Tom Essaye Quoted in Market Watch on July 17th, 2023

Why U.S. stock-market investors shouldn’t expect positive economic data to push S&P 500 materially higher

While it’s undeniable that fears of a hard landing, inflation and hawkish Fed have not materialized, the reality is that the current level of the S&P 500 largely factors all of that in, so last week’s CPI and PPI reports didn’t provide the market with a new positive catalyst, but instead just reinforced what was already widely assumed,” Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, wrote in a Monday note. Click here to read the full article.

Tom Essaye Quoted in MarketWatch on April 18th, 2023

Why bears can’t keep the stock market down despite bad news

As such, the pain trade has been higher for all of 2023 and that’s helping support stocks despite decidedly mixed fundamentals (and mixed is being generous),” Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research wrote. Click here to read the full article.

Three Catalysts in Focus

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Can Break the S&P 500 Out of the Current Trading Range? Three Candidates
  • ISM Manufacturing Index Takeaways (Fairly “Goldilocks”)
  • OPEC+, Oil Prices, Inflation, the Economy, and Fed Policy – They’re All Tied Together

U.S. stock futures are tracking European markets higher this morning thanks to a cooler-than-expected inflation print in Europe while news flow was otherwise mostly quiet overnight.

Economically, Eurozone PPI for February came in at -0.5% vs. (E) -0.3% m/m but a still lofty 13.2% vs. (E) 13.5% y/y. Despite the still elevated annual figure, the lower than expected print is bolstering risk assets this morning.

Today, there are three economic reports to watch in the U.S. including: Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 14.9 million), Factory Orders (E: -0.4%), and JOLTS (E: 10.4 million). Investors will want to see more evidence of slowing growth and a weakening labor market to reinforce hopes for both a less-hawkish Fed and soft landing in order for the recent stock market resilience to continue.

Finally, there is one Fed speaker to watch late in the day: Mester (6:45 p.m. ET).

Sevens Report Co-Editor Tyler Richey Quoted in Market Watch on September 21st, 2022

U.S. oil futures settle lower as Fed rate hike feeds worries about a recession

Higher rates are restrictive in nature, and likely to become a headwind on consumer spending including that on refined products like gasoline and diesel…said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Tom Essaye Quoted in S&P Global on September 19th, 2022

Persistent inflation to push Fed to tighten more, delay rate peak

From a Fed standpoint, obviously they cannot even think about stopping until this [inflation] number gets down to something more tenable…said Tom Essaye, a trader and founder of financial research firm The Sevens Report. Click here to read the full article.

Sevens Report Co-Editor Tyler Richey Quoted in Market Watch on June 27th, 2022

Oil prices end higher for a second session as better-than-expected U.S. economic data ease demand worries

Economic data last week was pretty dismal and weighed on energy products and commodities broadly, but Monday’s numbers came in better than expected — providing support for oil…said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Taper Outlook: Good, Bad, and Ugly Scenarios

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • It’s Not When, But How the Fed Tapers That Matters

U.S. stock futures are tracking most global equity markets higher this morning as Chinese tech shares recovered from recent declines and trader focus is shifting ahead to the Fed’s Economic Policy Symposium later in the week.

Economically, German GDP rose 1.6% vs. (E) 1.5% in the second quarter, easing some concerns that the global economic recovery is losing momentum.

Today, there is one economic report due out: New Home Sales (E: 700K) but it shouldn’t materially move markets and no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

There is a 2-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET, and given the increased sensitivity towards taper plans and interest rates right now, the outcome could move markets in the afternoon.

Tom Essaye Quoted in on June 15, 2021

Macro Fireworks: Stock Market Soars to New ATH While Bitcoin Awaits the Breach of An Important Level

In order for Bitcoin to resume that rally, I think you’re going to need to see more widespread…said Tom Essaye, a former Merrill Lynch trader. Click here to read the full article.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Marketplace on May 26, 2021

The Dow at 125: Why it endures

That can tend to let the Dow be more volatile. It can also be skewed more by one stock, it gives you a glimpse of the economy that other indexes don’t. And the fact that companies…said Tom Essaye, president of Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Weekly Market Cheat Sheet, September 11, 2017

Last Week in Review

The economic data remains remarkably consistent: Growth data remains good but not great while inflation data relentlessly disappoints. From a market standpoint, that means that the economy isn’t at imminent risk of a material loss of momentum, but at the same time there are no signs of the type of acceleration that would lead to a rising tide carrying stocks higher.

From a Fed standpoint, inflation remains lackluster, and that’s causing a reduction in expectations for a December rate hike. That’s not a medium/longer-term good thing for stocks, because it further throws into doubt the chances for reflation—and economic reflation remains the key to sustainably higher stock prices.

Looking at last week’s data, there weren’t many numbers, but the numbers we got reinforced the “slow growth/low-inflation” trend.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (or service sector PMI) rose to 55.3 from 53.9. So, there was acceleration in activity in August. But that acceleration missed estimates of 55.8, and while a number in the mid-50s is solid, it’s not the type of number that implies we’re seeing real acceleration.

The other notable number last week that was largely ignored by the media was August productivity and unit labor costs. An uptick in productivity, if it’s consistent and material, could lead to an economic acceleration.

The reason for that is simple: The economy is basically at full employment. But, if those workers get more productive, the total economic output increases, and we get a stronger economy.

August productivity rose to 1.5% vs. (E) 1.3%, so that is a good sign. It’s not nearly the acceleration we need, but it’s a step in the right direction.

However, that productivity number wasn’t the important one from this release. The important number was unit labor costs. Rising unit labor costs is a precursor to larger inflation, so it’s an important number. And, unfortunately, it once again missed expectations. Unit labor costs rose 0.2% vs. (E) 0.3%, providing even more fodder for the “doves” on the Fed to not hike rates in December.

Finally, turning to the ECB meeting last week, you know by now it was slightly hawkish. Draghi signaled the ECB will reveal the details of QE tapering at the October meeting, and he again chose not to try and “talk down” the euro, which led to the euro hitting new multi-year highs (and the dollar hitting multi-year lows).

From a market standpoint, that dollar weakness is a slight tailwind on US stocks, although not a material one. Until we get better inflation or growth data here in the US, the trend of euro strength/dollar weakness will continue.

This Week’s Preview

All the important economic reports this week come out Thursday and Friday, which is nice because that gives us a bit of time to get ourselves squared away following all the hurricane issues from last week.

The most important number this week is CPI, out Thursday. As you know, inflation remains the key issue with the economy and Fed expectations. Frankly, we need CPI to start firming because it’ll give us hope of a looming economic reflation. If, however, this number disappoints, as it has for a few months, we’ll see new lows in the dollar and new lows in Treasury yields, neither of which are a good thing for stocks beyond the very short term.

After CPI, there are three important growth numbers out this Friday: Retail Sales, Industrial Production and Empire Manufacturing Survey.

Starting with the first two, remember there remains a large gap between “hard” economic data and surveys. Put plainly, actual economic data is not rising to the level that’s being implied by the PMIs and/or consumer confidence. The longer that occurs, the more likely it is that the surveys are exaggerating economic growth.

So, the sooner hard economic data begins to accelerate, the better. If retail sales and industrial production can beat estimates, that will be an economic positive.

Turning to Empire Manufacturing, that’s the first data point from September, and that’s always anecdotally important because we don’t want to see any steep drop off that might imply a loss of momentum.

Bottom line, this week gives us more color into the state of growth and inflation in August. We need to see both begin to accelerate if we are to hold out hope that we can see an economic reflation create a “rising tide” for stocks in Q4 ’17 or Q1 ’18.

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