Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on May 26th, 2022

The Dow Rose, and What Else Is Happening in the Stock Market Today

This two-day rally in the market is mostly built on the premise that the Fed may ‘pause’ rate hikes after the two 50-bps adjustments this summer…wrote Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Sector Trends: Relative Strength to the S&P 500

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Sector Trends:  Relative Strength to the S&P 500
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are slightly higher as incrementally positive macro news offset more disappointing tech earnings.

Nvidia earnings underwhelmed and the stock fell 5% after hours, and that is weighing on tech this morning.

But, not as hawkish as feared in FOMC minutes and the continued reopening of Shanghai offset the soft NVDA earnings.

Today’s focus will be on economic data via the Revised Q1 GDP (-1.4%), Jobless Claims (E: 208K), and Pending Home Sales (E: -1.3%).  Given the recent weakness in other economic data, the market will want to see stability in the numbers to continue to push back on stagflation concerns.

Bullish If/Bearish If Scenarios

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Bottom Line:  Bullish If/Bearish If Scenarios
  • Weekly Market Preview:  More Earnings and Growth Data This Week
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Is Growth Rolling Over?

Futures are moderately higher mostly on momentum from Friday’s rebound following a generally quiet weekend.

COVID news from China remains mixed as Shanghai continues to relax lockdowns although Beijing is seeing a continued increase in cases (keeping the threat of more lockdowns alive).

The dollar is down one percent after ECB President Lagarde signaled two rate hikes were likely in the 3rd quarter (this was a bit more hawkish than expected).

Today there are no notable economic reports and just one Fed speaker, Bostic (12:00 p.m. ET).  If Bostic echoes Bullard’s slightly less hawkish than feared commentary from Friday afternoon, then stocks can extend Friday’s rebound.

A Critical Time for the Yield Curve

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • A Critical Time for 10s-2s
  • Empire State Manufacturing PMI Takeaways

There is a clear risk-on tone in markets this morning with stock futures sharply higher amid optimism that China will ease regulation on the tech sector (the Hang Seng rallied 3%) while economic data surprised to the upside.

Economically, the Q1 Eurozone GDP Flash came in at 5.1% vs. (E) 5.0% Y/Y which helped ease recently elevated concerns about global growth which may have been overdone.

Looking into today’s session, focus will be on economic data early with several reports due to be released including: Retail Sales (E: 0.7%), Industrial Production (E: 0.4%), Housing Market Index (E: 75). Investors will be looking for solid data that helps further ease fears about a potential slowdown in the economy.

There are also multiple Fed speakers today: Harker (9:15 a.m. ET), Powell (2:00 p.m. ET), Mester (2:30 p.m. ET), and Evans (6:45 p.m. ET). Powell will be the main focus but the market will want to see officials collectively strike a less hawkish tone if we are going to see these early gains in equities hold.

Bottom line, the overnight rally in equity futures came on very light volume and it should not be surprising to see the market gravitate back towards yesterday’s levels this morning as investors assess the new economic data and slew of Fed speakers. But with good news flow, we could see the relief rally resume today.

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Why Are the VIX and S&P 500 Possibly Diverging?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Are the VIX and S&P 500 Possibly Diverging?
  • Is Selling Becoming Mechanical?
  • CPI Takeaways (It Won’t Make the Fed More Hawkish)

Futures are moderately lower mostly on momentum from Wednesday’s afternoon selloff.

Economically, UK economic data disappointed (GDP and Industrial Production both missed estimates) while BOE officials warned of more rate hikes reminding markets there’s a real stagflation threat in the UK.

Geo-politically, Finland formally applied to join NATO (and Sweden is expected to follow), keeping NATO/Russia tensions high for the foreseeable future (meaning quarters and years).

Today, we get Jobless Claims (E: 190K) and PPI (0.5% m/m, 10.7% y/y) and one Fed speaker, Daly (4:00 p.m. ET), but barring a big spike in claims, a big move in PPI or incrementally hawkish commentary from Daly (all of which are unlikely) these events won’t move markets.  So, short-term technical will continue to be the main driver of stocks, and markets need to show some stabilization, otherwise, the declines themselves will invite more selling.

Market Multiple Levels Chart

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Levels: S&P 500 Chart
  • Quick CPI Preview

There is a tentative sense of relief in markets this morning with stock futures tracking global equities higher while bond yields and the dollar pullback ahead of key inflation data in the U.S. today.

Economically, Chinese CPI and PPI were both hotter-than-expected however German CPI met estimates of 7.4% y/y which is giving investors hope that price pressures are still high but in the process of peaking.

Looking into today’s session investors will be primarily focused on the CPI report (E: 0.2% m/m, 8.1% y/y), and more specifically the Core CPI figures (E: 0.4% m/m, 6.0% y/y).

We will also hear from one Fed speaker: Bostic (12:00 p.m. ET), and there is a 10-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Bottom line, if today’s inflation data comes in below expectations, it will likely bolster this morning’s already solid gains in stock futures and lead to a further relief rally. Conversely, if inflation runs hot, expect more volatility across asset classes and the potential for new lows in the major equity indices.

Tom Essaye Quoted in CNBC on May 9th, 2022

10-year Treasury yield rises to its highest level since November 2018

To start the year, we knew that central bank tightening would make for a challenging market, but that has been compounded by two surprise events: The Russia/Ukraine war (no one expected that in January) and Chinese lock-downs (it’s quasi-shocking the Chinese are still adopting these policies and crushing their economy)…wrote Tom Essaye of The Sevens Report. Click here to read the full article.

Market Multiple Table

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Stocks Dropped Again (It Wasn’t Actual News)
  • Market Multiple Table – May Update

Stock futures are trading with tentative gains this morning as yesterday’s steep declines are digested after a mostly quiet night of news.

Economically, data overseas was slightly better than feared (specifically Economic Sentiment within the German ZEW Survey) while the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index in the U.S. held steady at 93.2, topping estimates of 92.9.

There are no notable economic reports today but there is a 3-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and if the results help the bond market stabilize, that could help equities bounce today.

Finally, there are a slew of Fed speakers today including: Williams (7:40 a.m. ET), Bostic (8:30 a.m. ET), Barkin (9:15 a.m. ET), Kashkari (1:00 p.m. ET), and Mester (3:00 p.m. ET). If they collectively strike a “less-hawkish” tone, that could also help fuel a relief rally in stocks today.

Update on the Three Headwinds on Stocks

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Update on the Three Headwinds on Stocks
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Is Inflation Finally Peaking?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  All About Inflation (CPI Wednesday)

Futures are sharply lower following new COVID lockdowns in China.

COVID cases in Shanghai are rising again, prompting new restrictions on movement and work.  Meanwhile, Beijing continues to suffer from limited lockdowns and this is compounding worries about global economic growth.

Geo-politically, Victory Day in Russia offered no notable news and there remains no end in sight to the Ukraine war.

Today there are no economic reports and just one Fed speaker, Bostic at 8:45 a.m. ET.  So, we should expect technicals to dominate trading and if last week’s intra-day lows are broken in the S&P 500 and we don’t get any positive news on 1) Fed hawkishness, 2) Chinese lockdowns or 3) Russia/Ukraine, we should not be shocked if the S&P 500 move closer to a test of support at 4,000.

What to Make of Yesterday’s Drop & Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What to Make of Yesterday’s Drop
  • Jobs Report Preview
  • Natural Gas Update

Futures are slightly lower as markets digest the whiplash of the past two trading days following a mostly quiet night.

German economic data again badly missed estimates as German Industrial Production fell –3.9% vs. (E) -1.0% and fears of outright stagflation in the EU are rising quickly.

Today focus will be on the Jobs Report and estimates are as follows:  Job Adds: 400K, UE Rate: 3.6%, Wages: 0.4% m/m, 5.5% y/y.  This market needs a “Goldilocks” report that’s subdued on wages and with job adds modestly below the estimate of 400k.  If markets get that Goldilocks jobs report it should help stocks stabilize.  If the report ends up “Too Hot” though, especially on wages, brace for more selling.

There are also numerous Fed speakers today including: Williams (9:15 a.m. ET), Kashkari (11:00 a.m. ET), Bostic (3:20 p.m. ET), Waller and Bullard (7:15 p.m. ET) and Daly (8:00 p.m. ET).  Don’t be surprised if they all sound more hawkish than Powell did on Wednesday.  Remember, it appears the Fed’s tactic is to “Talk Tough” on looming rate hikes and inflation, yet be more measured on actual rate hikes than rhetoric would suggest.  Regardless, if there’s a consistent chorus of hawkish commentary, that will likely weigh on stocks, at least partially.