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Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on September 18, 2019

“Bottom line for the Fed, if today’s events turn out to be net-hawkish, that will weigh on risk assets as investors remain overly optimistic about an aggressive easing cycle over the coming…” writes The Sevens Report’s Tom Essaye. Click here to read the full article.

Jerome Powell

Fed Preview: What to Expect

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview

Asian markets rallied modestly overnight after the BOJ met expectations while Brexit angst continues to weigh on EU stocks and U.S. futures as investor focus turns to the Fed.

Economic data did not move markets overnight and trade talks between the U.S. and China don’t begin until later today so there were no material developments on the trade war front.

The FOMC Meeting, which is clearly the biggest event of the week, begins this morning and that will likely lead to a sense of “Fed paralysis” in the markets before tomorrow’s announcement and Powell’s press conference however there are still a few important catalysts to watch today.

Economically, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation: Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.2%) within the Personal Incomes and Outlays report will be the most important report to watch (it is due out before the bell), but there are a few other releases to watch as well: S&P Case-Shiller HPI (E: 0.2%), Consumer Confidence (E: 125.0), and Pending Home Sales (E: 0.3%).

On the earnings front, we will get second quarter results from: MA ($1.82), PG ($1.06), MO ($ 1.10) before the open, and AAPL ($2.10), AMD ($0.08), ALL ($1.48), CHRW ($1.21) after the bell this afternoon.

The Most Important Week of the Year

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Fed Week – Why This is the Most Important Fed Decision of the Year
  • Weekly Market Preview – Will the Fed Meet Incredibly Dovish Expectations?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet – One of the Busiest Weeks of the Year (Jobs Report, Inflation Data, Global PMIs)

Futures are little changed following a quiet weekend as all eyes now turn to the Fed decision on Wednesday.

Former Fed Chair Yellen endorsed a rate cut over the weekend, but did not advocate for sustained easing.   And, this gets right to the heart of this market.  We know the Fed will cut 25 bps this week, but we don’t know if they’ll signal the start of a sustained easing campaign (i.e. 75-100 bps of cuts by year-end) and that’s something the market has already aggressively priced in at these levels.

Economic data was sparse over the weekend although Japanese Retail Sales (0.3% vs. (E) 0.1%) beat estimates.

There was no notable U.S.-China trade news over the weekend and expectations are low for any actual progress at the talks this week.

Today there are no notable economic reports nor any important central bank speak, so focus will remain on earnings (this is the last important week of earnings) and on any U.S.-China trade headlines (although none are expected).

Tom Essaye Quoted in MarketWatch on May 2, 2019

Tom Essaye quoted in MarketWatch on May 2nd 2019. After Powell’s news conference, investors were “left with a market lacking a material, positive catalyst at the moment and one at the top of reasonable valuations…” said Tom. Click here to read the full article.

Curve Steepening: Buy Banks?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • 10’s-2’s Showing Signs of Life – Good for the Banks?

S&P futures are indicating stocks will open at all-time highs today thanks to strong earnings and Fed optimism after President Trump mentioned rate cuts and QE yesterday.

AAPL beat on earnings and revenue in Q1 but also notably revised guidance solidly higher citing improvement in Chinese markets. The company’s shares are trading up roughly 6% in the pre-market.

Most overseas markets are closed for holidays today and the market’s main focus will be the Fed events this afternoon: FOMC Meeting Announcement (2:00 p.m. ET), Fed Chair Press Conference (2:30 p.m. ET).

There are a however a few important economic reports that could move markets this morning: ADP Employment Report (E: 180K), ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 55.0), and Construction Spending (E: 0.2%).

Bottom line, the market is looking for more dovish rhetoric out of the Fed today and if Powell delivers, another set of closing highs in U.S. stock indexes is likely.

Was the Fed a Bullish Gamechanger?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Was the Fed a Bullish Gamechanger? No, Here’s Why.
  • FOMC Takeaways
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Update

Stock futures are little changed this morning and international markets were mixed overnight amid quiet newswires as yesterday’s Fed decision was digested against a slew of bad corporate commentary so far this week.

Economically, U.K. Retail Sales were 0.4% vs. (E) -0.3% last month, helping the FTSE outperform ahead of the BOE Announcement due later this morning.

Today, the calendar is slightly busy in the morning with several economic reports scheduled to be released: Jobless Claims (E: 225K), Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey (E: 4.4), and Leading Indicators (E: 0.1%), while no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

That will leave the market primarily in digestion mode in the wake of the Fed and for stocks to meaningfully rally from here, we will need to see the yield curve steepen and the dollar continue to decline, otherwise, the S&P will have trouble breaking back above 2850.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Benzinga on March 20, 2019

What Is The Value Of The FOMC Minutes? Tom Essaye Quoted in Benzinga to share his view on the recent Fed meeting and it’s effect on markets. “This Fed meeting is critically important for markets because…” Click here to read the full article.

Never Fight the Fed

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Never Ever Fight the Fed

Stock futures, the dollar, and Treasuries are all little changed this morning while international markets were mixed overnight as investors focus on the Fed today.

There were no market moving economic reports o/n although rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China and several bad earnings reports citing slowing global trade (especially FDX) have become a growing headwind for risk assets since yesterday’s close.

With focus on the Fed this afternoon, it is likely to be a quiet morning with price action dictated by positioning into the announcement. The one release that could move markets this morning is the Weekly EIA Inventory Report which will print at 10:30 a.m. ET (E: +800K bbls).

Turning to the Fed, the FOMC Meeting Announcement and Forecasts will hit at 2:00 p.m. ET and then Fed Chair Powell’s Press Conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.

To recap, the two key developments to look for from the Fed are balance sheet reductions and fewer rate hikes in 2019 (the dot plot). The market’s expectations of a very dovish Fed are extremely high right now, so there is not much room for error by the FOMC today and any sort of disappointment could spark a wave of volatility across asset classes.

FOMC Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview

U.S. futures are higher this morning as trader focus turns to the Fed meeting while good economic data in Europe helped drive gains in international markets overnight.

U.K. unemployment fell to a multi-decade low of 3.9% in February according to the latest Labour Market report while the Business Expectations component of the German ZEW Survey was –3.6 vs. (E) -11.0 underscoring a less pessimistic outlook on the economy by analysts.

A sense of “Fed paralysis” has already begun to fall over markets this week as the FOMC meeting begins today and trader focus has largely shifted to tomorrow’s announcement and press conference.

As far as catalysts go today, there is one economic report: Factory Orders (E: 0.1%) but the single data point’s influence on the market is likely to be limited with the Fed looming tomorrow.

Was the Fed A Bullish Gamechanger?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Fed Takeaways – Was It a Bullish Gamechanger? (Not Yet)
  • Jobs Report Preview
  • EIA/Oil Market Analysis

Futures are slightly higher as markets digest yesterday’s very dovish Fed statement and subsequent rally, while Chinese economic data beat expectations but still was weak in the absolute.

Chinese January Manufacturing PMI beat estimates at 49.5 vs. (E) 49.3, but it still signals outright contraction, so this doesn’t imply stabilization in that economy.

Other economic data from Europe, including Euro Zone GDP and German Unemployment, met expectations.

Today there are two economic reports, Jobless Claims (E: 220K) and the Employment Cost Index (E: 0.8%) but neither should materially move markets.

So, focus will move back to earnings (there are a lot of reports today and GE has started us on the right foot) and any headlines from the U.S./China trade talks.  Regarding U.S./China trade, we don’t expect a deal from this meeting, but more reports of progress will support (and likely extend) yesterday’s rally.