Why Have RSP and SPY Diverged?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Have RSP and SPY Diverged?

Futures are little changed following a mostly quiet night as markets digest the actions by large banks to shore up FRC.

Positively, banks borrowed $165 billion from the Fed via the discount window and the new BTFP this week and that importantly shows banks are using the Fed’s programs to shore up liquidity.

On inflation, core EU HICP met expectations at 5.6% y/y, although that’s an increase from the previous 5.3% gain.

Today focus will remain on any banking headlines and economic data, but as long as there are no surprises from either (meaning KRE is stable) then stocks can digest this week’s volatility and hold yesterday’s gains.

Economically, notable reports today include Industrial Production (E: 0.4%), Consumer Sentiment (E: 67.0) and Leading Indicators (E: -0.2%), but again it’ll take a substantial surprise from them to move markets.

Why Stocks Are Falling (It’s Not Just the Fed)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Stocks Are Falling (It’s Not Just the Fed)

Futures are sharply lower on momentum from Thursday’s selling as investors further digest the hawkish ECB decision and yesterday’s lackluster economic data.

Despite weaker stock prices this morning, economic data overnight was mildly encouraging.  EU and UK December flash PMIs both slightly beat estimates while the EU HICP wasn’t any worse than feared at 10.1% y/y.

Today there are two important economic reports, the Flash Manufacturing PMI (E: 47.7) and Flash Services PMI (E: 46.5) and markets will need to see those data points show 1) Resilient activity and 2) Declining price pressures (more dis-inflation) if they are going to help stocks stabilize.  We also get one Fed speaker, Daly (12:00 p.m. ET), but she shouldn’t move markets.

Finally, today is a Quadruple Witching options expiration and it could cause some intense volatility as many traders had been positioned for a year-end rally, and as those hopes are being dashed, some book-squaring is likely in order.  Point being, don’t be surprised by an uptick in volatility this afternoon and into the close.

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.

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.

What’s Changed With the Fed

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What’s Changed with the Fed (and What Hasn’t)
  • Technical Update

Futures are moderately lower following mixed economic data and after a WSJ article warned the market was underestimating Fed conviction on rate hikes.

Economically, German PPI surged 37.2% vs. (E) 30.9% y/y on exploding electricity costs while UK Retail Sales fell –3.4% vs. (E) -3.3%.  Both numbers highlight the economic challenges facing the EU and UK.

A WSJ article warned of a “reckoning” for stocks as markets think the Fed is bluffing about further hikes and that’s weighing on sentiment this morning.

Today there are no notable economic reports but there is one Fed speaker, Barkin at 9:00 a.m. ET, and if he echoes this disconnect between Fed intentions and market expectations for rates, that will further pressure stocks today.

Is Value Outperformance Ending?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is Value Outperformance Ending?
  • The S&P 500 Has Reached Another Key Technical Tipping Point

Stock futures are higher this morning despite soft earnings from IBM after the close yesterday as European inflation data was not as bad as feared in June.

Eurozone HICP (their CPI equivalent) met estimates with a rise of 8.6% Y/Y in June up from 8.1% in May, however, the core figure slipped to 3.7% Y/Y from 3.8% in May. The release has prompted new bets for a 50 bp hike from the ECB this week, but that is bolstering hopes that peak inflation will come sooner than later.

Looking into today’s session, there is one economic report to watch: Housing Starts (E: 1.588) and after yesterday’s terrible Housing Market Index print, investors will want to see a number more in line with expectations that does not point to such a rapid deterioration in the real estate market.

There are no Fed speakers or Treasury auctions today which will leave traders largely focused on earnings with: JNJ ($2.57), HAL ($0.45), LMT ($6.29), ALLY ($1.90), and TFC ($1.17) reporting before the bell, and NFLX ($2.90) and JBHT ($2.31) releasing results after the close.

Bottom line, the broader equity market remains at a key tipping point right now as recession fears continue to simmer, but earnings have so far been mostly upbeat suggesting there is still a path to a soft landing. And if earnings news is upbeat today, we could see the S&P 500 breakout through key downtrend resistance near 3,890 and make a run at new multi-week highs.

Looking Ahead to 2022

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Looking Ahead to 2022 (The Omicron Threat May be Fading But the Coast Isn’t Clear)
  • Weekly Market Preview (Clear for a Santa Rally but Depends on Omicron Headlines)
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Housing Data and Jobless Claims This Week)

Futures are slightly higher on continued momentum from last week’s rally following a quiet holiday weekend.

Omicron optimism continued to help push risk assets higher as markets continued to adopt the idea that while COVID cases will soar, hospitalizations will remain low and as such there won’t be any major lockdowns.

There were no economic reports overnight and the global economic calendar for the week is pretty empty (as is usually the case for this week).

Today there are no notable economic reports and no Fed speakers, so we’d expect generally quiet trading that will be driven by Omicron headlines and year-end positioning (that’s likely to be the case all week).  Any stories that further confirm Omicron COVID is not as severe as the previous COVID will help stocks extend the rally into year-end, while any headlines about lockdowns will be a headwind.


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Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on July 1, 2021

Walgreens Dips, Micron Falls, and Stocks Are Steady After Jobless Claims Data

Markets will want ‘Goldilocks’ data to start the quarter, in that the numbers show solid activity, but…writes Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.