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Black Monday: All Hell Breaks Loose As Stocks Plunge Into Bear Market, Curve Inverts, Cryptos Crater

Black Monday: All Hell Breaks Loose As Stocks Plunge Into Bear Market, Curve Inverts, Cryptos Crater

For all those claiming that stocks had…

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Black Monday: All Hell Breaks Loose As Stocks Plunge Into Bear Market, Curve Inverts, Cryptos Crater

For all those claiming that stocks had priced in 3 (or more) 50bps (or more) rate hikes, we have some bad news.

All hell is breaking loose on Monday, with futures tumbling (again) into bear market territory, sliding below the 20% technical cutoff from January's all time high of 3,856 and tumbling as low as 3,798.25 - taking out the May 10 intraday low of 3,810 - before reversing some modest gains. S&P 500 futures sank 2.5% and Nasdaq 100 contracts slid 3.1%, in a session that has seen virtually everything crash. Dow futures were down 567 points at of 730am ET.

The global selloff - which has dragged Asian and European markets to multi-month lows and which was sparked by a hotter than expected US CPI print which heaped pressure on the Federal Reserve to step up monetary tightening - accelerated on Monday as panicking traders now bet the Fed will raise rates by 175 bps by its September decision, implying two 50-bp moves and one hike of 75 bps, with Barclays and now Jefferies predicting such a move may even come this week. If that comes to pass it would be the first time since 1994 the Fed resorted to such a draconian measure.

The selling in stocks was matched only by the puke in Treasuries, as yields on 10-year US Treasuries reached 3.24%, the highest since October 2018, yet where 2Y yields sold off more, sending the 2s10s curve to invert again...

... for the second time ahead of the coming recession, an unprecedented event.

Meanwhile, the selloff in European government bonds also gathered pace, with the yield on German’s two-year government debt rising above 1% for the first time in more than a decade and Italian yields exploding and nearing 4%, ensuring that another European sovereign debt crisis is just a matter of time (recall that all Italian net bond issuance in the past decade has been monetized by the ECB... well that is ending as the ECB pivots away from QE and NIRP).

The exodus from stocks and bonds is gaining momentum on fears that central banks’ battle against inflation will end up killing economic growth. Inversions along the Treasury yield curve point to fears that the Fed won’t be able to stave off a hard landing.

“The Fed will not be able to pause tightening let alone start easing,” said James Athey, investment director at abrdn. “If all global central banks deliver what’s priced there are going to be some significant negative shocks to economies.”

Going back to the US market, big tech stocks slumped in US premarket trading as bets that the Federal Reserve hikes rates more aggressively sent bond yields higher, and Nasdaq futures dropped. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks cratered as Bitcoin continued its recent decline to hit an 18- month low, precipitated by news that crypto lender Celsius had halted withdrawals...

... which sent Ethereum to the most oversold level in 4 years.

Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today:

  • Apple shares (AAPL US) -3.1%, Amazon (AMZN US) -3.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) -2.8%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) -3.7%, Netflix -3.8% (NFLX US), Nvidia (NVDA US) -4.5%
  • Tesla (TSLA US) shares dropped as much as 3.1% in US premarket trading amid losses across big tech stocks, while the electric-vehicle maker also filed to split shares 3-for-1 late Friday.
  • MicroStrategy (MSTR US) -18.4%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) -15%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) -14%, Coinbase (COIN US) -12.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT US) -10%, Silvergate Capital (SI US) -11%, Ebang (EBON US) -4%
  • Bluebird Bio (BLUE US) shares surge as much as 86% in US premarket trading and are set to trim year-to- date losses after the biotech firm’s two gene therapies won backing from an FDA advisory panel.
  • Chinese education stocks New Oriental Education (EDU US) and Gaotu Techedu (GOTU US) jump 8.3% and 3.4% respectively in US premarket trading after peer Koolearn’s endeavors into livestreaming e-commerce went viral and sent its shares up 95% in two sessions.
  • Astra Space (ASTR US) shares slump as much as 25% in US premarket trading, after the spacetech firm’s TROPICS-1 mission saw a disappointing launch at the weekend.
  • Invesco (IVZ US) and T. Rowe (TROW US) shares may be in focus today as BMO downgrades its rating on the two companies in a note saying it favors alternative asset managers over traditional players as a way to hedge beta risk against the current macro backdrop.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 also extended declines to a three-month low, plunging mover than 2%, with over 90% of members declining, as meeting-dated OIS rates price in 125bps of tightening, one 25bps move and two 50bps hikes by October.  Tech leads the declines as bond yields rise, with cyclical sectors such as autos and consumer products also lagging as recession risks rise.  The Stoxx 600 Tech Index falls as much as 4.3% to its lowest since November 2020. Chip stocks bear the brunt of the selloff: ASML -3%, Infineon -4.2%, STMicro -3.6%, ASM International -2.9%, BE Semi -2.8%, AMS -5.3% as of 9:36am CET. As if inflation fears weren't enough, French banks tumbled after a first round of legislative elections showed that President Emmanuel Macron could lose his outright majority in parliament. Here is a look at the biggest movers:

  • Atos shares decline as much as 12%; Oddo says the company’s reported decision to retain and restructure its legacy IT services business in a separate legal entity is bad news for the company.
  • Getinge falls as much as 7.6% after Kepler Cheuvreux cut its recommendation to hold from buy, cautioning that headwinds and supply chain challenges may intensify as Covid-related tailwinds abate.
  • Elior plunges as much as 15% amid renewed worries over inflation and rising interest rates impacting a caterer that’s still looking for a new CEO following the unexpected departure of the previous one.
  • Valneva falls as much as 27% in Paris after saying its effort to salvage an agreement to sell Covid-19 shots to the European Union looks likely to fail.
  • Subsea 7 drops as much as 13% after the offshore technology company lowered its 2022 guidance, with analysts noting execution challenges on some of its offshore wind projects.
  • French banks decline after a first round of legislative elections showed that President Emmanuel Macron could lose his outright majority in parliament.
  • Societe Generale shares fall as much as 4.5%, BNP Paribas -4.2%
  • Euromoney rises as much as 4.4% after UBS raises the stock to buy from neutral, saying the financial publishing and events firm’s “ambitious” growth targets for 2025 are broadly achievable.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also declined across the board following the hot US CPI data and amid fresh COVID concerns in China. Nikkei 225 fell below the 27k level with sentiment not helped by a deterioration in BSI All Industry data. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. conformed to the downbeat mood with heavy losses among tech stocks owing to the higher yield environment and with mainland bourses constrained after the latest COVID outbreak and containment measures.

The Emerging-market stocks index dropped about 3%, falling for a third day in the steepest intraday drop since March, as a fresh high in US inflation sparked concerns that the Fed may need to be more aggressive with rate hikes.

In FX, the Bloomberg dollar rose a fourth day as the dollar outperformed all its Group of 10 peers apart from the yen, which earlier weakened to a 24-year low with NOK and AUD the worst G-10 performers. In EMs, currencies were led lower by the South Korean won and the South African rand as the index fell for a fifth day, the longest streak since April.  The onshore yuan dropped to a two-week low as a jump in US inflation boosted the dollar and China moved to re-impose Covid restrictions in key cities. India’s rupee dropped to a new record low amid a selloff in equities spurred by continuous exodus of foreign investors. The euro fell for a third day, touching an almost one-month low of 1.0456. Sterling fell after weaker-than-expected UK GDP highlighted the risks to the economy, with a global risk-off mood adding pressure on the currency, UK GDP fell 0.3% from March. The yen erased earlier losses after earlier falling to a 24-year low while Japanese bonds tumbled, prompting a warning from the Bank of Japan as its easy monetary policy increasingly feels the strain of rising interest rates globally. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said a recent abrupt weakening of the yen is bad for the economy and pledged to closely work with the government hours after the yen hit the lowest level since 1998.

Bitcoin is hampered amid broad-based losses in the crypto space with the likes of Celsius pausing withdrawals/transfers due to the "extreme market conditions". Currently, Bitcoin is at the bottom-end of a USD 23.7-27.9 range for the session.

In rates, the US two-year yield exceeded the 10-year for the first time since early April, an unprecedented re-inversion. The 2-year Treasury yield touched the highest level since 2007 and the 10-year yield the highest since 2018.

Treasuries continued to sell off in Asia and early European sessions, leaving 2-year yields cheaper by 15bp on the day into the US day as investors continue to digest Friday’s inflation data. Into the weakness a flurry of block trades in futures added to soaring yields. Three-month dollar Libor jumps 8.4bps. US yields remain close to cheapest levels of the day into early US session, higher by 13bp to 6bp across the curve: 2s10s, 5s30s spreads flatter by 5bp and 5.5bp on the day -- 5s30s dropped as low as -16.6bp (flattest since 2000) while 2s10s bottomed at -2bp. US 10-year yields around 3.235%, remain cheaper by 8bp on the day and lagging bunds, gilts by 2.5bp and 5bp in the sector. Fed-dated OIS now pricing in one 75bp move over the next three policy meetings with 175bp combined hikes priced by September, while 55bp -- or 20% chance of a 75bp move is priced into Wednesday’s meeting. A selloff of European government bonds gathered pace as traders priced in a more aggressive pace of tightening from the ECB, with traders now wagering on two half-point hikes by October.

The Bank of Japan announced it would conduct an additional bond-buying operation, offering to purchase 500b yen in 5- to 10-year government bonds Tuesday after 10-year yields rose above the upper limit of its policy band.

In commodities, oil and iron ore paced declines among growth-sensitive commodities; crude futures traded off worst levels. WTI remains ~1% lower near 119.30. Spot gold gives back half of Friday’s gains to trade near $1,855/oz. Base metals are in the red with LME tin lagging

While it's a busy week ahead, with the FOMC meeting on deck where the Fed is set to hike 50bps, or maybe 75bps and even 100bps, there is nothing on Monday's calendar. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard will discuss the Community Reinvestment Act in a pre-recorded video and an audience Q&A; she is not expected to discuss monetary policy given the FOMC blackout period.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 2.4% to 3,803.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 2.0% to 414.12
  • MXAP down 2.7% to 161.61
  • MXAPJ down 2.8% to 534.45
  • Nikkei down 3.0% to 26,987.44
  • Topix down 2.2% to 1,901.06
  • Hang Seng Index down 3.4% to 21,067.58
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.9% to 3,255.55
  • Sensex down 3.2% to 52,585.17
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.3% to 6,931.98
  • Kospi down 3.5% to 2,504.51
  • Brent Futures down 1.9% to $119.71/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,857.56
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.39% to 104.55
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.54%
  • Euro down 0.3% to $1.0484
  • Brent Futures down 1.9% to $119.69/bbl

Top Overnight News

  • “Sell everything but the dollar” is resounding across trading desks as investors reprice the risk that the Federal Reserve hikes rates more aggressively than previously thought
  • Investors rushed to price in more aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes Monday as the US inflation shock continued to reverberate, sending two-year Treasury yields to a 15-year high and strengthening the dollar
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson risks reopening divisions that tore his Conservative Party apart in 2019, with his government set to propose a law that would let UK ministers override parts of the Brexit deal he signed with the European Union
  • Crypto lender Celsius Network Ltd. paused withdrawals, swaps and transfers on its platform, fueling a broad cryptocurrency selloff and prompting a competitor to announce a potential bid for its assets
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has a week to convince voters to give him an outright majority in parliament to ease the way for the controversial social and economic reforms he promised. Shares in France fell on the results

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks declined across the board following the hot US CPI data which rose to a 40-year high and amid fresh COVID concerns in China. Nikkei 225 fell below the 27k level with sentiment not helped by a deterioration in BSI All Industry data. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. conformed to the downbeat mood with heavy losses among tech stocks owing to the higher yield environment and with mainland bourses constrained after the latest COVID outbreak and containment measures.

Top Asian News

  • Beijing government said the scale of Beijing’s latest outbreak linked to bars is ferocious and explosive in nature after the city reported 166 cases in a bar cluster and with 6,158 people determined as close contacts linked to the bar cluster, while Beijing announced to halt offline sports events from today and the district of Chaoyang is to launch mass COVID testing on June 13th-15th, according to Reuters.
  • Shanghai re-imposed a ban on dine-in restaurant services in most districts and punished officials for a management lapse at a quarantine hotel, according to Business Times.
  • At least three Chinese cities of Beijing, Nanjing and Wuhan are trialling a shorter quarantine period of 7+7 days for international arrivals at entry points, according to Global Times.
  • Beijing government spokesperson says that the Beijing COVID-19 bar outbreak still presents risks to the community; Beijing City reports 45 new local cases of 3pm, according to a health official, via Reuters, adding that the COVID-19 bar outbreak is still developing and epidemic control is at a critical juncture.
  • Chinese Defence Minister Wei said China firmly rejects accusations and threats by the US against China, while he added the US Indo-Pacific strategy will create confrontation and that Taiwan is first and foremost China’s Taiwan. Wei also said those that pursue Taiwan's independence will come to no good end and that China will fight to the end if anyone attempts to secede Taiwan from China, according to Reuters. Furthermore, Wei reiterated that Beijing views the annexation of Taiwan as a historic mission that must be achieved which its military would be willing to fight for but added that peaceful unification remained the biggest hope of the Chinese people and they are willing to make the biggest effort to achieve it, according to FT.
  • China urges local governments to raise revenue and sell assets to resolve debt risks, via Reuters. Urges local govt's to lower the debt burden; adding, they will crackdown on illegal debt raising.
  • Japanese Defence Minister Kishi met with his Chinese counterpart in Singapore and said Japan and China agreed to promote defence dialogue and exchanges, while Japan warned China against attempting to alter the status quo in the South and East China sea, according to Reuters.
  • Australian and Chinese defence ministers met in Singapore on Sunday for the first time in three years at the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit with the talks described as an important first step following a period of strained ties, according to AFP News Agency.

European bourses are hampered across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 -2.5%, in a continuation of the fallout from Friday's US CPI and amid fresh COVID concerns in China. US futures are in-fitting with this price action, ES -2.4% (sub-3800 at worst), ahead of the FOMC where the likes of Barclays now look for a 75bp hike after the May inflation release. Sectors in Europe are all in the red and feature Travel & Leisure as the underperformer given further cancellations going into the summer period.

Top European News

  • UK Northern Ireland Secretary Lewis said the government will publish legislation on the Northern Ireland Protocol on Monday and that the bill will rectify the issues in the protocol, according to Reuters. Reports suggest that the new law could see European judges blocked from having the final say on Northern Ireland-related disputes, according to the Telegraph.
  • UK Tory MPs accused PM Johnson of ‘damaging the UK and everything the Conservatives stand for’ as he plans to release legislation on Monday to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol, according to FT.
  • UK government ministers are drawing up plans to cut the link between gas and electricity to help reduce household bills for millions of families, according to The Times.
  • UK Foreign Minister Truss says she has spoken to EU VP Sefcovic about the Nothern Ireland protocol and the preference is for a negotiated solution; adding, the EU needs to be willing to change the protocol.
  • French President Macron’s majority in parliament is at risk as an IFOP initial estimate showed that Macron’s centrist camp is seen qualified for winning 275-310 out of 577 seats after the first round of the French lower house elections, while the IPSOS initial estimate shows the centrist camp is qualified for winning 255-295 seats, according to Reuters. Note, 289 seats are required for a majority

FX

  • Greenback extends US inflation data gains as near term Fed hike expectations crank up; DXY hits 104.750 to eclipse May 16 high and expose 105.010 YTD peak.
  • Pound undermined by negative UK GDP and output prints plus NI protocol jitters, Cable perilously close to 1.2200 and EUR/GBP tops 0.8575.
  • Aussie hit by heightened Chinese Covid concerns and demand implication for commodities, Kiwi feeling contagion and Loonie lurching as oil prices retreat; AUD/USD sub-0.7000, NZD/USD near 0.6300 and USD/CAD just shy of 1.2850.
  • Euro and Franc make way for outperforming Buck, but Yen claws back losses on risk dynamics allied to technical retracement; EUR/USD under 1.0500, USD/CHF above 0.9900 and USD/JPY below 134.50 vs 135.20 apex overnight.
  • Yuan falls as Beijing suffers ferocious and explosive virus outbreak and Shanghai reimposes restrictions in most districts, USD/CNH pivots 6.7500 and USD/CNY straddles 6.7350.

Commodities

  • WTI & Brent are hampered amid the broader market pressure; though, did experience a fleeting move off lows during a break in the newsflow.
  • Currently, the benchmarks are lower by circa. USD 2.00/bbl given Friday's CPI, China COVID, geopolitics around US-China-Taiwan and Iran-IAEA developments (or lack of) following last week's camera removal.
  • Iraq set July Basrah medium crude OSP to Asia at a premium of USD 3.30/bbl vs Oman/Dubai average and set OSP to Europe at a discount of USD 7.60/bbl vs dated Brent, while it set OSP to North and South America at a discount of USD 1.70/bbl vs ASCI, according to Reuters citing Iraq’s SOMO.
  • Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas Aoun said Libya is currently losing more than 1.1mln bpd of oil production and that most oil fields are closed except for the Hamada field and the Mellitah complex, while the Al-Wafa field continues operations from time to time, according to The Libya Observer.
  • QatarEnegy signed an agreement with TotalEnergies (TTE FP) for the North Field East expansion project, while it will announce subsequent signings with partners in the gas field expansion in the near future and possibly at the end of next week, according to Reuters.
  • Norwegian Oil and Gas Association reached an agreement in principle with three unions of offshore workers to avert a strike although two of the unions will ask members before signing a deal, according to Reuters.
  • Spot gold is pressured by circa. USD 15/oz amid a stronger USD and pronounced yield action; however, the yellow metal is yet to drop below USD 1850/oz and the 10-, 21- & 200-DMAs at USD 1852, 1847 & 1842 respectively.

Fixed Income

  • Bond bears still in control and pushing futures down to fresh troughs, at 145.85 for Bunds, 112.33 for Gilts and 115-30+ for 10 year T-note.
  • Cash yields test or breach psychological levels, like 1.50%, 2.5% and 3.25%, while 2-10 year US spread inverts briefly on rising recession risk.
  • Monday agenda very light, but big week ahead including top tier data and multiple Central Bank policy meetings.

Central Banks

  • BoJ announces new offer for bond buying programme in which it is to purchase JPY 500bln in 5yr-10yr JGBs tomorrow and will increase amount of offers for its bond buying as needed.
  • BoJ fixed-rate bond purchases exceed JPY 1tln, at their highest since 2018, via Bloomberg; Further reported that the BoJ accepts JPY 1.5tln of bids for the daily offers to purchase 10yr bonds.
  • BoJ Governor Kuroda says they must support the economy with monetary easing to achieve higher wages; adding, the domestic economy is still in the midst of a COVID recovery. Increasing raw material costs are increasing downward pressure, recent sharp JPY dalls are undesirable. Additionally, Japan's Finance Minister says a weak JPY has both merits and demerits.
  • BoJ buys JPY 70.1bln in ETF, according to a disclosure.

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

This week is squarely and firmly all about the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. We go into it with the 2yr US note up +25bps on Friday and another c.+10bps this morning in Asia. The 2s10s curve has flattened around 20bps since Friday morning to c.2bps as we type. So some dramatic moves.

The problem as we enter the next couple of Fed and ECB meetings is that the central banks haven't quite been able to let go of forward guidance and are a little trapped. To recap, forward guidance has prevented the Fed and the ECB from hiking as early as they needed to, largely because both saw the need to gradually wind down asset purchases over several months first as promised. However this hasn't deterred them, and they have continued to try to flag their intentions to the market in advance with the Fed having previously all but signalled a 50bps this Wednesday, as well as in July, with the ECB now signalling 25bps in July and a strong possibility of 50bps in September.

Providing clarity is admirable but in the wake of another shocking US CPI print on Friday, should a 75bps hike not be a serious consideration? It seems strange that most think policy needs to be restrictive but that it's going to take several meetings to get there from a still highly accommodative position. Without the recent Fed guidance, 75bps would be firmly on the table for Wednesday. This is highly unlikely this week, but our economists think they could break cover from their own guidance and leave the door open for 75bps in July.

DB Research has long been at the hawkish end on inflation and the Fed, and on Friday our US economists further raised their hiking expectations. In addition to 50bps at the next two meetings they have now added 50bps in September and November, before a return to 25bps in December (to 3.125%). They now see the peak at 4.125% in mid-2023. This is closer to the 5% view in the "Why the upcoming recession will be worse than expected" (link here) that David Folkerts-Landau, Peter Hooper and myself published back in April. If we do have a terminal Fed rate approaching a 5-handle it does raise the question as to where 10yr yields top out. My guess would be a slightly inverted curve but it would likely mean the 4.5-5% range discussed in the note from April, mentioned above, is within reason.

We'll recap details of the big US CPI print in last week's recap in the second half of this piece, but it wasn't just this that was the problem on Friday, as the University of Michigan long-term inflation expectations series hit 3.3% (3.0% last month) which was the highest since 2008. This series first hit 3% last May so has actually been range trading for a year, which has been a hope for the doves. However it now risks breaking out to the upside.

It's not just the Fed this week as the BoE (Thursday) and the BoJ (Friday) will also meet. For the UK, a preview from our UK economists can be found here. The team expects a +25bps hike this week and have updated their terminal rate forecast from 1.75% to 2.5%. Staying in the UK, labour market data releases will be out tomorrow with retail sales on Friday.

The week will conclude with a decision from the BoJ and how they address pressures from the yen hovering around a 20-year low, as well as the growing monetary policy divergence between Japan and other G7 economies. Our chief Japan economist previews the meeting here. He expects a shortening or even the abandonment of yield curve control in H2 2023.

In data terms we go back to the US for the main highlights, with PPI (tomorrow) and retail sales (Friday) the main events. China's key May indicators on Wednesday will also have global implications as we await industrial production, retail sales and property investment numbers.

Elsewhere in the US, we have June's Philadelphia Fed business outlook (Wednesday), and May industrial production and capacity utilisation (Friday) numbers. April business inventories will be out on Wednesday and provide markets with a check on corporate stockpiling after Target's renewed warning last week. Finally, a slew of housing market data is due. This includes the June NAHB housing market index (Wednesday) and May building permits and housing starts (Thursday). The impact of rising mortgage rates will be in focus.

In Europe, Germany's ZEW survey for June (tomorrow) is among the key data highlights. We will also see April industrial production and trade balance data for the Eurozone on Wednesday and Eurozone construction output and April trade balance data for Italy on Friday. ECB speakers will also be on the radar for investors as they tend to start to break the party line on the Monday after the ECB meeting. A lengthy line up includes ECB President Lagarde on Wednesday and six other speakers.

Asian stock markets have started the week on a weaker footing with all the major indices trading deep in the red after a rough week on Wall Street. The Hang Seng (-2.81%) is leading losses across the region in early trade amid a tech sell-off whilst the Shanghai Composite (-1.20%) and CSI (-1.07%) are both sliding as a resurgence of Covid cases in China is threating global growth. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (-2.64%) is also sharply down this morning, with the Kospi declining as much as -2.50%, hitting its lowest level since November 2020.

As discussed at the top, 10yr USTs (+2.81 bps) have moved higher to 3.18% while the 2yr yield (+9.8 bps) has exploded higher to 3.16%. Will we see a fresh inversion in the hours and days ahead? Oil prices are lower with Brent futures -1.36% to $120.35/bbl and WTI futures -1.48%, falling below the $120/bbl mark. On the FX side, there is no respite for the Japanese yen from rising Treasury yields as the currency hit a fresh 24yr low, declining -0.50% to 135.08 versus the dollar.

DMs equity futures point to further losses with contracts on the S&P 500 (-1.33%), NASDAQ 100 (-1.87%) and DAX (-1.37%) all trading in negative territory.

Moving on to the French legislative elections. In the first round, exit polls indicate that President Emmanuel Macron is at risk of losing his outright majority after a strong showing by the left-wing alliance in the first round of the country’s parliamentary election. According to the official results, Jean-Luc Mélenchon's left-wing NUPES alliance (+25.61%) finished neck and neck with Mr Macron's Ensemble (+25.71%), in terms of votes cast in Sunday's first round. An average of 5 pollsters expect Macron to win 262-301 seats, with 289 needed to keep his majority. So a nervy wait ahead of the second round.

Turning back to review last week now. The business end of the week had two huge macro events that sent markets into some degree of upheaval.

On Thursday, the ECB met, confirming the end of net APP purchases this month, paving the way for liftoff in July. Beyond July they opened the door for 50 basis point hikes if inflation persists or deteriorates. Judging by their upgraded forecasts, they are now in the ‘persists’ camp. President Lagarde in the press conference took great pains to commit to fighting inflation in a hawkish tone shift. The bigger market reaction was on the apparent lack of progress on any implementation tool designed to avoid fragmentation. President Lagarde tried to downplay the lack of new tool, leaning on PEPP reinvestment flexibility, but the market wasn’t comfortable that this would be enough.

All told, 2yr bunds increased +30.9bps (+13.6bps Friday) on the tighter expected policy path, with the end-2022 policy rate implied by OIS markets ending the week at 0.99%, a new high and in line with our Euro economists updated call (their full review and new call here). The lack of an immediate anti-fragmentation tool saw peripheral spreads underperform, moving to new post-Covid wides, as 10yr BTPs increased +35.9bps (+16.0bps Friday) with 10yr Spanish bonds increasing +34.0bps (+15.6bps Friday), versus a 10yr bund increase of +24.3bps (+8.6bps Friday).

The Friday moves above were given a further boost by yet another above consensus US CPI report, with YoY inflation gaining +8.6% in May versus expectations it would stay consistent with the prior month’s +8.3% reading. FOMC officials have consistently cited deceleration in MoM readings as necessary to find clear and convincing evidence that inflation was stabilising and returning to target, evidence which they surely didn’t get on Friday, as MoM inflation increased +1.0% from +0.3% in April, beating lofty expectations of +0.7%.

The dramatic beats drove the expected path of Fed tightening sharply higher, with 2yr Treasury yields increasing +40.9bps on the week after a +25.0bp gain Friday, it’s largest one-day move since June 2009. The expected fed funds rate by the end of the year reached a new high of 3.22%. The curve aggressively bear flattened, as the reality that the Fed will have to induce slower growth to tame inflation set in; 10yr yields gained +22.0bps on the week and +11.2bps on Friday, with almost all of the increase coming in real yields. That brings 2s10s to 8.8bps, its flattest since its early-April rebound after its brief inversion.

The sharp global policy repricing weighed on equity indices. All major transatlantic indices fell, including the STOXX 600 (-3.95% week, -2.69% Friday), DAX (-4.83%, -3.08%), CAC (-4.60%, -2.69%), S&P 500 (-5.05%, -2.91%), NASDAQ (-5.60%, -3.52%), FANG+ (-2.87%, -3.37%), and Russell 200 (-4.26%, -2.60%). That brings the STOXX 600 -14.49% below its YTD highs reached in the first days of the year, with the S&P 500 -18.40% below the same corresponding metric. Both indices ended the week hovering just above YTD lows.

US CDX HY and Euro Crossover were +58bps and +47bps on the week and around +30bps and +25bps wider on Friday. Both are now at their post covid wides.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/13/2022 - 07:57

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Economics

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? Is The Fed Correct Or The Eurodollar Curve?

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? Is The Fed Correct Or The Eurodollar Curve?

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

The Eurodollar curve…

Published

on

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? Is The Fed Correct Or The Eurodollar Curve?

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

The Eurodollar curve implies four quarter-point cuts are on the way starting in 2023. The Fed believes otherwise. Let's discuss stock market implications.

Data from CME and Fed via Wall Street Journal.

Eurodollar Curve

The eurodollar curve has nothing to do with euros or dollars. Rather it is an interest rate curve and one of the world's most widely traded futures.

After peaking at about 3.9% this year, eurodollar betters believe the Fed will then cut rates all the way down to 2.8%. 

Five Not-Quite-Impossible Things the Market Believes

Wall Street Journal Contributor James Macintosh discussed the above chart in Five Not-Quite-Impossible Things the Market Believes

  1. Inflation is transitory. 

  2. The Fed realizes this in time.

  3. The jobs market cools enough to slow wage rises. 

  4. But not so much it means falling household spending.

  5. So consumer spending rises in real terms. 

In reference to the led chart, Macintosh says "The first assumption is the hardest to believe."

I disagree. The hardest thing to believe is the overall goldilocks scenario and that the current rally makes any sense at all. 

Inflation may easily come down if the Fed tightens too much too fast causing a severe recession. What would that do to corporate profits? 

But assume otherwise, that inflation does not come down more. What would that do to corporate profits? 

While any of the first three points may easily be correct, the combination of all five being correct and that stocks will rise in a goldilocks scenario is what I find hard to believe.

Is the Market Forward Looking?

Goldilocks proponents will tell you that the market is forward looking. 

The market isn't forward looking and never was. It is a coincident indicator of current sentiment, wildly wrong at major turns.

If the market was forward looking, what precisely was it looking forward to at the November 2007 peak with recession starting the next month? 

What was it looking forward to at the 1929 peak, the 1933 bottom, the 2009 bottom or any other top or bottom?

The Fed Will Hike Until It Breaks Something

I believe the eurodollar curve is more likely to be correct than the Fed. When has the Fed gotten much of anything correct?

The eurodollar view has two ways to win. The first is the Fed actually does tame inflation to the degree that it wants.

That's possible in a severe enough recession. And the global picture is easily weak enough for that to happen.

The second way the eurodollar curve might be correct is if the Fed breaks the credit market. 

The Fed would immediately reverse course, regardless of inflation, should that happen. 

Neither a credit event nor strong recession would be good for the stock market.

The least likely thing is that the Fed achieves a goldilocks soft landing. Yet, assume that happens. 

Macintosh says, and I agree, "The bull case that stocks and corporate bonds are pricing requires the combination of low joblessness and wage rises to allow spending to rise faster than inflation even after pandemic savings run out. But not so much faster that it hits capacity constraints and accelerates inflation."

The problem with goldilocks is stocks are priced so much beyond perfection that they may decline anyway. 

Globally Speaking 

  1. China Does Surprise Rate Cut to Help Its Economy, But It Won't Work

  2. German Costs to Ship by Barge are up Twenty Times and May Soon Be Impossible

  3. UK Average Electricity Cost Will Soar to $5,370 Per Year By 2023

  4. US Industries Are Buckling Under Pressure of Surging Electricity Costs

Good luck with goldilocks, especially with the Fed still hiking. 

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 09:45

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Bonds

Futures Tumble After UK Double-Digit Inflation Shock Sparks Surge In Yields

Futures Tumble After UK Double-Digit Inflation Shock Sparks Surge In Yields

Futures were grinding gingerly higher, perhaps celebrating the…

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Futures Tumble After UK Double-Digit Inflation Shock Sparks Surge In Yields

Futures were grinding gingerly higher, perhaps celebrating the end of the Cheney family's presence in Congress, and looked set to re-test Michael Hartnett bearish target of 4,328 on the S&P (which marked the peak of yesterday's meltup before a waterfall slide lower when spoos got to within half a point of the bogey), when algos and the few remaining carbon-based traders got a stark reminder that central banks will keep hammering risk assets after the UK reported a blistering CPI print, which at a double digit 10.1% was not only higher than the highest forecast, but was the highest in 40 years.

The print appeared to shock markets out of their month-long levitating complacency, and yields - both in the UK and the US - spiked...

... and with yields surging, futures had no choice but to notice and after trading at session highs just before the UK CPI print, they have since tumbled more than 40 points and were last down 0.85% or 37 points to 4,271.

Nasdaq 100 futures retreated 0.9% signaling a selloff in technology names will continue. The dollar rose as investors awaited the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting for clues on policy makers’ sensitivity to weaker economic data.

In US premarket trading, retail giant Target slumped 4% after reporting earnings that missed expectations despite still predicting a rebound. Applied Materials and PayPal dropped at least 1.3%. Tech stocks are the forefront of the growing pessimism over equity valuations on the back of Fed rate increases. The S&P 500 had posted a small gain on Tuesday, aided by earnings reports from retailers Walmart Inc. and Home Depot. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today:

  • Manchester United (MANU US) rises as much as 17% in US premarket trading before trimming most of the gains, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was buying the English football club but later added that he was joking.
  • Hill International (HIL US) shares rise 61% in premarket trading hours after it announced Global Infrastructure Solutions will commence an all-cash tender offer for $2.85/share in cash, representing a premium of 63% to the last closing price.
  • BioNTech (BNTX US) was initiated with a market perform recommendation at Cowen, which expects demand for Covid-19 vaccines to mirror annual flu trends as the pandemic enters its endemic phase.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY US) shares surge 20% in premarket trading, putting the stock on track for its sixth day of gains. The home-goods company has helped reinvigorate a wave of meme stock buying
  • Agilent (A US) saw its price target boosted at brokers as analysts say the scientific testing equipment maker’s results were strong thanks to growth in biopharma and a recovery in China, while the company’s guidance was on the conservative side. Shares rose .
  • Jefferies initiated coverage of Waldencast Plc (WALD US) class A with a buy recommendation as analyst Stephanie Wissink sees 29% upside potential.
  • Sea Ltd. (SE US) ADRs slipped as much as 2.1% in US premarket trading, extending Tuesday’s declines, as Morgan Stanley cut its PT on expectations of slowing growth at the Shopee owner’s e-commerce business in the third quarter.
  • Weber (WEBR US) downgraded to sell from neutral at Citi, which says there are too many concerns to remain on the sidelines, including a decline in point-of-sale traffic and macro factors like inflation weighing on consumer demand

In the past two months, US stocks rallied on signs of peaking inflation and an earnings-reporting season that saw four out of five companies meeting or beating estimates. Boosted by relentless systematic (CTA) buying and retail-driven short squeezes, as well as a surge in buybacks, stocks recovered more than 50% of the bear market retracement. Yet, continuing rate hikes and the likelihood of a recession in the world’s largest economy are weighing on sentiment. Meanwhile, concern is growing that Fed rate setters will remain focused on the fight against inflation rather than supporting growth.

“We expect the FOMC minutes to have a hawkish tilt,” Carol Kong, strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd., wrote in a note. “We would not be surprised if the minutes show the FOMC considered a 100 basis-point increase in July.”

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 fell after a strong start amid signs the continent’s energy crisis is worsening. Benchmark natural-gas futures jumped as much as 5.1% on expectations the hot weather will boost demand for cooling. In the UK, consumer-price growth jumped to 10.1%, sending gilts tumbling. Real estate, retailers and miners are the worst performing sectors. The Stoxx 600 Real Estate Index declined 2%, making it the worst-performing sector in the wider European market, as focus turned to UK inflation that soared to double digits for the first time in four decades and also to today's FOMC minutes. German and Swedish names almost exclusively account for the 10 biggest decliners. TAG Immobilien drops 5.4%, Wallenstam is down 4.7%, Castellum falls 4% and LEG Immobilien declines 3.3%. The sector tumbles on rising bond yields, with 10y Bund yield up 11bps, and dwindling demand for Swedish real estate amid rising rates.

Earlier on Wednesday, stocks rose in Asia amid speculation that China may deploy more stimulus to shore up its ailing economy while Japanese exporters were boosted by a weaker yen. After a string of weak data driven by a property-sector slump and Covid curbs, China’s Premier Li Keqiang asked local officials from six key provinces that account for 40% of the economy to bolster pro-growth measures. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.8%, with consumer-discretionary and industrial stocks such as Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda among the leaders on Wednesday. The benchmark Topix erased its year-to-date loss. Chinese food-delivery platform Meituan also rebounded after dropping more than 9% in the previous session on a Reuters report that Tencent may divest its stake in the firm. Chinese stocks erased declines early in the day, as investors hoped for more economic stimulus after a surprise rate cut on Monday failed to excite the market. Premier Li Keqiang has asked local officials from six key provinces that account for about 40% of the country’s economy to bolster pro-growth measures.

“I believe policymakers have the tools to prevent a hard landing if needed,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, said in a note. “I find investors are overly pessimistic about Chinese stocks -- which means there is the potential for positive surprise.” Asia’s stock benchmark is trading at mid-June levels as traders attempt to determine the trajectory of interest-rate hikes and economic growth globally -- as well as the impact of China’s property crisis and Covid policies. Meanwhile, minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting, out later Wednesday, will be carefully parsed. New Zealand stocks closed little changed as the country’s central bank raised interest rates by a half percentage point for a fourth-straight meeting. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,127.70, supported by materials and consumer discretionary stocks. South Korea’s benchmark missed out on the rally across Asian equities, as losses by large-cap exporters weighed on the measure

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose as the dollar gained versus most of its Group-of-10 peers. The pound was the best G-10 performer while gilts slumped, led by the short end and sending 2-year yields to their highest level since 2008, after UK inflation accelerated more than expected in July. The yield curve inverted the most since the financial crisis as traders ratcheted up bets on BOE rate hikes in money markets, wagering on 200 more basis points of hikes by May. The euro traded in a narrow range against the dollar while the region’s bonds slumped, led by the front end. Scandinavian currencies recovered some early European session losses while the aussie, kiwi and yen extended their slide in thin trading. EUR/NOK one-day volatility touched a 15.12% high before paring ahead of Norges Bank’s meeting Thursday where it may have to raise rates by a bigger margin than indicated in June given Norway’s inflation exceeded forecasts for a fourth straight month, hitting a new 34-year high. Consumer sentiment in Norway fell to the lowest level since data began in 1992, according to Finance Norway. New Zealand’s dollar and bond yields both rose in response to the Reserve Bank hiking rates by 50bps, while flagging concern about labor market pressures and consequent wage inflation; the currency subsequently gave up gains in early European trading. The Aussie slumped after data showing the nation’s wages advanced at less than half the pace of inflation in the three months through June, backing the Reserve Bank’s move to give itself more flexibility on interest rates.

In rates, treasuries held losses incurred during European morning as gilt yields climbed after UK inflation rose more than forecast. US 10-year around 2.87% is 6.5bp cheaper on the day vs ~13bp for UK 10-year; UK curve aggressively bear-flattened following inflation data, with long-end yields rising about 10bp. Front-end UK yields remain cheaper by ~20bp, off session highs, leading a global government bond selloff. US yields are higher on the day by by 4bp-7bp; focal points of US session are 20-year bond auction and FOMC minutes release an hour later. Treasury auctions resume with $15b 20-year bond sale at 1pm ET; WI 20-year yield at around 3.35% is ~7bp richer than July’s sale, which stopped 2.7bp through the WI level.

In commodities, oil fluctuated between gains and losses, and was in sight of a more than six-month low -- reflecting lingering worries about a tough economic outlook amid high inflation and tightening monetary policy.  Spot gold is little changed at $1,774/oz

Looking at the day ahead, the FOMC minutes from July will be the main highlight, and the other central bank speaker will be Fed Governor Bowman. Otherwise, earnings releases include Target, Lowe’s and Cisco Systems, and data releases include US retail sales and UK CPI for July.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,293.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 443.30
  • MXAP up 0.5% to 163.48
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 530.38
  • Nikkei up 1.2% to 29,222.77
  • Topix up 1.3% to 2,006.99
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 19,922.45
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,292.53
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 60,168.83
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,127.68
  • Kospi down 0.7% to 2,516.47
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.06%
  • Euro little changed at $1.0178
  • Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,775.21
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 106.50

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • More market prognosticators are alighting on the idea of benchmark Treasury yields sliding to 2% if the US succumbs to a recession. That’s an out-of-consensus call, compared with Bloomberg estimates of about a 3% level by the end of this year and similar levels through 2023. But it’s a sign of how growth worries are forcing a rethink in some quarters
  • The euro-area economy grew slightly less than initially estimated in the second quarter as signs continue to emerge that momentum is unraveling. Output rose 0.6% from the previous three months between April and June, compared with a preliminary reading of 0.7%, Eurostat said Wednesday
  • Egypt became a prime destination for hot money by tethering its currency and boasting the world’s highest interest rates when adjusted for inflation
  • Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, posted its biggest loss since the pandemic as rate hikes, surging inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred volatility. It lost an equivalent of $174 billion in the six months through June, or 14.4%

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks just about shrugged off the choppy lead from the US where markets were tentative amid mixed data signals and strong retailer earnings, but with gains capped overnight ahead of the FOMC Minutes and as participants digested another 50bps rate hike by the RBNZ. ASX 200 swung between gains and losses with the index indecisive amid a slew of earnings and with strength in the consumer sectors offset by underperformance in tech, energy and healthcare. Nikkei 225 climbed above the 29,000 level with the index unfazed by mixed data releases in which Machinery Orders disappointed although both Exports and Imports topped forecasts. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were somewhat varied with Hong Kong led higher by tech amid plenty of attention on Meituan after reports its largest shareholder Tencent could reduce all or the bulk of its shares in the Co. which a Tencent executive later refuted, while the mainland was less decisive amid headwinds from the ongoing COVID situation and with power restrictions disrupting activity in Sichuan, although reports also noted that Chinese Premier Li told top provincial officials that they must have a sense of urgency to consolidate the economic recovery and reiterated to step up macro policies.

Top Asian News

  • RBNZ hiked the OCR by 50bps to 3.00%, as expected, while it stated that conditions need to continue to tighten and they agreed that maintaining the current pace of tightening remains the best means. RBNZ also agreed that further increases in the OCR were required to meet the remit objective and that domestic inflationary pressures had increased since May. Furthermore, the RBNZ raised its projections for the OCR and inflation with the OCR seen at 3.69% in Dec. 2022 (prev. 3.41%) and at 4.1% for both Sept. 2023 and Dec. 2023 (prev. 3.95%), while it sees annual CPI at 4.1% by Sept. 2023 (prev. 3.0%).
  • RBNZ Governor Orr stated at the press conference that they are not forecasting a recession but expected below-potential growth amid subdued consumer spending. Governor Orr also stated that they did not discuss a 75bps rate hike today and that 50bps moves have been orderly and sufficient, while he added that getting rates to 4% would buy comfort for the policy committee and that a Cash Rate of around 4% is unambiguously above neutral and sufficient to meet the inflation mandate.
  • Chongqing, China is to curb power use for eight days for industry.
  • China’s Infrastructure Boom Gets Swamped by Property Woes
  • Tencent 2Q Revenue Misses Estimates
  • Hong Kong Denies Democracy Advocates Security Law Jury Trial
  • UN Expert Says Xinjiang Forced Labor Claims ‘Reasonable’
  • Singapore’s COE Category B Bidding Hits New Record
  • Delayed Deals Add to Floundering Singapore IPO Market: ECM Watch

European bourses have dipped from initial mixed/flat performance and are modestly into negative territory, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%. Stateside, futures are under similar pressure awaiting fresh corporate updates and the July FOMC Minutes, ES -0.6%. Fresh drivers relatively limited throughout the session with known themes in play and focus on upcoming risk events; stocks also suffering on further hawkish yield action. Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 4.68 (exp. 4.58), Revenue 27.47 (exp. 28.12bln); expect FY22 total & comp. sales at bottom-end of outlook range, Operating Income and Diluted EPS at top-end. Target Corp (TGT) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 0.39 (exp. 0.72), Revenue 26.0bln (exp. 26.04bln); current trends support prior guidance.

Top European News

  • German Gas to Last Less Than 3 Months if Russia Cuts Supply
  • European Gas Surges Again as Higher Demand Compounds Supply Pain
  • Entain Falls; Citi Views Fine Negatively but Notes Steps by Firm
  • UK Inflation Hits Double Digits for the First Time in 40 Years
  • Crypto.com Receives Registration as UK Cryptoasset Provider

FX

  • Greenback underpinned ahead of US retail sales data and FOMC minutes, DXY holds tight around 106.500.
  • Pound pegged back after spike in wake of stronger than expected UK inflation metrics, Cable hovers circa 1.2100 after fade into 1.2150.
  • Kiwi retreats following knee jerk rise on the back of hawkish RBNZ hike, NZD/USD near 0.6300 from 0.6380+ overnight peak.
  • Aussie undermined by marginally softer than anticipated wage prices and lower RBA tightening bets in response, AUD/USD well under 0.7000 vs 0.7026 at one stage.
  • Yen weaker as yield differentials widen again, but Euro cushioned by more pronounced EGB reversal vs USTs, USD/JPY probes 21 DMA just below 135.00, EUR/USD bounces from around 1.0150 towards 1.0200.
  • Loonie and Nokkie soft amidst latest slippage in oil, USD/CAD closer to 1.2900 than 1.2800, EUR/NOK nudging 9.8600 within 9.8215-9.8740 range.

Fixed Income

  • Debt retracement ongoing and gathering pace ahead of Wednesday's key risk events.
  • Bunds now closer to 154.00 than 156.00 and 157.00 only yesterday, Gilts not far from 114.50 vs almost 116.00 and 117.00+ earlier this week and T-note sub-119-00 vs 119-31 at best on Monday.
  • Sonia strip hit hardest as markets price in aggressive BoE hikes in response to UK inflation data toppy already elevated expectations.

Commodities

  • Crude benchmarks are currently little changed overall, having recovered from a bout of initial pressure; newsflow thin awaiting fresh JCPOA developments
  • Spot gold is little changed overall but with a slight negative bias as the USD remains resilient and outpaces the yellow metal as the haven of choice.
  • Aluminium is the clear outperformer amid updates from Norsk Hydro that they are shutting production at their Slovalco site (175k/T year) by end-September, due to elevated energy prices.
  • OPEC Sec Gen says he sees a likelihood of an oil-supply squeeze this year, open for dialogue with the US. Still bullish on oil demand for 2022. Too soon to call the outcome of the September 5th gathering. Spare capacity at around the 2-3mln BPD mark, "running on thin ice".
  • US Private Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -0.4mln (exp. -0.3mln), Cushing +0.3mln, Gasoline -4.5mln (exp. -1.1mln), Distillates -0.8mln (exp. +0.4mln).
  • Shell (SHEL LN) announced it is to shut its Gulf of Mexico Odyssey and Delta crude pipelines for two weeks in September for maintenance, according to Reuters.
  • Uniper (UN01 GY) says the energy supply situation in Europe is far from easing and gas supply in winter remains "extremely challenging".
  • China sets the second batch of the 2022 rare earth mining output quota at 109.2k/T, via Industry Ministry; smelting/separation quota 104.8k/T.

Geopolitics

  • China's military is to partake in a military exercise in Russia, their participation has nothing to do with the international situation.
  • Taiwan's Defence Ministry says they have detected 21 Chinese aircraft and five ships around Taiwan on Wednesday, via Reuters.
  • Iran is calling on the US to free jailed Iranian's, says they are prepared for prisoner swaps, via Fars.

US Event Calendar

  • 07:00: Aug. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 0.2%
  • 08:30: July Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 1.0%
  • 08:30: July Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. -0.1%, prior 1.0%
  • 08:30: July Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8%
  • 10:00: June Business Inventories, est. 1.4%, prior 1.4%
  • 14:00: July FOMC Meeting Minutes

DB's Tim Wessel concludes the overnight wrap

Starting in Europe, where the looming energy crisis remains at the forefront. An update from our team, who just published the fourth edition of their indispensable gas monitor (link here), where they note the surprisingly fast rebuild of German gas storage, driven by reductions in industrial activity, reduces the risk that rationing may become reality this winter. Many more insights within, so do read the full piece for analysis spanning scenarios. Keep in mind, that while gas may be available, it is set to come at a higher clearing price, which manifest itself in markets yesterday where European natural gas futures rose a further +2.64% to €226 per megawatt-hour, just shy of their closing record at €227 in March. But, that’s still well beneath their intraday high from March, where at one point they traded at €345. Further, one-year German power futures increased +6.30%, breaching €500 for the first time, closing at €507. Germany is weighing consumer relief measures in light of climbing consumer prices and also announced that planned nuclear facility closures would be “temporarily” postponed.

The upward energy price pressure and attenuated (albeit, not eliminated) risk of rationing pushed European sovereign yields higher. 10yr German bunds climbed +7.1bps to 0.97%, while 10yr OATs kept the pace, increasing +7.4bps. 10yr BTPs increased +15.9bps, widening sovereign spreads, while high yield crossover spreads widened +10.2bps in the credit space.

Equities were resilient, however, with the STOXX 600 posting a +0.16% gain after flitting around a narrow range all day. Regional indices were also robust to climbing energy prices, with the DAX up +0.68% and the CAC +0.34% higher. In the States the S&P 500 registered a modest +0.19% gain, with the NASDAQ mirroring the index, falling -0.19%. Retail shares drove the S&P on the day, with the two consumer sectors both gaining more than +1%, following strong earnings reports from Wal Mart and Home Depot.

Treasury yields also climbed, but the story was the further flattening in the curve. 2yr yields were +7.5bps higher while 10yr yields managed to increase just +1.6bps, leaving 2s10s at its second most negative close of the cycle at -46bps. 10yr yields are another basis point higher this morning. A hodgepodge of data painted a mixed picture. Housing permits beat expectations (+1674k vs. +1640k) while starts (+1446k vs. +1527k) fell to their slowest pace since February 2021. However, under the hood, even permits weren’t necessarily as strong as first glance, as single family permits fell -4.3% with gains in multifamily pushing the aggregate higher. Indeed, year-over-year, single family permits have now fallen -11.7% while multifamily permits are +23.5% higher. So the single family housing market continues to feel the impact of Fed tightening. Meanwhile, industrial production climbed +0.6% month-over-month (vs. +0.3%), with capacity utilization hitting its highest level since 2008 at 80.3%.

Drifting north of the border, Canadian inflation slowed to 7.6% YoY in July in line with estimates, while the average of core measures climbed to a record 5.3%. Bank of Canada Governor Macklem penned an opinion piece saying that while it looks like inflation may have peaked, “the bad news is that inflation will likely remain too high for some time.” In turn, Canadian OIS rates by December climbed +16.2bps.

In other data, the expectations component of the German ZEW survey fell to -55.3, its lowest level since October 2008 at the depths of the GFC. In the UK, regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell by -3.0% in real terms over the year to April-June 2022, its fastest decline on record.

On the Iranian nuclear deal, EU negotiators reportedly found Iran’s response constructive, though Iran still had some concerns. Notably, Iran is looking for guarantees that if a future US administration withdraws from the JCPOA the US will "have to pay a price”, seeking insulation from the vagaries of representative democracy.

Asian equity markets are trading higher after Wall Street’s solid performance overnight. The Nikkei (+0.76%) is leading gains across the region with the Hang Seng (+0.57%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.23%) and the CSI (+0.51%) all rebounding from its opening losses this morning. US futures are struggling to gain traction this morning with the S&P 500 (-0.02%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.09%) trading just below flat.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted its official cash rate (OCR) for the fourth consecutive time by an expected +50bps to 3%, a seven-year high, while bringing forward the estimate of future rate increases. The central bank expects the OCR will reach 3.69% at the end of this year and expects it to peak at 4.1% in March 2023, higher and sooner than previously forecast.

Early morning data coming out from Japan showed that exports rose +19.0% y/y in July (v/s +17.6% expected) posting 17 straight months of gains while imports advanced +47.2% (v/s +45.5% expected) driven by global fuel inflation and a weakening yen. With the imports outweighing exports, the nation reported trade deficit for the 14th consecutive month, swelling to -2.13 trillion yen in July (v/s -1.91 trillion yen expected) compared to a revised deficit of -1.95 trillion yen in June.

In terms of the day ahead, the FOMC minutes from July will be the main highlight, and the other central bank speaker will be Fed Governor Bowman. Otherwise, earnings releases include Target, Lowe’s and Cisco Systems, and data releases include US retail sales and UK CPI for July.

Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 07:55

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Economics

S&P 3500 By Year End If QT Continues

"Don’t Fight the Fed" echoes through the financial media, Wall Street, and in the minds of retail and institutional investors. The phrasing pertaining…

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“Don’t Fight the Fed” echoes through the financial media, Wall Street, and in the minds of retail and institutional investors. The phrasing pertaining to Fed-generated liquidity is often the sole basis for investors to chase bull markets when the Fed employs easy monetary policy. Unfortunately, some investors forget the phrase is equally meaningful when the Fed is not friendly to markets. As we share in this article, we have developed a model to track Fed liquidity, allowing us to quantify the Fed’s influence on the S&P 500.

Before unveiling our liquidity formula and its forecast for the S&P 500, it’s essential to discuss the three primary drivers by which the Fed is influencing liquidity: Reverse Repurchase (RRP), Treasury General Account (TGA), and the Fed’s balance sheet.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements (RRP)

The New York Fed uses numerous repo programs to manage the supply of cash in the banking system, thereby maintaining the Fed Funds rates within the FOMC’s target range. Currently, they are employing its RRP program to accomplish this task. In an RRP transaction, the Fed sells securities to a counterparty and simultaneously agrees to repurchase them at a future date. The duration is often overnight. The transaction temporarily reduces the supply of money from the banking system. Increasing daily RRP balances results in less system liquidity, and a declining balance reduces liquidity.

As shown below, RRP has been around for 20 years but was scarcely used until early 2021. The various pandemic-related rounds of fiscal stimulus and massive Fed liquidity efforts left banks and money market funds with excessive levels of cash. The excess liquidity would have pushed the Fed Funds rate lower than the target rate without the RRP program. As such, RRP sucks up liquidity, making Fed Funds easier for the Fed to manage.

The Fed has other repo tools, such as repurchase agreements and the standing repo facility, which can dampen money market rates by providing the banking system with liquidity.

The RRP facility has been increasing rapidly and now sits at over $2 trillion daily. Rising RRP balances are a drain on liquidity.

As money market yields rise with Fed Funds and asset markets perform poorly, investors tend to prefer higher cash balances. Such should keep RRP levels elevated for the time being.

Treasury General Account (TGA)

The Treasury General Account is the U.S. Treasury Department’s checking account. The account is held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Like your checking account, the TGA receives deposits (tax receipts and proceeds from debt issuance) and makes payments.

The Fed doesn’t manage the TGA balances, but the surplus cash balance held at the Fed affects banking system liquidity. Fed liabilities (bank reserves) must equal its assets. Bank reserves are fodder allowing banks to make loans and, by default, print money. When the TGA account increases, bank reserves must fall, reducing banking system liquidity. Conversely, a shrinking TGA account adds reserves and liquidity to the banking system.

The graph below shows that TGA balances are elevated versus the pre-pandemic years but have fallen as the banking system normalizes from the massive fiscal cash injections. It will likely drop a bit more, but the TGA will not significantly impact liquidity, barring unusual circumstances.

tga account

Fed Balance Sheet

The Fed’s assets, mainly Treasury bonds and Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), are the liquidity elephant in the room. Its assets currently account for 75% of total Fed-sponsored liquidity and historically average over 90%.

When the Fed does Quantitative Easing (QE), they remove securities from the bond markets and, in their place, leaves reserves with the banks. Again, bank reserves can lead to loan creation which is the creation of new money. Ergo, QE adds to the system’s liquidity. Conversely, Quantitative Tightening (QT) removes liquidity and reserves from the system and increases the amount of securities in the market.

For this reason, QE tends to be bullish for stocks, and QT is bearish. 

Liquidity and Stock Prices

With an understanding of the three key factors driving banking system liquidity, we can create a Fed liquidity model. The size of the Fed’s assets less the sum of the TGA and RRP equals the amount of Fed-generated liquidity in the system. Recent changes in net liquidity shed light on how the S&P 500 trends.

The two graphs below compare the liquidity measure and the S&P 500. The first graph shows how the S&P 500 rose in line with liquidity through 2021, and both reversed simultaneously to start 2022. The dotted lines are quarterly moving averages to help smooth out the data. The moving averages track each other almost perfectly this year. The green dashed line forecasts liquidity based solely on the Fed’s plan to reduce its balance sheet by $95 billion a month. The S&P 500 could be close to 3500 by year-end if they follow through with their QT plans and the correlation holds up.

The second graph shares the same data but in scatter plot form. The correlation between liquidity and the S&P 500 is statistically significant, with an R-squared of 0.57. The orange dot shows the S&P 500 is about 3% overpriced based on liquidity.

liquidity Fed
liquidity S&P 500

The model does have an important caveat. Other factors become the predominant driver of market returns when the Fed is inactive and liquidity is relatively stable.  

Summary

The Fed is not the only game in town, but they are the biggest game in town. While many other factors account for stock price performance, liquidity may be the most important to grasp.

To drive home this point, recall March 2020, when covid struck the economy. Global economies were shutting down worldwide. Unemployment was soaring, and the economy was careening toward a depression. Despite zero clarity on the economic future, stocks began to rally strongly in late March. Why? Liquidity via fiscal stimulus and a surge in Fed QE purchases drove markets higher. The economic situation was awful, and earnings outlooks were crumbling, but liquidity trumped fundamentals. 

By accepting what the Fed does, right or wrong, and closely following its actions, we can quantify how liquidity will steer markets. On top of fundamental and technical analysis, this additional layer of research helps us better navigate the market’s twists, turns, and trends when the Fed is active.

The post S&P 3500 By Year End If QT Continues appeared first on RIA.

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