Stocks come off highs but optimism reigns, OPEC agrees cut

German and Chinese data is taking the gloss a little off Friday’s US jobs report, but the overriding sense in stock markets remains one of remarkable optimism. Speaking of which, pubs in England could reopen by Jun 22nd.

Stock markets surged last week and completed Friday by breaking through more important levels after a very strong jobs report from the US. The nonfarm payrolls report showed the US economy added 2.5m jobs in May, after more than 20m were lost the previous.

This was taken as a reason to buy stocks as it handsomely beat forecasts of 8m jobs being lost. The S&P 500 is now down just 1% for the year and trades with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of more than 23.

The report was of course hailed as a signal of American greatness – the biggest comeback in history, according to Donald Trump – and the White House even suggested it meant less support may be needed for the economy: ‘There’s no reason to have a major spending bill. The sense of urgent crisis is very greatly dissipated by the report,’ said the president’s economic advisor Stephen Moore.

Cue the Federal Reserve this week which needs to keep up the ‘whatever it takes’ mantra – does it see concern in the recent rise in Treasury yields that it needs to lean on, or will it take their recovery as a sign of optimism?

NFP boosts stocks, but recovery will still take a long time

I would like to make three points on this jobs report.

One, an unemployment rate of 13.3% is still very, very bad – 18m jobs lost over two months and a continuing weekly claims count on the rise.

Two, this was the easy bit as furloughed workers came back to their jobs as soon as they could – this seemed to happen a little quicker than had been expected but was, in itself, not the surprise. The tough part is not the immediate snap back in activity once restrictions lift, but recovery to 2019 levels of employment and productivity, which will take much, much longer.

Three, the data itself is flawed. There have been classification errors, so the real rate of unemployment may be much higher, whilst the response rate to the survey was a lot lower than usual.

Treasury yields and stocks surged – the S&P 500 went above 3200 before closing at 3193, whilst 10-year yields drove to 0.94%. Gold pulled back to its weakest level in a month.

China trade data, German industry output weigh on European stock markets

European stock markets opened lower on Monday, pulling back marginally from Friday’s peaks as Chinese trade data and German industrial production numbers weighed. China’s exports fell 3.3% year-on-year in May, whilst imports declined 16.7%.

German industrial plunged 18% last month, the biggest-ever decline.  But there is little sign risk appetite has really slackened. The FTSE 100 looks well supported now above 6400, having closed the all-important March 6th-9th gap. The DAX looks well supported at 12,700.

Crude oil gaps higher after OPEC meeting

Crude prices gapped higher at the open after OPEC+ agreed to extend the deepest level of production cuts by another month and Saudi Arabia followed this by hiking its July official selling prices by around $6, more than had been expected.

A deal among OPEC and allies, confirmed on Saturday, had already been all but announced last week. WTI (Aug) pushed up above $40 but gains have been capped with this agreement being all but fully priced.

The question will be whether there is appetite among members to extend cuts again. Those countries that have not complied with quotas in May and June will need to make up the difference in July, August and September.

Higher oil prices will encourage US shale producers to reopen taps, whilst it is unclear how well demand is coming back despite lockdown restrictions being lifted around the world.

La settimana che ci aspetta: Aspettative alte per gli incontri del FOMC

Come già avvenuto nell’ultimo periodo, la settimana prossima sarà legittimo aspettarsi una serie disastrosa di dati economici. Analizzeremo le cifre per avere indizi su quanto tempo potrebbe richiedere la ripresa economica, e anche se le proiezioni che prevedono il crollo del secondo trimestre sono terribili come sembrano.

I mercati delle materie prime seguiranno da vicino l’incontro dell’OPEC, anche se le ultime indiscrezioni suggeriscono che gli operatori potrebbero rimanere delusi. Il FOMC potrebbe rivedere le sue proiezioni economiche e fornire qualche ulteriore chiarimento sulle prospettive relative alla policy con uno spostamento verso la forward guidance implicita.

Cosa potranno dirci i dati sulla fiducia in merito al recupero post-Covid? 

I trader, gli economisti, le imprese e i policy maker di tutto il mondo sono ancora incerti su quale forma prenderà la ripresa nel post-lockdown. Molti sperano ancora in un rimbalzo deciso, anche se la cosa sembra improbabile.

Tra tutte queste incertezze, il sentiment delle imprese e dei consumatori è un indicatore utile sulle sensazioni che ha chi è sul campo relativamente al percorso da intraprendere. Non sorprende che finora i sondaggi siano stati profondamente pessimistici.

Tuttavia le economie stanno riaprendo, le misure di blocco sono in fase di allentamento e la vita sta tornando ad essere simile alla normalità in molti paesi. Ciò si è tradotto in una prospettiva più positiva, oppure il primo passo ha semplicemente mostrato quanto ci resta da percorrere sulla strada della ripresa?

L’OPEC estenderà i tagli record alla produzione? 

La settimana scorsa i mercati petroliferi sono rimasti delusi quando i membri dell’OPEC hanno deciso di non anticipare il vertice previsto per il 9 giugno. Le notizie all’inizio della settimana avevano rivelato che l’organizzazione stava cercando di estendere i suoi tagli record alla produzione per diversi mesi, se non fino alla fine dell’anno.

Queste speranze avevano sostenuto il prezzo del petrolio, ma il greggio e il Brent hanno perso slancio verso la fine della settimana quando le prospettive sono diventate meno positive. Alla fine, sembra più probabile che l’Arabia Saudita e la Russia si accorderanno per prolungare i tagli per un solo mese, anziché ridurre la produzione da luglio. Tuttavia, le tensioni sul mancato accordo tra alcuni membri dell’organizzazione stanno sollevando dubbi sulla probabilità che si riesca a concludere un accordo.

Dati sull’inflazione negli Stati Uniti: è in corso una deflazione sostenuta? 

I dati sull’inflazione negli Stati Uniti saranno resi pubblici questa settimana. Di recente l’andamento dell’inflazione è stato impressionante: in aprile è stato registrato il calo più importante della crescita dei prezzi da dicembre 2008, e l’inflazione di base ha subito il calo maggiore dall’inizio delle serie storica nel 1957.

Non sarà un solo mese di forti ribassi dei prezzi a preoccupare i policy maker, ma la più grande inquietudine è che stiamo entrando in un lungo periodo di deflazione. I tassi di interesse sono già al minimo, ma un nuovo rapporto che indichi che la crescita dei prezzi è sotto quota zero potrebbe far sì che i mercati si domandino per quanto ancora il FOMC potrà lasciare le cose come stanno prima di portare i tassi in negativo.

Il vertice del FOMC: i mercati alla ricerca di proiezioni economiche e di un orientamento futuro 

Il Federal Open Market Committee annuncerà giovedì le sue ultime decisioni relative alla policy.

Questa volta i mercati spereranno che il FOMC dia maggiori indicazioni. Il vertice di aprile e i successivi verbali non sono stati in grado di fornire alcun quadro concreto sulla possibile evoluzione della politica monetaria futura per rispondere al peggioramento delle condizioni economiche. I membri hanno discusso sulla definizione di obiettivi per la disoccupazione e l’inflazione, e anche per stabilire una data limite prima della quale non aumentare i tassi di interesse.

È probabile che vedremo ritornare il SEP (sintesi delle proiezioni economiche), che era stato abbandonato a marzo perché all’epoca le prospettive sull’economia erano troppo incerte per essere analizzate. Tutto questo, e un passo verso la forward guidance implicita, servirà per fornire ai mercati un quadro più accurato della politica futura della Fed.

La crescita del Regno Unito e i dati sulla produzione daranno forma alle aspettative del secondo trimestre 

Una serie di dati relativi al Regno Unito nel mese di aprile ci offre uno scorcio sulle temute prestazioni del secondo trimestre. Viene già dato per scontato che questo trimestre sarà terribile, ma il PIL mensile e le cifre sulla produzione del settore riveleranno se anche gli scenari peggiori sono stati abbastanza realistici.

La media del PIL sul trimestre che termina ad aprile dovrebbe attestarsi attorno ad un -12%, in calo del 2% in aprile. Su base mensile, è previsto un calo della crescita pari al -24%, mentre il calo su base annua si aggirerà intorno al -29%. È verosimile attendersi che la produzione manifatturiera sia calata di quasi il 30%. Siamo nel bel mezzo di quello che dovrebbe essere il momento peggiore, ma ci sono ancora dubbi su quanto gravemente sia stata colpita l’economia.

Cieli sereni per l’offerta basata sul cloud di Adobe? 

Con il termine della stagione degli utili, il calendario delle aziende appare decisamente ridotto, anche se il caso di Adobe potrà rivelarsi interessante.

Il software dell’azienda è basato sul cloud, con grande sollievo di molte aziende che si affidano ad esso ma hanno i propri dipendenti bloccati a casa lontano dai loro computer in ufficio. Il fatto che i loro prodotti siano venduti con un modello basato sull’iscrizione potrebbe aiutare l’azienda a mantenere entrate relativamente stabili, anche se come la maggior parte delle aziende è verosimile che Adobe registrerà un duro colpo alle proprie attività nel corso di questo trimestre.

In evidenza su XRay questa settimana

Leggi il programma completo dell’analisi e formazione del mercato finanziario.

07.15 UTC Daily European Morning Call
17.00 UTC 08-June Blonde Markets
From 15.30 UTC 09-June Gold, Silver, and Oil Weekly Forecasts
17.00 UTC 10-June FOMC Preview with chief market analyst Neil Wilson
14.45 UTC 11-June Master the Markets with Andrew Barnett

Eventi economici principali

Presta attenzione agli eventi più importanti sul calendario economico di questa settimana:

06.00 UTC 08-Jun German Industrial Production
08.30 UTC 08-Jun Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence
01.30 UTC 09-Jun AU NAB Business Confidence
09.00 UTC 09-Jun Eurozone Final Employment Change / Revised GDP (Q/Q)
00.30 UTC 10-Jun Westpac Consumer Sentiment
01.30 UTC 10-Jun China CPI
12.30 UTC 10-Jun US CPI
14.30 UTC 10-Jun US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
18.00 UTC 10-Jun FOMC Rate Decision
18.30 UTC 10-Jun FOMC Press Conference
Pre-Market 10-Jun Dollarama – Q1 2021
12.30 UTC 11-Jun US Unemployment Claims
14.30 UTC 11-Jun US EIA Natural Gas Storage
After-Market 11-Jun Adobe – Q2 2020
06.00 UTC 12-Jun UK GDP (M/M), Manufacturing/Industrial Production (M/M), Construction Output (M/M)
14.00 UTC 12-Jun Preliminary University of Michigan Sentiment Index

Hong Kong dents optimism but stocks remain on track

US shares surged on Tuesday, with the Dow rising more than 2%, briefly trading above the 25k level again before closing a little short. The S&P 500 rose over 1%, traded above 3,000 for the first time since March 5th hitting a high at 3,021 before it too closed below this psychologically important level. The broad index traded above the important 200-day moving average but failed to close above this indicator.

Economies continue to reopen a little quicker than we’d feared. US airlines are reporting a uptick in passenger levels vs where they were last month, but were down about 80% from the same Memorial holiday weekend a year before. Globally, it seems as though countries are able to ease lockdown restrictions without sparking immediate secondary waves of infections – albeit the risk of such emerging down the line should not be ignored.

The higher the S&P 500 rises without earnings picking up the pricier it gets. PE multiples already look stretched and further gains for the index would come despite declining earnings, stretching these valuations still further. What happens when banks really lay bare all the non-performing loans they are going to need to write off?

US stock markets test key 200-day SMA

In the last two major recessions (see below chart), the 200-day simple moving average has been the ceiling for the market. A breakout here would be important for recovering market highs – failure could suggest it will contain price action for a while. I hate to say it but this time could be different – central bank largesse was not a factor like it is today. This only concentrates the power of the largest capitalised companies.

What’s going on in the real economy is not reflected by markets. Even as we reopen, the economic uncertainty and long-term health fears will support household deleveraging, boost savings rates and knock consumer spending.

Today the Fed will release its Beige Book providing anecdotal evidence of business activity across the US – there will be some very grim stories to tell and will underline how it will take a long time to get businesses and people moving at the same rate they were before the crisis.

Tensions in Hong Kong weigh on global equities – will the US sanction China?

The rally in global equities seen at the start of the week ran out of steam a little in Asia overnight though as tensions in Hong Kong hove into view once more. Riot police fired pepper pellets at groups gathering to protest a bill that would ban people from insulting the Chinese national anthem. This comes as tensions were stoked by China’s planned introduction of sweeping national security powers in Hong Kong.

There is a strong chance that the anti-Beijing feeling grows and leads to the kind of unrest we saw over several months last year. The US is said to be considering sanctions against China; Beijing said yesterday it was increasing its readiness for military combat. Whilst the eyes of the world are on Hong Kong, China is already engaged in a military standoff on its border with India.

Asia soft, European stocks firm

Asian shares fell broadly, although Tokyo held up as Japan said it will carry out another $1.1 trillion stimulus package on top of a $1.1tn programme already launched last month. The Hang Seng dipped by almost 1%. But European shares rose with the FTSE 100 recapturing 6100 and making a sally towards 6200 and to close the early March gap.

Yesterday the DAX made the move back towards its Mach 6th close at 11,541 to fill the gap but failed to complete the move on the close. This morning the DAX moved strongly through this level after a pause at the open, moving back to 11,600.

Euro, pound come off highs, retreat from key technical levels

In FX, both the euro and pound failed to really make any real breach despite a strong gain yesterday and have come off their highs. EURUSD moved back towards the middle of the recent range, having fallen short of a move back to 1.10 and was last trading around 1.0960.  GBPUSD has retreated under 1.23 having fallen short of the 50% retracement of the move lower over the last month around 1.2375.

After Germany and France proposed a €500bn bailout fund based on mutual debt issuance (what some have dubbed Europe’s Hamiltonian moment), EC President Ursula von der Leyen will present her plans, which will build on the Franco-German proposal and call for a €1 trillion plan. If the budget talks are successful it should lower the risk premium on EU sovereign debt, lowering bond yields and offering succour to the euro as well as to European equity markets. It would also mark a major step towards EU fiscal policy coordination and possible fiscal union. The frugal four remain a hindrance but Merkel’s weight is behind this.

We’re also looking at the appearance before MPs today by Michael Gove and UK Brexit negotiator David Frost.

Gold falls to test $1700, WTI crude oil edges down to $34

Gold was weaker, testing $1700 again as US yields rallied on economic reopening, but 10yr Treasury yields peeled back off the highs at 0.7% due perhaps to the US-China tension.

WTI (Aug) has retreated further from the $35 level and is testing support around $34. The pattern suggests a pause for thought as we try to figure out the mess of supply and demand. The pattern is one of consolidation with a bullish flag forming, with better demand forming the basis for the move alongside supply impairment that was evidenced by a new report from the IEA saying Covid-19 will cause investment in the energy sector to decline by $400bn this year. That is the kind of capex carnage that will remove a lot of supply and force rebalance quickly.

Chart: The 200-day line has been a ceiling in past recessions

Week Ahead: UK and Eurozone GDP, NZ Budget, Marriott earnings

Economic data at the moment tends to fall into one of two categories: 1) How bad did things get in Q1, and, 2) How quickly are they likely to get better? Everyone knows the Q2 data is where the real pain lies, but markets want an idea of where things stood before the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns really began to bite. 

To this end flash Q1 GDP figures from the UK, Germany, and the Eurozone this week will act as a primer ahead of data for the current quarter. The US has already reported its advanced GDP estimate for Q1, showing that the economy contracted 4.8% during the first three months of the year, compared to expectations of 4%. 

The UK economy is expected to shrink 4.4% on the previous quarter, the German economy by 2.8%, and the Eurozone by 3.8%. If the US data is any indication, these forecasts may not be bleak enough. 

The key question, though, is whether this weakness is the predicted impact of COVID-19 arriving earlier than expected, or a sign that the impact is worse than the already dire expectations. 

The US will post inflation and retail sales data, and the University of Michigan will publish its preliminary reading of its latest sentiment index. Australian releases this week include the wage price index and employment change and unemployment rate figures. 

China industry, retail sales and New Zealand Budget 

On the other end of the scale, Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures for April will give markets a vague idea of what an economy on the other side of lockdown looks like. It’s not an entirely accurate bellwether – China returned to work around the same time that Europe battened down the hatches. 

The shuttering of businesses across the West will damage manufacturing demand in Asia. Industrial production is expected to drop 4.2%, compared to 1.1% drop in March. Retail sales had cratered nearly 16% in February. The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher to 6.3% from 5.9%. 

Also on the postCOVID front, the New Zealand government will hand down its latest Budget release this week. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has already laid out his strategy in a prebudget speech (delivered via video link, of course): respond, recovery, rebuild. 

Particularly interesting is that Robertson says this will be a chance to not just rebuild the economy, but rebuild it better. Will other finance ministers around the globe be looking to reshape their economies over the coming months and years, or simply get the train back on the rails? The notion could drastically change what markets should expect from the coming years. 

Earning season: Marriott, Cisco, Tencent 

Marriott earnings are due before the market opens on the 11thThe hotel giant recently raised $920 million in new cash through its credit card partners. Revenue per available room was down 60% during March. 

The stock has a “Hold” consensus with a 19% upside (based on the May 6th closing price) according to our Analyst Recommendations tool. Hedge funds has sold shares in the previous quarter, while insiders have snapped up the stock. The latest research on the stock from Thompson Reuters is available to download in the Marketsx platform.

Marketsx stock sentiment tools: Marriott International Inc (MAR – NASDAQ)

Cisco reports after the market close on May 13th. While analysts rate the stock a “Buy”, hedge funds dumped 83 million shares in the last quarter, with company insiders selling over 9 million in the last three months. The latest research on the stock from Thompson Reuters is available to download in the Marketsx platform.

Marketsx stock sentiment tools: Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO – NASDAQ)

Tencent Holdings, Sony, and Wirecard also report this week.

 

Heads-Up on Earnings 

The following companies are set to publish their quarterly earnings reports this week: 

Pre-Market 11-May Marriott – Q1 2020
11-May Bridgestone Corp – Q1 2020
05.00 UTC 12-May Allianz – Q1 2020
12-May Vodafone Group – Q4 2020
Pre-Market 13-May Tencent Holdings – Q1 2020
After-Market 13-May Cisco – Q3 2020
13-May Sony Corp – FY 2019/20
14-May Wirecard – Q1 2020
14-May Astellas Pharma – Q4 2019

Highlights on XRay this Week 

07.15 UTC   Daily      European Morning Call 
09.00 UTC   Daily   Earnings Season Daily Special 
 15.30 UTC 12-May   Weekly Gold Forecast
12.50 UTC 13-May Indices Insights
18.00 UTC  14-May BlondeMoney Gamma Special

Key Economic Events 

Watch out for the biggest events on the economic calendar this week: 

23.50 UTC 10-May Bank of Japan Summary of Opinions
01.30 UTC 12-May China CPI
07.00 UTC 12-May UK Preliminary Quarterly GDP
12.30 UTC 12-May US CPI
01.30 UTC 13-May Australia Wage Price Index (Q/Q)
03.00 UTC 13-May RBNZ Interest Rate Decision
14.30 UTC 13-May US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
01.30 UTC 14-May Australia Employment Change / Unemployment Rate
02.00 UTC 14-May New Zealand Annual Budget Release
12.30 UTC 14-May US Jobless Claims
14.30 UTC 14-May US EIA Natural Gas Storage
02.00 UTC 15-May China Industrial Production / Retail Sales
06.00 UTC 15-May Germany Preliminary GDP (Q1)
09.00 UTC 15-May Eurozone Preliminary GDP and Employment Change (Q1)
12.30 UTC 15-May US Retail Sales
14.00 UTC 15-May Preliminary University of Michigan Sentiment Index

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