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Is Inflation The Next Big Thing? (How to be Positioned)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is Inflation The Next Big Thing? (How to be Positioned)
  • OPEC Meeting Preview:  Bullish If/Bearish If

Futures are modestly lower following a generally quiet night as markets digest this weeks’ gains ahead of jobless claims and the Powell speech.

On the coronavirus front, news was again positive as Austria and Denmark became the first European countries to begin to lift coronavirus restrictions.

Economic data overnight was better than feared as German exports and British IP both beat estimates.

Today focus will be on Jobless Claims (E: 5 MM) and the Powell speech  (10:00 a.m. ET).  For claims, it’d be a positive surprise if they declined from last week’s number and that’d add to the good news from this week, while a spike towards 10MM would be a modest negative vs. expectations.

For the Powell speech, markets just want reassurance that the Fed is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure orderly operation of markets, which is what we should get.

Sevens Report Co-editor Tyler Richey Quoted in MarketWatch on

There was a “follow through short-squeeze” in gold prices early Tuesday following Monday’s sharp gain, but that morning squeeze gave way to retracement “as gold became…” said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Gold

Market Multiple Table Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table Update
  • Oil Rig Counts Continue to Plunge

Futures are solidly higher this morning, tracking overnight gains in most international equity markets amid optimism that global efforts to contain COVID-19 are working.

Coronavirus “hot spots” such as Italy and New York City are reporting early statistics that show “lock down” measures are working to contain the outbreak as the number of new cases is slowing while death rates are stabilizing.

German Industrial Production was the only notable economic report overnight and it was better than feared in February (0.3% vs. E: -0.8%), helping support the risk-on money flows today.

Looking into today’s session, there are two economic reports due to be released today: JOLTS (E: 6.638M) in the morning and Consumer Credit (E: $14.2B) in the afternoon, however investor focus will remain almost exclusively on coronavirus headlines as hope that the outbreak is being contained is the primary reason for this week’s stock rally.

The Most Important Two Weeks Since ’08

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why the Next Two Weeks Are the Most Important Since 2008
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Can the Coronavirus Peak?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Jobless Claims and Consumer Sentiment Key This Week

Futures are sharply higher on new hopes the coronavirus growth rate may be peaking in some of the world’s hardest hit countries.

New York, and the U.S. more broadly, saw signs of progress  as coronavirus deaths in NY were down for the first time, as was total new coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Globally there was also progress, as Italy, Spain and Germany potentially have also seen their peak in the virus growth rate.

Today there are no economic reports so focus will remain on coronavirus headlines, and if we get another day of fewer deaths and fewer new cases, confidence will start to build that the worst is behind us.  Fingers crossed.

Technical Update (Important Support and Resistance)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update (Important Support and Resistance)
  • Jobs Report Preview (It’s Going to be Ugly)

Futures are moderately lower as markets digest Thursday’s rally ahead of today’s jobs report.

Economically, global service PMIs were worse than expected and the drops were historic.  The EU service PMI plunged to 26.4 vs. (E) 28.4, down from 52.6 in Feb.

The Chinese service PMI rebounded strongly in March, rising to 43.0 from 26.5, confirming that their economy is seeing a strong bounce back in activity.  This is mildly encouraging because the Chinese data implies that once the coronavirus pandemic has passed (against sooner than later) we should see a strong bounce back in the economy.

Today focus will be on the jobs report, and the estimate are as follows: Jobs:  -150K, UE:  3.9%,  Wages:  0.2%.  But, the “worst case” estimate we saw was for -1.25 million jobs, so don’t be shocked if the number is much worse than the estimate.  Also, we get the March ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (E: 43.0).  If that can beat that low estimate, that will be a small moral victory.

Valuation Update (Cheap, Fairly Valued, or Still Expensive?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Valuation Update:  Cheap, Fairly Valued, or Still Expensive?
  • Oil Update (Weekly Inventory Data)

Futures are seeing a moderate rally/bounce as the Fed acted, again, and oil bounced on comments from Trump.

The Fed said it will exclude Treasury holdings and deposits from certain leverage ratios (that essentially allows banks to lend more money which should help the economy).

On oil, Trump said he expected a Russia/Saudi oil deal within “days” but gave no specifics as to how that might happen (although it would be a positive if it does).

Today the key report is Jobless Claims (E: 3.350M), although we also get Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 14.3M) and International Trade (E: -$39.5B).

But, in reality, the real driver of markets right now is coronavirus headlines.  They were more positive in tone last week, but have turned more negative this week and that’s why stocks dropped so hard yesterday.  Any good news on 1) A pharma solution (vaccine/antibody treatment/trials) or 2) Slowing of the spread will help make this early bounce more sustainable.

Q2 Sector Trading Outlook

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Growth and Defensives vs. Value and Cyclicals (Q1 Review, Q2 Outlook)
  • Volatility in Perspective (Chart)
  • Chinese Manufacturing PMI Takeaways

Stock futures are sharply lower with most global equities this morning after President Trump warned of “painful” weeks ahead in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, stating that deaths could approach 250K in the U.S. alone.

Economically, manufacturing PMI data was mixed o/n with the Chinese numbers surprising to the upside while the EU data largely missed estimates which is contributing to the risk-off money flows this morning.

Today, the ADP Employment Report (E: -180K) kicks off jobs week before we will get two more economic releases after the open: ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 44.5) and Construction Spending (E: 0.6%). Additionally, Boston Fed President, Eric Rosengren, is scheduled to speak at 2:00 p.m. ET.

All of those catalysts have the potential to move markets as we begin a new quarter today however the coronavirus outbreak remains, by far, the single most important influence on stocks right now and investors will be watching any press briefings from the White House or developments regarding treatments or data on the growth rate of new cases themselves which, according to our Sevens Report U.S. Coronavirus Daily Growth Rate Tracker, is favorably continuing to slow towards a one-month low this week.

Sevens Report Co-editor Tyler Richey Quoted in MarketWatch on

“With the global economy slowing to a standstill and consumer demand for refined products…” said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. Click here to read the full article.

Oil Rig

Tom Essaye Interviewed with TD Ameritrade

Tom Essaye interviewed with Ben Lichtenstein from TD Ameritrade. Click here to read the full article.

Oil Rig Counts and the Energy Market Crash

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Did Stocks Rally 3% Yesterday?
  • U.S. Oil Rig Counts Plunged Last Week – Here’s Why that Won’t Stop the Oil Crash… Yet

U.S. stock futures are hanging on to modest gains while international markets were mixed overnight as global equities are poised to close out their worst quarter since 2008.

The growth rate of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. encouragingly slowed to a one month low of just 13% yesterday.

Economically, data out of China, Japan, and the EU was all better-than-feared, helping drive the tentative risk on money flows this morning.

Today, there are two economic reports to watch: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller HPI (E: 0.4%) and Consumer Confidence (E: 111.0) while no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

The Consumer Confidence report could move markets in early trade however investor focus will largely remain on the coronavirus outbreak statistics and ongoing government response to the pandemic while end of quarter book squaring could lead to an uptick in volatility over the course of the day. Near term momentum continues to favor the bulls though and the path of least resistance remains higher right now as the relief rally continues.