Potential for a Change in Sentiment if Suprised by this Week’s FOMC Minutes, Jobs, and Inflation
When the world’s trading partners move interest rates in concert with each other, their actions are much smoother, this is because currency flows, which influence exchange rates, are less inclined to reprice dramatically. The U.S. has been comparatively aggressive in raising rates. This is part of why the Bank of England (BOE) shoring up its bond market, and the Japanese hawkish hesitancy has created disruptions and a historically strong U.S. dollar.
This week begins with Columbus Day; the bond markets are closed, and so are the banks. Stock market participants shouldn’t expect guidance from interest rate moves related to bond trading. The futures market will be active; moves from Interest rate futures from tickers such as ZB=F can be helpful while bonds are silent.
- 1:30 PM ET Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard discusses restoring price stability at the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). Attend via Zoom.
- Columbus Day, the potential for thin trading and big price swings.
- NY Fed 5-year inflation expectations for one- and three-year-ahead inflation expectations had posted steep declines in August, from 6.2 percent and 3.2 percent in July to 5.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Investors will be watching to see if the declining expectations continue.
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (NFIB), is a monthly survey that asks small businesses if they have plans to increase employment, plans to expand capital spending, increase inventories, expect economic improvement, expect higher retail sales, is now a good time to expand, current job openings, and earnings trends in their business. Health in small businesses can be an indicator of overall economic health and stock market strength. This report is released at 6 am last month, the index was 91.8, and the consensus is 91.5.
- The Labor Department’s JOLTS has, in recent years, been referred to as the “Quits” report. The report tracks monthly changes in job openings and contains rates of hiring and quitting. The word JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
- The Producer Price Index (PPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is an inflation gauge that measures the average change over time in the prices received by U.S. producers of goods and services. The prices are typically considered input costs for final products and can impact CPI, it may also impact company costs of production and, therefore, profits. The trend has been lower, YOY PPI has been running at 8,7%, the consensus is for 8.4%.
- The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) creates a statistic from several mortgage loan indexes. The Mortgage Applications index measures applications at mortgage lenders. It’s considered a leading indicator and is especially important for single-family home sales and housing construction. Both are considered foundational in a strong economy. L
- ast week, the Purchase Index was -12.6%.
- 10 Year Treasury Note Auction is held in the middle of each month and settles on or around the 15th (depending on weekends). The yield is a benchmark for 30-year mortgages and has recently been noted by investment markets because it has been trading at a yield lower than shorter maturities; this inversion of the yield curve has some market players suggesting a recession is expected in the future. Any surprises at the auction will reverberate through the stock market.
- FOMC minutes (September meeting) – We’d all love to be a fly on the wall at the Fed’s meetings. The minutes detail the issues debated and the consensus among policymakers. This, of course, has ramifications if the contents of the minutes demonstrate an above-average hawkish or dovish change in tone. The Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes of its latest meeting three weeks after the meeting.
- US Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the inflation indicator most widely broadcast. With inflation being a primary focus, this will be the big number coming out this week. The number represents a basket of goods considered typical for an urban consumer and is taken as the change in the cost of that basket of goods. A percentage is derived from the change. CPI is also reported with food and energy removed as it is considered that other non-economic factors influence these prices. The August report indicated CPI rose 0.6% for the month and 8.3% YOY. Expectations are for a slowing to 0.4% for September and a YOY rate of 8.1%.
- U.S. Jobless Claims, which represent the prior weeks of employment are expected to have increased to 225,000 from 219,000. From jobless claims, investors can gain a sense of how tight or how loose the job market is. If wage inflation takes hold, interest rates will likely rise, and bond and stock prices will fall. Remember, the lower the number of unemployment claims, the stronger the job market, and vice versa.
- U.S. retail sales have been lackluster, neither rising nor falling. As we head toward Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales levels, the market will be taking more and more interest in how strong the consumer is. Expectations for September are a rise of 0.2 percent overall, down 0.1 percent when excluding vehicles and up 0.4 when also excluding gasoline. The number is released at 8:30 am.
- Business inventories are expressed in dollar value held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. The level of inventories in relation to sales is an important indicator of the near-term direction of production activity. Rising inventories can be an indication of business optimism that sales will be growing in the coming months. However, if unintended inventory accumulation occurs, then production will probably have to slow while those inventories. The consensus is for a 0.9% increase after only increasing 0.6% for August.
- U.S. Baker Hughes Rig Count tracks weekly changes in the number of active operating oil & gas rigs. Rigs that are not active are not counted. Components in the data are the United States and Canada, with a separate count for the Gulf of Mexico (which is a subset of the U.S. total). A significant increase or decrease could have ramifications on energy costs in North America. The rig count for the prior period in North America was 977, with 762 of those being from the U.S.
It is a light week for economic releases and Fed governor addresses, but late week could see a dramatic change in market sentiment as the Fed Minutes, CI, and even employment has the potential to impact thinking.
Managing Editor, Channelchek