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Stimulus Update (Why The Market Still Expects It to Pass)

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Is Stimulus the New QE?

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Market Multiple Table: August Update

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The Yield Curve Is Still Bullish on Stocks

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • ISM Manufacturing Index Takeaways
  • The Yield Curve Is Still Bullish on Stocks

U.S. equity futures are churning lower this morning after a mostly quiet night of news as investors digest yesterday’s strong start to the month of August and continue to wait for details regarding the next stimulus package.

Economically, eurozone PPI rose 0.7% vs. (E) 0.5% in June helping support a modest bounce in the euro vs. the dollar this morning.

Today, there are two economic data points due to be released: Motor Vehicle Sales (14.0M) and Factory Orders (E: 5.2%) while no Fed officials are scheduled to speak today.

On the earnings front, there are a few notable reports today including: BP (-$0.99), BYND (-$0.01), ALL ($1.41), and PRU ($1.72) but none of those should materially move markets as investors will remain focused on the stimulus talks on Capitol Hill while the July labor market statistics, which begin to hit tomorrow, are also coming into focus.

Has There Been A Positive Change?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Has There Been A Positive Change in Markets?
  • Jobs Day

Futures are solidly higher thanks mostly to continued momentum following Wednesday’s rally.

Economic data was sparse overnight, as the only notable report was the Eurozone Unemployment Rate, which slightly beat estimates (7.4% vs. (E) 7.7%).

Coronavirus cases continued to rise in the U.S. and hit a new daily record above 50k.

Today the focus will be on the Employment Situation Report, and the expectations are as follows: Job Adds: 3.000M, UE Rate: 12.4%, Wages: -0.8%).  As long as the number isn’t a major disappointment (say below 2.5MM) it likely won’t interrupt this week’s lift in markets.

We also get Jobless Claims (E: 1.400M) this morning, and while it’ll be overshadowed by the monthly jobs report, claims are actually more important, and if they can continue to decline towards 1MM (and beat expectations) that will be an additional tailwind on stocks.  Conversely, if claims start to move higher, that could offset even a better than expected monthly jobs report.

Technical Update: Headwinds Building?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update:  Headwinds Building?

Futures are modestly lower following mixed Chinese economic data as markets digest Thursday’s rebound.

Chinese economic data was mixed but not worse than feared, as Industrial Production beat estimates (3.9% vs. (E) 1.5%) while Retail Sales and Fixed Asset Investment both declined sharply (-7.5% and –3.8% respectively) but no worse than expected.  In sum the data was “good enough” to keep hope alive that the U.S. economy can see a substantial economic rebound in the coming months, assuming no “second wave” of virus infections.

Today will be an important day for economic data, and the reports we’re watching today (in order of importance) are: Empire State Manufacturing Survey (E: -65.0), Retail Sales (E: -11.2%), Consumer Sentiment (E: 66.0), Industrial Production (E: -11.5%), and JOLTS (E: 5.900MM).

Empire Manufacturing Report and Consumer Sentiment are May reports, so markets will want to see hints of improvement to confirm the economic “worst” will soon be behind us.  If that happens, stocks can hold Thursday’s gains.

Don’t Fight the Fed (Still)?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Should We Buy LQD Now that the Fed Is Buying It Too?

Futures are staging a rebound this morning after yesterday’s late day plunge in stocks as tensions between the U.S. and China simmer while investors weigh the risk-reward dynamics of reopening global economies.

Economic data remained fairly dismal overnight but not as bad as feared with U.K. Monthly GDP dropping -5.8% vs. (E) -7.0% while EU Industrial Production fell -11.3% in March vs. (E) -12.0%. Despite the data topping estimates British 2-Yr yields notably fell to a record low of –0.045%.

Today there is just one economic report due out ahead of the open: PPI (E: -0.5%) and it shouldn’t materially move markets especially with investors primarily focused on Fed Chair Powell’s virtual participation in a webcast at 9:00 a.m. ET that will include a Q&A session at the end.

The only other catalyst on the calendar is a 30-Yr. Bond auction by the Treasury at 1:00 p.m. ET. As we saw yesterday, the very strong demand for 10 Yr. Notes pressured yields and weighed on stocks in the early afternoon and we could potentially see a repeat of that today.

Are Negative Rates Coming to the U.S.?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Negative Rates Could Mean for Markets
  • Jobs Day

Futures are modestly higher following positive headlines regarding U.S./China trade discussions.

The U.S. and China held a trade call Thursday night and stated that “good progress” was being made towards implementing phase one of the trade deal, and that headline is helping to improve sentiment towards recent coronavirus related U.S./China tension.

Economic data was light and did not moving markets as focus is on this morning’s jobs report.

Today focus will be on the jobs report and the expectations are as follows: Jobs: -21.25MM, UE Rate:  16.3%, Wages:  0.3%).  As long as the numbers are close to those estimates, stocks will be able to look past the historically awful jobs report and continue the rally.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Yahoo Finance on April 27, 2020

“All the data is horrific. But it’s getting less bad than it was say a couple weeks ago and that’s especially true with…” said Sevens Report Research founder Tom Essaye on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. Click here to read the full article.

Why Are Markets Ignoring Bad Economic Data?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Are Markets Ignoring Bad Economic Data?
  • Important Context For Jobless Claims (Chart)

Futures are moderately higher following a quiet night of news.

Economic data was disappointing, again, as British Retail Sales dropped –5.1% vs. (E) -3.5%, while German Ifo Business Expectations declined to 69.4 vs. (E) 75.0.  But, once again markets are looking past current data and instead focusing on hope that the worst is behind us.

There was no notable coronavirus news overnight.

Today focus will be on economic data, specifically Consumer Sentiment (E: 68.1) as it offers us a more “real-time” gauge of economic activity.  Durable Goods (E: -11.4%) will also be closely watched, although it’s a March report so it won’t reflect the depths of the slowdown in business spending.