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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).

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.

FOMC Meeting Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview
  • VIX Chart – Is Volatility About to Surge Again?

U.S. stock futures are tracking European markets lower this morning amid a hawkish reaction to strong economic data and disappointing earnings from UBS and Samsung.

Economic data in Europe showed a reversal back higher in French inflation and better than-feared growth in the EU which is resulting in more hawkish money flows ahead of the several key central bank decisions this week and that is ultimately weighing on risk assets this morning.

Looking into today’s session, there are a few economic reports to watch in the U.S. (in order of importance): Q4 Employment Cost Index (E: 1.1%), Consumer Confidence (E: 109.0), Chicago PMI (E: 45.1), and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index (E: -0.5%).

With the FOMC Meeting getting underway, the macro focus will be on rate markets and expectations for the terminal rate as tomorrow’s 25 basis point hike is priced in with nearly 100% confidence. If market-based terminal rate expectations rise today, expect further pressure on risk assets and lower equity prices broadly.

Meanwhile, earnings season continues in full force today with notable releases coming from: UPS ($3.58), GM ($1.65), XOM ($3.32), MCD ($2.45), CAT ($3.95), and AMD ($0.67).

Hard Landing or Soft Landing?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Hard Landing or Soft Landing?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Does Growth Stabilize?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  The Peak of Earnings Season

Futures are little changed following a mostly quiet weekend of news as markets look ahead to more earnings and economic data this week.

On Sunday the WSJ published an article on the Fed that stated the Fed will hike 25 bps at the upcoming meeting and begin discussions on when to end the rate hike cycle.  The article is being taken as dovish, but it’s not very different from current consensus thinking.

Today the focus will be on Leading Indicators (E: -0.7%) because this number flashed an intense recession warning signal last month and if there’s further deterioration that will likely weigh on stocks modestly.

On the earnings front, most of the key names this week report Tuesday – Thursday, but some results we’re watching today include:  SYF ($1.12), BKR ($0.41), and LOGI ($1.06).

What the Fed Decision Means for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Fed Decision Means for Markets
  • Why Stocks Didn’t Fall More Yesterday Despite the Hawkish Fed (Important)
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are sharply lower as markets digest yesterday’s Fed decision and a deluge of global central bank rate hikes.

By the time stocks open today, seven separate global central banks (including the Fed, ECB, BOE and Swiss National Bank) will have hiked rates over the last 24 hours and while it was all expected, it’s still weighing on sentiment.

Today will be a very busy day of central bank decisions and economic data.  First, we get the BOE Rate Decision (E: 50 bps hike) and ECB Rate Decision (E: 50 bps hike) and the keys there will be the commentary (do either central bank hint that they’re close to the end of tightening).

On the economic front, the key reports today are (in order of importance): Philly Fed Manufacturing Index (E: -9.9), Empire State Manufacturing Index (E: -0.4), Jobless Claims (E: 230K), Retail Sales (E: -0.2%) and Industrial Production (E: 0.1%).  If the data can show moderation and easing price pressures (especially in Empire and Philly) that’ll be a positive for stocks.

CPI Takeaways and Updated FOMC Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Does the CPI Report Mean for Markets?
  • FOMC Preview: Post CPI Report (Encore Edition)
  • Fibonacci Retracement Levels Remain Pivotal for the S&P 500 – Chart

S&P 500 futures are little changed, notably hovering within a few points of their pre-CPI levels from yesterday as traders await the December Fed decision.

Economically, U.K. CPI favorably dropped sharply from 2.0% in October to 0.4% in November, below estimates of 0.6% in the latest sign of easing global inflation pressures.

China is moving forward with economic/Covid policy meetings this week after previously saying they would be postponed pointing to a potential reopening occurring sooner than later.

Today, there is just one economic report due early in the day: Import & Export Prices (E: -0.5%, -0.6%) but unless there is a huge surprise the numbers are not likely to have an impact on equities with the Fed looming.

Turning to the Fed, the FOMC Announcement will hit the wires at 2:00 p.m. ET with markets pricing in a high likelihood of a 50 bp hike while the market will be focused on the “dot plot.” A terminal rate of 5% or above will be viewed as hawkish and likely weigh on stocks.

Finally, Fed Chair Powell’s Press Conference is at 2:30 p.m. ET and his tone could very well decide the final direction of stocks into the close today (a stubbornly hawkish stance remains a threat to equities and other risk assets right now).

CPI Day and FOMC Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview
  • CPI Preview (Abbreviated Version)
  • Chart – NY Fed Survey Inflation Expectations Fall Sharply

Stock futures are extending yesterday’s gains as traders await today’s CPI report amid mixed news from overnight.

In China, a $143B stimulus package aimed at the semiconductor industry helped offset the delay of an economic/Covid policy meeting due to a surge in Covid cases.

Economic data was mixed overnight but there were no surprises material enough to derail the tentative pre-CPI rally this morning.

Today, traders will be keenly focused on the November CPI report at 8:30 a.m. ET with the headline expected to come in at 0.3% M/M and 7.3% Y/Y while the Core figure is expected to be 0.4% M/M and 6.1% Y/Y. Bottom line, a print below 7.3% on the headline and below 6.1% in the core figure will be well received by investors but an upside miss in either could trigger a sharp reversal of this most recent move higher in the broader stock market.

Once markets digest the CPI report, money flows are likely to take on a positioning tone with tomorrow’s Fed decision looming and a limited list of catalysts for the remainder of the day. There is a 30-Yr Treasury Bond auction at 1:00 p.m. ET that could move rates and have a mild impact on stocks.

Fed Wildcard to Watch: Dual Risks

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Fed Wildcard to Watch: Dual Risks
  • Economic Data Takeaways: A Hot JOLTS Report Offsets a Favorable ISM Release
  • Chart – The Fed Could Make or Break the Gold Market Today

Futures are higher ahead of today’s Fed announcement amid continued China reopening hopes and good earnings.

AMD is up more than 4% after good earnings yesterday evening which is bolstering tech shares this morning.

Today, the focus will be on economic data early with the ADP Employment Report (E: 200K) due out ahead of the bell. The market will want to see some headline weakness to help offset yesterday’s JOLTS data in order for stocks to rebound into the Fed. Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 14.2M) will also be released over the course of the morning.

Then focus will turn to the Fed with the FOMC Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET followed by Powell’s Press Conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. A dovish release could trigger a sharp and squeezy rally while a hawkish decision would almost certainly result in investor pain.

Earnings will be on the backburner today but there are still a few notable releases to watch: CVS ($1.99), PGR ($1.48), CHRW ($2.15), QCOM ($3.14), EBAY ($0.93).

FOMC Meeting Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview
  • Chart: 3,900 Is a Key Level For the S&P 500

U.S. futures and global stocks are rallying today amid reports that China is forming a “reopening committee” as part of a new push to ease Covid restrictions (however China’s foreign ministry has denied the rumors).

The RBA raised rates by 25 bp overnight, meeting estimates while the U.K.’s Manufacturing PMI was slightly better than feared at 46.2 vs. (E) 45.8.

Today, the focus will be on economic data early with the ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 50.0) and JOLTS (E: 9.875M) both due out shortly after the opening bell. But market reactions to the data are likely to be limited as the November FOMC meeting gets underway.

Earnings will remain in focus today with UBER (-$0.17), PFE ($1.47), BP ($1.94), and SYY ($0.99) reporting ahead of the bell, while AMD ($0.55) and ABNB ($1.46) will release results after the bell.

Bottom line, the combination of mostly favorable market news flow this morning, the calendar, and trader positioning into the Fed are all contributing to this morning’s pre-market gains, however, “Fed paralysis” is likely to set in today and into tomorrow’s morning session as investors await the latest Fed decision.

What Yesterday’s Rebound Means for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Five Reasons Stocks Rallied Yesterday
  • What the Rebound Means for Markets

Futures are slightly higher as markets digest Thursday’s rebound amidst more positive news from the UK.

Support for the Truss spending/tax cut plan has totally eroded and markets are hopeful the plan will be scrapped entirely, and that’s helping global bond yields fall.

Today there are two notable economic reports, Retail Sales (E: 0.2%) and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment (E: 58.8), but the key for markets will be the inflation expectations within Consumer Sentiment and if the five-year inflation expectations fall further below 3.0%, that’ll be a positive for markets.  We also get two Fed speakers, George (10:00 a.m. ET) and Cook (10:30 a.m. ET) but we don’t expect them to move markets.

Earnings season also unofficially starts today and key reports to watch include: JPM ($2.97), MS ($1.51), C ($1.55), WFC ($1.09), PNC ($3.66), USB ($1.17) and FRC ($2.19).  If results are better than expected, that can extend Thursday’s rebound.