FOMC Preview (Watch the Dots)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • FOMC Preview (Watch the Dots)
  • Why Yesterday’s CPI Boosted the “Growth On” Trade
  • Gold Update:  Are the 2023 Highs Already In?

Futures are modestly higher following a quiet night of news as markets look ahead to the FOMC decision and expected pause in rate hikes.

Economic data was mixed overnight as UK Industrial Production missed estimates (-0.3% vs. (E) -0.1% in manufacturing) while Euro Zone IP slightly beat (1.0% vs. (E) 0.9%), but neither number is moving markets.

Today focus will be on the FOMC Decision and the consensus expectation is that the Fed will pause.  But, it’s not clear how many additional 2023 rate hikes the “dots” will show, and that will determine if the Fed decision is hawkish or dovish (more on that inside).

Away from the Fed we also get the May PPI (E: -0.1% m/m, 1.6% y/y) and Core PPI (E: 0.2% m/m, 2.9% y/y) and if this metric comes in under expectations that’ll boost the “Immaculate Disinflation” expectation and should help cyclical sectors extend the rally.

Technical Update: Key Levels to Watch

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Technical Update:  Key Levels to Watch
  • Value vs. Growth – What Do the Charts Say?

Futures are modestly higher as a soft EU inflation reading is helping to extend Thursday’s rally.

Euro Zone PPI came in much lower than expectations (15% vs. (E) 17.7% y/y) and that’s helping to slightly offset the hot inflation data from earlier in the week.

Economically, Euro Zone and UK Composite PMIs were generally in-line with expectations.

Today the key report will be the ISM Services PMI (E: 54.5).  For stocks and bonds, the best case for this report is that the headline is stable (not much above expectations) while the price indices decline.  If that happens, stocks can extend the rally.

We also get several Fed speakers today including Logan (11:00 a.m. ET), Bostic (11:45 a.m. ET), Bowman (3:00 p.m. ET) and Barkin (4:15 p.m. ET).  If they echo Bostic’s comments from yesterday about the Fed being done with hikes by mid to late summer, that will be a tailwind on stocks.

Why Friday’s Data Wasn’t As Positive As the Market Implied

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Friday’s Data Wasn’t As Positive As The Market Implied
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Can Inflation Fall Faster than Growth?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  All About Inflation (CPI the Key Report)

Futures are modestly higher mostly on momentum from Friday’s close, following a quiet weekend of news.

Stocks rallied on Friday thanks to increasing hopes for an economic soft landing, and nothing happened over the weekend to offset that hope.

Economic data met expectations as German Industrial Production and EU Unemployment were both in-line.

Today focus will be on the NY Fed Inflation Expectations (Previous:  4.0% one-year, 3.8% three-year), and if they decline from previous levels that will be positive.  We also get one Fed speaker, Bostic (12:30 p.m. ET).

Technical Outlook for Growth vs. Value

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Current Technical Outlook for Growth vs. Value
  • Cooler Than Feared German CPI Roils Currency Markets

Markets are trading with a risk-on tone this morning following favorable economic data overnight while traders look ahead to today’s domestic data and the release of the Fed minutes.

Economically, France’s December CPI headline fell to 5.9% vs. (E) 6.3% y/y while Composite PMI headlines across Europe were revised solidly higher from the Flash prints. Those data points indicate a faster drop in inflation and more resilient economic activity which bolsters the prospects of a soft landing.

Looking into today’s session, we get a few notable economic reports this morning including: Motor Vehicle Sales (E: 13.7 million), ISM Manufacturing Index (E: 48.0), and JOLTS (10.1 million) before the focus will turn to the release of the December FOMC Meeting Minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Bottom line, optimism about quickly retreating inflation rates overseas and better-than-feared growth readings are driving risk-on money flows overseas today and if we see more of the same in the U.S. data today, that can continue. Regarding the Fed Minutes, any positive mention about progress on getting inflation under control will be well received and could see the pre-market gains extended into the afternoon.

Is It Time to Allocate to Growth?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The Start of 2023 Isn’t the Time to Allocate to Growth
  • Case-Shiller and FHFA House Price Indices
  • Chart: Value Massively Outperformed Growth in 2022

Stock futures are modestly higher in cautious trade this morning with Treasuries largely steady and overseas markets mixed as focus remains on China’s reopening efforts.

China’s government will resume the issuance of passports and visas while Hong Kong dropped PCR testing requirements for travelers, however the rapid move away from “Zero Covid” is beginning to rekindle inflation worries which could become a renewed headwind on equities.

Looking into today’s session, there are two economic reports to watch: Pending Home Sales (E: -0.5%) and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (E: -6) but neither should impact Fed policy expectations or meaningfully move markets in quiet holiday trading.

There are no Fed speakers to watch today but the Treasury will hold a 5-Yr Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET and following yesterday’s large move higher in yields, surprisingly strong or unexpectedly weak demand could influence equity market trading.

Market Multiple Table: November Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table – November Update
  • Chart – Value Stocks Down Just 5% YTD vs. More than 33% for Growth Stocks

Futures are lower while bond yields and the dollar are edging higher after Republicans likely took control of the House but disappointed versus expectations in the Senate races. The result is still seen as being some form of a split Congress, however, which is historically favorable for markets.

Economically, Chinese CPI fell to 2.1% vs. (E) 2.4% Y/Y and PPI was -1.3% vs. (E) -1.6% but the data did not move markets overnight as the focus in China is on reopening plans and not inflation pressures.

Looking into today’s session, there are no market-moving economic reports which will leave the focus on the midterm election results, and if Democrats do end up keeping the House (which is possible, but unlikely) expect a mild reversal of the WTD gains.

Outside of the election news, there are two Fed officials speaking today: Barkin (11:00 a.m. ET) and Kashkari (1:00 p.m. ET) and a 10-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET. Any meaningful dovish commentary or a strong auction could support a near-term equity rally but moves should be limited ahead of tomorrow’s CPI report.

How Bad Can It Get? (And What Makes It Stop?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • How Bad Could It Get and What Makes It Stop?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Can the June lows hold?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Does economic growth stay resilient?

Futures are modestly lower as global bond yields rose further while the British Pound remained extremely volatile.

The British Pound plunged to an all time low vs the dollar earlier this morning before rebounding and the extreme volatility is adding to investor worries.

Economically, the German Ifo Business Expectations Index fell to the lowest level since March 2020 (84.3 vs. (E) 87.1).

Today there are no notable economic reports but there are numerous Fed speakers, including Collins (10:00 a.m. ET), Bostic (12:00 p.m. ET), Logan (12:30 p.m. ET) and Mester (4:00 p.m. ET).  But, they shouldn’t move markets (we already know what the Fed intends to do).

Instead, the Pound and global bond yields (especially 10-year GILT yields) will determine trading today.  Markets need to see the Pound stabilize and 10-year GILT yields stop rising (they’re up nearly 60 bps in two days) to inject some macro-economic stability into the markets.  Don’t be shocked if the Bank of England announces a surprise rate hike today (or in the coming days) and if so, that should help global yields stabilize (which would be positive for sentiment and markets).

Why Stocks Rallied Last Week (And Is It Sustainable?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Stocks Rallied Last Week (And Is It Sustainable?)
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Can Inflation Fall Quickly and Growth Stay Resilient?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  CPI Tomorrow is the Key Report

Futures are moderately higher as the U.S. Dollar extended Friday’s declines thanks to a hawkish ECB article.

The euro is surging another 1% and pushing the Dollar Index lower following a hawkish ECB Reuters article that stated the ECB may have to raise rates to 2% to curb inflation, which is higher than current expectations.

Economic data was slightly underwhelming as UK Industrial Production (0.1% vs. (E) 0.3%) and UK Monthly GDP (0.2% vs. (E) 0.4%) both missed estimates.

Today there are no notable economic reports nor any major Fed speakers, so we’d expect stocks to continue to follow the dollar ahead of tomorrow’s CPI report.  If the dollar extends this morning’s declines, stocks should be able to hold this early rally.

Is Value Outperformance Ending?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is Value Outperformance Ending?
  • The S&P 500 Has Reached Another Key Technical Tipping Point

Stock futures are higher this morning despite soft earnings from IBM after the close yesterday as European inflation data was not as bad as feared in June.

Eurozone HICP (their CPI equivalent) met estimates with a rise of 8.6% Y/Y in June up from 8.1% in May, however, the core figure slipped to 3.7% Y/Y from 3.8% in May. The release has prompted new bets for a 50 bp hike from the ECB this week, but that is bolstering hopes that peak inflation will come sooner than later.

Looking into today’s session, there is one economic report to watch: Housing Starts (E: 1.588) and after yesterday’s terrible Housing Market Index print, investors will want to see a number more in line with expectations that does not point to such a rapid deterioration in the real estate market.

There are no Fed speakers or Treasury auctions today which will leave traders largely focused on earnings with: JNJ ($2.57), HAL ($0.45), LMT ($6.29), ALLY ($1.90), and TFC ($1.17) reporting before the bell, and NFLX ($2.90) and JBHT ($2.31) releasing results after the close.

Bottom line, the broader equity market remains at a key tipping point right now as recession fears continue to simmer, but earnings have so far been mostly upbeat suggesting there is still a path to a soft landing. And if earnings news is upbeat today, we could see the S&P 500 breakout through key downtrend resistance near 3,890 and make a run at new multi-week highs.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Market Watch on July 6th, 2022

Why a rally in growth stocks could signal ‘peak’ Fed hawkishness has passed

While it’s too early to declare the value outperformance ‘over,’ we do think the outperformance of tech recently is notable, because if it continues that will be a strong signal that the market is now looking past future rates hikes towards eventual rate cuts in 2023…said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, in a note Wednesday. Click here to read the full article.