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Has the Fed Reached Peak Hawkishness?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Has the Fed Reached Peak Hawkishness?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Will Powell Sound Hawkish on Tuesday?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Key inflation data Tuesday and Friday.

Futures are moderately lower mostly on follow-through selling from Friday’s hot jobs report.

The Chinese spy balloon drama dominated weekend headlines but it’s unlikely to materially alter U.S./China relations and as such shouldn’t be an influence on markets.

Rate expectations rose over the weekend following Friday’s jobs report, with markets now pricing in a terminal Fed Funds rate of 4.75% and that’s the main reason stocks are lower this morning.

Today there are no notable economic reports and no Fed speakers, so the focus will remain on yields and rate expectations and if they continue to climb, that will weigh on stocks.

Was Powell’s Press Conference A Bullish Gamechanger?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Did Stocks Rally During Powell’s Press Conference?
  • Was the FOMC Decision A Bullish Gamechanger (No, But It Was a Positive Event)
  • EIA Update and Oil Market Analysis

Futures are solidly higher on continued momentum from Wednesday’s “not hawkish” post-FOMC rally and following better-than-expected META earnings.

META surged 19% overnight as the company reported better-than-feared earnings driven by gains in artificial intelligence and aggressive cost-cutting.

Today will be a very busy day of micro and macro-economic events as we get major central bank decisions, more important economic data, and key earnings.

First, this morning there are two central bank decisions:  BOE Rate Decision (E: 50 bps hike) and ECB Rate Decision (E: 50 bps hit).  If either is overtly hawkish (maybe the ECB) it could send global yields higher and take back some of yesterday’s rally.

After those two central bank decisions, we get an update on the labor market via Jobless Claims (E: 193K),  inflation via Productivity & Costs (E: 2.4%, 1.5%), and economic growth via Factory Orders (E: 2.2%).  Especially in light of Powell’s not hawkish press conference, data that shows stability and declining price pressures will support stocks.

Finally, on earnings, today is likely the single most important day of the earnings season as we get results from three of the most widely held stocks in the market:  AAPL ($1.93), AMZN ($0.15), and GOOGL ($1.14).

Tom Essaye Quoted in Blockworks on January 30th, 2023

Fed Watch: Bitcoin Gives Up Weekend Gains, Analysts Say Not To Worry

“Reaching peak hawkishness is one of our three keys to a bottom, and the most important one, so if the Fed has reached peak hawkishness that’s a powerful positive to consider,” Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, wrote in a note Monday. Click here to read the full article.

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.

Has the Market Priced in Peak Hawkishness?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Has the Market Already Priced in Peak Hawkishness?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Why This is the Most Important Week of Q1
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Fed on Wed, Jobs on Friday (It’s a busy week!)

Futures are moderately lower following a hotter-than-expected Spanish CPI report and as markets look ahead to a week filled with potential market-moving events.

Spanish CPI rose 5.8% vs. (E) 4.8% y/y and that is challenging the idea that disinflation is accelerating, and stocks are dropping as a result.

Investors are also booking profits ahead of a key week of catalysts including Fed/ECB/BOE rate meetings, critical earnings reports (this is the most important week of earnings), and the monthly jobs report on Friday.

This week is very, very busy from an economic standpoint between the Fed on Wednesday, jobs report on Friday, ISM PMIs and key inflation readings.  But, all the important reports start tomorrow so today’s focus will be on the earnings, and some notable reports today include NXPI ($3.60) and WHR ($3.43) which will give us insight into semi-conductor production (any more shortages?) and consumer demand.

Did Yesterday’s Data Imply a Soft Landing is More Likely?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Did Yesterday’s Data Imply a Soft Landing is More Likely?

Futures are slightly lower as markets digest Thursday’s rally following a mostly disappointing night of earnings.

Intel (INTC) posted very disappointing results and the stock dropped –9% overnight while other earnings reports were mostly mixed.

Economic data was sparse as Euro Zone Money supply was the only notable indicator and it rose 4.7% vs. (E) 4.8%.

Today focus will turn to inflation via the Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.3%, 4.4%) and five-year inflation expectations in U-Michigan Consumer Sentiment (E: 64.6).  The lower those inflation numbers, the better, and if we get soft inflation data that likely will help extend this week’s rally as it’ll increase expectations for a Fed pause in the next month or two.  We also get Pending Home Sales (E: -1.0%) but that shouldn’t move markets.

On the earnings front, important reports today include: CVX ($4.16), AXP ($2.18), and CL ($0.76).

Tom Essaye Quoted in MarketWatch on January 24th, 2023

Tech rally is ‘biggest game of chicken between the Fed and the market I’ve ever seen’: analyst

“We are now witnessing the biggest game of ‘Chicken’ between the Fed (who says rates are going to above 5%) and the market (who thinks the Fed cuts rates at least twice this year) that I’ve ever seen,” said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, in a Tuesday newsletter. Click here to read the full article.

Sevens Report Co-Editor Tyler Richey Quoted in MorningStar via MarketWatch on January 18th, 2023

Gold ends lower as investors weigh Fed rate-hike talk, even as U.S. wholesale inflation and retail sales fall

Gold came into the week in overbought territory as the precious metals have enjoyed solid gains since the early November lows, thanks to the dual tailwinds of a falling dollar and declining interest rates,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Technical Market Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Market Update
  • Why are Small Caps Outperforming?
  • How Bad Was Economic Data Yesterday? (Answer:  Bad)

Futures are extending Wednesday’s losses following more disappointing earnings and as worries about the economy grow.

Alcoa (AA), Allstate (ALL), and Discovery Financial (DFS) posted soft earnings or negative guidance overnight.

Today we get several important economic reports including, in order of importance: Philly Fed (E: -10.3), Jobless Claims (E: 215K), and Housing Starts (E: 1.362M).

There are also several Fed speakers and the most important one is Brainard (1:15 p.m. ET) and if she’s slightly dovish, that will help markets stabilize.  Collins (9:00 a.m. ET) and Williams (6:35 p.m. ET) also speak today.

Finally on the earnings front, we get more important results today and the market needs some good news.  Reports we’re watching include:  PG ($1.58), FAST ($0.42), NFLX ($0.45), and PPG ($1.15).

Fed Speak and Updated Rate Expectations

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Fed Speak and Updated Rate Expectations
  • CPI Takeaways

Futures are slightly lower following mixed economic data, as markets continue to digest increased hopes for an economic “soft landing.”

Chinese exports declined but fell less than expected (-9.9% vs. (E) -11.1%), offering more “not as bad as feared” news.

Today’s focus will switch to earnings (and that’s true for next week too) and key reports today include:  JPM ($ 3.11), BAC ($ 0.76), C ($ 1.18), UNH ($5.17), WFC ($0.63) and BLK ($ 8.00).  If earnings are better than feared, that should help stocks extend yesterday’s gains.

Economically the focus will stay on inflation with Import & Export Prices (E: -0.9%, -0.7%) and Consumer Sentiment (E: 60.0) while we get another Fed speaker: Harker (10:20 a.m. ET).  As has been the case, anything that implies declining inflation and/or a 25 bps rate hike in February will help stocks rally.