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Market Multiple Table: June Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table – June Update

Stock futures are modestly lower this morning as bond yields continued to rise overnight thanks to a more hawkish than expected central bank decision.

The RBA raised rates by 50 bps vs. (E) 40 bps overnight citing elevated inflation pressures which have rekindled fears about more aggressive monetary policy globally.

Meanwhile, economic data was soft as German Manufacturers Orders fell -2.7% vs. (E) 0.5% which underscores the recent loss of momentum in economic growth.

Looking into today’s session, there is just one economic report: International Trade in Goods (E: -$90.2B) which is not likely to materially move markets while no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

That will leave investors focused on the latest move higher in yields as that was the main reason for the steady fade in stocks yesterday. To that point, there is a 3-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET that could move the bond market, and for stocks to move higher today, we will need to see yields level out.

Tom Essaye Quoted in CNBC on May 9th, 2022

10-year Treasury yield rises to its highest level since November 2018

To start the year, we knew that central bank tightening would make for a challenging market, but that has been compounded by two surprise events: The Russia/Ukraine war (no one expected that in January) and Chinese lock-downs (it’s quasi-shocking the Chinese are still adopting these policies and crushing their economy)…wrote Tom Essaye of The Sevens Report. Click here to read the full article.

Key Summer Market Events (Inflation Today, Fed Tomorrow)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Key Summer Market Events Part 1:  Inflation
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are slightly lower following a generally quiet night of news, although on the margin markets are seeing global central banks get less dovish.

On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand had hawkish commentary, while overnight the Bank of Korea hinted at a rate hike before year-end.  Neither the Reserve Bank of New Zealand nor the Bank of Korea will move markets, but the bottom line is we are seeing a global rising tide of “less dovish” central bank policy, and that’s likely to cause volatility as we move forward throughout the year.

There was no market moving economic data overnight.

Today we get several notable economic reports including (in order of importance): Jobless Claims (E: 450K), Durable Goods (E: 0.7%), Revised Q2 GDP (6.5%), and Pending Home Sales (E: 2.0%).  Bottom line, markets will want to see solid, but not “Too Hot” economic data, and if we get that result the data should help stocks rally today.

Technical Update (Levels to Watch)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update – Levels to Watch

Futures are moderately higher on momentum from Thursday’s rebound combined with a drop in industrial metals’ prices, which is helping to ease some anxiety on inflation.

Iron ore prices dropped sharply overnight as Chinese officials stated they would take measures to curb price increases in various industrial metals and that headline is pushing back on the “surging inflation” narrative (although it doesn’t change the inflation outlook).

There was no notable economic data overnight nor any important central bank speak (outside of the China metals news it was a quiet night).

Today we get several notable economic reports including Retail Sales (E: 1.0%), Industrial Production (E: 1.2%), and Consumer Sentiment (E: 90.3).  In general, the stronger the better for these reports but we’ll be watching the inflation expectations component of the Consumer Sentiment Index – if it runs “hot” expect a headwind on stocks.  There’s also one Fed speaker, Kaplan (1:00 p.m. ET), but he shouldn’t move markets.

The Odd Central Bank Out, October 4, 2017

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Over the past month, we’ve seen some big policy turns at major central banks.

• At its September meeting, the Fed shrugged off low inflation and reiterated its expectation for a rate hike in December, and three hikes in 2017, a more hawkish-than-expected outcome.

• At its September meeting, the Bank of England shocked markets by stating that due to rising growth and inflation, rate hikes would likely be needed in the “relatively near term.” While it’s not certain, many in the markets think the Fed hikes rates in November.

• At its September meeting, the ECB confirmed it will announce details for the “tapering” of its QE pro-
gram, the first step to eventual rate hikes (likely in 2H ’18).

• The Bank of Canada quasi-shocked markets by hiking rates at its July and September meetings, becoming the first developed market central bank to execute consecutive rate hikes in over a decade.

• The Bank of Japan, at its recent meeting, reiterated its dovish stance and the BOJ’s Kuroda even hinted
that the bank may need to become more dovish for the Japanese economy to finally hit its 2% inflation
target.

So, which one doesn’t belong?

The BOJ is the “odd central bank out” in the global trend of less accommodation. I think that creates a potential opportunity in DXJ, the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF. The logic behind this opportunity is simple: With global central banks become less accommodative, the yen should decline in value against its major trading partners.

On a basic level, a weakened currency and supportive central bank are still good for stock market performance.

So, if we see the yen weaken to 120 vs. the dollar and see similar declines against the euro and pound, that should be a respective tailwind on the Japanese stock market—just like it has been in the past.

Now, clearly there are risks to this trade, particularly North Korea. But barring a surprise economic or inflation slow-down in Britain, the EU or the US, the trend in rates and those currencies is higher vs. the yen. That should be positive for Japanese stocks over the medium and longer term.

Now, I realize that DXJ has run over the past month (as has everything), but the bottom line is that if dollar/yen goes from 112 to 120 (which is entirely possible if we see a “reflation” in the US) then DXJ will move substantially higher from here.

Cut through the noise and understand what’s truly driving markets, as this new political and economic reality evolves. 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. Sign up for your free two-week trial today and see the difference 7 minutes can make. 

Weekly Market Preview, September 18, 2017

Last Week in Review

Up until Friday, last week’s data looked like it was going to show “green shoots” of an economic reflation. But disappointing economic growth numbers on Friday off-set better inflation readings from earlier in the week, and while Hurricane Harvey likely impacted the growth data, the bottom line is the data just isn’t good enough to spur a rising tide for stocks.

From a Fed standpoint, the higher inflation data did increase the likelihood that we will get a December rate hike, although the market expectation of that remains below 50%. As such, increased expectations of a rate hike in the coming weeks could be a headwind on stocks, especially if economic data doesn’t improve.

Looking at last week’s data, the most important takeaway was that inflation appears to be bottoming. Chinese, (1.8% yoy vs. (E) 1.7% yoy), British (2.7% vs. (E) 2.5%), and US CPI (0.4% m/m vs. (E) 0.3%) all firmed up and beat expectations, and while it’s just one month’s data, it’s still a break of a pretty consistent downtrend.

That turn in inflation potentially matters, a lot, because it’s making central banks become more hawkish. The ECB is going to taper QE, the Bank of England is going to raise rates sooner rather than later (more on that in Currencies), the Fed may hike again in December and the Bank of Canada was the first major central bank to give us a surprise rate hike in nearly a decade. I’m going to be covering the implications of this a lot more this week, but the times, so it seems, they are a changin’.

That makes an acceleration in economic growth now even more important. Unfortunately, the growth data from last week was disappointing. July retail sales missed on the headline (-0.2% vs. (E) 0.1%) as did the
more important “Control” group (retail sales minus autos, gas and building materials). The “control” group fell to -0.2% vs. (E) 0.3%.

Additionally, Industrial Production also was a miss. Headline IP fell to -0.9% vs. (E) 0.1% while the manufacturing subcomponent declined to -0.3% vs. (E) 0.1%. Now, to be fair, Hurricane Harvey, which hit Southeast Texas, likely skewed the numbers negatively. But, the impact of that is unclear, and we can’t just dismiss these numbers because of the hurricane.

Bottom line, the unknown impact of Hurricane Harvey keeps this week’s data from eliciting a “stagflation” scare, given firm inflation and soft growth. But if this is the start of a trend, and it can’t be blamed on Harvey or Irma, then that’s a problem for stocks down the road. We need both inflation and growth to accelerate (and at the same time) to lift stocks to material new highs.

This Week’s Preview

The two key events for markets this week will be the Fed meeting on Wednesday, and the global flash PMIs on Friday.

Starting with the Fed, normally I’d assume this meeting will be anti-climactic, but it’s one of the meetings with the “dots” and economic projections, so there is the chance we get either a hawkish or dovish surprise. I’ll do my full FOMC Preview in tomorrow’s report, but the point here is don’t be fooled into a false sense of security if people you read say this meeting is going to be a non-event. It very well could be, but there’s a betterthan-expected chance for a surprise, too (and if I had to guess which way, I’d say it’d be a hawkish surprise… and that could hit stocks).

Turning then to the upcoming data, given the new-found incremental hawkishness of global central banks, strong growth data is more important than ever to avoid stagflation. We’ll want to see firm global manufacturing PMIs to keep stagflation concerns at bay. Looking more specifically at the US, Philly Fed comes Thursday and that will give us anecdotal insight into manufacturing activity, although the national flash PMI out the next day will effectively steal the thunder from the Philly report.

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