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Is the Easy Part of the Rally Behind Us?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Is the “Easy” Part of the Rally Behind Us?
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Global PMIs Thursday will be very important.

Futures are sharply higher as economic reopening continued across the U.S. over the weekend, with more states announcing reopening and easing social restrictions.

The reopening headlines over the weekend were numerous, but there wasn’t any new news that implied the economic might return to normal sooner than expected, and beyond the short term, when the economy returns to normal remains the key unknown for this market.

Fed Chair Powell gave an interview on 60 Minutes that was cited as “positive” but he didn’t say anything new that wasn’t already communicated in his comments last week.

Economic data was sparse and isn’t moving markets.

Today there are no economic reports and no market moving Fed speakers, so headlines on economic reopening, U.S./China relations and the coronavirus should move markets.

Why Are Stocks So Resilient (And Can It Continue?)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Are Stocks So Resilient (And Can It Continue?)
  • Weekly Market Preview:  More re-openings and stimulus this week?
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Claims still key, but Friday’s data is also important.

Futures are modestly lower following a quiet weekend as markets digest last week’s gains.

Economic data from China continued to come in better than feared, as New Yuan Loans grew 11.5% vs. (E) 10.3% while auto sales declined just –5.5% in April compared to –40% in March.

The Chinese data continues to sew hopes for a relatively quick, “V” shaped economic recovery in the U.S., and that expectation is helping to support stocks.

Today there are no notable economic reports and just one Fed speaker, Evans (3:30 p.m. ET), so headlines on economic re-openings and a potential additional stimulus bill should drive markets (if the re-opening headlines are good and prospects for another stimulus bill continue to rise, markets should be able to continue to digest the recent rally).

Current Market Catalysts (They Changed Last Week)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Current Market Catalysts:  From Reopening and Remdesivir to Normalization and Nationalism
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Jobs Report This Friday)

Futures are moderately lower as U.S./China tensions rise while markets begin to shift their focus towards when the economy will return to normal.

U.S./China tension over the origin of the coronavirus rose over the weekend as Secretary of State Pompeo said there was “enormous” evidence that suggests the virus was created in a lab.

Economically, the EU manufacturing PMI slightly missed expectations, coming in at 33.4 vs. (E) 33.6.

Today there are no notable economic reports nor any Fed speakers, so markets will trade off any U.S./China coronavirus tension headlines, along with any hints of when the economy might return to some semblance of “normal” as those two issues have now become the main drivers of stocks in the near term.

Have Things Improved This Much?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Have Things Improved This Much?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Focus Shifts to Earnings
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  How Bad Is The Economy? (We Get Important Updates This Week)

Futures are modestly lower following a generally quiet weekend as markets digest last week’s big rally.

OPEC+ agreed to cut global oil output by 9.7 mln barrels/day, slightly below to 10 mln barrel/day estimate.  That will improve the supply/demand imbalance, but it won’t spark a big rally in oil (it’ll take a sooner than expected reopening of the global economy to do that).  For stocks, this is a mild positive as oil probably won’t make new lows going forward.

Coronavirus trends continued to improve over the weekend as it becomes more clear virus growth has peaked, although that’s already priced into stocks at these levels.

Today there are no economic reports or Fed speak, and most of Europe is closed, so any coronavirus updates will likely drive trading.

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.

Where Do Markets Go From Here?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Where Do Markets Go From Here?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Coronavirus news first, but it’s an important week from a data standpoint too
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Why Wednesday is the Most Important Day of the Week

Markets are trying to stabilize and futures are down modestly, but they have been volatile as futures have been down 1% and up 1% before trading back closer to flat.

If there’s a “reason” for the attempted rebound, it’s the surging expectation for a globally coordinated central bank response sometime later this week (possibly a 50 bps cut).

Coronavirus news remained negative in aggregate as cases increased in the U.S., although the news is no worse than what the market’s priced in last week.

Economically, the Chinese Feb. Manufacturing PMI imploded to 35.7 vs. (E) 46.0, but that wasn’t a surprise.  The data from the EU and Britain was solid.

Today the market will be driven by the latest coronavirus headlines, but there is an important economic report, the ISM Manufacturing PMI (E: 50.4), and a better than expected number would give the market a needed confidence boost.

Pullback – Why Stocks Are Down 2%

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Pullback – Why Stocks Are Dropping and Is This the Start of a Correction?
  • Weekly Market Preview:  Focus on politics and growth.
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet:  Durable Goods and inflation will be in focus this week.

Futures are down more than 2% as an increase in COVID 19 cases in new places (South Korea and Italy), combined with a big Sanders victory in the Nevada Caucus are adding to the growth concerns following Friday’s soft flash PMI.

Politically, Sanders won the Nevada Caucus with more than 40% of the vote, implying his base is bigger than thought, meaning he might be a more formidable opponent to Trump than what the market was previously thinking.

Economic data was sparse as the German Ifo Business Expectations survey beat estimates (93.4 vs. (E ) 92.1), but that number obviously isn’t moving markets.

Today there are no economic reports and just one Fed speaker,  Mester (3:00 p.m. ET), so focus will be on any COVID 19 updates (and anything that hints at a slowing of transmission will help stocks bounce).  From a fundamental support standpoint, 3,219 is 18.5X next year’s earnings so we’ll be interested to see if that can hold in the near term.

Normal Pullback or Something Bigger?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Normal Pullback or Something Bigger?
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Three Big Reports This Week)

Futures are bouncing modestly following Friday’s selloff.  The weekend was a quiet one from a market standpoint.

The Wuhan virus situation didn’t change (the virus continues to spread) but there are reports that existing anti-viral drugs are helping to treat the disease (a small positive).

Economically, The EU and British manufacturing PMIs slightly beat estimates, but still remain weak on an absolute basis (47.9 and 50.0 respectively).

Today the key economic report is the January ISM Manufacturing PMI (E: 48.7), and following Friday’s bad Chicago PMI, the market needs a decent number to help reassure investors the U.S. economic remains on solid footing.  There’s also one Fed speaker, Bostic at 4:30 p.m. ET, but he shouldn’t move markets.

Regarding any Wuhan headlines, the key remains whether they will add more pressure to global growth.  If we hear about more plant closures/flight & travel restrictions, etc. that will pressure stocks.

The First Two Important Events of the Year (Both This Week)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • The First Two Important Events of 2020 (Both This Week)
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Important Updates on Growth)

Futures are moderately higher following a quiet weekend and ahead of two important events this week:  Phase one signing ceremony (Wed) and the start of earnings season.  Futures are essentially recouping Friday’s losses.

U.S./China trade optimism is helping stocks rally as the U.S. and China will resume semi-annual meetings, something that was done in the Bush/Obama administrations.   This doesn’t impact trade directly, but just like in 2019, any generically positive U.S./China headline will result in at least a mild rally.

Economic data was soft as British GDP (-0.3% vs. (E) 0.0%) and manufacturing (-1.7% vs. (E) -0.3%) both missed estimates, although the soft data is only weighing on the Pound.

Today there are no notable economic reports and just two Fed speakers, Rosengren (10:00 a.m. ET) and Bostic (12:40 a.m. ET), and they won’t move markets.  So, investors will be looking for any hints as to what will be released at the U.S./China phase one signing ceremony on Wednesday, and the more specifics, the better.

Update on U.S./Iran Risks

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Geo-Political Update:  Was There More Negative News Over the Weekend?
  • The Two Reasons Markets Remain Resilient
  • Weekly Market Preview
  • Weekly Economic Cheat Sheet (Jobs Report Friday)

Futures are moderately lower on rising general concerns about the geo-political fallout from the Soleimani killing.

Geo-political headlines over the weekend were incrementally negative, but none of them were specific or material enough to imply a material drop in stocks is more likely, and the dip in futures is driven by just general concerns (more on that inside the Report).

Economic data, meanwhile, was positive as Dec. German Retail Sales, EU Services PMI (52.8 vs. (E) 52.4, and UK Services PMI (50.0 vs. (E ) 49.0) all beat estimates.

Today geo-political headlines will continue to dominate trading, and any implication of further deterioration in the U.S./Iran situation will weigh on futures.  Economically, the  key number to watch it the December Markit Services PMI (E: 52.2) and, as remains the case, the stronger the number, the better.