The Week Ahead – Fed Muzzled on Rate Talk, Third Quarter Growth, Earnings

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If the U.S. Was in a Recession, This Week’s Numbers May Show It Has grown Out of It

A big focus of traders this week will be positioning for the FOMC meeting next week and its announcement on Wednesday, November 2nd. Members of the committee that have commented in recent weeks have left little doubt that the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation is continuing, and a 75 bp hike can be expected. Additional comments on monetary policy from Fed governors aren’t expected this week as there is a communications blackout period in effect (midnight Saturday, October 22nd through midnight Thursday, October 27th).

There will be global interest rate commotion as more rate hikes outside the U.S. are likely. The first is on Wednesday by the Bank of Canada, followed on Thursday by the European Central Bank. The forecast consensus for each is 75bp upward.

The conversation on Thursday may move from “is the U.S. going into a recession to, has the U.S. just come out of a recession?” While the first two-quarters of receding growth have never officially been declared a recession, the first look at GDP for the third quarter is out on Thursday, and it is expected to show growth during the quarter. If this occurs markets, the stock market could trade, either way, a sigh of relief that the economy is growing or fear that the Fed now has the room it needs to keep applying the interest rate brakes.

What’s on Tap for investors:

Monday 10/24

•             At 9:45 AM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) flash report will be released. Expectations are for the number to come in around 51.2. This leading indicator of economic activity is an early estimate of private sector output. It contains information from surveys of around 1,000 manufacturing and service sector companies. The flash data are released ten days ahead of the final report and are based on 85 percent of the full survey.

Tuesday 10/25

•             At 10:00 AM, the Consumer Confidence survey will be released. Expectations are for a decline of 2.0 points to 106.0 in October, this would be after it exceeded expectations in September and August.

•             At  10 AM, the  Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index will be reported. The consensus is -3. Last month the report came in at 0.0, which was above the consensus estimates. The headline index number is a composite of the new orders, shipments, and employment indexes in the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing sector. It provides insight into the state of the manufacturing sector.

•             At 1 PM, U.S. Money Supply is released for September. During August M2 rose by $1.8 billion.

•             Noble Capital Markets will host a roadshow in St. Louis with Harte Hanks (HHS). Qualified Investors of all levels, including registered representatives, are welcome to attend at no cost, and with no obligation to invest. More information here.

Wednesday 10/26

•             At 8:30 AM, International Trade in Goods (advance) will be reported. The consensus is for a U.S. trade deficit of 87.8 billion. This would represent a widening of more dollars spent purchasing goods from abroad than goods purchased from the U.S. The numbers may offer insight into the impact that the strong dollar has had on reducing demand for U.S.-made products.

•             At 8:30 AM, Wholesale Inventories (Advance) for September are expected to have shown an increase of 1.1%. If inventories are growing fast relative to GDP, then both production and employment may have to slow down the road. And if inventories are lagging behind growth, there may be an undersupply to be made up for later.

•             At 10:00 PM, New Home Sales are expected to show a rate of 585 thousand during September. This number surprised to the upside the previous period. The report is important to those trading securities as it indicates economic momentum, future demand for goods, and confidence in the ability to afford a big expense. New home sales multiply through other areas of the economy as new homeowners set their homes with furniture, appliances, and services.

Thursday 10/27

•             At 8:30 AM, investors will get their first look at GDP for the third quarter. The number is supposed to show the first sign of growth in 2022. Consensus expectations are for growth of 2.3% during the third quarter. Stock market investors may wrestle with whether the good news is bad news or bad news is good news as the market finds a direction after this report and ahead of a rate decision the following week.

•             At 8:30 AM, Durable Goods Orders are released. The consensus is for a .6% increase in the headline number and .2% ex-transportation. Durable goods are new orders placed with U.S. manufacturers for factory hard goods. The report also contains information on shipments, unfilled orders, and inventories. Investors get insight into how busy factories will be in the coming months. This is a leading indicator with direct implications for economic growth

•             At 8:30 AM Jobless Claims are reported for the week ending 10/22/22. The expectations are for there to be 223,000 new claims. Surprises on one side or the other are important as healthy employment is one the Federal Reserve mandates.

•             At 10:30 AM, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases its weekly report on natural gas. Energy supply and demand balance impact prices of fuel that can ripple through the entire economy.

Friday 10/28

•             At 8:30 AM, Personal Income and Outlays are reported. This report includes the PCE Price index that is considered to be the Feds preferred inflation indicator. The consensus for Personal Income is +.3%. The consensus for the PCE gauge is +.3% which would equate to a year-over-year inflation rate of +6.3%.

•             At 10:00 AM, Consumer Sentiment is expected to come in at 59.7; the previous month the number reported was 59.8. Consumer spending accounts for 66% of the economy. Consumer appetite is a big influencer on investments. For stocks, strong economic growth translates to healthy corporate profits and higher stock prices. For bonds, the focus is whether economic growth goes overboard and leads to inflation.

What Else

It’s earnings season, and big market moves can occur should closely watch names miss their expected earnings numbers. On Tuesday this could include GE, Microsoft, and GM. Wednesday Ford reports, Thursday MacDonalds, Merck, Mastercard, and U.S. Steel. On Friday Exxon and Alliance Bernstein will make public their third quarter earnings.

Paul Hoffman

Managing Editor, Channelchek



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