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FOMC Takeaway: Will Three Rate Cuts Save the Bull Market?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Will Three Fed Rate Cuts Be Enough To Save the Bull Market?
  • Why Wednesday’s GDP Report is Important
  • Oil Market Update

Futures are modestly lower as weak global economic data offsets good earnings from AAPL and FB.

The Chinese October manufacturing PMI fell to 49.3 vs. (E) 49.8, the lowest level since January 2016.  German retail sales and EU unemployment also slightly missed estimates and the takeaway is that the hoped for stabilization in the global economy isn’t happening yet.

On U.S./China trade, a Bloomberg headline hit early this morning saying a long term U.S./China trade deal is unlikely, but that’s not news as it was never expected.  Instead, consensus expectations are for an ineffectual Phase One document to be signed, and then no further progress after that (the key to this whole drama remains whether there’s any tariff relief).

Today’s focus will remain on economic data as earnings begin to move towards the back burner.  Key reports to watch today, in order of importance, are:  Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.1%, 1.7%), Employment Cost Index (E: 0.7%) and Jobless Claims (E: 215K). From a data standpoint, with the Fed now on hold, “good” economic news is good for stocks, and “bad” economic news is bad.  So, the bulls are looking for good news for the remainder of the week.

A Make Or Break Month Ahead

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why March Will Be A Make Or Break Month For The 2019 Rally
  • The Q4 GDP Report – Why It Wasn’t As Strong As It Seemed

Futures are moderately higher thanks to strength in Asia and generally in-line economic data.

Chinese shares are up 1% because index firm MSCI announced it will increase the weighing for mainland Chinese stocks to 20% from the current 5%.

Economically, global Feb manufacturing PMIs largely met estimates as the EU number rose to 49.3 vs. (E) 49.2. while the British reading was in-line at 52.0.

Today focus will be on data as we get two important economic reports.  First, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.2% m/m, 1.9% y/y) is released, and that year over year number needs to stay around 2% to continue the “dovish Fed” narrative.  Later, we get the Feb. ISM Manufacturing PMI (E: 55.0) and it needs to meet expectations to help offset some of the poor data from February (retail sales, etc.).