the Fed isn’t close to a rate cut right now.

Given the soft foreign data, the key report today is the flash Composite PMI (E: 52.4).  If that number is soft, it’ll further stoke worries about global growth and will be a negative for stocks.  Other reports today include Jobless Claims (E: 215K) and New Home Sales (E: 680K).

Bottom line, this market is facing several headwinds and support at 2800 is now important, but should likely hold unless hopes for a Trump/Xi meeting at the G-20 meeting are dashed, or U.S. growth begins to roll over.

Economic Breaker Panel: March Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What’s Next for Brexit
  • Economic Breaker Panel – March Update
  • Another (Potentially Bearish) Copper Development

Stock futures are marginally higher this morning after a very quiet night of news while no major international market moved more than 1% overnight.

Asian shares declined modestly after a report that Japanese Machine Orders fell –5.4% in January vs. (E) -1.9%.

In Europe, EU Industrial Production beat expectations (1.4% vs. E: 1.0%) while focus remains on today’s “hard Brexit” vote in the U.K. (which is very unlikely to pass).

Looking into today’s U.S. session, focus will be on economic data early with two reports due ahead of the bell: Durable Goods Orders (E: -0.8%), PPI (E: 0.2%), and one shortly after the open: Construction Spending (E: 0.3%).

There are no Fed officials speaking today so investor focus will shift to the “hard Brexit” vote but it is very unlikely to pass which will result in another vote to delay the Brexit date tomorrow. This scenario is priced in however and should not materially move markets.

Brexit Vote Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Citi Earnings: Not a Bad Start to the Season
  • Brexit “Meaningful Vote” Preview

U.S. futures are modestly higher this morning, tracking gains in Asian shares thanks to chatter of further stimulus measures by the Chinese government.

EU markets are underperforming however as focus remains on today’s Brexit vote and more key bank earnings.

Looking to the Wall Street session, the major focus will be on earnings as JPM ($2.20), WFC ($1.17), and DAL ($1.27) all report before the bell. The banks will be the main focus after C’s results were received well yesterday.

Economically, PPI (E: 0.2%) is due out ahead of the bell while the Empire State Manufacturing Survey (E: 12.0) will print at the top of the 10 o’clock hour. The Empire number could potentially move markets as survey-based data badly underwhelmed in December, contributing to the last wave of significant volatility in 2018.

Lastly, there are three Fed speakers today: Kashkari (11:30 a.m. ET),  Kaplan (1:00 p.m. ET), and George (1:00 p.m. ET) but their comments should not materially move markets as they are expected to reiterate a more dovish stance on future policy.

Contrarian View: Emerging Markets

Pre 7:00 Look

• Stock futures are cautiously higher today as the dollar continues to pullback on Trump’s comments about the Fed while investors have doubts about the new round of trade talks between the US and China.

• The dollar is down another 30 basis points+ this morning, extending its multi-session downtrend which should continue to act as a modest tailwind for stocks this week.

• British CBI Industrial Trends Survey was a mild miss at 7 vs. (E) 10 as Brexit concerns continues to weigh on sentiment.

• There are no economic reports or Fed speakers today.

To read the full report Go Here

The Case for Investing in Europe (Updated), April 25, 2017

The Case for Europe, Updated

The Sevens Report is everything you need to know about the markets in your inbox by 7am, in 7 minutes or less. Get a free no-risk, no-credit-card required 2-week trial today and see how the world clicks into place after your daily Sevens Report.

European indices and ETFs exploded to new 52-week highs yesterday following the expected French election results. The likely removal of that French political risk overhang reinforces our bullish thesis on Europe, especially given some wobbling in US economic data recently.

On March 21 we presented “The Case for Europe,” which was our bullish thesis on Europe as a tactical investment idea. Since we presented that piece, the three Europe ETFs we recommended have rallied an average of 4.2% vs. the S&P 500 just being flat over the same period. We think that outperformance from Europe can continue for the coming months, so we are presenting an updated “Case for Europe,” and reiterating our bullish stance on three Europe ETFs.

Bullish Factor #1: Compelling Relative Valuation. The reasoning here is simple. The S&P 500 is trading at the top end of historical valuations: 18.25X 2017 EPS, and 17.75X 2018 EPS. There’s not much room for those multiples to go higher, and if we get policy disappointment or the economic data loses momentum, markets could hit a nasty air pocket.

(Specific data and ETFs withheld for subscribers – unlock with free trial:

So, while it’s true Europe should trade at a lower multiple vs. the US given the still-slow growth and political issues, those discounts are pretty compelling. In a world where most equity indices and sectors are fully valued, Europe offers value.

Update: The valuation gap still remains and European indices trade at a still steep discount to the S&P 500. We continue to think we can see multiple expansion in Europe that can help European stocks outperform their US counterparts.

Bullish Factor #2: Ongoing Central Bank Support. This one also is pretty simple… the ECB is still doing QE. The ECB is still planning to buy 60 billion euros worth of bonds through December of this year. That will support the economy, help earnings and push inflation higher, all of which are positive for stocks.

Update: The ECB reacted dovishly to perceptions that it might prematurely end QE or raise rates, and with inflation metrics still uncomfortably low, the chances of a hawkish surprise from the ECB anytime soon are low.

Bullish Factor #3: Overblown political risk. We’ve been talking about this for a while, but the fact is that political risks in Europe are overblown, and just like people underappreciated risks in 2016, I believe they are now overreacting to Brexit and Trump by extrapolating those results too far.

Going forward, there are really two important elections this year: France and Germany.

Update: Macron beat Le Pen in the first round of voting, and according to both the Harris and Ipsos polls taken right after voting on Sunday, Macron holds a large 64% to 36% ad-vantage ahead of the May 7 election.

Turning to Germany, they will have elections in September, and Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz will challenge Merkel for the Prime Minster position. Schultz is a former President of the European Parliament, and he’s not anti EU at all. So, if he wins, from an EU outlook standpoint, it isn’t a negative. Now, I’m not going to get into the details of his politics, because they aren’t yet important for this investment. The bigger point is that it’s not really a problem for the European economy if Schultz wins.

Bottom line, we’ve done well in international investments in the past (Japan during Abenomics, Europe when they started QE), and we believe this is another opportunity to outperform.

How to Play It: (Specific data and ETFs withheld for subscribers – unlock with free trial:

Cut through the noise and understand what’s truly driving markets, as this new political and economic reality evolves. Start your free trial of the Sevens Report today.

Are British Elections a Bullish Gamechanger for the Pound? April 19, 2017

The Sevens Report is the daily market cheat sheet our subscribers use to keep up on markets, seize opportunities, avoid risks and get more assets. 

The pound was the big mover on Tuesday as it surged 2.2% following PM May’s call for elections in June. (As a bit of background, May calling for snap elections means that in the next few days Parliament will be dissolved, and then there will be national elections for all Parliamentary seats over the next six weeks).

The news took markets by surprise, but it is a politically savvy move by Ms. May. Right now, in part because a swell in national pride following the official start of Brexit, PM May is very popular. Calling for elections now will capitalize on that popularity, and help her Tories (Conservatives) increase their majority in Parliament.

From an economic standpoint, however, this isn’t likely to have much of an actual effect. Like the Republicans in the US, the Tories are viewed as the “pro-business” par-ty, so there was a knee-jerk positive reaction. However, Brexit will be the major influence on the value of the pound and the British economy over the next few years, not internal politics. Besides, as we’ve seen with Republicans here in the US, just because a party has power doesn’t mean it can actually get anything done!

Bottom line, the pound has surged to multi-month highs and clearly broken resistance at 1.25, and there’s more short covering to come. But, I do not view Tuesday’s events as a bullish gamechanger for the pound or British stocks, and if anything I’d be inclined to sell the pound if it approached 1.30 vs. the dollar.

For now, though, standing on the sidelines is warranted.

Join hundreds of advisors from huge brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Advisors, Raymond James and more… see if The Sevens Report is right for you.