Economic Data Fueled the Rally

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What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Yesterday’s Economic Data Fueled the Rally
  • An Important Chart (On Page One)

Futures are slightly higher on more Chinese economic optimism as data was better than expected while Chinese officials announced more stimulus.

Chinese Retail Sales (4.6% vs. (E) 3.9%) and Industrial Production (4.5% vs. (E) 3.9%) beat expectations while authorities injected 120 billion yuan into a lending facility.

Today’s focus will be on economic data and if data is “Goldilocks” like we saw on Thursday, expect a continuation of yesterday’s rally.  Conversely, if the data shows inflation hot or growth slowing, the markets could give back most of yesterday’s rally.

Also, the important reports to watch today include:  Empire State Manufacturing Index (E: -10.0), Import and Export Prices (E: 0.3%, 0.4%), Industrial Production (E: 0.1%), and Consumer Sentiment (E: 69.2).

Finally, today is quadruple witching options expiration so don’t be surprised by big volumes and increased volatility during the final hour of trading.

Economic Data

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What Happens If There’s No Debt Ceiling Deal?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Happens If There’s No Debt Ceiling Deal?
  • Why CPI Was Positive for Stocks and Bonds Yesterday
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are modestly higher mostly on momentum from Wednesday’s rally and following a quiet night of news.

China’s CPI rose 0.1% vs. (E) 0.3% and that’s combining with recently underwhelming Chinese economic data to raise doubts about the economic recovery.

There was no notable news on the debt ceiling, although another round of high level meetings will occur tomorrow.

Today focus will first be on the Bank of England Rate Decision (E: 25 bps hike) and then on economic data, specifically Jobless Claims (E: 245K) and PPI (E: 0.3% m/m, 2.5% y/y).  Stocks have benefitted from mostly “goldilocks” data over the past week, and if we get more of the same via in-line claims and PPI, stocks should be able to extend the rally.  Finally, there’s one Fed speaker, Waller (10:15 a.m. ET), but he shouldn’t move markets.

Market Multiple Table: March Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table – March Update (Printable PDF Available)
  • February CPI Takeaways
  • Breakdown in the Energy Markets: Oil Update

Markets are trading with a risk-off tone this morning amid renewed worries about the global banking system.

Credit Suisse’s 2022 annual report revealed “material weaknesses” but the bank’s chairman ruled out government assistance while the largest shareholder, the Saudi National Bank, said further financing was not an option. The negative news flow has sent Credit Suisse shares down more than 20% to a new record low this morning and that is dragging global bank stocks lower and weighing heavily on sentiment.

Economic data overnight was mostly better than expected with Housing Sales in China notably rising more than expected while the PBOC injected more liquidity into he system than anticipated, both of which helped bolster Asian markets overnight.

Looking into today’s session, focus will be on economic data early with PPI (E: 0.3%, 5.4%), Retail Sales (E: -0.3%), the Empire State Manufacturing Index (E: -7.7), and the Housing Market Index (E: 41) all due out this morning.

Regarding the data, markets want to see a further decline in inflation metrics and more slowing in growth readings to help shore up less hawkish Fed expectations, however, focus will also remain on the banking sector and if banks can’t stabilize and start to rebound broadly, the major indexes are going to have a hard time finding their own footing today.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Benzinga on February 17th, 2023

3 Reasons The 2023 Stock Market Rally May Be ‘Another Bull Trap’

Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, said Friday there are at least three warning signs that the rally could be yet another bull trap for investors. Market expectations for Fed rate hikes are now showing a 56% probability of a June rate hike, up from basically 0% just four weeks ago!” he said. Click here to read the full article.

Three Technical “Cs” for a Lasting Market Bottom

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Three Technical “Cs” for a Lasting Market Bottom

Futures are sharply lower on continued momentum from Thursday’s late day drop and following hot German inflation data and strong UK retail sales.

German CPI didn’t decline as much as hoped, falling –1.0% vs. (E) -1.6% and rising 17.8% vs. (E) 16.0%.  UK Retail Sales were also better than expected (0.5% vs. (E) -0.3% and the two reports are combining with yesterday’s hot US PPI to push rate hike expectations higher.

Today focus will remain on data and Fed speak.  The two notable economic reports are Import & Export Prices (E: -0.1%, -0.2%) and Leading Indicators (E: -0.3%).  The first deals with inflation and the second deals with growth, and if inflation is hot and growth is cool, expect more selling pressure.

There are also two Fed speakers today, Barkin (8:30 a.m. ET) and Bowman (8:45 a.m. ET) and we should expect them to sound hawkish (as most Fed speakers have been this week).

Technical Update: Is This Another Bull Trap?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update:  Is This Another Bull Trap?
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are flat following a quiet night and as solid CSCO earnings are helping stocks hold yesterdays’ gains.

CSCO beat estimates and raised guidance and the stock is up 4% pre-market and that’s helping broader sentiment.

Economically, the only notable number was the Chinese Home Price Index (in-line at –1.5%).

Today focus will remain on economic data and the key reports are (in order of importance):  Philly Fed (E: -7.2), PPI (E: 0.4%m/m, 5.5% y/y), Jobless Claims (E: 200K) and Housing Starts (E: 1.365M).  As has been the case, solid data that implies a “No Landing’ scenario should support stocks, as long as yields don’t spike too much.

We also have several Fed speakers today including Mester (8:45 a.m. ET), Bullard (1:30 p.m. ET) and Cook (4:00 p.m. ET) although they shouldn’t move markets.

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.

What the Russia/Ukraine Headlines Mean for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Russia-Ukraine Headlines Mean for Markets
  • October PPI Data Takeaways
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey Takeaways
  • Chart: 4,007 Remains Critical Resistance for the S&P 500

Futures have stabilized with global shares as easing geopolitical angst offsets more hot inflation data in Europe.

The AP reported the projectile that killed two in Poland on Tuesday originated in Ukraine (by their air defense systems) and not Russia which has eased concerns about NATO being pulled into the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Economically, U.K. CPI rose to 11.1% vs. (E) 10.6% in October, a fresh 41-year high which rekindled some global inflation fears overnight.

Today, the focus will be on the slew of economic data due to be released: Retail Sales (E: 1.0%), Import & Export Prices (E: -0.4%, 4.0%), Industrial Production (E: 0.2%), and the Housing Market Index (E: 36). The market will want to see a continued slowdown in growth metrics but more importantly, a faster slowdown in any price measures within the data as that dynamic would improve the prospects of a soft landing.

Additionally, the Fed speakers circuit remains active with: Williams (9:50 a.m. ET), Barr (10:00 a.m. ET), and Waller (2:35 p.m. ET) all due to speak over the course of the session.

Bottom line, if economic data and geopolitical headlines remain favorable today, the S&P 500 should be able to make another run at critical technical resistance at 4,007 in the S&P 500. A close above that level would open the door to another leg higher in the latest relief rally in the broader stock market.

Key Inflation and Fed Events to Watch

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The State of Inflation and Fed Speak After CPI (Key Events to Watch)

Futures are pointing to a rebound from yesterday’s profit-taking pullback amid risk-on money flows in China overnight.

Economically, Chinese Retail Sales surprisingly fell -0.5% vs. (E) +0.8% in October but the weak data was followed by the PBOC injecting $150B into the system in new near-term stimulus measures which helped Asian markets rally overnight.

Meanwhile, Warren Buffet has reportedly accumulated a more than $4B stake in TSMC which is helping semiconductors lead equity markets higher this morning.

Looking into today’s session, traders will be watching economic data early with PPI (E: 0.5%, 8.3%) and the Empire State Manufacturing Index (E: -7.6) due out before the open. For the equity rebound to resume we will want to see another cool inflation print from the PPI release and some signs of stabilization from the Empire release to help ease rising stagflation concerns.

There are also two Fed speakers to watch: Harker (9:00 a.m. ET) and Barr (10:00 a.m. ET). If they maintain a less hawkish tone, the S&P should be able to retest yesterday’s highs near 4,010, a key near-term technical resistance level.

Market Multiple Table: Headwinds Building

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table: Headwinds Building

Stock futures are higher this morning as Treasury markets are steady despite more turmoil in the Gilts market with the 30-Yr jumping another 20+ bp back towards 5.00%.

Economic data was mixed overnight as U.K. GDP dropped off further than expected in August (-0.3% vs. E: -0.1%) while EU Industrial Production for the same month was solid at 1.5% vs. (E) 0.5%.

Today, there is one inflation data point to watch pre-market: Producer Price Index (E: 0.2%) and if it runs hot, it would likely send yields to new highs and pressure risk assets ahead of the bell.

After the open, the focus will shift to the Fed with two officials speaking through the middle of the day: Kashkari (10:00 a.m. ET) and Barr (1:45 p.m. ET) before the most recent FOMC Meeting Minutes are due to be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.

In the minutes, investors will be looking for any new indication of a timeline for a policy “pivot” or what might result in one as that is still a major catalyst needed in order for stocks to bottom.

Finally, there is a 10-Yr Treasury Note Auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and if the outcome is weak, as was the case with yesterday’s 3-Yr Note auction, and yields begin to rise, that will likely be a renewed headwind on equities in the afternoon.

Bottom line, yields are still the primary driver of the stock market this week and if we see Treasuries remain stable as they are this morning, then stocks could break their multi-day losing streak, however, if yields do rise meaningfully it will be hard for the major indices to hold this week’s lows.