Fed Wildcard to Watch

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Wildcard to Watch: Powell’s Press Conference
  • Employment Cost Index Takeaways
  • Key Technical Levels to Watch in the Wake of the Fed – Chart

Global markets are rallying on the back of favorable economic data in Europe while large cap tech shares are dragging U.S. futures lower following dismal SNAP earnings (shares of the company are down ~15% in pre-market trading).

Economically, the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI met estimates at 48.8 while the HICP Flash (their CPI) cooled to 8.5% vs. (E) 9.1% which is being received as mildly dovish ahead of this week’s all-important central bank meetings.

Looking into today’s session, we will get our first look at January jobs data with the ADP Employment Report (E: 158K) ahead of the bell while JOLTS (E: 10.2 million) and the ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 48.0) will be released at the top of the 10:00 a.m. hour ET.

From there focus will shift to the Fed with the FOMC Decision at 2:00 p.m. ET (E: +25 bp to 4.50% – 4.75%) followed by Powell’s Press Conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

There are also a few notable earnings releases to watch today: TMUS ($1.39), META ($2.12), and ALL (-$1.37).

Bottom line, investors will be looking for further moderation in the morning economic data but not a sharp drop off indicating a deep recession looming while an as-expected or dovish Fed decision and press conference would likely see January’s gains extended in the afternoon. Conversely, a hawkish press conference (like the Jackson Hole speech in August) would very likely trigger a surge in volatility into the final hour of the day.

Economic Breaker Panel: January Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Economic Breaker Panel – January Update
  • January Composite PMI Data Takeaways

U.S. stock futures are lower this morning, led by mega-cap tech after MSFT earnings topped estimates but guidance disappointed which is weighing on sentiment broadly.

Economically, the Business Expectations component of the German Ifo Survey notably firmed to 86.4 vs. (E) 85.0 further supporting hopes that Europe will avoid a recession in 2023 but concerns about the global tech sector is offsetting the good economic data this morning.

There are no notable economic reports and no Fed officials are scheduled to speak today which will leave the focus on earnings.

Notable companies releasing quarterly results today include: BA ($0.30), T ($0.58), and FCX ($0.40) ahead of the bell, and TSLA ($1.15), IBM ($3.60), CSX ($0.47), and STX ($0.08) after the close.

Intraday, the Treasury will hold a 5-Yr Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET, and as we saw with yesterday’s 2-Yr auction which sent stocks to new session highs, the outcome of the auction could move markets before focus returns to post-market earnings reports.

Why Is Tech/Growth Rallying So Hard?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Is Tech/Growth Rallying So Hard?
  • Leading Indicators – Data Takeaways
  • Chart: Dollar Index Approaches Key Long-Term Technical Support

Futures are slightly lower as yesterday’s gains are digested while focus shifts to the start of big tech earnings.

Economically, Flash PMI data was mixed overnight with the broader Eurozone figure topping estimates but the U.K. headline badly missing expectations. The Solid Eurozone data is helping shore up recently more hawkish policy expectations for the ECB and that is weighing on EU shares this morning.

Today, the U.S. Composite PMI Flash will be in focus right after the opening bell. The report is comprised of two parts: the PMI Manufacturing Flash (E: 46.5) and the PMI Services Flash (E: 45.5) and investors will want to see some degree of stabilization in the data.

There are no Fed speakers today however the Treasury will hold a 2-Yr Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and the results could shed light on the market’s latest policy expectations ahead of next week’s Fed meeting, and weak demand (higher yields out of the auction) could weigh on stocks.

Finally, earnings season is continuing to pick up with: JNJ ($2.22), VZ ($1.21), MMM ($2.34), UNP ($2.75), and TRV ($3.50) reporting before the bell while the big report will be MSFT  ($2.29) after the bell. COF ($3.81) will also report after the close.

Has the Outlook for China Finally Turned Positive?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Has the Outlook for China Finally Turned Positive?
  • Chart – FXI (China) vs. S&P 500 Divergence
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey Takeaways

Stock futures were volatile o/n as the BOJ doubled down on their bond-buying program, sending the yen lower by nearly 3% but markets have stabilized as focus turns to a busy morning of economic data and more earnings in the U.S.

Economically, Eurozone HICP met estimates at 9.2% y/y and the Narrow Core also met estimates at 5.2% y/y.

Looking into today’s session, focus will be on earnings in the pre-market with SCHW ($1.10) and PNC ($3.95) due to release earnings ahead of the bell while DFS ($3.58) will report after the close.

There is also a slew of economic data due out this morning including: Retail Sales (E: -0.8%), PPI (E: -0.1%, 6.8%), Industrial Production (E: -0.1%), and the Housing Market Index (E: 31). The market wants to see data continue to point to slowing, but not collapsing growth (as we saw with the Empire report yesterday) and a continued deceleration in inflation metrics to maintain bets for a soft landing.

As far as other catalysts go, there are two Fed speakers to watch this morning: Bostic (9:00 a.m. ET) and Bullard (9:30 a.m. ET) and then a 20-Yr Treasury Bond auction at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Bottom line, much of the recent rally has been based on hopes for a soft landing and less hawkish pivot by the Fed and anything that contradicts those two possibilities would likely trigger a wave of volatility today.

Sevens Report Analysts Quoted in MarketWatch on January 11th, 2023

Oil ends higher even as the EIA reports one of its biggest weekly crude supply increases on record

Trader conviction “is low given renewed hopes for a soft landing and optimism about China reopening (bullish) being weighed against economic uncertainties and growing concerns about the Department of Energy’s commitment to buy oil at $70/barrel due to funding and liquidity issues (bearish),” wrote analysts at Sevens Report Research in a Wednesday note. Click here to read the full article.

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview
  • What Political Dysfunction Means for Markets (Not Now, But Later)

Futures are slightly higher following more signs of disinflation in the EU.

Euro Zone PPI fell more than expected (-0.9% vs. (E ) -0.5%) and that’s the third EU inflation statistic this week to imply inflation has peaked and is receding.

Politically, Rep. McCarthy failed to become Speaker again yesterday although he is expected to win eventually.

Focus today will be on economic data and the key reports are all employment related:  Challenger job cuts (Previous 76,835), ADP Employment Report (E: 145K) and Jobless Claims (E: 228K).  Again, markets want to see a moderation in this employment data so underwhelming reports will be embraced by the market.  Finally, we also have two Fed speakers, Bostic (9:20 a.m. ET) and Bullard (1:20 p.m. ET), but data will move markets more than Fed speak at this point.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on December 29th, 2022

The Nasdaq Jumped Over 2% as Markets Staged a Relief Rally

“In China, Covid-19 cases continue to explode higher and there were reports of overwhelmed hospitals, but officials are proceeding with a full economic reopening.” said Tom Essaye, the founder of Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Three Keys to a Bottom: Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Three Keys to a Bottom: Update
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet – Jobs Report in Focus

U.S. equity futures have a tentative bid to start the new year today as tech stocks are outperforming amid a sharp pullback in Treasury yields.

Economically, China’s Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.0 in December from 49.4 in November while the U.K.’s Manufacturing PMI came in at 45.3 vs. (E) 44.7 last month. Both figures remained well below 50, in contraction territory, and that is seeing some of the recent hawkish central bank expectations unwind as we begin the new year.

Looking into today’s session, there are two economic reports to watch in the U.S., the Manufacturing PMI (E: 46.2) and Construction Spending (E: -0.4%).

Investors will be looking for data that points to a continued slowdown in growth but a more pronounced drop in price readings as that should help further ease hawkish policy expectations and allow the early but tentative risk-on money flows to continue.

There are no Fed officials scheduled to speak and no notable Treasury auctions today. That will leave investors focused on Treasuries as a continued drop in yields today should support a continued bid in tech stocks and equities more broadly as traders reposition into the new year.


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The Key Events to Start 2023

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The Key Events to Start 2023

Futures are slightly higher following a quiet night of news as markets bounce following Wednesday’s declines.

The economic calendar was mostly quiet overnight and the only notable economic report was Euro Zone Money Supply while was essentially in-line with expectations, rising 5.4% vs. (E) 5.5%.

In China, COVID cases continue to explode higher and there were reports of overwhelmed hospitals, but officials are proceeding with a full economic reopening.

Today the focus will be on Jobless Claims (E: 222K) and markets will want to see this number move higher towards 250k (and ultimately 300k).  If claims remain stubbornly low, that could weigh on stocks (like it did last week).

Sevens Report Analysts Quoted in Market Watch on December 21st, 2022

Oil prices end higher after drop in U.S. crude inventories

“Specifically, despite skyrocketing cases and reports of stressed hospitals, Chinese authorities are not locking down cities and that implies continued increases in energy demand as the world’s second largest economy comes back online,” said analysts at Sevens Report Research, in a note. Click here to read the full article.