The Outlook for Stocks

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What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Has the Outlook for Stocks Really Turned More Negative?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Will Treasury Yields Keep Rising?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Key Inflation Data This Week

Futures are slightly lower as negative Chinese real estate news offset the end of the Writers Guild of America strike.

Also, Chinese property firm Evergrande hit a setback in its restructuring deal. And that’s increasing liquidation chances (which would weigh on the Chinese economy).

Positively, the WGA struck a deal with Hollywood studios and ended their strike. Although two other major strikes remain in place (SAG-AFTRA and the UAW).

Today should be a generally quiet day in the markets from a news and volume standpoint, as it’s the Yom Kippur holiday and there are only two notable events on the calendar:  Chicago Fed National Activity Index (E: 0.15) and a speech by Fed member Kashkari (6:00 p.m. ET).  So, we should continue to expect Treasury yields to drive trading today, and if yields move steadily higher (as they are this morning) then that likely will weigh further on stocks.

the Outlook for Stocks

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Focus Remains on Treasury Yields Today

Today’s Focus Remains on Treasury Yields – Tom Essaye Quoted in MarketWatch

Dow edges up as stocks look to rebound ahead of coming inflation, retail sales data

U.S. stock indexes were up as of Monday afternoon, with consumer discretionary shares and several technology companies leading the broader market higher, as traders braced for a busy week of economic data releases.

“No major U.S. economic data is set for release on Monday, so the focus will remain on Treasury yields”, said Tom Essaye, president of the Sevens Report Research. 

“If yields are relatively stable, then stocks can rebound from last week’s losses”, Essaye said in an email.

Also, click here to view the full MarketWatch article published on September 11th, 2023. However, to see Tom’s full comments on today’s market insights sign up here.

Treasury Yields

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How to Explain the Current Pullback to Clients & Prospects

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • How to Explain the Current Pullback to Clients & Prospects
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Will Treasury Yields Stabilize? (That’s the Key to Ending This Pullback)
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Important Growth Updates and Powell Speech on Friday

Futures are modestly higher thanks to more evidence of global disinflation and despite another round of underwhelming Chinese stimulus.

German PPI declined -6.0% y/y vs. (E) -5.1% y/y and that’s serving as a reminder that inflation is still falling globally.

In China, officials cut the Loan Prime Rate less than expected (-10 bps vs. (E) -15 bps) and while that will provide stimulus, it’s not alleviating concerns that the Chinese economy will be a headwind on global growth.

Today there are no economic reports and no Fed speakers (the Jackson Hole Fed conference is this week, so speakers will increase throughout the week culminating with Powell on Friday).  As such, Treasury yields will remain a short-term influence on stocks.  Yields and futures are higher this morning but if yields extend the rally throughout the day, don’t be surprised if stocks give back these early gains.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on August 15th, 2023

Stocks Could Be Sandbagged by Rising Treasury Yields

“That’s why rising Treasury yields are a problem for stocks, because investors will rotate out of riskier equities and into less-risky bonds because the additional return in stocks isn’t worth the volatility,” argues Essaye, who believes that while the current environment makes the historical 4% risk premium unlikely, a “fair” number for 2023 is “definitely higher than 1%!”

Click here to read the full article.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on August 2nd, 2023

Tech Stocks Lead the Market Lower

Wednesday’s market action is a reminder to investors that stocks can still go down, Tom Essaye, founder of the Sevens Report, said in an interview with Barron’s.

“When you have a market that is essentially pricing in nothing bad happening and all of a sudden you get kind of a surprise – then it’s a reason to sell and I think that’s what we’re seeing today,” Essaye said.

Click here to read the full article.

Why Treasury Yields Surged Yesterday (Hint: Inflation)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Treasury Yields Surged Yesterday (Hint:  inflation)

Futures are flat as markets digest Thursday’s rally and consider multiple reports that a debt ceiling deal is imminent.

Numerous media outlets have reported a two-year debt ceiling deal is imminent, and if that becomes official today we should expect a modest and temporary rally.

AI optimism/euphoria continued overnight with Marvell Technologies (MRVL) rising 18% on strong AI guidance.

Focus today will first be on the debt ceiling, and if a formal deal is announced with should expect a knee jerk rally, although by itself a debt ceiling compromise won’t be a sustainable bullish catalyst.  Outside of the debt ceiling, the key reports today include the Core PCE Price Index (E: 0.3% m/m, 4.6% y/y)  and Durable Goods Orders (E: -1.1%) and investors will want to see stability in both reports to hint at ongoing disinflation and a soft landing.  We also get Consumer Sentiment (E: 58.0) and if inflation expectations rise further in that report, it could become a headwind on stocks.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Barron’s on April 21st, 2023

Stocks Gain on Signs of Economic Distress

“Since April 3, we’ve seen the yield on the 1-month Treasury bill fall from 4.7% to 3.9%, as investors have shunned near-term Treasury bills that might get caught up in the debt ceiling fight. Conversely, the 3-month Treasury bill yield has risen from 4.9% to 5.2% since April 3, as investors have sold that debt as it will be subject to potential increased volatility as the debt ceiling fight comes to a head,” Tom Essaye, founder of the Sevens Report, wrote Friday. Click here to read the full article.


Is the Market Pendulum Swinging Back?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is the Market Pendulum Swinging Back?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet

Stock futures are lower while the dollar and Treasury yields move higher as part of a continuation of last week’s hawkish money flows, partially thanks to strong data overnight.

Economically, the EU Composite PMI jumped to 52.3 vs. (E) 50.7 due to strength in the service sector, bolstering expectations for increasingly aggressive monetary policy in the months ahead which is weighing on risk assets globally this morning.

Today, economic data will be in focus early with the key report in the U.S. being the PMI Composite Flash (E: 47.2) while Existing Home Sales (E: 4.10M) will also be released. A hot PMI print like we saw in Europe earlier this morning would likely add to the hawkish tone and weigh further on stocks today while a weaker, but not terrible report, could see yields and the dollar ease back and allow for a modest relief rally.

As far as other catalysts go, there are no Fed officials scheduled to speak but there is a 2-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and if yields continue higher in the wake of the auction, expect more pressure on stocks, especially higher valuation/growth names.

Finally, earning season is winding down but a pre-market release by WMT ($1.52) should shed some light on the health of the consumer and could impact markets as well.

How Far Can Stocks Run (New Technical Targets)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • How Far Can Stocks Run? (New Technical Targets)
  • Why Did the Dollar and Treasury Yields Fall So Hard?

Futures are modestly higher on continued momentum from Thursday’s CPI report and as Chinese officials further signaled changes to their “Zero COVID” policy.

China made more than 20 changes to COVID policies overnight, all of which relaxed COVID rules and further signaled a departure from “Zero COVID.”

Economic data was mixed as German CPI met expectations at 10.4%, while UK GDP and Industrial Production were slightly better than expected.

Today the only notable number is Consumer Sentiment (E: 59.6) and specifically the Five-Year Inflation Expectations Index.  If that number falls further away from 3.0% (and drops to or below 2.7%) that will further fuel the idea that inflation pressures are receding, and stocks should extend the rally.

Election Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Election Preview
  • Chart: Technicals Dominate S&P 500 Price Action – Key Levels to Watch

Stock futures are slightly higher and Treasury yields are largely steady ahead of today’s midterm elections.

Economically, the U.S. NFIB Small Business Optimism Index came in at 91.3 vs. (E) 91.8 while Eurozone Retail Sales met estimates at 0.4% but neither release is materially impacting markets this morning.

There are no additional economic reports today and no Fed officials are scheduled to speak.

In Monday’s Sevens Report we incorrectly said CPI was to be released on Wednesday but the report is due out on Thursday. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Bottom line, focus will be on the midterms today which will likely result in a mostly quiet session, however, there is a 3-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET that could cause a move in yields and ultimately impact trading in equities.