Hard Landing, Soft Landing, or No Landing?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Hard Landing, Soft Landing, or No Landing? (Printable PDF Table Available)
  • Powell Interview Takeaways

Futures are moderately lower this morning as investors continue to digest Powell’s commentary from yesterday which was largely viewed as another missed opportunity to push back on recent dovish money flows across markets.

Looking into today’s session there are no notable economic reports but a slew of Fed speakers that could move markets. In chronological order, we will hear from: Williams (9:20 a.m. ET), Cook (9:30 a.m. ET), Bostic (10:00 a.m. ET), Kashkari (12:30 p.m. ET), and finally Waller (1:45 p.m. ET).

Additionally, the Treasury will hold a 10-Yr Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and seeing as yesterday’s dismal 3-Yr auction sent the S&P 500 to session lows, the outcome could very well move markets today.

Finally, Q4 earnings season continues today with a few notable companies releasing results: UBER (-$0.21), CVS ($1.92), DIS ($0.80).

Will the October Lows Hold?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Subscriber Q&A: Will the October Lows Hold and What Is Going On Below the Market’s Surface?
  • The Gap Between the Fed and Markets is Closing
  • Chart: 2-Yr Yield Approaches 2023 Highs

Stock futures are little changed while the dollar and Treasuries are steady following a quiet night of news as traders await Powell’s speech today.

Economically, German Industrial Production fell -3.1% vs. (E) -0.6% in December which is rekindling recession worries this morning and helping support the stabilization in bond markets.

Looking into today’s session focus will be on Powell’s speech at 12: 40 p.m. ET as traders brace for the Fed Chair to potentially push back on the market’s dovish reaction to last week’s FOMC decision, something that happened multiple times in 2022 sparking big waves of volatility across asset classes each time.

Expectations for Powell’s speech have already become more hawkish since the January jobs report, however, so he would need to be explicit and firm about raising rates beyond 5% and not cutting rates in 2023 to cause a meaningfully hawkish reaction.

Beyond Powell, there are two lesser followed economic reports to watch: International Trade in Goods Services (E: -$68.8B) and Consumer Credit (E: $25.0B) although neither should have a material impact on markets while the Fed’s Barr also speaks this afternoon (2:00 p.m. ET).

There is a 3-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and the outcome will offer some evidence of bond traders’ initial take on Powell’s comments. If the auction tails significantly, expect some hawkish follow-through money flows into the afternoon.

Finally, earnings season continues with a couple of notable reports after the close today: CMG ($8.88) and PRU ($2.57).

Jobs Report Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Jobs Report Preview

Futures are moderately lower following a disappointing night of tech earnings and more hot inflation data.

AAPL, AMZN, and GOOGL all reported earnings overnight and the results underwhelmed.  Each stock is down between 2% and 5% pre-market.

Economically, EU PPI rose 1.1% vs. (E) -0.7% and became the third inflation number this week to hint at a rebound.

Focus today will be on the Employment Situation Report and expectations are as follows: Job Adds 185K, UE Rate 3.6%, Wages 0.3% m/m, 4.5% y/y).  Financial media focus will be on the headline job adds number but thanks to Powell’s less hawkish speech it’ll take a big number (300k or more) to be “Too Hot.”  Instead, focus on wages as they are directly related to services inflation, which remains sticky.  If wages are strong, that’ll be a negative.  The other notable economic report today is the ISM Services Index (E: 49.6) and markets will want to see stability in the data (no not worse than expectations).

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).

Tom Essaye Quoted in Forbes on January 30th, 2023

Natural Gas Prices Crashing Amid Warmest January In 15 Years—Here’s How Bad Bear Market Could Get

“Warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the country is suppressing heating demand, domestic production remains at record highs, and inventories are seasonably healthy,” explains analyst Tom Essaye, founder of the Sevens Report, of the recently collapsing market for natural gas. Click here to read the full article.

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).

Did Yesterday’s Data Imply a Soft Landing is More Likely?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Did Yesterday’s Data Imply a Soft Landing is More Likely?

Futures are slightly lower as markets digest Thursday’s rally following a mostly disappointing night of earnings.

Intel (INTC) posted very disappointing results and the stock dropped –9% overnight while other earnings reports were mostly mixed.

Economic data was sparse as Euro Zone Money supply was the only notable indicator and it rose 4.7% vs. (E) 4.8%.

Today focus will turn to inflation via the Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.3%, 4.4%) and five-year inflation expectations in U-Michigan Consumer Sentiment (E: 64.6).  The lower those inflation numbers, the better, and if we get soft inflation data that likely will help extend this week’s rally as it’ll increase expectations for a Fed pause in the next month or two.  We also get Pending Home Sales (E: -1.0%) but that shouldn’t move markets.

On the earnings front, important reports today include: CVX ($4.16), AXP ($2.18), and CL ($0.76).

Tom Essaye Quoted in MarketWatch on January 24th, 2023

Tech rally is ‘biggest game of chicken between the Fed and the market I’ve ever seen’: analyst

“We are now witnessing the biggest game of ‘Chicken’ between the Fed (who says rates are going to above 5%) and the market (who thinks the Fed cuts rates at least twice this year) that I’ve ever seen,” said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, in a Tuesday newsletter. Click here to read the full article.

Earnings Season Update (What MSFT’s Results Mean for Markets)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Earnings Season Update (What MSFT’s Results Mean for Markets)
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are slightly higher thanks mostly to momentum from Wednesday’s rebound and as earnings overnight were no worse than feared.

On earnings, TSLA rallied 6% after hours as Elon Musk teased more deliveries on the call in ‘23 than actual guidance, while IBM results were slightly disappointing.

Today focus will be on economic data and the key reports today are:  Durable Goods (E: 2.8%), Jobless Claims (E: 202K), Q4 ’22 GDP (E: 2.7%), and New Home Sales (E: 614K).  As has been the case through the end of ’22 and early ’23, moderation in the data, not an outright collapse, is what stocks and bonds need to extend yesterday’s rally.

On earnings, the key report today comes after the close with INTC ($0.20), while other notable reports include: V $($2.01), MA ($2.56), AAL ($1.14), JBLU ($0.19), and VLO ($7.45).