U.S. Defense Contractors May Benefit From Depletion of Hardware and Munitions

U.S. Defense Contractors May Benefit From Depletion of Hardware and Munitions: Tom Essaye Quoted in Morningstar

These defense stocks may fare best whether Biden or Trump wins in November

One of the industry groups whose stocks Tom Essaye, publisher of Sevens Report Research, said he would expect to perform well during a second Trump term is defense.

Trump’s return to the White House could benefit these stock-market sectors – while undercutting others

Of course, regardless of who wins the November election, U.S. defense contractors may benefit from the depletion of hardware and munitions resulting from U.S. and other NATO countries’ support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion, along with renewed efforts to bolster the conventional defenses of Western European countries.

Also, click here to view the full MarketWatch article published on Morningstar on February 28th, 2024. However, to see the Sevens Report’s full comments on the current market environment sign up here.

Oil Inventories

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Economic Breaker Panel

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • December Economic Breaker Panel

Futures are slightly lower following a disappointing earnings report by Micron (MU).

Micron (MU down –3% after hours) reported underwhelming results and guidance and announced layoffs, and that’s reversing some of the earnings-driven gains we saw in stocks on Wednesday.

Economic data remained sparse but UK GDP slightly missed estimates, falling –0.3% vs. (E) -0.2%.

Today’s focus will be on Weekly Jobless Claims (E: 225k) and this number needs to move higher (towards 300k) to show the Fed that the labor market is returning to better balance (something the Fed said is needed before they can think about a pivot).  We also get the Final Q3 GDP (E: 2.9%) but that data is very old now (July-September) and it shouldn’t move markets.


What the Russia/Ukraine Headlines Mean for Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Russia-Ukraine Headlines Mean for Markets
  • October PPI Data Takeaways
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey Takeaways
  • Chart: 4,007 Remains Critical Resistance for the S&P 500

Futures have stabilized with global shares as easing geopolitical angst offsets more hot inflation data in Europe.

The AP reported the projectile that killed two in Poland on Tuesday originated in Ukraine (by their air defense systems) and not Russia which has eased concerns about NATO being pulled into the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Economically, U.K. CPI rose to 11.1% vs. (E) 10.6% in October, a fresh 41-year high which rekindled some global inflation fears overnight.

Today, the focus will be on the slew of economic data due to be released: Retail Sales (E: 1.0%), Import & Export Prices (E: -0.4%, 4.0%), Industrial Production (E: 0.2%), and the Housing Market Index (E: 36). The market will want to see a continued slowdown in growth metrics but more importantly, a faster slowdown in any price measures within the data as that dynamic would improve the prospects of a soft landing.

Additionally, the Fed speakers circuit remains active with: Williams (9:50 a.m. ET), Barr (10:00 a.m. ET), and Waller (2:35 p.m. ET) all due to speak over the course of the session.

Bottom line, if economic data and geopolitical headlines remain favorable today, the S&P 500 should be able to make another run at critical technical resistance at 4,007 in the S&P 500. A close above that level would open the door to another leg higher in the latest relief rally in the broader stock market.

Fed Day Technical Take

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Pre-Fed Technical Take: a Make-or-Break Tipping Point for Equities

Stock futures are trading with cautious gains this morning as traders shrug off escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine while the BOJ initiated new stimulus overnight as focus turns to today’s Fed meeting.

Geopolitically, Russia is mobilizing 300,000 reservists to bolster military operations in Ukraine and indirectly threatened nuclear options in the latest escalation in the conflict which is driving gains in safe havens ahead of the Fed this morning.

Today, there is one economic report to watch in the morning: Existing Home Sales (E: 4.70M) but the primary market focus will clearly be on the Fed with the FOMC Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET followed by Fed Chair Powell’s press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Regarding the Fed, a 75 basis point hike and terminal Fed Funds rate near 4.25% is the consensus expectation so anything more hawkish than that will likely spark volatility and potentially even result in a test of the June lows in the S&P while anything more dovish than expectations has the potential to unleash a sizeable relief rally.

The Ukraine Counteroffensive and Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the Ukraine Counteroffensive Means for Markets

Stock futures are extending recent gains this morning while the dollar continues to fall ahead of today’s CPI report.

In Europe, German CPI for August was unchanged at 7.9% y/y which met expectations and is being well-received by investors ahead of today’s U.S. inflation data.

Domestically, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index came in at 91.8 vs. (E) 90.5, underscoring the resilience of the U.S. economy in the face of Fed policy tightening so far.

Today, the main event will be the release of the August CPI data (E: -0.1% m/m, 8.1% y/y) ahead of the open. If the data is inline or below estimates, specifically the core figure, then stocks should be able to extend the recent rally as expectations for the “terminal rate” will likely fade lower however a hot print could send yields and the dollar sharply higher and cause a potentially sharp reversal of the recent gains.

The only other potential catalyst today is a 30-Yr Treasury Bond auction at 1:00 p.m. ET. Yesterday’s 3-Yr and 10-Yr auctions did notably move Treasury markets as yields jumped but stocks shrugged off the soft auction outcomes with focus on today’s CPI. If the 30-Yr auction is weak and yields move higher with the CPI data already released as of this morning, that could act as a strengthening headwind on equities in the afternoon.

Sevens Report Analyst Quoted in Market Watch on August 4th, 2022

Oil rout deepens as U.S. crude benchmark finishes below $90 a barrel for first time since February

Demand concerns are now the dominant influence on the global energy market and even though supply worries will persist with the Russia-Ukraine war, we will need to see evidence of demand stabilizing for the oil market to begin to find a near-term bottom,” wrote analysts at Sevens Report Research, in a note. Click here to read the full article.

Sevens Report Co-Editor Tyler Richey Quoted in Market Watch on July 19th, 2022

Oil futures finish higher, with U.S. prices holding above $100 as supply concerns resurface

Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week has “already become old news as traders refocus on the major influences on the oil market right now: the Russia-Ukraine war, OPEC+ policy outlook, and recession concerns linked to high inflation, COVID lockdowns in China, and aggressive central bank policy around the globe…Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research, told MarketWatch. Click here to read the full article.

Is the Fed’s Bark Worse than Its Bite?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • What the FOMC Decision Means for Markets (Is the Fed’s Bark Worse than Its Bite?)
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Outlook Update

Futures are moderately lower as markets digest Wednesday’s big post-Fed rally following a night of underwhelming economic data.

The April Chinese services PMI plunged to 36.2 vs. (E) 41.1, reflecting the economic damage from lockdowns.  In Europe, data was mixed as German Manufacturers’ Orders missed estimates while UK Services PMI beat expectations.

There are multiple Fed speakers today on financial media outlets (there are no official speeches scheduled) and don’t be surprised if they sound hawkish and push back on the post FOMC rally yesterday (this is especially true for Bullard, whose doing interviews today).

Today’s focus will be on the aforementioned Fed speakers, and again don’t be shocked if they sound “hawkish” and that causes some giveback from yesterday’s rally (but a hawkish tone won’t undo the positives from Powell’s press conference, either).

Economically, there is a BOE Rate decision and they are expected to hike 25 bps.  Domestically, the key report today is Unit Labor Costs (E: 6.8%) as that will give us a good look at total wage inflation (and if it’s higher than estimates that will be a negative).  We also get Jobless Claims (E: 178K) but that shouldn’t move markets.

Earnings Season Preview

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Earnings Season Preview
  • EIA Analysis and Oil Market Update

Futures are little changed following a quiet night of news and ahead of the long weekend.

There were no notable economic reports overnight. Geopolitically, the Russia/Ukraine war raged on as fighting intensifies in eastern Ukraine (as has been expected).

Earnings overnight were net positive as Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) provided solid guidance and that’s helping to relieve some ongoing semiconductor supply anxiety.

Today will be a busy day, with the first potentially big event being the ECB Decision at 7:45 a.m. ET.  No change is expected to rates or QE, but if Lagarde is hawkish in her commentary it could hit stocks.

Economically, we’ll have multiple reports today including, in order of importance, Retails Sales (E: 0.6%), Consumer Sentiment (E: 58.8), and Jobless Claims (E: 175K).  As has been the case, markets will want to see continued stability in the data.

Finally, we have two Fed speakers, Mester (2:30 p.m. ET) and Harker (6:00 p.m. ET), but they shouldn’t move markets.

Staying Focused on What Really Causes Bear Markets

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Staying Focused on What Really Causes Bear Markets
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Can Oil Further Stabilize?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Fed Minutes (Wednesday) Are the Key Report

Futures are slightly higher following a generally quiet weekend of news.

Geopolitically,  there are calls for more sanctions on Russia as the international community is now accusing Russia of war crimes following the discovery of a mass grave outside of Kiev. Oil, which is the key proxy for additional sanctions, is only slightly higher, however, implying the market isn’t expecting significant additional sanctions in the near term.

Economic data was sparse as the only notable report was German exports which rose solidly (up 6.4%).

Today there are no notable economic reports and no Fed speakers, so the focus will be on geopolitics, and again any hints of progress towards a ceasefire will help extend the recent rally.