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.

The Latest on Taiwan and China

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The Latest on Taiwan and China
  • JOLTS Decline But Remain Historically Elevated
  • Big One-Day Reversal in the 10-Year Yield: Chart

Stock futures are trading cautiously higher this morning as geopolitical angst is easing after Pelosi’s departure from Taiwan while economic data was mostly positive overnight.

Chinese and EU Composite PMIs for July topped estimates while Eurozone PPI was no worse than feared and that data is helping some of the hawkish fears from Tuesday unwind.

Looking into today’s session, earnings season is beginning to wind down but there are still a few notable reports due out today: MRNA ($4.50), CVS ($2.16), YUM ($1.08), HOOD (-$0.36), EBAY ($0.89), and MGM ($0.24).

However, the market’s main focus will be on economic data today with ISM Services Index (E: 53.0) and Factory Orders (E: 1.1%) both due out shortly after the open while there is one Fed speaker: Harker (10:30 a.m. ET).

Investors will want to see still solid growth numbers in the data, further easing in inflation readings, and hopefully a less hawkish tone out of the Fed if the July relief rally is going to extend into August.

What Escalating U.S.-China Tensions Mean for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What Escalating U.S.-China Tensions Mean for Markets
  • What’s the Fed’s Endgame With Rates?
  • How Low Could Oil Prices Go?

Stock futures are lower and the 10-year yield fell to a 4-month low overnight amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Speaker Pelosi is scheduled to land in Taiwan later this morning despite repeated and stern warnings from China about a potential military response to the visit and the elevated tensions are resulting in equity market weakness and rising demand for safe havens assets such as Treasuries.

Looking beyond geopolitics, there are a few other potential catalysts to watch today including two economic reports: Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 13.5M) and JOLTS (11.0M), as well as two Fed officials scheduled to speak: Evans (9:00 a.m. ET) and Bullard (6:45 p.m. ET).

Earnings season also continues today with results from CAT ($3.00), JBLU (-$0.11), MAR ($1.59), TSEM ($0.52), AMD ($1.03), PYPL ($0.85), and SBUX ($0.77).

Bottom line, markets are trading with a risk-off tone due to the U.S.-China tensions surrounding Taiwan however a meaningful escalation including military action between the U.S. and China remains very unlikely, and as such the pressure on equities is not expected to deepen or last very long and market focus is likely to turn back to Fed policy later in the week as the July jobs report is due out on Friday.