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Market Set Up Into Today’s CPI Report

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Set Up Into Today’s CPI Report
  • Are Semiconductor Stocks Forecasting the Slowdown?

Futures are slightly higher on mildly positive geo-political news and ahead of the CPI report.

China ended the military exercises around Taiwan and while that was always expected it’s still a mild positive as it reduces the chances of any accidental conflict.

Economically, the Chinese CPI rose 2.7% vs. (E) 2.9% allowing China to continue to actively stimulate its economy.

Today’s focus will be on the CPI report and expectations are as follows: Headline CPI:  0.2% m/m, 8.7% y/y. Core CPI: 0.5% m/m, 6.1% y/y.  Markets remain in a “glass half full” mood on inflation so unless the numbers are solidly above expectations, we’d expect stocks to weather the number with only modest declines (while a soft number will likely spur an additional rally).

We also get two Fed speakers, Evans (11 a.m. ET) and Kashkari (2 p.m. ET) but they shouldn’t move markets.

Jobs Day

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Day
  • Why the BOE Hiked 50 bps Yesterday

Futures are flat ahead of today’s jobs report and following a generally quiet night of news.

The only notable economic report was German Industrial Production and it beat estimates rising 0.4% vs. (E) -0.4%.

Geo-politically, China suspended military, climate, and drug enforcement communications with the U.S in retaliation for the Pelosi visit to Taiwan.  But, unless retaliation from China impacts U.S./China trade or commodities prices, markets will largely ignore it.

Today the focus will be on the jobs report and the key for markets is that it shows easing wage pressures and moderation in the labor market.  So, a mildly underwhelming reports vs expectations (E: 250K job adds, 3.6% UE Rate, 5.0% y/y wage growth) is the best outcome for stocks.

There’s also one Fed speaker today, Barkin at 8:00 a.m. ET, but he shouldn’t move markets.

Two Clear Takeaways from the Fed Decision

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Two Clear Takeaways from the Fed Decision
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Update

Futures are modestly lower on disappointing earnings and the increased probability of higher corporate taxes.

Earnings from META, QCOM, and others disappointed and that’s reversing some of Wednesday’s tech-driven gains.

Senate Democrats agreed on a smaller Build Back Better bill that includes some corporate tax increases, although it’s still not clear when this becomes law.

Today will be a busy day from a data and earnings standpoint.  Economically, Jobless Claims (E: 249K) is the key report and if it moves considerably above 250k that will signal further deterioration in the labor market.  We also get Preliminary Q2 GDP (E: 0.5%) and as we said yesterday, don’t be shocked if it’s negative and you hear a lot of recession commentary.

On the earnings front, today is an important day and the key reports will be:  PFE ($1.72), MA ($2.36), AAPL ($1.14), AMZN ($0.15), INTC ($0.69).

Brace for a Recession on Thursday

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Brace for a Recession on Thursday
  • Housing Data Points to Slowdown in Real Estate Market
  • Chart: S&P 500 Holds 50-Day Moving Average by One Point

Stock futures are solidly higher this morning as quarterly earnings results from tech giants MSFT and GOOGL were both well received by investors after the close yesterday while investor focus shifts to the Fed today.

This morning, economic data will be in focus early with Durable Goods Orders (E: -0.5%), International Trade in Goods (-$103.2B), and Pending Home Sales (-1.0%) all due out by 10:00 a.m. ET.

From there, expect price action to slow considerably as focus turns to the Fed with the FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET followed by the Fed Chair Press Conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Markets have priced in a 75% chance of a 75 basis point hike today while no changes to forward-guidance are expected so any variance from those expectations could result in sizeable moves in the market this afternoon.

Finally, earnings season remains in full swing with SHOP ($0.03), TMUS ($0.41), HLT ($1.06), SHW ($2.81) reporting ahead of the bell and META ($2.51), F ($0.43), and QCOM ($2.86) releasing results after the close. Any of those reports could lead to sector specific volatility despite the Fed today.

Is the Yield Curve Signaling an Imminent Recession?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is the Yield Curve Clearly Signaling an Imminent Recession?
  • Chart: Oil Testing Critical Support

Stock futures are sharply lower with global shares as much of yesterday’s rally is being given back amid a resurgence in growth concerns ahead of Powell’s testimony today.

U.K. CPI met estimates at 9.1% but Input PPI jumped 22.1% vs. (E) 19.4% stoking fears that central banks will have to be even more aggressive to get inflation under control in the months ahead.

There are no notable economic reports today but there are multiple Fed speakers: Barkin (9:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m. ET), Powell (9:30 a.m. ET), Evans (12:55 p.m. ET), and Harker (1:30 p.m. ET).

Then in the afternoon, there is a 20-Yr Treasury Bond auction at 1:00 p.m. ET that could move yields and impact equity markets.

Bottom line, the focus will be on Powell’s testimony before the House this morning as there has been a resurgence in concerns about global growth in the face of the latest broad shift to more aggressive central bank policy in response to sticky and elevated inflation pressures globally. And if Powell is seen as getting more hawkish, or the market shows signs of losing confidence in the Fed’s policy plans, we could potentially see stocks test the 2022 lows.

What the Fed Decision Means for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Fed Decision Means for Markets: Not as Hawkish as Feared (But That’s Not as Positive as It Used to Be)
  • FOMC Decision Takeaways
  • Retail Sales and Empire State Manufacturing Index Takeaways – A Further Loss of Momentum

Stock futures are down more than 2% this morning, tracking global shares lower as investors digest the latest central bank decisions, a rebound in rates and recession fears.

The Swiss National Bank surprised markets with a 50 bp hike overnight which is compounding fears about aggressive central bank policy in the face of slowing growth ahead of this morning’s BOE announcement.

Today, focus will be on the Bank of England announcement early and if we see another hawkish decision, stocks could extend this morning’s decline on a combination of rising rate fears and growing concerns about future economic growth.

From there, focus will turn to economic data in the U.S. with Jobless Claims (E: 220K), Housing Starts and Permits (E: 1.695M), and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (E: 5.5) all due to be released this morning. With the Fed set on tackling inflation in the months ahead, the market will want to see strong data to show the economy can weather sharply tightening financial conditions.

Then in the late morning, the Treasury will hold an auction for 4-Week and 8-Week Bills at 11:30 a.m. ET. Bottom line, if we see rates rise materially today, especially on the shorter end of the yield curve, then stocks are likely to extend this morning’s declines on aggressive policy concerns.

Fed Meeting Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview
  • Q&A: Technical Resistance and Downside Targets for the S&P
  • ISM Manufacturing Index Takeaways

Stock futures are little changed as yesterday’s late-session rally is being digested following more hot inflation data and a slightly hawkish RBA hike (25 bp vs. E: 15 bp) overnight.

Economic data on growth was better than feared overnight but Eurozone PPI was hotter than expected with a staggering annual rise of 36.8% vs. (E) 36.2% in March.

Looking into today’s session, there are a few economic reports to watch including March JOLTS (E: 11.27M) and Factory Orders (E: 1.1%), however, with the May FOMC Meeting beginning this morning, a sense of Fed paralysis is likely to begin to grip markets ahead of tomorrow’s announcement.

Finally, earnings season does continue with a few notables reporting today: PFE ($1.66), BP ($1.41), HLT ($0.59), AMD ($0.90), and SBUX ($0.60) which could have an impact on sector trading but is not likely to move the broader markets given the focus-shift to the Fed.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Market Watch on March 18, 2022

Two-year Treasury yield has biggest two-week gain since 2008 as investors assess Fed’s rate-hike efforts

The market has, to a degree, called the Fed’s bluff on rate hike plans as rate hike expectations were dialed back in the immediate wake of the dot plot release and economic projections, but the Fed is indeed tightening policy and regardless of the pace of the trend, yields are going higher in the months and quarters ahead, said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Powell Speech Takeaways

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Powell’s Comments Takeaway: It’s Not About 50 Basis Points, It’s About Certainty
  • Chart: 2-Year Yield surges beyond 2%

Stock futures are cautiously higher this morning after a mostly quiet night of news as traders continue to digest Powell’s more hawkish tone from yesterday and monitor a lack of progress towards a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Bond yields are continuing to rise today with the 2-year up another 4 basis points which is pressuring the yield curve. The 10s-2s is down to just 16 basis points this morning.

There was no market-moving economic data overnight and no notable reports are due out today. There is one Fed speaker: Williams (10:30 a.m. ET) and the Treasury will hold a 52-Week Bill auction at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Bottom line, equities have shown resilience in the face of the surge in yields since last week’s Fed meeting, however, if we see yields accelerate higher again today like we did yesterday, it will be increasingly difficult for stocks to extend their recent rally. Any concrete, positive news out of Ukraine could help stocks overcome higher yields in the near term and move higher though.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Kiplinger on February 9th, 2022

Stock Market Today: Nasdaq Recovery Continues as Comms, Tech Rebound

Bottom line, inflation remains the single biggest potential influence over Fed policy, and Fed policy will determine whether stocks continue to rally, or decline…said Tom Essaye, founder of the Sevens Report. Click here to read the full article.