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Why the U.K. Budget Drama Matters to You

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why the U.K. Budget Drama Matters (Hint: Spiking Yields)
  • Two Technical Takeaways from Yesterday’s New Lows

Stock futures are trading cautiously higher while yields and the dollar ease from yesterday’s highs after the Fed’s Evans made some less hawkish commentary overnight.

While speaking on “Squawk Box Europe” early this morning, Charles Evans said he was getting nervous about the Fed’s pace of tightening and that if inflation peaks, the FOMC could cut rates as soon as early 2023 which has sparked a relief rally across risk assets amid renewed hopes for “peak hawkishness.”

Economically, Chinese Industrial Profits declined -2.2% in August from -1.1% in July but slowing global growth is largely priced into the market at this point.

Looking into today’s session there are multiple economic reports to watch including: Durable Goods (E: -1.2%), S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (E: 0.3%), New Home Sales (E: 498K), and Consumer Confidence (E: 104.3). Investors will be continuing to look for slowing growth, a moderating labor market and most importantly any further signs of easing price pressures as those are all necessary components in getting the Fed to “peak hawkishness.”

Regarding the Fed, there are several officials speaking today: Powell (7:30 a.m. ET), Daly (8:35 a.m. ET), and Bullard (9:55 a.m. ET). And while it is unlikely any of them echo Evans’ dovish tone form earlier this morning, if they do come across as less hawkish, we could see a violent relief rally play out as stocks have become oversold in recent sessions.

What the Latest Fed Speak Means for Markets (Updated)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Latest Fed Speak Means for Markets (Updated for Powell, the ECB, and RBA).

Futures are sharply higher on encouraging Chinese inflation data and a drop in the U.S. Dollar.

Chinese PPI (2.3% vs. (E) 2.8% y/y) and CPI (2.3% vs. (E) 3.2% y/y) both declined from last month and came in under expectations, providing more evidence that the global economy has hit “peak inflation.”

The encouraging Chinese inflation data combined with yesterday’s hawkish ECB is pushing the dollar 1% lower.

Today there are no notable economic reports but there are several Fed speakers, including Evans (10:00 a.m. ET), Waller (12:00 p.m. ET) and George (12:00 p.m. ET).  If they sound optimistic on inflation, that will help extend this morning’s rally.

Three Keys to a Bottom (Updated)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Three Keys to a Bottom Updated (Some Progress But Not There Yet)
  • Economic Takeaways – Goldilocks Trends Emerging
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet

There is a tentative risk-on tone to trading this morning as U.S. equity futures track global shares higher thanks to new stimulus measures in China and easing natural gas prices in Europe.

The PBOC announced new measures to help stabilize the yuan and bolster the economy in the face of renewed Covid lockdowns and recent signs of slowing growth which was welcomed by markets overnight.

In Europe, German Manufacturers Orders fell -1.1% vs. (E) -0.4% but that is helping dial back some of the recently more hawkish policy expectations ahead of this week’s ECB meeting.

Looking into today’s session, there is one economic report to watch: ISM Services Index (E: 55.4), and no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

That should leave the focus on currency and bond markets in the U.S. if both the dollar and short-duration yields can stabilize, and not move materially higher, then stocks should be able to make an attempt to stabilize after Friday’s late session reversal lower.

Additionally, if we see natural gas prices in Europe continue to pull back from Friday and yesterday’s rise, that should help the risk-on mood in markets persist as the Nord Stream 1 halt was the main catalyst for stocks rolling over on Friday.

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Update

Futures are solidly lower as negative China/COVID headlines and lackluster economic data weighed on markets.

Chinese authorities put the city of Chengdu (population 17 million) in a COVID lockdown, reminding markets “Zero COVID” is still in effect.

Economically, global manufacturing PMIs were underwhelming as all major regions (EU, UK and China) posted numbers below 50 (signaling contraction).

Today focus will be on economic data and the most important number is the ISM Manufacturing PMI (E: 52.2).  Markets need to see an in-line reading, because if it’s a very strong number that will increase hawkish concerns about the Fed, and if it’s a very weak number (below 50) that will spike stagflation concerns.  Outside of the PMI we also get Jobless Claims (E: 248K) and Unit Labor Costs (E: 10.7%) and there’s also one Fed speaker, Bostic at 3:30 p.m. ET.

What the Bulls Believe (Four Assumptions)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Four Bullish Assumptions Currently in the Market
  • Weekly Market Preview:  All About Powell (Speech on Friday)
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  How Solid Is the Economy?  (Important Growth Data This Week)

Futures are sharply lower as markets price in a greater chance of a hawkish speech from Fed Chair Powell this Friday.

Markets are reversing some of the “Fed Pivot” gains of the past few weeks ahead of Chair Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole on Friday, as investors fear the markets’ expectations for the Fed have become too dovish.

Economically, China cut interest rates again to stimulate the economy, although the rate cuts were small and stocks declined anyway, as the Chinese economy continues to face numerous large challenges (Zero COVID policy, drought, property market decline, etc.).

Today there are no Fed speakers and only one notable economic report, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (E: -0.19), and as has been the case markets will want to see stability in the date to reinforce that the U.S. economy is not moving closer to stagflation.

Market Set Up Into Today’s CPI Report

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Set Up Into Today’s CPI Report
  • Are Semiconductor Stocks Forecasting the Slowdown?

Futures are slightly higher on mildly positive geo-political news and ahead of the CPI report.

China ended the military exercises around Taiwan and while that was always expected it’s still a mild positive as it reduces the chances of any accidental conflict.

Economically, the Chinese CPI rose 2.7% vs. (E) 2.9% allowing China to continue to actively stimulate its economy.

Today’s focus will be on the CPI report and expectations are as follows: Headline CPI:  0.2% m/m, 8.7% y/y. Core CPI: 0.5% m/m, 6.1% y/y.  Markets remain in a “glass half full” mood on inflation so unless the numbers are solidly above expectations, we’d expect stocks to weather the number with only modest declines (while a soft number will likely spur an additional rally).

We also get two Fed speakers, Evans (11 a.m. ET) and Kashkari (2 p.m. ET) but they shouldn’t move markets.

Jobs Day

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Day
  • Why the BOE Hiked 50 bps Yesterday

Futures are flat ahead of today’s jobs report and following a generally quiet night of news.

The only notable economic report was German Industrial Production and it beat estimates rising 0.4% vs. (E) -0.4%.

Geo-politically, China suspended military, climate, and drug enforcement communications with the U.S in retaliation for the Pelosi visit to Taiwan.  But, unless retaliation from China impacts U.S./China trade or commodities prices, markets will largely ignore it.

Today the focus will be on the jobs report and the key for markets is that it shows easing wage pressures and moderation in the labor market.  So, a mildly underwhelming reports vs expectations (E: 250K job adds, 3.6% UE Rate, 5.0% y/y wage growth) is the best outcome for stocks.

There’s also one Fed speaker today, Barkin at 8:00 a.m. ET, but he shouldn’t move markets.

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview (First of Two Key Economic Reports)
  • EIA and OPEC Meeting Analysis

Futures are slightly higher on momentum from Wednesday’s rally and as the market again ignored soft economic data.

Economic data from Europe was again disappointing as German Manufacturers’ Orders slightly missed estimates (-9.0% vs. (E) -8.9%) as did the UK Construction PMI (48.9 vs. (E) 52.0).

Geo-politically, China began massive military drills around Taiwan, although they were previously announced.

Today focus will be on the Bank of England rate decision (E: 50 bps hike) and on weekly Jobless Claims (E: 260K).  Specifically, markets will want to see if the BOE implies more 50 bps hikes are ahead (if so that’s a mild negative for the region).  On jobless claims, will they continue to move methodically towards 300k? (That would be a mild positive as it implies slowing in the labor market, which the Fed needs to get to peak hawkishness).

From a Fed speak standpoint, Mester speaks at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The Latest on Taiwan and China

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The Latest on Taiwan and China
  • JOLTS Decline But Remain Historically Elevated
  • Big One-Day Reversal in the 10-Year Yield: Chart

Stock futures are trading cautiously higher this morning as geopolitical angst is easing after Pelosi’s departure from Taiwan while economic data was mostly positive overnight.

Chinese and EU Composite PMIs for July topped estimates while Eurozone PPI was no worse than feared and that data is helping some of the hawkish fears from Tuesday unwind.

Looking into today’s session, earnings season is beginning to wind down but there are still a few notable reports due out today: MRNA ($4.50), CVS ($2.16), YUM ($1.08), HOOD (-$0.36), EBAY ($0.89), and MGM ($0.24).

However, the market’s main focus will be on economic data today with ISM Services Index (E: 53.0) and Factory Orders (E: 1.1%) both due out shortly after the open while there is one Fed speaker: Harker (10:30 a.m. ET).

Investors will want to see still solid growth numbers in the data, further easing in inflation readings, and hopefully a less hawkish tone out of the Fed if the July relief rally is going to extend into August.

What Escalating U.S.-China Tensions Mean for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Escalating U.S.-China Tensions Mean for Markets
  • What’s the Fed’s Endgame With Rates?
  • How Low Could Oil Prices Go?

Stock futures are lower and the 10-year yield fell to a 4-month low overnight amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Speaker Pelosi is scheduled to land in Taiwan later this morning despite repeated and stern warnings from China about a potential military response to the visit and the elevated tensions are resulting in equity market weakness and rising demand for safe havens assets such as Treasuries.

Looking beyond geopolitics, there are a few other potential catalysts to watch today including two economic reports: Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 13.5M) and JOLTS (11.0M), as well as two Fed officials scheduled to speak: Evans (9:00 a.m. ET) and Bullard (6:45 p.m. ET).

Earnings season also continues today with results from CAT ($3.00), JBLU (-$0.11), MAR ($1.59), TSEM ($0.52), AMD ($1.03), PYPL ($0.85), and SBUX ($0.77).

Bottom line, markets are trading with a risk-off tone due to the U.S.-China tensions surrounding Taiwan however a meaningful escalation including military action between the U.S. and China remains very unlikely, and as such the pressure on equities is not expected to deepen or last very long and market focus is likely to turn back to Fed policy later in the week as the July jobs report is due out on Friday.