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Category: topSource: redinewsMay 1st, 2021

Vornado Announces Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results

NEW YORK, Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) reported today: Quarter Ended June 30, 2022 Financial Results NET INCOME attributable to common shareholders for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 was $50,418,000, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to $48,045,000, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the prior year's quarter. Adjusting for the items that impact period-to-period comparability listed in the table on the following page, net income attributable to common shareholders, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 was $37,403,000, or $0.19 per diluted share, and $26,804,000, or $0.14 per diluted share for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. FUNDS FROM OPERATIONS ("FFO") attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP) for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 was $154,965,000, or $0.80 per diluted share, compared to $153,364,000, or $0.80 per diluted share, for the prior year's quarter. Adjusting for the items that impact period-to-period comparability listed in the table on the following page, FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 was $160,059,000, or $0.83 per diluted share, and $133,161,000, or $0.69 per diluted share for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Six Months Ended June 30, 2022 Financial Results NET INCOME attributable to common shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was $76,896,000, or $0.40 per diluted share, compared to $52,128,000, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2021. Adjusting for the items that impact period-to-period comparability listed in the table on the following page, net income attributable to common shareholders, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was $69,209,000, or $0.36 per diluted share, and $39,250,000, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2021. FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP) for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was $309,997,000, or $1.60 per diluted share, compared to $271,771,000, or $1.41 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2021. Adjusting for the items that impact period-to-period comparability listed in the table on the following page, FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the six months ended June 30, 2022 was $312,496,000, or $1.62 per diluted share, and $257,520,000, or $1.34 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2021. The following table reconciles net income attributable to common shareholders to net income attributable to common shareholders, as adjusted (non-GAAP): (Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts) For the Three Months EndedJune 30,   For the Six Months EndedJune 30,   2022   2021   2022   2021 Net income attributable to common shareholders $ 50,418     $ 48,045     $ 76,896     $ 52,128   Per diluted share $ 0.26     $ 0.25     $ 0.40     $ 0.27                   Certain (income) expense items that impact net income attributable to common shareholders:               Net gain on sale of the Center Building (33-00 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City, NY) $ (15,213 )   $ —     $ (15,213 )   $ —   Refund of New York City transfer taxes related to the April 2019 transfer to Fifth Avenue and Times Square JV   (13,613 )     —       (13,613 )     —   Hotel Pennsylvania loss   8,931       4,992       17,860       13,982   Deferred tax liability on our investment in Farley Office and Retail (held through a taxable REIT subsidiary)   3,234       —       6,407       —   After-tax net gain on sale of 220 Central Park South ("220 CPS") condominium unit(s) and ancillary amenities   (673 )     (22,208 )     (6,085 )     (22,208 ) Other   3,760       (5,508 )     2,660       (5,574 )     (13,574 )     (22,724 )     (7,984 )     (13,800 ) Noncontrolling interests' share of above adjustments   559       1,483       297       922   Total of certain (income) expense items that impact net income attributable to common shareholders $ (13,015 )   $ (21,241 )   $ (7,687 )   $ (12,878 ) Per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ (0.07 )   $ (0.11 )   $ (0.04 )   $ (0.07 )                 Net income attributable to common shareholders, as adjusted (non-GAAP) $ 37,403     $ 26,804     $ 69,209     $ 39,250   Per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 0.19     $ 0.14     $ 0.36     $ 0.20                                   The following table reconciles FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP) to FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP): (Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts) For the Three Months EndedJune 30,   For the Six Months EndedJune 30,   2022   2021   2022   2021 FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP)(1) $ 154,965     $ 153,364     $ 309,997     $ 271,771   Per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 0.80     $ 0.80     $ 1.60     $ 1.41                   Certain expense (income) items that impact FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions:               Deferred tax liability on our investment in Farley Office and Retail (held through a taxable REIT subsidiary) $ 3,234     $ —     $ 6,407     $ —   After-tax net gain on sale of 220 CPS condominium unit(s) and ancillary amenities   (673 )     (22,208 )     (6,085 )     (22,208 ) Other   2,912       953       2,363       7,304       5,473       (21,255 )     2,685       (14,904 ) Noncontrolling interests' share of above adjustments   (379 )     1,052       (186 )     653   Total of certain expense (income) items that impact FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, net $ 5,094     $ (20,203 )   $ 2,499     $ (14,251 ) Per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 0.03     $ (0.11 )   $ 0.02     $ (0.07 )                 FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) $ 160,059     $ 133,161     $ 312,496     $ 257,520   Per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 0.83     $ 0.69     $ 1.62     $ 1.34   ____________________________________________________________ (1)   See page 10 for a reconciliation of net income attributable to common shareholders to FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021. FFO, as Adjusted Bridge - Q2 2022 vs. Q2 2021 The following table bridges our FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the three months ended June 30, 2021 to FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the three months ended June 30, 2022: (Amounts in millions, except per share amounts) FFO, as Adjusted   Amount   Per Share FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the three months ended June 30, 2021 $ 133.2     $ 0.69         Increase (decrease) in FFO, as adjusted due to:       Rent commencement and other tenant related items   26.0       Variable businesses (primarily signage and trade shows)   8.5       Acquisition of our partner's 45% ownership interest in One Park Avenue on August 5, 2021   3.6       Straight-line impact of PENN 1 2023 estimated ground rent reset   (5.8 )     Other, net   (3.3 )         29.0       Noncontrolling interests' share of above items   (2.1 )     Net increase   26.9       0.14         FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted (non-GAAP) for the three months ended June 30, 2022 $ 160.1     $ 0.83 See page 10 for a reconciliation of net income attributable to common shareholders to FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions (non-GAAP) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021. Reconciliations of FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions to FFO attributable to common shareholders plus assumed conversions, as adjusted are provided above. Dispositions: 220 CPS During the six months ended June 30, 2022, we closed on the sale of one condominium unit and ancillary amenities at 220 CPS for net proceeds of $16,124,000 resulting in a financial statement net gain of $7,030,000 which is included in "net gains on disposition of wholly owned and partially owned assets" on our consolidated statements of income. In connection with these sales, $945,000 of income tax expense was recognized on our consolidated statements of income. From inception to June 30, 2022, we have closed on the sale of 107 units and ancillary amenities for net proceeds of $3,023,020,000 resulting in financial statement net gains of $1,124,285,000. SoHo Properties On January 13, 2022, we sold two Manhattan retail properties located at 478-482 Broadway and 155 Spring Street for $84,500,000 and realized net proceeds of $81,399,000. In connection with the sale, we recognized a net gain of $551,000 which is included in "net gains on disposition of wholly owned and partially owned assets" on our consolidated statements of income. Center Building (33-00 Northern Boulevard) On June 17, 2022, we sold the Center Building, an eight-story 498,000 square foot office building located at 33‑00 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, New York, for $172,750,000. We realized net proceeds of $58,946,000 after repayment of the existing $100,000,000 mortgage loan and closing costs. In connection with the sale, we recognized a net gain of $15,213,000 which is included in "net gains on disposition of wholly owned and partially owned assets" on our consolidated statements of income. The gain for tax purposes was approximately $74,000,000. Financings: 100 West 33rd Street On June 15, 2022, we completed a $480,000,000 refinancing of 100 West 33rd Street, a 1.1 million square foot building comprised of 859,000 square feet of office space and 255,000 square feet of retail space. The interest-only loan bears a rate of SOFR plus 1.65% (3.09% as of June 30, 2022) through March 2024, increasing to SOFR plus 1.85% thereafter. The loan matures in June 2027, with two one-year extension options subject to debt service coverage ratio and loan-to-value tests. The loan replaces the previous $580,000,000 loan that bore interest at LIBOR plus 1.55% and was scheduled to mature in April 2024. 770 Broadway On June 28, 2022, we completed a $700,000,000 refinancing of 770 Broadway, a 1.2 million square foot Class A Manhattan office building. The interest-only loan bears a rate of SOFR plus 2.25% (3.75% as of June 30, 2022) and matures in July 2024, with three one-year extension options (July 2027 as fully extended). Upon the achievement of certain conditions within the first 18 months of closing, the interest rate will decrease to SOFR plus 1.75% and we will have the option to draw an additional $300,000,000 of proceeds. Concurrently with the refinancing, the interest rate on $350,000,000 of the loan was swapped to a fixed rate of 5.11% and on July 22, 2022, the interest rate on the remaining $350,000,000 was swapped to a fixed rate of 4.85%. The swaps result in a blended fixed interest rate of 4.98% through July 2027. The loan replaces the previous $700,000,000 loan that bore interest at SOFR plus 1.86% and was scheduled to mature in July 2022. Unsecured Revolving Credit Facility On June 30, 2022, we amended and extended one of our two revolving credit facilities. The $1.25 billion amended facility bears interest at a rate of SOFR plus 1.15% (2.68% as of June 30, 2022). The term of the facility was extended from March 2024 to December 2027, as fully extended. The facility fee is 25 basis points. Our other $1.25 billion revolving credit facility matures in April 2026, as fully extended, and bears a rate of SOFR plus 1.19% with a facility fee of 25 basis points. Unsecured Term Loan On June 30, 2022, we extended our $800,000,000 unsecured term loan from February 2024 to December 2027. The extended loan bears interest at a rate of SOFR plus 1.30% (2.83% as of June 30, 2022). Under an existing swap agreement, $750,000,000 of the $800,000,000 loan has been swapped to a fixed rate of 4.05% through October 2023. Leasing Activity For the Three Months Ended June 30, 2022: 301,000 square feet of New York Office space (231,000 square feet at share) at an initial rent of $85.27 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 11.5 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 109,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 5.1% and positive 1.7%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $10.40 per square foot per annum, or 12.2% of initial rent. 8,000 square feet of New York Retail space (all at share) at an initial rent of $626.76 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 12.7 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 6,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 55.0% and positive 51.3%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $66.28 per square foot per annum, or 10.6% of initial rent. 59,000 square feet at theMART (all at share) at an initial rent of $56.33 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 4.7 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 50,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 1.0% and negative 2.6%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $4.23 per square foot per annum, or 7.5% of initial rent. Leasing Activity For the Six Months Ended June 30, 2022: 573,000 square feet of New York Office space (467,000 square feet at share) at an initial rent of $83.15 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 10.2 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 261,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 5.9% and positive 4.7%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $11.41 per square foot per annum, or 13.7% of initial rent. 28,000 square feet of New York Retail space (all at share) at an initial rent of $303.57 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 13.7 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 6,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 55.0% and positive 51.3%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $28.05 per square foot per annum, or 9.2% of initial rent. 208,000 square feet at theMART (all at share) at an initial rent of $51.64 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 7.2 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 183,000 square feet of second generation space were negative 4.8% and negative 3.9%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $10.58 per square foot per annum, or 20.5% of initial rent. 56,000 square feet at 555 California (39,000 square feet at share) at an initial rent of $91.49 per square foot and a weighted average lease term of 6.8 years. The changes in the GAAP and cash mark-to-market rent on the 34,000 square feet of second generation space were positive 56.4% and positive 19.8%, respectively. Tenant improvements and leasing commissions were $12.50 per square foot per annum, or 13.7% of initial rent. Same Store Net Operating Income ("NOI") At Share: Below is the percentage increase in same store NOI at share and same store NOI at share - cash basis of our New York segment, theMART and 555 California Street.   Total   New York   theMART   555 California Street Same store NOI at share % increase(1):               Three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to June 30, 2021 7.1 %   7.1 %   8.3 %   6.1 % Six months ended June 30, 2022 compared to June 30, 2021 5.3 %   5.0 %   9.2 %   4.6 % Three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to March 31, 2022 2.1 %   2.2 %   0.2 %   3.0 %                 Same store NOI at share - cash basis % increase(1):               Three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to June 30, 2021 8.4 %   7.7 %   10.5 %   14.9 % Six months ended June 30, 2022 compared to June 30, 2021 7.3 %   6.6 %   12.4 %   10.0 % Three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to March 31, 2022 1.7 %   1.3 %   5.4 %   3.0 % ____________________(1)   See pages 12 through 17 for same store NOI at share and same store NOI at share - cash basis reconciliations. NOI At Share: The elements of our New York and Other NOI at share for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 and the three months ended March 31, 2022 are summarized below. (Amounts in thousands) For the Three Months Ended   For the Six Months EndedJune 30,   June 30,   March 31, 2022     2022   2021     2022   2021 NOI at share:                   New York:                   Office(1) $ 182,042   $ 164,050     $ 177,809   $ 359,851   $ 330,685   Retail   51,438     39,213       52,105     103,543     75,915   Residential   5,250     4,239       4,774     10,024     8,695   Alexander's   9,362     9,069       8,979     18,341     19,558   Hotel Pennsylvania(2)   —     (5,533 )     —     —     (12,677 ) Total New York   248,092     211,038       243,667     491,759     422,176   Other:                   theMART   19,947     18,412       19,914     39,861     36,519   555 California Street   16,724     16,038       16,235     32,959     32,102   Other investments   4,183     4,079       4,442     8,625     8,878   Total Other   40,854     38,529       40,591     81,445     77,499                       NOI at share $ 288,946   $ 249,567     $ 284,258   $ 573,204   $ 499,675   _______________________See notes below. NOI At Share - Cash Basis: The elements of our New York and Other NOI at share - cash basis for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 and the three months ended March 31, 2022 are summarized below. (Amounts in thousands) For the Three Months Ended   For the Six Months EndedJune 30,   June 30,   March 31, 2022     2022   2021     2022   2021 NOI at share - cash basis:                   New York:                   Office(1) $ 180,326   $ 167,322     $ 177,827   $ 358,153   $ 334,418   Retail   47,189     36,214       47,393     94,582     71,090   Residential   4,309     3,751       4,689     8,998     7,762   Alexander's   10,079     9,848       9,783     19,862     21,197   Hotel Pennsylvania(2)   —     (5,556 )     —     —     (12,723 ) Total New York   241,903     211,579       239,692     481,595     421,744   Other:                   theMART   21,541     19,501       20,436     41,977     37,341   555 California Street   16,855     14,952       16,360     33,215     30,807   Other investments   4,372     4,381       4,640     9,012     9,431   Total Other   42,768     38,834       41,436     84,204     77,579                       NOI at share - cash basis $ 284,671   $ 250,413     $ 281,128   $ 565,799   $ 499,323   ______________________(1)   Includes Building Maintenance Services NOI of $6,468, $6,197, $5,782, $12,250 and $12,547, respectively, for the three months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 and March 31, 2022 and the six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021.(2)   On April 5, 2021, we permanently closed the Hotel Pennsylvania. Beginning in the third quarter of 2021, we commenced capitalization of carrying costs in connection with our development of the future PENN 15 (formerly Hotel Pennsylvania) site. PENN District - Active Development/Redevelopment Summary as of June 30, 2022 (Amounts in thousands of dollars, except square feet)               PropertyRentableSq. Ft.       Cash AmountExpended   Remaining Expenditures       ProjectedIncremental Cash Yield Active PENN District Projects   Segment     Budget(1)       StabilizationYear   Farley (95% interest)   New York   845,000   1,120,000 (2) 1,059,403 (2) 60,597   2022   6.4 %   PENN 2 - as expanded   New York   1,795,000   750,000   268,409   481,591   2025   9.0 %   PENN 1 (including LIRR Concourse Retail)(3)   New York   2,527,000   450,000   337,360   112,640   N/A   12.2 % (3)(4) Districtwide Improvements   New York   N/A      100,000   37,883   62,117   N/A   N/A     Total Active PENN District Projects           2,420,000   1,703,055   716,945       8.0 %   ________________________________(1)   Excluding debt and equity carry.(2)   Net of 154,000 of historic tax credit investor contributions, of which 88,000 has been funded to date (at our 95% share).(3)   Property is ground leased through 2098, as fully extended. Fair market value resets occur in 2023, 2048 and 2073. The 12.2% projected return is before the ground rent reset in 2023, which may be material.(4)   Projected to be achieved as pre-redevelopment leases roll; approximate average remaining lease term 3.6 years. There can be no assurance that the above projects will be completed, completed on schedule or within budget. In addition, there can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in leasing the properties on the expected schedule or at the assumed rental rates. Conference Call and Audio Webcast As previously announced, the Company will host a quarterly earnings conference call and an audio webcast on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET). The conference call can be accessed by dialing 866-374-5140 (domestic) or 404-400-0571 (international) and entering the passcode 54130070. A live webcast of the conference call will be available on Vornado's website at www.vno.com in the Investor Relations section and an online playback of the webcast will be available on the website following the conference call. Contact Thomas J. Sanelli(212) 894-7000 Supplemental Data Further details regarding results of operations, properties and tenants can be accessed at the Company's website www.vno.com. Vornado Realty Trust is a fully - integrated equity real estate investment trust. Certain statements contained herein may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They represent our intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs and are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Our future results, financial condition and business may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. You can find many of these statements by looking for words such as "approximates," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "intends," "plans," "would," "may" or other similar expressions in this press release. We also note the following forward-looking statements: in the case of our development and redevelopment projects, the estimated completion date, estimated project cost, projected incremental cash yield, stabilization date and cost to complete; and estimates of future capital expenditures, dividends to common and preferred shareholders and operating partnership distributions. For a discussion of factors that could materially affect the outcome of our forward-looking statements and our future results and financial condition, see "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A, of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. Currently, one of the most significant factors is the ongoing adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, operating performance and the effect it has had and may continue to have on our tenants, the global, national, regional and local economies and financial markets and the real estate market in general. The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to depend on future developments, including vaccination rates among the population, the efficacy and durability of vaccines against emerging variants, and governmental and tenant responses thereto, which continue to be uncertain but the impact could be material. Moreover, you are cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic will heighten many of the risks identified in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in Part I of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. VORNADO REALTY TRUST CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS   (Amounts in thousands) As of   Increase(Decrease)     June 30, 2022   December 31, 2021     ASSETS             Real estate, at cost:             Land $ 2,493,688     $ 2,540,193     $ (46,505 )   Buildings and improvements   10,054,872       9,839,166       215,706     Development costs and construction in progress   711,250       718,694       (7,444 )   Leasehold improvements and equipment   122,151       119,792      .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaAug 1st, 2022

First Savings Financial Group, Inc. Reports Financial Results for the Third Fiscal Quarter Ended June 30, 2022

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind., July 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG) (the "Company"), the holding company for First Savings Bank (the "Bank"), today reported net income of $2.6 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 compared to net income of $4.3 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Commenting on the Company's performance, Larry W. Myers, President and CEO, stated "We are very pleased to have reached the $2.0 billion asset mark in this quarter, plus with the performance of the core banking segment, including enhanced profitability, very significant loan originations and portfolio growth, increased net interest margin, improved efficiency ratio and improved asset quality ratios. While the SBA lending segment underperformed in comparison to prior quarters, it was not unexpected and we have rebuilt the lending team and pipeline for enhanced performance in the fourth fiscal quarter and thereafter. We also recognize the headwinds for the mortgage banking segment and continue to right-size expenses in relation to decreasing origination volumes and margin. We are also pleased to report 59,120 shares of the Company's common shares were repurchased during the quarter, which was slightly less than 1.0% of outstanding shares, as a part of the previously announced 5% share repurchase program. While the Company continues to enhance the performance of the SBA lending and mortgage banking segments, the core banking segment continues to provide solid performance. I remain optimistic that the Company is positioning itself well for the challenges of 2022 and opportunities in 2023 and years thereafter. I believe we are poised to thrive and continue to deliver exceptional value to our shareholders." Results of Operations for the Three Months Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 Net interest income increased $1.7 million, or 11.8%, to $15.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The increase in net interest income was due to a $2.3 million increase in interest income, partially offset by a $647,000 increase in interest expense. Interest income increased due to an increase in the average balance of interest-earning assets of $182.7 million, from $1.55 billion for 2021 to $1.74 billion for 2022, and an increase in the weighted-average tax-equivalent yield, from 4.25% for 2021 to 4.36% for 2022. The increase in the average balance of interest-earning assets was due to increases in the average balance of investment securities and total loans of $111.4 million and $84.4 million, respectively. When excluding the impact from PPP loan payoffs, the increase in the average balance of loans was $225.4 million when comparing the two periods. Interest expense increased due to an increase in the average balance of interest-bearing liabilities of $160.0 million, from $1.21 billion for 2021 to $1.37 billion for 2022, and an increase in the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities, from 0.63% for 2021 to 0.75% for 2022. The increase in the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities for 2022 was due primarily to higher rates paid for brokered deposits during the period. The Company recognized a provision for loan losses of $532,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2022, due to loan portfolio growth, compared to a credit of $2.7 million for the same period in 2021. The increase in the provision for loan losses for 2022 is primarily due to loan growth during the quarter ended June 30, 2022. The Company recognized net charge-offs of $27,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to net charge-offs of $47,000 for the same period in 2021. Noninterest income decreased $8.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The decrease was due primarily to decreases in mortgage banking income and net gain on sale of SBA loans of $7.3 million and $1.8 million, respectively. The decrease in mortgage banking income was primarily due to a $16.6 million decrease in production revenue from lower originations for sale and a $2.5 million decrease in capitalized residential mortgage loan servicing rights, partially offset by $6.1 million in realized and unrealized hedging gains in 2022 compared to $6.3 million in realized and unrealized hedging losses in 2021. Mortgage loans originated for sale were $421.4 million in the three months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to $739.5 million in the same period in 2021. The decrease in net gain on sales of SBA loans was due primarily to decreases in production and sales volume from the SBA lending segment, as well as lower premiums in the secondary market. Noninterest expense decreased $7.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The decrease was due primarily to a decrease in compensation and benefits of $6.1 million. The decrease in compensation and benefits expense is due primarily to a reduction in incentive compensation for the Company's mortgage banking segment as a result of decreased mortgage banking income. The Company recognized an income tax benefit of $61,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to tax expense of $817,000 for the same period in 2021. The tax benefit for 2022 was primarily the result of the Company's utilization of capital loss carryovers during the period and the purchase of additional tax-exempt municipal bonds during the period. Results of Operations for the Nine Months Ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 The Company reported net income of $14.0 million, or $1.95 per diluted share, for the nine months ended June 30, 2022 compared to net income of $24.7 million, or $3.45 per diluted share, for the nine months ended June 30, 2021. Net interest income increased $1.1 million, or 2.5%, to $43.8 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The increase in net interest income was due to a $1.0 million increase in interest income and a $53,000 decrease in interest expense. Interest income increased due to an increase in the weighted-average tax-equivalent yield, from 4.15% for 2021 to 4.25% for 2022, and a $1.7 million increase in the average balance of interest-earning assets. Interest expense decreased primarily due to a decrease in the average balance of interest-bearing liabilities of $13.0 million, from $1.28 billion for 2021 to $1.27 billion for 2022. The average cost of interest-bearing liabilities was 0.65% for both 2021 and 2022. The Company recognized a provision for loan losses of $1.0 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2022, due to loan portfolio growth, compared to a credit of $1.8 million for the same period in 2021. Nonperforming loans, which consist of nonaccrual loans and loans over 90 days past due and still accruing interest, decreased $5.6 million from $15.5 million at September 30, 2021 to $9.9 million at June 30, 2022. The Company recognized net charge-offs of $349,000 for the nine months ended June 30, 2022, of which $218,000 was related to unguaranteed portions of SBA loans, compared to net charge-offs of $609,000 for the same period in 2021, of which $565,000 was related to unguaranteed portions of SBA loans. Noninterest income decreased $57.2 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The decrease was due primarily to a decrease in mortgage banking income and gain on sale of SBA loans of $55.4 million and $3.4 million, respectively. The decrease in mortgage banking income was primarily due to a $73.9 million decrease in production revenue from lower originations for sale and a $22.1 million decrease in capitalized residential mortgage loan servicing rights, partially offset by a $13.8 million increase in realized and unrealized hedging gains, a $3.1 million decrease in the fair value of loans held for sale and interest rate lock commitments as compared to a $15.6 million decrease in fair value recognized in 2021, and a $4.7 million increase in the fair value of the residential mortgage loan servicing rights portfolio in 2022 as compared to a $7.0 million decrease in fair value recognized in 2021. Mortgage loans originated for sale were $1.42 billion in the nine months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to $3.51 billion in the same period in 2021. The decrease in net gain on sales of SBA loans was due primarily to decreases in production and sales volume from the SBA lending segment, as well as lower premiums in the secondary market. Noninterest expense decreased $41.2 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021. The decrease was due primarily to decreases in compensation and benefits and advertising expense of $34.7 million and $3.1 million, respectively. The decrease in compensation and benefits expense is due primarily to a reduction in incentive compensation for the Company's mortgage banking segment as a result of decreased mortgage banking income. The decrease in advertising expense was related to the reduced loan origination volume of the mortgage banking segment. The Company recognized income tax expense of $2.4 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2022 compared to $9.0 million for the same period in 2021. The effective tax rate for 2022 was 14.5% as compared to 26.5% for 2021. The lower effective tax rate for 2022 was primarily due to lower taxable income and lower nondeductible executive compensation expense in 2022 as compared to 2021. Comparison of Financial Condition at June 30, 2022 and September 30, 2021 Total assets increased $285.3 million, from $1.72 billion at September 30, 2021 to $2.01 billion at June 30, 2022. Net loans held for investment increased $191.9 million during the nine months ended June 30, 2022, due primarily to growth in residential mortgage loans, single-tenant net lease commercial real estate loans and non-SBA commercial business loans, partially offset by a $54.9 million decrease in PPP loans. Residential mortgage and SBA loans held for sale decreased $73.1 million and $4.0 million, respectively, during the nine months ended June 30, 2022 due to loan sales outpacing originations. Single tenant net lease loans held for sale increased $50.3 million during the nine months ended June 30, 2022, due to originations and transfers from held-for-investment to held-for-sale outpacing sales during the period. Residential mortgage loan servicing rights increased $15.3 million, or 30.8%, to $64.8 million at June 30, 2022. Total liabilities increased $296.4 million due primarily to increases in FHLB borrowings, total deposits and other borrowings of $154.1 million, $118.1 million and $30.3 million, respectively. The increase in FHLB borrowings was primarily used to fund loan growth. The increase in other borrowings was due to a $31.0 million subordinated debt issuance in March 2022. Common stockholders' equity decreased $11.2 million, from $180.4 million at September 30, 2021 to $169.2 million at June 30, 2022, due primarily to a decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income of $21.5 million, partially offset by retained net income of $11.3 million. The decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income was primarily due to increasing market interest rates during the nine months ended June 30, 2022, which resulted in a decrease in the fair value of the available-for-sale securities portfolio. At June 30, 2022 and September 30, 2021, the Bank was considered "well-capitalized" under applicable regulatory capital guidelines. First Savings Bank is an entrepreneurial community bank headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana, which is directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, and operates fifteen depository branches within Southern Indiana. The Bank also has three national lending programs, including single-tenant net lease commercial real estate, SBA lending and residential mortgage banking, with offices located throughout the United States. The Bank is a recognized leader, both in its local communities and nationally for its lending programs. The employees of First Savings Bank strive daily to achieve the organization's vision, We Expect To Be The BEST community BANK, which fuels our success. The Company's common shares trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol "FSFG." This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements are not historical facts; rather, they are statements based on the Company's current expectations regarding its business strategies and their intended results and its future performance. Forward-looking statements are preceded by terms such as "expects," "believes," "anticipates," "intends" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Numerous risks and uncertainties could cause or contribute to the Company's actual results, performance and achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause or contribute to these differences include, without limitation, changes in general economic conditions, including the duration, extent and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its effect on our customers, service providers and on the economy and financial markets in general; changes in market interest rates; changes in monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government; legislative and regulatory changes; and other factors disclosed periodically in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Because of the risks and uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them, whether included in this report or made elsewhere from time to time by the Company or on its behalf. Except as may be required by applicable law or regulation, the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Contact: Tony A. Schoen, CPA Chief Financial Officer 812-283-0724 FIRST SAVINGS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (Unaudited)                     * All share and per share amounts have been adjusted to reflect the three-for-one stock split effective September 15, 2021.                                   Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended     OPERATING DATA: June 30,   June 30,     (In thousands, except share and per share data) 2022   2021   2022   2021                         Total interest income $ 18,479     $ 16,150     $ 50,042     $ 49,016       Total interest expense   2,568       1,921       6,215       6,268                           Net interest income   15,911       14,229       43,827       42,748       Provision (credit) for loan losses   532       (2,730 )     1,028       (1,775 )                         Net interest income after provision (credit) for loan losses   15,379       16,959       42,799       44,523                           Total noninterest income   10,033       18,785       46,696       103,941       Total noninterest expense   22,835       30,619       73,148       114,305                           Income before income taxes   2,577       5,125       16,347       34,159       Income tax expense (benefit)   (61 )     817       2,369       9,039                           Net income   2,638       4,308       13,978       25,120                           Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests   -       -       -       402                           Net income attributable to the Company $ 2,638     $ 4,308     $ 13,978     $ 24,718                           Net income per share, basic $ 0.37     $ 0.61     $ 1.97     $ 3.48       Weighted average shares outstanding, basic   7,073,204       7,109,481       7,082,034       7,106,505                           Net income per share, diluted $ 0.37     $ 0.60     $ 1.95     $ 3.45       Weighted average shares outstanding, diluted   7,145,288       7,178,943       7,166,632       7,166,235                                               Performance ratios (three-month and nine-month data annualized)                   Return on average assets   0.55 %     1.00 %     1.04 %     1.87 %     Return on average equity   6.06 %     9.94 %     10.33 %     19.95 %     Return on average common stockholders' equity   6.06 %     9.94 %     10.33 %     19.65 %     Net interest margin (tax equivalent basis)   3.77 %     3.75 %     3.73 %     3.63 %     Efficiency ratio   88.02 %     92.75 %     80.81 %     77.92 %                                                       QTD       FYTD FINANCIAL CONDITION DATA: June 30,   March 31,   Increase   September 30,   Increase (In thousands, except per share data) 2022   2022   (Decrease)   2021   (Decrease)                     Total assets $ 2,006,666     $ 1,801,944     $ 204,722     $ 1,721,394     $ 285,272   Cash and cash equivalents   37,468       31,105       6,363       33,428       4,040   Investment securities   309,027       284,674       24,353       208,518       100,509   Loans held for sale   188,031       152,652       35,379       214,940       (26,909 ) Gross loans (1)   1,282,796       1,141,293       141,503       1,090,237       192,559   Allowance for loan losses   14,980       14,475       505       14,301       679   Interest earning assets   1,809,588       1,602,321       207,267       1,540,111       269,477   Goodwill   9,848       9,848       -       9,848       -   Core deposit intangibles   828       882       (54 )     988       (160 ) Loan servicing rights   69,039       68,267       772       54,026       15,013   Noninterest-bearing deposits   343,292       311,738       31,554       291,039       52,253   Interest-bearing deposits (2)   1,002,415       909,451       92,964       936,541       65,874   Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings   404,098       296,592       107,506       250,000       154,098   Total liabilities   1,837,453       1,621,991       215,462       1,541,017       296,436   Stockholders' equity, net of noncontrolling interests   169,213       179,953       (10,740 )     180,377       (11,164 )                     Book value per share $ 23.80     $ 25.10     $ (1.30 )   $ 25.31       (1.51 ) Tangible book value per share (3)   22.30       23.60       (1.30 )     23.79       (1.49 )                     Non-performing assets:                   Nonaccrual loans - SBA guaranteed $ 5,165     $ 5,214     $ (49 )   $ 6,748     $ (1,583 ) Nonaccrual loans - unguaranteed   4,717       4,842       (125 )     8,252       (3,535 ) Total nonaccrual loans $ 9,882     $ 10,056     $ (174 )   $ 15,000     $ (5,118 ) Accruing loans past due 90 days   -       -       -       472       (472 ) Total non-performing loans   9,882       10,056       (174 )     15,472       (5,590 ) Troubled debt restructurings classified as performing loans   2,822       3,017       (195 )     1,743       1,079   Total non-performing assets $ 12,704     $ 13,073     $ (369 )   $ 17,215     $ (4,511 )                     Asset quality ratios:                   Allowance for loan losses as a percent of total gross loans   1.17 %     1.27 %     (0.10 %)     1.31 %     (0.14 %) Allowance for loan losses as a percent of total gross loans, excluding PPP loans (4)   1.17 %     1.28 %     (0.11 %)     1.38 %     (0.21 %) Allowance for loan losses as a percent of nonperforming loans   151.59 %     143.94 %     7.65 %     92.43 %     59.16 % Nonperforming loans as a percent of total gross loans   0.77 %     0.88 %     (0.11 %)     1.42 %     (0.65 %) Nonperforming assets as a percent of total assets   0.63 %     0.73 %     (0.10 %)     1.00 %     (0.37 %)                     (1) Includes $1.8 million, $13.4 million and $56.7 million of PPP loans at June 30, 2022, March 31, 2022 and September 30, 2021, respectively.                             (2) Includes $159.1 million, $69.8 million and $100.1 million of brokered certificates of deposit at June 30, 2022, March 31, 2022 and September 30, 2021, respectively.                         (3) See reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures for additional information relating to calculation of this item.                                 (4) Denominator excludes PPP loans, which are fully guaranteed by the SBA. This ratio is non-GAAP, but is believed by management to be meaningful because it provides a comparable ratio after eliminating PPP loans.                                                           RECONCILIATION OF GAAP AND NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (UNAUDITED):                 The following non-GAAP financial measures used by the Company provide information useful to investors in understanding the Company's           performance. The Company believes the financial measures presented below are important because of their widespread use by investors as a means to         evaluate capital adequacy and earnings. The following table summarizes the non-GAAP financial measures derived from amounts reported in the         Company's consolidated financial statements and reconciles those non-GAAP financial measures with the comparable GAAP financial measures.                                       QTD       FYTD   June 30,   March 31,   Increase   September 30,   Increase Tangible Book Value Per Share 2022   2022   (Decrease)   2021   (Decrease) (In thousands, except share and per share data)                                       Stockholders' equity, net of noncontrolling interests (GAAP) $ 169,213     $ 179,953     $ (10,740 )   $ 180,377     $ (11,164 ) Less: goodwill and core deposit intangibles   (10,676 )     (10,730 )     54       (10,836 )     160   Tangible equity (non-GAAP) $ 158,537     $ 169,223       (10,686 )   $ 169,541       (11,004 )                     Outstanding common shares   7,110,706       7,169,826       (59,120 )     7,125,888       (15,182 )                     Tangible book value per share (non-GAAP) $ 22.30     $ 23.60     $ (1.30 )   $ 23.79     $ (1.49 )                     Book value per share (GAAP) $ 23.80     $ 25.10     $ (1.30 )   $ 25.31     $ (1.51 )                                         SUMMARIZED FINANCIAL INFORMATION (UNAUDITED): As of Summarized Consolidated Balance Sheets June 30,   March 31,   December 31,   September 30,   June 30, (In thousands, except per share data)  2022     2022     2021     2021     2021  Total cash and cash equivalents $ 37,468     $ 31,105     $ 40,592     $ 33,428     $ 22,909   Total investment securities   309,027       284,674       220,926       208,518       209,551   Total loans held for sale   188,031       152,652       161,218       214,940       277,374   Total loans, net of allowance for loan losses   1,267,816       1,126,818       1,142,655       1,075,936    .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJul 25th, 2022

Bank of America Profit Tumbles; EPS, Equity Trading Miss, Loss Reserves Jump

Bank of America Profit Tumbles; EPS, Equity Trading Miss, Loss Reserves Jump With the final day of bank earnings on deck, the first of two big pre-market reporters, Bank of America, moments ago unveiled Q2 earnings that joined the disappointment parade missing on the top and the bottom line, reporting revenue of $22.7BN, in line with expectations and EPS of $0.73, just below the $0.75 expected, a 9% drop from the EPS reported in Q1 and a 29% plunge from Q2 2021. Net income came in at $6.247 billion, which is down from $7.067 billion last quarter, and a 32%, or $3 billion plunge, compared to $9.224 billion from Q2 2021. Here are some more top-line results details: revenue, net of interest expense, rose $1.2BN or 6% Y/Y to $22.69B; it dropped 2% or $0.5BN from Q1 2022 however. A breakdown of revenues shows the following: Net interest income (NII) of $12.4B ($12.5B FTE) increased $2.2B, or 22%, smashing expectations of a $12.3BN print, and driven by higher interest rates, lower premium amortization and strong loan growth. The net interest yield of 1.86% was well above the 1.77% estimate. However, while NII jumped, Noninterest income of $10.2B disappointed as it decreased $1.0B, or 9%, "driven by lower investment banking fees, mark-to-market losses related to leveraged finance positions and lower service charges due to non-sufficient funds and overdraft policy changes," partially offset by higher sales and trading revenues Provision for credit losses came ina t $0.5B, better than expected, including a small reserve release of $48 million and $571 million of net charge-offs vs. a benefit of $1.6B in 2Q21. BofA said that "reserves remained relatively flat to prior quarter as builds for loan growth and the impact of a dampening macroeconomic outlook were offset by asset quality improvement and reduced pandemic uncertainty." On the other end, net charge-offs (NCOs) of $571MM declined 4%; net charge-off ratio of 23 bps. NCO ratio did jump 7% from Q1, however, rising by almost $179 million. Noninterest expense of $15.3B increased $0.2B, or 2%, vs. 2Q21, and remained flat QoQ, despite approximately $425MM recognized for certain regulatory matters. The increase also included regulatory matters. A quick look at the balance sheet shows some growth there too, with total loans rising 12% Y/Y to $1.015 trillion, above the estimate $1.01 trillion... ... while total deposits of $2.012 trillion, rose 7% Y/Y (they did drop modestly from Q1) and were in line with the estimate of $2.02 trillion: The bank was also kind enough to share it daily loan and lease balances: the bounce here is clearly visible across all products. Turning to the bank's trading division, we find that Trading revenue excluding DVA rose 11% Y/Y to $4.00 billion, just barely missing the $4.01 billion Bloomberg estimate, and driven by an equities trading miss offset by a modest FICC beat:  FICC trading revenue excluding DVA $2.34 billion, +19% y/y, beating the estimate $2.29 billion; according to the bank, "FICC revenue increased to $2.5B, driven by improved performance across all macro products, partially offset by a weaker trading performance in credit products" Equities trading revenue excluding DVA $1.66 billion, +1.5% y/y, missing the estimate $1.72 billion; per BofA, "equities revenue increased to $1.7B, driven by a strong trading performance in derivatives offset by a weaker trading performance in cash" On the expense side, noninterest expense of $3.1B decreased 10% vs. 2Q21, primarily driven by the absence of expenses related to a liquidating business activity, which however was "partially offset by higher expenses recognized for certain regulatory matters." Also of note, average Q2 VaR of $118MM rose significantly from $77MM in Q2 2021 and $79MM in Q1 2022. Meanwhile, Investment banking revenue $1.13 billion, missing the estimate $1.31 billion and down sharply from $2.11 billion a year ago. Despite the drop in Ibanking revenue, non-interest expense of $2.8B increased 8% from 2Q21, "reflecting continued investments in the business, including strategic hiring, and higher expenses recognized for certain regulatory matters." Advisory revenues came in at $392 million -- that’s actually better than the $362 million analysts in a Bloomberg survey were expecting. Elsewhere, the bank's Wealth & investment management revenue dropped 1% from a year ago but rose by $368 million from a year ago to $5.43 billion, matching estimates $5.43 billion. Here, Bank of America does something interesting and breaks out how much of their assets under management in the wealth unit has dropped due to market valuations. It looks like the craziness in markets in the second quarter shaved off $161.2 billion in AUM in the second quarter, that’s more than double the amount that AUM declined in the first quarter. Commenting on the quarter, CEO BrianMoynihan said that "solid client activity across our businesses, coupled with higher interest rates, drove strong net interest income growth and allowed us to perform well in a weakened capital markets environment,” said CEO Brian Moynihan. “As we enter the second half of the year, we believe we are well-positioned to deliver for our shareholders while continuing to invest in our people, businesses and communities,” he added noting that “Our US consumer clients remained resilient with continued strong deposit balances and spending levels.” CFO Alastair Borthwick also chimed in saying that "our earnings generation over the next 18 months will provide ample capital to support growth, pay dividends, buy back shares and continue to invest in our people, platforms and communities as we grow into new regulatory capital level requirements.” Borthwick also noted that Bank of America gave $2.7 billion back to shareholders this quarter. Bank of America also shared interesting stats that show the health of the US consumer right now and how they’re handling once-in-a-generation levels of inflation. To start: They show that overall spending on their products is up 13% so far this year, coming in at $2.1 trillion. As Bloomberg further details, it looks like folks are finally getting back out and traveling and enjoying entertainment: Spending on those items is up 41% compared to last year. But you can also see the evidence of inflation pretty starkly: Spending on gas is up a whopping 42% compared to last year, while spending on food is up 13%. Just gas and food costs are now taking up 30% of consumer’s wallets. There’s also an interesting slide in the presentation, where Bank of America shows just how different it’s become since 2009 and 2019 -- the last time the US was heading into recessionary periods. Bank of America says it’s got lower concentration in consumer, less exposure to unsecured consumer credit and home equity loans, and its commercial real estate portfolio is more balanced with less concentration in construction loans. In kneejerk response, BAC stock has been volatile and after initially sliding as much as 2%. The full Q2 presentation is below (pdf link) Tyler Durden Mon, 07/18/2022 - 07:53.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 18th, 2022

Delta (DAL) Stock Down Post Q2 Earnings Miss on High Costs

Delta's (DAL) average fuel price per gallon (adjusted) surges 85% in Q2 from second-quarter 2019 actuals. Delta Air Lines’ DAL second-quarter 2022 earnings (excluding 29 cents from non-recurring items) of $1.44 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.71. Escalated operating expenses induced the earnings miss. Multiple flight cancellations in May and June also hurt results. The earnings miss disappointed investors, resulting in the stock shedding value in early trading. In the year-ago quarter, Delta incurred a loss of $1.07 per share when air-travel demand was not as buoyant as in the current scenario.Delta’s revenues came in at $13,824 million, which not only beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,608.9 million but also soared 94% from the year-ago quarter’s figure as air-travel demand rebounded from the pandemic lows. The uptick in air-travel demand in the United States can be gauged from the fact that 75.9% of second-quarter 2022 passenger revenues came from the domestic markets.The buoyant air-travel demand scenario is also evident from the fact that total operating revenues increased 10% from second-quarter 2019 (pre-coronavirus) levels. Passenger revenues, accounting for 79.3% of the total revenues in the June quarter, declined 4% from the levels recorded in the comparable quarter of 2019 to $10,958 million. Cargo revenues surged 86% from the second-quarter 2019 actuals. This was the best-ever performance by the cargo unit in the second quarter of a year. Other revenues increased to $2,594 million from $982 million three years ago.Adjusted operating revenues (which exclude third-party refinery sales) came in at $12.3 billion. This reflected a 99% recovery from the second-quarter 2019 level. Second-quarter 2022 capacity was 82% restored compared with the second-quarter 2019 level. Adjusted operating margin was 11.7%. This was the first quarter where DAL generated a double-digit operating margin since 2019. DAL remains on track to achieve its targets of more than $7 in adjusted earnings per share and $4 billion of free cash flow, set for 2024.Other Financial Details of Q2Below we present all figures (in % terms) compared with the second-quarter 2019 results.Revenue passenger miles (a measure of air traffic) tumbled 18% to 51,519 million. Capacity (measured in available seat miles) too contracted 18% to 58,903 million. Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) was down to 87% from 88% in the comparable quarter of 2019.Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 17% to 18.60 cents. Passenger mile yield increased to 21.27 cents from 18 cents in the second quarter of 2019. On an adjusted basis, total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) increased 20% to 20.90 cents in the June quarter.Total operating expenses, including special items. escalated 18% to $12,305 million. Aircraft fuel expenses and related taxes surged 41% to $3,223 million in the reported quarter. Fuel gallons consumed contracted 22% to $863 million. Average fuel price per gallon (adjusted) surged 85% to $3.82. Non-fuel unit cost increased 22% to 12.76 cents in the reported quarter.The airline had liquidity worth $13.6 billion at the end of the June quarter (including $2.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities). Delta, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), had an adjusted debt and finance lease obligations of $27.2 billion with adjusted net debt of $19.6 billion. Operating cash flow during the quarter was $2.5 billion. Free cash flow for the reported quarter was $1.6 billion. Gross capital expenditure was $864 million during the quarter.Q3 OutlookAll numbers in percentage are compared with the third-quarter 2019 figures. For the third quarter of 2022, the carrier expects capacity to decline in the 15-17% band. Non-fuel unit costs are expected to increase 22% from the third-quarter 2019 actuals. Total revenues are likely to increase in the 1-5% band (i.e., expected in the $12.6-$13.1 billion range).Gross capital expenditures and adjusted net debt are likely to be $1.8 billion and $20 billion, respectively, in the September quarter. Management also expects fuel price per gallon in the $3.45-$3.60 range. Delta expects adjusted operating margin in the 11-13% range. Non-operating expense is expected in the $180-$200 million band. Profit-sharing expense is expected in the $180-$220 million band. Tax rate is anticipated to be roughly 24%.Delta expects to generate a “meaningful full year profitability”.Stocks to ConsiderBelow we present some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector:C.H. Robinson Worldwide CHRW, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), operates as an asset-light logistics player. The improving freight scenario in the United States is aiding this Minnesota-based freight broker. Efforts to control costs also bode well. Measures to reward CHRW's shareholders instill further confidence in the stock.C.H. Robinson has an impressive earnings track record. The bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters (missing the mark in the remaining one), the average surprise being 17.1%. CHRW has witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings being revised 0.7% upward over the past 60 days.You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocksRyder System R has a trailing-four quarter surprise of 48.2%, on average, with its earnings having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the last four quarters. R is benefiting from improving economic and freight conditions in the United States.Revenues in all segments grew (on higher rental revenues, new business and favorable pricing) in first-quarter 2022. R currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Ryder System, Inc. (R): Free Stock Analysis Report C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 13th, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, Amazon.com +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, Amazon.com (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

The Failure Of Fiat Currencies & The Implications For Gold & Silver

The Failure Of Fiat Currencies & The Implications For Gold & Silver Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, This is the background text of my Keynote Speech given yesterday to European Gold Forum yesterday, 13 April. To explain why fiat currencies are failing I started by defining money. I then described the relationship between fiat money and its purchasing power, the role of bank credit, and the interests of central banks. Undoubtedly, the recent sanctions over Russia will have a catastrophic effect for financialised currencies, possibly leading to the end of fifty-one years of the dollar regime. Russia and China plan to escape this fate for the rouble and yuan by tying their currencies to commodities and production instead of collapsing financial assets. The only way for those of us in the West to protect ourselves is with physical gold, which over time is tied to commodity and energy prices. What is money? To understand why all fiat currency systems fail, we must start by understanding what money is, and how it differs from other forms of currency and credit. These are long-standing relationships which transcend our times and have their origin in Roman law and the practice of medieval merchants who evolved a lex mercatoria, which extended money’s legal status to instruments that evolved out of money, such as bills of exchange, cheques, and other securities for money. And while as circulating media, historically currencies have been almost indistinguishable from money proper, in the last century issuers of currencies split them off from money so that they have become pure fiat. At the end of the day, what constitutes money has always been determined by its users as the means of exchanging their production for consumption in an economy based on the division of labour. Money is the bridge between the two, and while over the millennia different media of exchange have come and gone, only metallic money has survived to be trusted. These are principally gold, silver, and copper. Today the term usually refers to gold, which is still in government reserves, as the only asset with no counterparty risk. Silver, which as a monetary asset declined in importance as money after Germany moved to a gold standard following the Franco-Prussian war, remains a monetary metal, though with a gold to silver ratio currently over 70 times, it is not priced as such. For historical reasons, the world’s monetary system evolved based on English law. Britain, or more accurately England and Wales, still respects Roman, or natural law with respect to money. To this day, gold sovereign coins are legal tender. Strictly speaking, metallic gold and silver are themselves credit, representing yet-to-be-spent production. But uniquely, they are no one’s liability, unlike banknotes and bank deposits. Metallic money therefore has this exceptional status, and that fact alone means that it tends not to circulate, in accordance with Gresham’s Law, so long as lesser forms of credit are available. Money shares with its currency and credit substitutes a unique position in criminal law. If a thief steals money, he can be apprehended and charged with theft along with any accomplices. But if he passes the money on to another party who receives it in good faith and is not aware that it is stolen, the original owner has no recourse against the innocent receiver, or against anyone else who subsequently comes into possession of the money. It is quite unlike any other form of property, which despite passing into innocent hands, remains the property of the original owner. In law, cryptocurrencies and the mooted central bank digital currencies are not money, money-substitutes, or currencies. Given that a previous owner of stolen bitcoin sold on to a buyer unaware it was criminally obtained can subsequently claim it, there is no clear title without full provenance. In accordance with property law, the United States has ruled that cryptocurrencies are property, reclaimable as stolen items, differentiating cryptocurrencies from money and currency proper. And we can expect similar rulings in other jurisdictions to exclude cryptocurrencies from the legal status as money, whereas the position of CBDCs in this regard has yet to be clarified. We can therefore nail to the floor any claims that bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency can possibly have the legal status required of money. Under a proper gold standard, currency in the form of banknotes in public circulation was freely exchangeable for gold coin. So long as they were freely exchangeable, banknotes took on the exchange value of gold, allowing for the credit standing of the issuer. One of the issues Sir Isaac Newton considered as Master of the Royal Mint was to what degree of backing a currency required to retain credibility as a gold substitute. He concluded that that level should be 40%, though Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist who was as sound a sound money economist as it was possible to be appeared to be less prescriptive on the subject. The effect of a working gold standard is to ensure that money of the people’s choice is properly represented in the monetary system. Both currency and credit become bound to its virtues. The general level of prices will fluctuate influenced by changes in the quantity of currency and credit in circulation, but the discipline of the limits of credit and currency creation brings prices back to a norm. This discipline is disliked by governments who believe that money is the responsibility of a government acting in the interests of the people, and not of the people themselves. This was expressed in Georg Knapp’s State Theory of Money, published in 1905 and became Germany’s justification for paying for armaments by inflationary means ahead of the First World War, and continuing to use currency debasement as the principal means of government finance until the paper mark collapsed in 1923. Through an evolutionary process, modern governments first eroded then took away from the public for itself the determination of what constitutes money. The removal of all discipline of the gold standard has allowed governments to inflate the quantities of currency and credit as a means of transferring the public wealth to itself. As a broad representation of this dilution, Figure 1 shows the growth of broad dollar currency since the last vestige of a gold standard under the Bretton Woods Agreement was suspended by President Nixon in August 1971. From that date, currency and bank credit have increased from $685 billion to $21.84 trillion, that is thirty-two times. And this excludes an unknown increase in the quantity of dollars not in the US financial system, commonly referred to as Eurodollars, which perhaps account for several trillion more. Gold priced in fiat dollars has risen from $35 when Bretton Woods was suspended, to $1970 currently. A better way of expressing this debasement of the dollar is to say that priced in gold, the dollar has lost 98.3% of its purchasing power (see Figure 4 later in this article). While it is a mistake to think of the relationship between the quantity of currency and credit in circulation and the purchasing power of the dollar as linear (as monetarists claim), not only has the rate of debasement accelerated in recent years, but it has become impossible for the destruction of purchasing power to be stopped. That would require governments reneging on mandated welfare commitments and for them to stand back from economic intervention. It would require them to accept that the economy is not the government’s business, but that of those who produce goods and services for the benefit of others. The state’s economic role would have to be minimised. This is not just a capitalistic plea. It has been confirmed as true countless times through history. Capitalistic nations always do better at creating personal wealth than socialistic ones. This is why the Berlin Wall was demolished by angry crowds, finally driven to do so by the failure of communism relative to capitalism just a stone’s throw away. The relative performance of Hong Kong compared with China when Mao Zedong was starving his masses on some sort of revolutionary whim, also showed how the same ethnicity performed under socialism compared with free markets. The relationship between fiat currency and its purchasing power One can see from the increase in the quantity of US dollar M3 currency and credit and the fall in the purchasing power measured against gold that the government’s monetary statistic does not square with the market. Part of the reason is that government statistics do not capture all the credit in an economy (only bank credit issued by licenced banks is recorded), dollars created outside the system such as Eurodollars are additional, and market prices fluctuate. Monetarists make little or no allowance for these factors, claiming that the purchasing power of a currency is inversely proportional to its quantity. While there is much truth in this statement, it is only suited for a proper gold-backed currency, when one community’s relative valuations between currency and goods are brought into line with the those of its neighbours through arbitrage, neutralising any subjectivity of valuation. The classical representation of the monetary theory of prices does not apply in conditions whereby faith in an unbacked currency is paramount in deciding its utility. A population which loses faith in its government’s currency can reject it entirely despite changes in its circulating quantity. This is what wipes out all fiat currencies eventually, ensuring that if a currency is to survive it must eventually return to a credible gold exchange standard. The weakness of a fiat currency was famously demonstrated in Europe in the 1920s when the Austrian crown and German paper mark were destroyed. Following the Second World War, the Japanese military yen suffered the same fate in Hong Kong, and Germany’s mark for a second time in the mid 1940s. More recently, the Zimbabwean dollar and Venezuelan bolivar have sunk to their value as wastepaper — and they are not the only ones. Ultimately it is the public which always determines the use value of a circulating medium. Figure 2 below, of the oil price measured in goldgrams, dollars, pounds, and euros shows that between 1950 and 1974 a gold standard even in the incomplete form that existed under the Bretton Woods Agreement coincided with price stability. It took just a few years from the ending of Bretton Woods for the consequences of the loss of a gold anchor to materialise. Until then, oil suppliers, principally Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members, had faith in the dollar and other currencies. It was only when they realised the implications of being paid in pure fiat that they insisted on compensation for currency debasement. That they were free to raise oil prices was the condition upon which the Saudis and the rest of OPEC accepted payment solely in US dollars. In the post-war years between 1950 and 1970, US broad money grew by 167%, yet the dollar price of oil was unchanged for all that time. Similar price stability was shown in other commodities, clearly demonstrating that the quantity of currency and credit in circulation was not the sole determinant of the dollar’s purchasing power. The role of bank credit While the relationship between bank credit and the sum of the quantity of currency and bank reserves varies, the larger quantity by far is the quantity of bank credit. The behaviour of the banking cohort therefore has the largest impact on the overall quantity of credit in the economy. Under the British gold standard of the nineteenth century, the fluctuations in the willingness of banks to lend resulted in periodic booms and slumps, so it is worthwhile examining this phenomenon, which has become the excuse for state intervention in financial markets and ultimately the abandonment of gold standards entirely. Banks are dealers in credit, lending at a higher rate of interest than they pay to depositors. They do not deploy their own money, except in a general balance sheet sense. A bank’s own capital is the basis upon which a bank can expand its credit. The process of credit creation is widely misunderstood but is essentially simple. If a bank agrees to lend money to a borrowing customer, the loan appears as an asset on the bank’s balance sheet. Through the process of double entry bookkeeping, this loan must immediately have a balancing entry, crediting the borrower’s current account. The customer is informed that the loan is agreed, and he can draw down the funds credited to his current account from that moment. No other bank, nor any other source of funding is involved. With merely two ledger entries the bank’s balance sheet has expanded by the amount of the loan. For a banker, the ability to create bank credit in this way is, so long as the lending is prudent, an extremely profitable business. The amount of credit outstanding can be many multiples of the bank’s own capital. So, if a bank’s ratio of balance sheet assets to equity is eight times, and the gross margin between lending and deposits is 3%, then that becomes a gross return of 24% on the bank’s own equity. The restriction on a bank’s balance sheet leverage comes from two considerations. There is lending risk itself, which will vary with economic conditions, and depositor risk, which is the depositors’ collective faith in the bank’s financial condition. Depositor risk, which can lead to depositors withdrawing their credit in the bank in favour of currency or a deposit with another bank, can in turn originate from a bank offering an interest rate below that of other banks, or alternatively depositors concerned about the soundness of the bank itself. It is the combination of lending and depositor risk that determines a banker’s view on the maximum level of profits that can be safely earned by dealing in credit. An expansion in the quantity of credit in an economy stimulates economic activity because businesses are tricked into thinking that the extra money available is due to improved trading conditions. Furthermore, the apparent improvement in trading conditions encourages bankers to increase lending even further. A virtuous cycle of lending and apparent economic improvement gets under way as the banking cohort takes its average balance sheet assets to equity ratio from, say, five to eight times, to perhaps ten or twelve. Competition for credit business then persuades banks to cut their margins to attract new business customers. Customers end up borrowing for borrowing’s sake, initiating investment projects which would not normally be profitable. Even under a gold standard lending exuberance begins to drive up prices. Businesses find that their costs begin to rise, eating into their profits. Keeping a close eye on lending risk, bankers are acutely aware of deteriorating profit prospects for their borrowers and therefore of an increasing lending risk. They then try to reduce their asset to equity ratios. As a cohort whose members are driven by the same considerations, banks begin to withdraw credit from the economy, reversing the earlier stimulus and the economy enters a slump. This is a simplistic description of a regular cycle of fluctuating bank credit, which historically varied approximately every ten years or so, but could fluctuate between seven and twelve. Figure 3 illustrates how these fluctuations were reflected in the inflation rate in nineteenth century Britain following the introduction of the sovereign gold coin until just before the First World War. Besides illustrating the regularity of the consequences of a cycle of bank credit expansion and contraction marked by the inflationary consequences, Figure 3 shows there is no correlation between the rate of price inflation and wholesale borrowing costs. In other words, modern central bank monetary policies which use interest rates to control inflation are misconstrued. The effect was known and named Gibson’s paradox by Keynes. But because there was no explanation for it in Keynesian economics, it has been ignored ever since. Believing that Gibson’s paradox could be ignored is central to central bank policies aimed at taming the cycle of price inflation. The interests of central banks Notionally, central banks’ primary interest is to intervene in the economy to promote maximum employment consistent with moderate price inflation, targeted at 2% measured by the consumer price index. It is a policy aimed at stimulating the economy but not overstimulating it. We shall return to the fallacies involved in a moment. In the second half of the nineteenth century, central bank intervention started with the Bank of England assuming for itself the role of lender of last resort in the interests of ensuring economically destabilising bank crises were prevented. Intervention in the form of buying commercial bank credit stopped there, with no further interest rate manipulation or economic intervention. The last true slump in America was in 1920-21. As it had always done in the past the government ignored it in the sense that no intervention or economic stimulus were provided, and the recovery was rapid. It was following that slump that the problems started in the form of a new federal banking system led by Benjamin Strong who firmly believed in monetary stimulation. The Roaring Twenties followed on a sea of expanding credit, which led to a stock market boom — a financial bubble. But it was little more than an exaggerated cycle of bank credit expansion, which when it ended collapsed Wall Street with stock prices falling 89% measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Index. Coupled with the boom in agricultural production exaggerated by mechanisation, the depression that followed was particularly hard on the large agricultural sector, undermining agriculture prices worldwide until the Second World War. It is a fact ignored by inflationists that first President Herbert Hoover, and then Franklin Roosevelt extended the depression to the longest on record by trying to stop it. They supported prices, which meant products went unsold. And at the very beginning, by enacting the Smoot Hawley Tariff Act they collapsed not only domestic demand but all domestic production that relied on imported raw materials and semi-manufactured products. These disastrous policies were supported by a new breed of economist epitomised by Keynes, who believed that capitalism was flawed and required government intervention. But proto-Keynesian attempts to stimulate the American economy out of the depression continually failed. As late as 1940, eleven years after the Wall Street Crash, US unemployment was still as high as 15%. What the economists in the Keynesian camp ignored was the true cause of the Wall Street crash and the subsequent depression, rooted in the credit inflation which drove the Roaring Twenties. As we saw in Figure 3, it was no more than the turning of the long-established repeating cycle of bank credit, this time fuelled additionally by Benjamin Strong’s inflationary credit expansion as Chairman of the new Fed. The cause of the depression was not private enterprise, but government intervention. It is still misread by the establishment to this day, with universities pushing Keynesianism to the exclusion of classic economics and common sense. Additionally, the statistics which have become a religion for policymakers and everyone else are corrupted by state interests. Soon after wages and pensions were indexed in 1980, government statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics began working on how to reduce the impact on consumer prices. An independent estimate of US consumer inflation put it at well over 15% recently, when the official rate was 8%. Particularly egregious is the state’s insistence that a target of 2% inflation for consumer prices stimulates demand, when the transfer of wealth suffered by savers, the low paid and pensioners deprived of their inflation compensation at the hands of the BLS is glossed over. So is the benefit to the government, the banks, and their favoured borrowers from this wealth transfer. The problem we now face in this fiat money environment is not only that monetary policy has become corrupted by the state’s self-interest, but that no one in charge of it appears to understand money and credit. Technically, they may be very well qualified. But it is now over fifty years since money was suspended from the monetary system. Not only have policymakers ignored indicators such as Gibson’s paradox. Not only do they believe their own statistics. And not only do they think that debasing the currency is a good thing, but we find that monetary policy committees would have us believe that money has nothing to do with rising prices. All this is facilitated by presenting inflation as rising prices, when in fact it is declining purchasing power. Figure 4 shows how purchasing power of currencies should be read. Only now, it seems, we are aware that inflation of prices is not transient. Referring to Figure 1, the M3 broad money supply measure has almost tripled since Lehman failed, so there’s plenty of fuel driving a lower purchasing power for the dollar yet. And as discussed above, it is not just quantities of currency and credit we should be watching, but changes in consumer behaviour and whether consumers tend to dispose of currency liquidity in favour of goods. The indications are that this is likely to happen, accelerated by sanctions against Russia, and the threat that they will bring in a new currency era, undermining the dollar’s global status. Alerted to higher prices in the coming months, there is no doubt that there is an increased level of consumer stockpiling, which put another way is the disposal of personal liquidity before it buys less. So far, the phases of currency evolution have been marked by the end of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971. The start of the petrodollar era in 1973 led to a second phase, the financialisation of the global economy. And finally, from now the return to a commodity standard brought about by sanctions against Russia is driving prices in the Western alliance’s currencies higher, which means their purchasing power is falling anew. The faux pas over Russia With respect to the evolution of money and credit, this brings us up to date with current events. Before Russia invaded Ukraine and the Western alliance imposed sanctions on Russia, we were already seeing prices soaring, fuelled by the expansion of currency and credit in recent years. Monetary planners blamed supply chain problems and covid dislocations, both of which they believed would right themselves over time. But the extent of these price rises had already exceeded their expectations, and the sanctions against Russia have made the situation even worse. While America might feel some comfort that the security of its energy supplies is unaffected, that is not the case for Europe. In recent years Europe has been closing its fossil fuel production and Germany’s zeal to go green has even extended to decommissioning nuclear plants. It seems that going fossil-free is only within national borders, increasing reliance on imported oil, gas, and coal. In Europe’s case, the largest source of these imports by far is Russia. Russia has responded by the Russian central bank announcing that it is prepared to buy gold from domestic credit institutions, first at a fixed price or 5,000 roubles per gramme, and then when the rouble unexpectedly strengthened at a price to be agreed on a case-by-case basis. The signal is clear: the Russian central bank understands that gold plays an important role in price stability. At the same time, the Kremlin announced that it would only sell oil and gas to unfriendly nations (i.e. those imposing sanctions) in return for payments in roubles. The latter announcement was targeted primarily at EU nations and amounts to an offer at reasonable prices in roubles, or for them to bid up for supplies in euros or dollars from elsewhere. While the price of oil shot up and has since retreated by a third, natural gas prices are still close to their all-time highs. Despite the northern hemisphere emerging from spring the cost of energy seems set to continue to rise. The effect on the Eurozone economies is little short of catastrophic. While the rouble has now recovered all the fall following the sanctions announcement, the euro is becoming a disaster. The ECB still has a negative deposit rate and enormous losses on its extensive bond portfolio from rapidly rising yields. The national central banks, which are its shareholders also have losses which in nearly all cases wipes out their equity (balance sheet equity being defined as the difference between a bank’s assets and its liabilities — a difference which should always be positive). Furthermore, these central banks as the NCB’s shareholders make a recapitalisation of the whole euro system a complex event, likely to question faith in the euro system. As if that was not enough, the large commercial banks are extremely highly leveraged, averaging over 20 times with Credit Agricole about 30 times. The whole system is riddled with bad and doubtful debts, many of which are concealed within the TARGET2 cross-border settlement system. We cannot believe any banking statistics. Unlike the US, Eurozone banks have used the repo markets as a source of zero cost liquidity, driving the market size to over €10 trillion. The sheer size of this market, plus the reliance on bond investment for a significant proportion of commercial bank assets means that an increase in interest rates into positive territory risks destabilising the whole system. The ECB is sitting on interest rates to stop them rising and stands ready to buy yet more members’ government bonds to stop yields rising even more. But even Germany, which is the most conservative of the member states, faces enormous price pressures, with producer prices of industrial products officially increasing by 25.9% in the year to March, 68% for energy, and 21% for intermediate goods. There can be no doubt that markets will apply increasing pressure for substantial rises in Eurozone bond yields, made significantly worse by US sanctions policies against Russia. As an importer of commodities and raw materials Japan is similarly afflicted. Both currencies are illustrated in Figure 5. The yen appears to be in the most immediate danger with its collapse accelerating in recent weeks, but as both the Bank of Japan and the ECB continue to resist rising bond yields, their currencies will suffer even more. The Bank of Japan has been indulging in quantitative easing since 2000 and has accumulated substantial quantities of government and corporate bonds and even equities in ETFs. Already, the BOJ is in negative equity due to falling bond prices. To prevent its balance sheet from deteriorating even further, it has drawn a line in the sand: the yield on the 10-year JGB will not be permitted to rise above 0.25%. With commodity and energy prices soaring, it appears to be only a matter of time before the BOJ is forced to give way, triggering a banking crisis in its highly leveraged commercial banking sector which like the Eurozone has asset to equity ratios exceeding 20 times. It would appear therefore that the emerging order of events with respect to currency crises is the yen collapses followed in short order by the euro. The shock to the US banking system must be obvious. That the US banks are considerably less geared than their Japanese and euro system counterparts will not save them from global systemic risk contamination. Furthermore, with its large holdings of US Treasuries and agency debt, current plans to run them off simply exposes the Fed to losses, which will almost certainly require its recapitalisation. The yield on the US 10-year Treasury Bond is soaring and given the consequences of sanctions on global commodity prices, it has much further to go. The end of the financial regime for currencies From London’s big bang in the mid-eighties, the major currencies, particularly the US dollar and sterling became increasingly financialised. It occurred at a time when production of consumer goods migrated to Asia, particularly China. The entire focus of bank lending and loan collateral moved towards financial assets and away from production. And as interest rates declined, in general terms these assets improved in value, offering greater security to lenders, and reinforcing the trend. This is now changing, with interest rates set to rise significantly, bursting a financial bubble which has been inflating for decades. While bond yields have started to rise, there is further for them to go, undermining not just the collateral position, but government finances as well. And further rises in bond yields will turn equity markets into bear markets, potentially rivalling the 1929-1932 performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Index. That being the case, the collapse already underway in the yen and the euro will begin to undermine the dollar, not on the foreign exchanges, but in terms of its purchasing power. We can be reasonably certain that the Fed’s mandate will give preference to supporting asset prices over stabilising the currency, until it is too late. China and Russia appear to be deliberately isolating themselves from this fate for their own currencies by increasing the importance of commodities. It was noticeable how China began to aggressively accumulate commodities, including grain stocks, almost immediately after the Fed cut its funds rate to zero and instituted QE at $120 billion per month in March 2020. This sent a signal that the Chinese leadership were and still are fully aware of the inflationary implications of US monetary policy. Today China has stockpiled well over half the world’s maize, rice, wheat and soybean stocks, securing basics foodstuffs for 20% of the world’s population. As a subsequent development, the war in Ukraine has ensured that global grain supplies this year will be short, and sanctions against Russia have effectively cut off her exports from the unfriendly nations. Together with fertiliser shortages for the same reasons, not only will the world’s crop yields fall below last year’s, but grain prices are sure to be bid up against the poorer nations. Russia has effectively tied the rouble to energy prices by insisting roubles are used for payment, principally by the EU. Russia’s other two large markets are China and India, from which she is accepting yuan and rupees respectively. Putting sales to India to one side, Russia is not only commoditising the rouble, but her largest trading partner not just for energy but for all her other commodity exports is China. And China is following similar monetary policies. There are good reasons for it. The Western alliance is undermining their own currencies, of that there can be no question. Financial asset values will collapse as interest rates rise. Contrastingly, not only is Russia’s trade surplus increasing, but the central bank has begun to ease interest rates and exchange controls and will continue to liberate her economy against a background of a strong currency. The era of the commodity backed currency is arriving to replace the financialised. And lastly, we should refer to Figure 2, of the price of oil in goldgrams. The link to commodity prices is gold. It is time to abandon financial assets for their supposed investment returns and take a stake in the new commoditised currencies. Gold is the link. Business of all sorts, not just mining enterprises which accumulate cash surpluses, would be well advised to question whether they should retain deposits in the banks, or alternatively, gain the protection of possessing some gold bullion vaulted independently from the banking system. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/15/2022 - 15:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 15th, 2022

Edging Towards A Gold Standard

Edging Towards A Gold Standard Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Commentators are trying to make sense of Russian moves... However, there is a back story which differs from much of the speculation, which this article addresses. The Russians have not put the rouble on some sort of gold standard. Instead, they have repeated the Nixon/Kissinger strategy which created the petrodollar in 1973 by getting the Saudis to agree to accept only dollars for oil. This time, nations deemed by Russia to be unfriendly will be forced to buy roubles – roughly 2 trillion by the EU alone based on last year’s natural gas and oil imports from Russia — driving up the exchange rate. The rouble has now doubled against the dollar from its low point of RUB 150 to RUB 75 yesterday in just over three weeks. The Russian Central Bank will soon be able to normalise the domestic economy by reducing interest rates and removing exchange controls. The Russians and Chinese will be acutely aware that Western currencies, particularly the yen and euro, are likely to be undermined by recent developments. The financial war, which has always been in the background, is emerging into plain sight and becoming a battlefield between fiat currencies, and it is full on. The winner by default is almost certainly gold, now the only reliable reserve asset for those not aligned with Russia’s “unfriendlies”. But it is still a long way from backing any currency. Putin is losing the battle for Ukraine President Putin is embattled. His army as let him down — it turns out that his generals lack the necessary leadership qualities, the squaddies are suffering from lack of food, fuel, and are suffering from frostbite. It is reported that one brigade commander, Colonel Yuri Medvedev, was deliberately run down by one of his own men in a tank, a measure of the chaos at the front line. And Putin is not the first national leader to have misplaced his confidence in military forces. Conventional wisdom (from Carl von Clausewitz, no less) suggested Putin might win the battle for Ukraine but would be unable to hold the territory. That requires the willingness of the population to accept defeat, and a lesson the Soviets had learned in Afghanistan, with the same experience repeated by America and the UK. But Putin has not even won the battle and word from the Kremlin is of accepting a face-saving fall-back position, perhaps taking Donetsk and the coast of the Sea of Azov to join it up with Crimea. There was little doubt that if Putin came under pressure militarily, he would probably step up the commodity and financial war. This he has now done by insisting on payments in roubles. The mistake made in the West was to believe that Russia must sell commodities, and even though sanctions harm the West greatly, the strategy is to put maximum pressure on the Russian economy for a quick resolution. It is obviously flawed because Russia can still trade with China, India, and other significant economies. And thanks to rising commodity prices the Russian economy is not in the bad place the West believed either. Besides nations representing 84% of the world’s population standing aside from the Western alliance’s sanctions and with some like India sorely tempted to buy discounted Russian oil, we would profit from paying attention to some very basic factors. Russia can certainly afford to sell oil at significant discounts to market prices, and there are buyers willing to break the American-led embargoes. The non-Western world is no longer automatically on-side with American hegemony; that is a rotting hulk which the Americans are desperately trying to keep afloat. Observing this, the Kremlin seems relaxed and has said that it is willing to accept currencies from its friends, but Western enemies (the “unfriendlies”) would have to pay for oil in roubles or, it has also been suggested, in gold. On 23 March the Kremlin drew up a list of these unfriendly countries, which includes the 27 EU members, Switzerland, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. Payment in roubles is easy to understand. We can assume that all oil and natural gas long-term supply contracts with the unfriendlies have force majeure clauses, because that is normal practice. In the light of sanctions, the Russians are entitled to claim different payment terms. And it is this that the Russians are relying upon for insisting on payment in roubles. Germany, for example, would have to buy roubles on the foreign exchanges to pay for her gas. Buying roubles supports the currency, and this was the tactic that created the petrodollar in 1973 when Nixon and Kissinger persuaded the Saudis to take nothing else but dollars for oil. It was that single move which more than anything confirmed the dollar as the world’s international and reserve currency in the aftermath of the temporary suspension of the Bretton Woods Agreement. That’s not quite the objective here; it is to not only underwrite the rouble, but to drive it higher relative to other currencies. The immediate effect has been clear, as the chart from Bloomberg below shows. Having halved in value against the dollar on 7 March, all the rouble’s fall has been recovered. And that’s even before Germany et al buy roubles on the foreign exchanges to pay for Russian energy. The gold issue is more complex. The West has banned not only Russian transactions settling in their currencies but also from settling in gold. The assumption is that gold is the only liquid asset Russia has left to trade with. But just as ahead of the end of the cold war Western intelligence completely misread the Soviet economy, it could be making a mistake again. This time, intel seems to be misled by full-on Keynesian macro analysis, suggesting the Russian economy is vulnerable when it is inherently stronger in a currency shoot-out than even the dollar. There is no need for Russia to sell any gold at all. The Russian economy has a broadly non-interventionist government, a flat rate of income tax of 13%, and a government debt of 20% of GDP. There are flaws in the Russian economy, particularly in the lack of respect for property rights and the pervasive problem of the Russian Mafia. But in many respects, Russia’s economy is like that of the US before 1916, when the highest income tax rate was 15%. An important difference is that the Russian government gets substantial revenues from energy and commodity exports, taking its income up to over 40% of GDP. While export volumes of energy and other commodities are being hit by sanctions, their prices have risen substantially. But it remains to be seen what form of money or currency for future payments will be used for over $550bn equivalent of exports, while $297bn of imports will be substantially reduced by sanctions, widening Russia’s trade surplus considerably. Euros, yen, dollars, and sterling are ruled out, worthless in the hands of the Central Bank. That leaves Chinese renminbi, Indian rupees, weakening Turkish lira and that’s about it. It’s hardly surprising that Russia is prepared to accept gold. Putin’s view on the subject is shown in Figure 1 of stills taken from a Tik Tok video released last weekend. Furthermore, Russia’s official reserves are only a small part of the story. Simon Hunt of Simon Hunt Strategic Services, who I have found to be consistently well informed in these matters, is convinced based on his information that Russia’s gold reserves are significantly higher than reported — he thinks 12,000 tonnes is closer to the mark. The payment choice for those on Russia’s unfriendly list, if we rule out gold, is effectively of only one — buy roubles to pay for Russian energy. By sanctioning the world’s largest energy exporter, the effect on energy prices in dollars is likely to drive them far higher yet. Additionally, market liquidity for roubles is likely to be restricted, and the likelihood of a bear squeeze on any shorts is therefore high. The question is how high? Last year, the EU imported 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia, valued at about $180bn at current volatile prices. Oil exports from Russia to the EU were about 2.3 million barrels per day, worth an additional $105bn for a combined total of $285bn, which at the current exchange rate of RUB 75.5 is RUB 2.15 trillion. EU Gas consumption is likely to fall as spring approaches, but payments in roubles will still drive the exchange rate significantly higher. And attempts to obtain alternative sources of LNG will take time, be insufficient, and serve to drive natural gas prices from other suppliers even higher. For now, we should dismiss ideas over payments to the Russians in gold. The Russian gold story, initially at least, is a domestic issue. Though it might spill over into international markets. On 25 March, Russia’s central bank announced it will buy gold from credit institutions at a fixed rate of 5,000 roubles per gramme starting this week and through to 30 June. The press release stated that it will enable “a stable supply of gold and smooth functioning of the gold mining industry.” In other words, it allows banks to continue to lend money to gold mining and related activities, particularly for financing new gold mining developments. Meanwhile, the state will continue to accumulate bullion which, as discussed above, it has no need to spend on imports. When the RCB’s announcement was made the rouble was considerably weaker and the price offered by the central bank was about 20% below the market price. But that has now changed. Based on last night’s exchange rate of 75.5 roubles to the dollar (30 March) and with gold at $1935, the price offered by the central bank is at a premium of 7.2% to the market. Whether this opens the situation up to arbitrage from overseas bullion markets is an intriguing question. And we can assume that Russian banks will find ways of acquiring and deploying the dollars to do so through their offshore facilities, until, under the cover of a strong rouble, the RCB removes exchange controls. There is nothing in the RCB’s statement to prevent a Russian bank sourcing gold from, say, Dubai, to sell to the central bank. Guidance notes to which we cannot be privy may address this issue but let us assume this arbitrage will be permitted, because it might be difficult to stop. And if Russia does have undeclared bullion reserves more than those allegedly held by the US Treasury, then given that the real war is essentially financial, it is in Russia’s interest to see the gold price rise in dollars. Not only would Eurozone banks be scrambling to obtain roubles, but the entire Western banking system, which takes the short side of derivative transactions in gold will find itself in increasing difficulties. Normally, bullion banks rely on central banks and the Bank for International Settlements to backstop the market with physical liquidity through leases and swaps. But the unfortunate message from the West to every central bank not on Russia’s unfriendly list is that London’s or New York’s respect for ownership rights to their nation’s gold cannot be relied upon. Not only will lease and swap liquidity dry up, but it is likely that requests will be made for earmarked gold in these centres to be repatriated. In short, Russia appears to be initiating a squeeze on gold derivatives in Western capital markets by exploiting diminishing faith in Western institutions and their cavalier treatment of foreign property rights. By forcing the unfriendlies into buying roubles, the RCB will shortly be able to reduce interest rates back to previous policy levels and remove exchange controls. At the same time, the inflation problems faced by the West will be ameliorated by a strong rouble. It ties in with the politics for Putin’s survival. Together with the economic benefits of an improving exchange rate for the rouble and the relatively minor inconvenience of not being able to buy imports from the West (alternatives from China and India will still be available) Putin can retreat from his disastrous Ukrainian campaign. Senior figures in the Russian army will be disciplined, imprisoned, or disappear accused of incompetence and misleading Putin into thinking his “special operation” would be quickly achieved. Putin will absolve himself of any blame and dissenters can expect even greater clampdowns on protests. Russia’s moves are likely to have been thought out in advance. The move to support the rouble is evidence it is so, giving the central bank the opportunity to reverse the interest rate hike to 20% to protect the rouble. Foreign exchange controls on Russians can shortly be lifted. Almost certainly the consequences for Western currencies were discussed. The conclusion would surely have been that higher energy and other Russian commodity prices would persist, driving Western price inflation higher and for longer than discounted in financial markets. Western economies face soaring interest rates and a slump. And depending on their central bank’s actions, Japan and the Eurozone with negative interest rates are almost certainly most vulnerable to a financial, currency, and economic crisis. The impact of Russia’s new policy of only accepting roubles was, perhaps, the inevitable consequence of the West’s policies of self-immolation. From Russia’s failure in Ukraine, Putin appears to have had little option but to go on the offensive and escalate the financial, or commodity-currency war to cover his retreat. We can only speculate about the effect of a strong rouble on the international gold price, but if Russian banks can indeed buy bullion from non-Russian sources to sell to the RCB, it would mark a very aggressive move in the ongoing financial war. China’s position China will be learning unpalatable lessens about its ambition to invade Taiwan, and Taiwan will be encouraged mightily by Ukraine’s success at repelling an unwelcome invader. A 100-mile channel is an enormous obstacle for a Chinese invasion that Russia didn’t have to navigate before Ukrainian locals exploited defensive tactics to repel the invader. There can now be little doubt of the outcome if China tried the same tactics against Taiwan. President Xi would be sensible not to make the same mistake as Putin and tone down the anti-Taiwan rhetoric and try the softer approach of friendly relations and economic integration to reunite Chinese interests. That has been a costless lesson for China, but another consideration is the continuing relationship with Russia. The earlier Chinese description of it made sense: “We are not allies, but we are partners”. What this means is that China would abstain rather than support Russia in the various supranational forums where the world’s leaders gather. But she would continue to trade with Russia as normal, even engaging in currency swaps to facilitate it. More recently, a small crack has appeared in this relationship, with China concerned that US and EU sanctions might be extended to Chinese entities in joint ventures with Russian businesses linked to sanctioned oligarchs and Putin supporters. The highest profile example has been the suspension of a joint project to build a petrochemical plant in Russia involving Sinopec, because of the involvement of Gennady Timchenko, a close ally of Putin. But according to a report from Nikkei Asia, Sinopec has confirmed it will continue to buy Russian crude oil and gas. As always with its geopolitics, we can expect China to play its hand with great care. China was prepared for the consequences of US monetary policy in March 2020 when the Fed reduced its funds rate to zero and instituted quantitative easing of $120bn every month. By its actions it judged these moves to be very inflationary, and began stockpiling commodities ahead of dollar price rises, including energy and grains to project its own people. The yuan has risen against the dollar by about 11%, which with moderate credit policies has kept annualised domestic price inflation subdued to about 1% currently, while consumer price inflation in the West is soaring out of control. China is not therefore in the weak financial position of Russia’s “unfriendlies”; the highly indebted governments whose finances and economies are likely to be destabilised by rising energy prices and interest rates. But it does have a potential economic crisis on its hands in the form of a collapsing property market. In February, its response was to ease the credit restrictions imposed following the initial pandemic recovery in 2021, which had included attempts to deleverage the property sector. Property aside, we can assume that China will not want to destabilise the West by her own actions. The West is doing that very effectively without China’s assistance. But having demonstrated an understanding of why the West is sliding into an inflation crisis of its own making China will be keen not to make the same mistakes. Her partnership with Russia, as joint leaders in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, is central to detaching herself from what its Maoist economists forecast as the inevitable collapse of imperial capitalism. Having set itself up in the image of that imperialism, it must now become independent from it to avoid the same fate. Gold’s wider role in China, Russia, and the SCO Gold has always been central to China’s fallback position. I estimated that before permitting its own people to buy gold in 2002, the state had acquired as much as 20,000 tonnes. Subsequently, through the Shanghai Gold Exchange the Chinese public has taken delivery of a further 20,000 tonnes, mainly through imports from outside China. No gold escapes China, and the Chinese government is likely to have added to its hoard over the last twenty years. The government maintains a monopoly on refining and has stimulated the mining industry to become the largest national producer. Together with its understanding of the West’s inflationary policies the evidence is clear: China is prepared for a world of sound money with gold replacing the dollar’s hegemony, and it now dominates the world’s physical market with that in mind. These plans are shared with Russia, and the members, dialog partners and associates of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation — almost all of which have been accumulating gold reserves. Mine output from these countries is estimated by the US Geological Survey at 830 tonnes, 27% of the global total. The move away from pure fiat was confirmed recently by some half-baked plans for the Eurasian Economic Union and China to escape from Western fiat by setting up a new currency for cross-border trade backed partly by commodities, including gold. The extent of “off balance sheet” bullion is a critical issue, because at some stage they are likely to be declared. In this context, the Russian position is important, because if Simon Hunt, quoted above, is correct Russia could have more gold than the US’s 8,130 tonnes, which it is widely thought to overstate the latter’s true position. Furthermore, Western central banks routinely lease and swap their gold reserves, leading to double counting, which almost certainly reduces their actual position in aggregate. And if fiat currencies continue to decline we could find that the two ringmasters for the SCO have more monetary gold than all the other central banks put together — something like 30,000-40,000 tonnes for Chinese and Russian governments, compared with perhaps less than 20,000 tonnes for Russia’s adversaries (officially ,the unfriendlies own about 24,000 tonnes, but we can assume that at least 5,000 of that is double counted or does not exist due to leasing and swaps). The endgame for the yen and the euro Without doubt, the terrible twins in the major fiat currencies are the yen and the euro. They share much in common: negative interest rates, major commercial banks highly leveraged with asset to equity ratios averaging over twenty times, and central bank balance sheets overloaded with bonds which are collapsing in value. They now face rising interest rates spiralling beyond their control, the consequences of the ECB and Bank of Japan being trapped under the zero bound and being in denial over falling purchasing power for their currencies. Consequently, we are seeing capital flight, which has accelerated dramatically this month for the yen, but in truth follows on from relative weakness for both currencies since the middle of 2021 when global bond yields began rising. Statistically, we can therefore link the collapse of both currencies on the foreign exchanges with rising bond yields. And given that rising interest rates and bond yields are in their early stages, there is considerable currency weakness yet to come. Japan and its yen The Bank of Japan has publicly stated it would buy an unlimited amount of 10-year Japanese Government Bonds at a 0.25% yield to contain the bond sell-off. A higher yield would be more than embarrassing for the BOJ, already requiring a recapitalisation, presumably with its heavily indebted government stumping up the money. Figure 2 shows that the 10-year JGB yield is already testing the 0.25% yield level (charts from Bloomberg). Fig 2. JGB yields hits BoJ Limit and Yen collapsing As avid Keynesians, the BOJ is following similar policies to that of John Law in 1720’s France. Law issued fresh livres which he used to prop up the Mississippi venture by buying shares in the market. The bubble popped, the venture survived, but the livre was destroyed. Today, the BOJ is issuing yen to prop up the Japanese government bond market. As the issuer of the currency, the BOJ is by any yardstick bankrupt and in desperate need of new capital. Since it commenced QE in 2000, it has accumulated so much government and corporate debt, and even equities bundled into ETFs, that the falling value of the BOJ’s holdings makes its liabilities significantly greater than its assets, currently to the tune of about ¥4 trillion ($3.3bn). Ignoring the cynic’s definition of madness, the BOJ is doubling down on its commitment, announcing on Monday further unlimited purchases of 10-year JGBs at a fixed yield of 0.25%. In other words, it is supporting bond prices from falling further, echoing Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” and confirming its John Law policy. Last Tuesday’s Summary of Opinions at the Monetary Policy Meeting on March 17 and 18 had this gem: “Heightened geopolitical risks due to the situation surrounding Ukraine have caused price rises of energy and other items, and this will push down domestic demand while raising the CPI. Under the circumstances, it is necessary to improve labour market conditions and provide stronger support for wage increases, and therefore it is increasingly important that the bank persistently continue with the current monetary easing.” No, this is not satire. In other words, the BOJ’s deposit rate will remain negative. And the following was added from Government Representatives at the same meeting: “The budget for fiscal 2022 aims to realise a new form of capitalism through a virtual circle of growth and distribution and the government has been making efforts to swiftly obtain the Diet’s approval.” A virtuous circle of growth? It seems like intensified intervention. Meanwhile, Japan’s major banks with asset to equity ratios of over twenty times are too highly geared to survive rising interest rates without a bank credit crisis threatening to take them down. It is hardly surprising that international capital is fleeing the yen, realising that it will be sacrificed by the BOJ in the vain hope that it can continue to maintain bond prices far above where they should be. The euro system and its euro The euro system and the euro share similar characteristics to the BOJ and the yen: interest rates trapped under the zero bound, Eurozone G-SIBs with asset to equity ratios of over 20 times and market realities forcing interest rates and bond yields higher, as Figure 3 shows. Furthermore, Eurozone banks are heavily exposed to Russian and Ukrainian debt due to their geographic proximity. Fig 3: Euro declining as bond yields soar There are two additional problems for the Eurosystem not faced by the BOJ and the yen. The ECB’s shareholders are the national central banks in the euro system, which in turn have balance sheet liabilities more than their assets. The structure of the euro system means that in recapitalising itself the ECB does not have a government to which it can issue credit and receive equity capital in return, the normal way in which a central bank would refinance its balance sheet by turning credit into equity. Instead, it will have to refinance itself through the national central banks which being insolvent themselves in turn would have to refinance themselves through their governments. The second problem is a further complication. The euro system’s TARGET2 settlement system reflects enormous imbalances which complicates resolving a funding crisis. For example, on the last figures (end-February), Germany’s Bundesbank was owed €1,150 billion through TARGET2, while Italy owed €568 billion. It would be in the interests of a recapitalisation for the Italian government to want its central bank to write off this amount, while the Bundesbank is already in negative equity without writing off TARGET2 balances. Germany’s politicians might demand the balances owed to the Bundesbank be secured. This problem is not insoluble perhaps, but one can see that political and public wrangling over these imbalances will only serve to draw attention to the fragility of the whole system and undermine public trust in the currency. With Germany’s CPI now rising at 7.6% and Spain’s at 9.8%, negative deposit rates are wildly inappropriate. When the system breaks it can be expected to be sudden, violent and a shock to those in thrall to the euro system. Conclusion For decades, a showdown between an Asian partnership and hegemonic America has been building. We can date this back to 1983, when China began to accumulate physical gold having appointed the Peoples’ Bank for the purpose. That act was the first indication that China felt the need to protect itself from others as it ventured into capitalism. China has navigated itself through increasing American assertion of its hegemony and attempts to destabilise Hong Kong. It has faced obstacles to its lucrative export trade through tariffs. It has been cut off from Western markets for its advanced technology. China has resented having to use the dollar. After Russia’s ill-advised invasion of Ukraine, it now appears that the invisible war over global financial resources and control is intensifying. The fuse has been lit and events are taking over. The destabilisation of the yen and the euro are now as certain as can be. While the yen is the victim of John Law-like market-rigging policies and likely to go the same way as France’s livre, perhaps the greater danger is for the euro. The contradictions in its set-up, and the destruction of Germany’s sound money principals in favour of the inflationism of the PIGS was always going to be finite. The ECB has got itself into a ridiculous position, and no amount of conjuring and cajoling of financial institutions can resolve the ECB’s own insolvency and that of all its shareholders. History shows that there are two groups involved in a currency collapse. International holders take fright and sell for other currencies and assets they believe to be more secure. They drive the exchange rate lower. The second group is the public in a nation, those who use the currency for transactions. If they lose confidence in it, the currency can rapidly descend into worthlessness as ordinary people accelerate its disposal for anything tangible in a final crack-up boom. In the past, an alternative currency was always the sounder one, one backed by and exchangeable for gold coin. That is so long ago that we in the West have mostly forgotten the difference between money, that is gold and silver, and unbacked fiat currencies. The great unknown has been how much abuse of money and credit it would take for the public to relearn the difference. Cryptocurrencies have alerted us, but they are not a widely accepted medium of exchange and don’t have the legal standing of gold and gold substitutes. War is to be our wake-up call — financial rather than physical in character. Western central banks and their governments have been fiddling the books, telling us that currency debasement is good for us. That debasement has accelerated in recent years. But by upping the anti against Russia with sanctions that end up undermining the purchasing power of all the West’s major currencies, our leaders have called an end to the reign of fiat. Tyler Durden Sat, 04/02/2022 - 14:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 2nd, 2022

Stocks, Yields Tumble As Quad-Witching Fears Add To Broader Market Slide

Stocks, Yields Tumble As Quad-Witching Fears Add To Broader Market Slide US futures tumbled after hitting an all time high less than 24 hour ago, as the favorable if paradoxical bounce in risk from the hawkish FOMC pivot faded from memory and as investors questioned whether global stocks are due for a rough ride on the backdrop of growing risks from inflation and the omicron virus variant. S&P 500 futures slumped about 0.5% Friday morning, while the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fell for a second straight day to 1.394%, the lowest since Dec. 6. Futures were dragged down by tech stocks as volatility surged amid mounting concerns about monetary tightening and the omicron coronavirus variant. “Rates hikes do not end bull markets, but reversal of central banks’ liquidity means less speculative froth and more volatility,” said Barclays strategist Emmanuel Cau. “Policy angst may be here to stay, but following months of unclear guidances and conflicting signals, the direction of travel is clear now.” Investors are also bracing for the quarterly rebalancing of the S&P 500 Index after the market close and the triple witching expiration of equity derivatives that could magnify market moves. General Motors dropped in premarket trading after the company said Cruise unit Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann is leaving the company.  Here are some of the other notable premarket movers today: Tesla (TSLA US) shares fall as much as 2.4% in U.S. premarket trading as CEO Elon Musk sells another chunk of shares in the electric vehicle maker. FedEx (FDX US) boosted its adjusted earnings-per-share forecast for the full year, with the guidance beating the average analyst estimate. Shares rose about 4.8% in premarket trading. Spruce Biosciences (SPRB US) shares soar as much as 30% in U.S. premarket trading after Oppenheimer initiated coverage with an outperform rating and a $15 price target that implies 500% upside in the stock from Thursday’s closing price. Cerner (CERN US) shares rise 17% in U.S. pre- trading hours amid a report that Oracle is in talks to buy the medical-records company for about $30b. Rivian Automotive (RIVN US) shares slump 9% in U.S. premarket trading after the electric pickup maker reported results. Piper Sandler says that after- hours share-price loss is “noise,” and remains positive following earnings call. General Motors (GM US) dropped postmarket after it said Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann is leaving the company. Steelcase (SCS US) declined in the after hours session after the furniture company reported 3Q revenue that missed the average analyst estimate due to supply chain disruptions. U.S. Steel Corp. (X US) shares declined premarket after it warned fourth-quarter results will be lower than Wall Street had been expecting. In Europe, technology companies and carmakers were among the worst-performing industries, dragging the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 1%. Tech, autos and utilities are the weakest sectors. Miners and travel are the only Stoxx 600 sectors in small positive territory.  Cellnex slumped 4.1% to a six-month low after a British regulator said the Spanish company’s purchase of CK Hutchison Holdings’s European telecommunication towers raised “significant” competition concerns. Asian stocks slid, as a risk-off mode resumed amid concerns over tighter monetary policies and ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 1%, set for the fifth decline over the past six days. Technology shares around the region took a hit, led by Chinese giants including Tencent and Alibaba Group, as a global sector selloff continued on higher rate fears. China was among the region’s worst performers after the Biden administration added 34 Chinese targets to its banned-entity list, weighing on sentiment. Japanese stocks held their losses after the Bank of Japan lengthened its cautious withdrawal from emergency pandemic aid. Asia’s benchmark was set to cap a more than 1% slide this week as central banks around the world attempt to curb inflation, dampening prospects for the usual year-end rally. The Federal Reserve plans to double the pace of its asset-tapering program and the Bank of England hiked interest rates, prompting investors to edge away from riskier assets. “I expect the choppy price action to continue to spoof fast-money players into the year-end, both in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to close at 7,304.00, snapping a three-day losing streak. Material and energy shares led the advance on the back of strong commodity prices. Gold miner Norther Star was the best performer on the benchmark. Domain Holdings was the worst performer, followed by Afterpay, after the U.S. government said it launched a regulatory probe into buy now, pay later companies. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 12,717.94 In rates, treasuries were mixed with the yield curve flatter as U.S. trading begins, retracing a portion of Thursday’s bull-steepening move that unfolded as futures further marked down likelihood of Fed rate increases beyond mid-2022. Yields out to the 10-year are within 1bp of Thursday’s closing levels, with longer maturities lower by 1bp-2bp; 5s30s is flatter by ~2bp after steepening 7.2bp Thursday, remains ~4bp steeper on week. Yields remain lower on week led by the 5Y, which declined 8.1bp Thursday.  Bunds bull flatten a touch, long-end richer by ~2bps, brushing off some hawkish comments from ECB’s Muller. Peripheral spreads tighten slightly. Gilts are bear steeper, cheaper by 2.5bps at the back end. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady and the greenback was mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers, with most currencies confined to narrow ranges. Treasury yields rose by up to 2bps, led by the belly. The euro was flat at $1.1330 and bund yields were little changed. The pound steadied amid seasonal flows into the dollar and as the boost from Thursday’s surprise Bank of England rate hike wore off. U.K. retail sales last month rose 1.4% from October, when they grew a revised 1.1%, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had expected an increase of 0.8%. Sales excluding auto fuel grew 1.1%. The yen edged higher on concerns about the risk that eventual draw-down in central bank liquidity could trigger a reversal in the rally. Japanese government bonds were in ranges as they shrugged off the Bank of Japan’s status quo outcome. Australian and New Zealand dollar led G-10 declines as falling stocks and mounting virus numbers sapped demand for risk currencies. Turkish lira once again goes sharply offered, briefly weakening over 9% to print through 17/USD before further central bank intervention. In commodities, WTI dropped 1.5%, holding above $71 so far; Brent trades slips below $74. Spot gold holds Asia’s gains, near $1,804/oz. Base metals are in the green with LME tin outperforming. Bloomberg’s Markets Live team is running an anonymous survey on asset views for 2022. It takes about two minutes and the results will be shared in the latter part of December. Looking at the day ahead, data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for December, as well as November data on German PPI and UK retail sales. From central banks, we’ll also hear from the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Rehn. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.8% to 4,635.00 MXAP down 0.9% to 191.41 MXAPJ down 0.8% to 618.58 Nikkei down 1.8% to 28,545.68 Topix down 1.4% to 1,984.47 Hang Seng Index down 1.2% to 23,192.63 Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,632.36 Sensex down 1.5% to 57,011.01 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.1% to 7,303.97 Kospi up 0.4% to 3,017.73 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.6% to 473.64 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro little changed at $1.1330 Brent Futures down 1.4% to $73.99/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,808.56 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.98 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Boris Johnson suffered a seismic political upset as his ruling Conservatives lost a key parliamentary election, a result that will heap intense pressure on the U.K. prime minister and may even call his position into question Leading central banks made a big call this week, deciding that the coronavirus is no longer calling the shots in their economies, and inflation is now the bigger threat Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said the difference between the new forecast for 1.8% inflation in 2023 and 2024 and the ECB’s 2% target is within the “margin of uncertainty.” In a Bundesbank report showing German inflation will run above 2% through 2024, Jens Weidmann urged vigilance as he sees “risks to the upside” throughout the currency bloc ECB Governing Council member Olli Rehn said “there’s considerable uncertainty about the path which inflation will take” Germany’s main gauge of business expectations slipped to 92.6 in December, falling for a sixth month, according to the Ifo institute. That’s a bigger decline than predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey. Current conditions were also assessed as weaker than in November EU leaders failed to reach a deal on how to react to the unprecedented gas crisis that sent energy prices to record levels after Poland and the Czech Republic demanded stronger action to cap the costs of pollution A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets were mostly lower with sentiment in the region downbeat after the tech-led declines in the US and yesterday’s central bank frenzy. Overnight US equity futures held a downside bias. The ASX 200 (+0.1%) traded positively amid notable outperformance in the commodity-related sectors which was spearheaded by gold miners as the precious metal reclaimed with the USD 1800/oz level and with sentiment also helped by the announcement of a UK-Australia trade deal. The Nikkei 225 (-1.8%) was the biggest laggard as exporters suffered from detrimental currency inflows and following the BoJ announcement to scale back its pandemic relief measures in March. The Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.2%) were lacklustre after further restrictive measures by the US on Chinese companies including the passage of the Uyghur bill aimed at China which bans imports from Xinjiang unless the US government determines they were not produced with forced labour, while tech suffered after the US included several Chinese companies to its investment and trade restrictions lists. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat despite the steepening seen in the US and underperformance of Japanese stocks, with demand subdued amid the BoJ decision to scale back pandemic relief measures. Top Asian News Japan Expedites Virus Boosters for Some as Omicron Looms Hong Kong Stock Exchange to Allow SPAC Listings Next Month Thailand May Impose Stock-Trading Tax to Lift Government Revenue Asian Stocks Drop as Worries on Global Policy Tightening Linger European equities have succumbed to the weakness seen on Wall Street and across most APAC markets (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -0.6%) as global central banks turn hawkish and Quad Witching gets underway in holiday-thinned liquidity. US equity futures have also drifted lower, with the March 2022 contracts softer to the tune of 0.1-0.3% across the ES, NQ, YM and RTY. On the recent central bank pivots, analysts at Barclays suggest that rate hikes do not end bull markets, but reduced liquidity means “less speculative froth”. Barclays sees persisting inflation as a risk to markets and Omicron as an increasing downside risk to European growth, albeit the impact is contained thus far. Back to trade, Eurozone bourses see broad-based weakness whilst the UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.2%) holds its head above water – aided by outperformance in the basic materials sector and a softer Sterling. Overall sectors kicked off the day with a defensive bias, albeit that theme has since faded, with some cyclicals making their way up the ranks. Sectors are mostly in the red, however. Auto names are the laggards, with European car registrations -17.5% in November (prev. -30% MM). Tech also resides towards the bottom amid outflows from growth, and with the hefty valuations state-side also stoking some concerns. Chip names are also hit amid news Apple (-0.8% pre-market) is reportedly planning to build a new office to bring wireless chips in-house which may replace parts from Broadcom and Skyworks. STMicroelectronics (-3%), ASM (-2.4%), BE Semiconductor (-2.6%) are among the biggest losers in the Stoxx 600. Top European News European Gas Plunges After Russia Books Pipeline at Last Minute Stellantis Revamps Auto-Finance Business With BNP, Santander Cellnex Drops Most in 11 Months on CK Hutchison Deal Woes Johnson Suffers Humiliating Defeat in U.K. Special Election In FX, it feels like Friday fatigue has set in and markets are already in weekend mode as the Greenback sticks to relatively tight lines against most G10 peers and the index holds close to the 96.000 level within a narrow 96.118-95.875 band. Consolidation and sideways price action is hardly a surprise given this week’s extremely volatile trade on a combination of thin seasonal volumes and the abundance of final global Central Bank policy meetings for the year all scheduled within a few days. However, the Dollar and a few of its key counterparts may also be tied up in option expiry interest that ranges from large to huge in certain cases, awaiting comments from Fed’s Waller as the first official post-FOMC speaker. CHF/EUR/GBP/JPY - The Franc remains above 0.9200 vs the Buck and is testing 1.0400 against the Euro again in wake of an unchanged SNB yesterday, while the single currency is holding above 1.1300 vs the Greenback even though Germany’s latest Ifo survey was downbeat and perhaps underpinned by hawkish remarks from ECB’s Simkus and Muller over the comparatively neutral/dovish Rehn. Elsewhere, Sterling retains an element of its post-BoE hike momentum, but not enough for Cable to breach the 30 DMA that comes in at 1.3344 today or stay above a Fib retracement at 1.3321 irrespective of Chief Economist Pill expressing the view that further tightening is likely. Conversely, the BoJ stuck to its dovish stance and balanced the termination of corporate and commercial QE by extending the COVID-19 funding facility for SMEs another 6 months, to leave the Yen meandering between 113.86-44, though nearer 113.50 amidst the latest bout of risk aversion. Note also, Usd/Jpy will likely be contained by a swathe of option expiries stretching from 113.00 up to 114.50 and the same can be said for Eur/Usd and the Pound given the sheer size of interest at various strikes rolling off today - see 7.24GMT post on the Headline Feed for details. NZD/AUD/CAD - A further deterioration in NBNZ business outlook and decline in own activity have compounded the aforementioned downturn in overall sentiment to the detriment of the Kiwi more than Aussie or Loonie that is feeling the heat from renewed weakness in WTI crude. Hence, Nzd/Usd is nearer 0.6750 than 0.6800, while Aud/Usd is hovering within a 0.7185-53 range and Usd/Cad sits just above 1.2800. In commodities, WTI and Brent futures have been trundling lower in tandem with risk appetite – with WTI Jan closer to USD 71/bbl (vs high USD 72.26/bbl) whilst Brent Feb resides under USD 73/bbl (vs high USD 74.98/bbl). The morning did see updates on the Iranian nuclear front whereby sources suggested the parties in the Vienna talks have been able to reach a new draft by incorporating Iran's views, which, if finalised, will be the basis for upcoming talks. Although nothing is yet set in stone, this is much more constructive than had been the case this time last week. Further, the oil complex juggles the fluid COVID situation as the steeper rise in global cases backs the notion of stricter measures. That being said, reports thus far continue to suggest the lower severity of the Omicron variant. Analysts at Goldman Sachs said Omicron hasn't had much of an impact on mobility and oil demand, while it sees strong oil demand in 2022 from rising CAPEX and infrastructure construction. Furthermore, it stated that average oil demand is to hit record highs in 2022 and 2023. Elsewhere, spot gold remains firm after topping the group of DMAs yesterday (21 at 1787, 100 at 1788, 200 at 1794 and 50 at 1798) alongside the USD 1,800/oz mark. LME copper hovers around the USD 9,500/t mark awaiting the next catalyst, whilst Dalian iron ore continued to gain overnight with traders citing a recovery in steel demand. US Event Calendar No economic events 1pm: Fed’s Waller Discusses the Economic Outlook DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Well this is my last EMR of 2021. Henry will be in charge on Monday and Tuesday of next week but by then I’ll be catching up on sleep to prepare myself for the onslaught of Xmas with three hyper excitable kids. Thanks for all your support and interactions over the past year. Hopefully you’ll continue to read in 2022. Try to have as exciting a holiday season as the virus permits and see you on the other side. As I have done most years, at the end today I’m listing my favourite TV series and films of the year. I used to do favourite albums of the year but I’m ashamed to say that the person who used to buy a few hundred albums a year and try out all sorts of new music has turned into someone who listens to playlists and old albums. All a bit dull. The odd film and lots of TV continues to keep me sane after a day working in financial markets. So I hope you enjoy the countdown. Talking of countdowns, yesterday was probably the last active market day of the year with a slew of Central Bank activity over the last 36 hours. However the FOMC-inspired risk rally peaked out by lunchtime in Europe and the S&P 500 eventually shed -0.87% amidst significant declines in technology stocks (Nasdaq -2.47%). Meanwhile there was continued caution about the Omicron variant among investors, as many of the key economies await a fresh wave of cases over the coming weeks. We’ll start with the ECB, who yesterday said that they would be ending net asset purchases under their Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) at the end of March 2022, and that purchases over Q1 would be “at a lower pace than in the previous quarter”. Nevertheless, they also moved to soften the blow by confirming a step up in purchases by the Asset Purchase Programme (APP) to €40bn a month in Q2 2022, followed by a reduction to €30bn in Q3, and then €20bn a month from October “for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates.” They also said that they expected net purchases would conclude “shortly before it starts raising the key ECB interest rates.” Overall this was a somewhat hawkish decision (see European economists’ recap here), since although APP purchases will be increasing, those volumes are fixed and will taper out, whilst expectations were that the ECB may retain more flexibility with the APP. That flexibility seems confined to PEPP reinvestments, which will grant policy optionality as the inflation outlook remains uncertain. That said, it seems like the ECB communicated a set path for policy during 2022, with rate hikes not coming until 2023, according to our economists. Sovereign bond yields ended the day higher across most of the continent, although they gave up some of that increase towards the close, with those on 10yr bunds (+1.1bps), OATs (+2.2bps) and BTPs (+5.5bps) all rising. However, some shorter-dated yields did move lower, with those on 2yr bunds (-1.3bps) and OATs (-0.2bps) declining. When it comes to the ECB’s inflation forecasts, these were upgraded yet again, with the central bank now expecting 2022 inflation at +3.2% (vs. +1.7% in September), whilst their 2023 and 2024 projections now stand at +1.8%. However, the 2023 and 2024 projections are still beneath the ECB’s 2% target, and in their forward guidance they’ve said that they wouldn’t raise raises until inflation was seen reaching the target “durably for the rest of the projection horizon”, so even with the upgrade to 2023 they’re still forecasting inflation beneath target then. The other central bank decision came from the BoE yesterday, who hiked rates by 15bps to 0.25%. The consensus had been expecting them to keep rates on hold given the Omicron variant, hence the decision came as something of a surprise to markets, although we should say that DB’s own UK economist made an out-of-consensus but accurate call for a 15bps hike. In the minutes, the decision was described as “finely balanced” due to the uncertainty around Covid, but an 8-1 majority on the MPC voted in favour, and Governor Bailey said afterwards in a BBC interview that “We’ve seen evidence of a very tight labour market and we’re seeing more persistent inflation pressures, and that’s what we have to act on”. It comes as inflation has continued to surpass the BoE’s own forecasts, and the summary of the latest meeting said that Bank staff were now expecting inflation to peak “around 6% in April 2022”, up from its current level of 5.1%. Given the decision came as a surprise to many, there was a sharp rise in gilt yields in response, with those on 10yr gilts initially up +10bps before following the global bond rally which meant we only closed up +2.2bps to 0.75%. That move was entirely driven by higher real rates, and the 10yr inflation breakeven fell -5.5bps as investors moved to price in a lower trajectory for inflation, with the 5yr breakeven down by an even larger -12.3bps. Meanwhile investors also moved to price in a faster pace of hikes over the coming months, with the next 25bps hike fully priced in by the time of the March 2022 meeting, and a +73% chance of one priced in at the next meeting in February. In terms of DB’s own expectations, our UK economist writes in his reaction note (link here) that he now expects the next 25bps hike as soon as February 2022, followed by two further hikes in November 2022 and May 2023. Against this backdrop there was a fairly mixed equity reaction on either side of the Atlantic. The S&P 500 fell -0.88% as mentioned, with the NASDAQ seeing a major -2.47% decline, erasing their post-FOMC gains. In Europe however there was a much stronger performance as they caught up with the US rally following the Fed’s policy decision, and the STOXX 600 advanced +1.23%. Separately, US Treasuries also diverged from their European counterparts, with the 10yr yield down -4.6bps at 1.41%. In terms of the latest on the pandemic, there was a further record number of cases in the UK yesterday, with 88,376 reported, which beats the previous record set only the day before. Against that backdrop, France moved to restrict travel from the UK, with tourist and non-essential business travel prohibited. Separately in South Africa, hospitalisations now stand at 7,614, which is currently up +59% on the previous week. When it comes to the economic impact, yesterday’s release of the December flash PMIs from around the world pointed to weakening growth momentum across the major economies. Indeed, the composite PMI declined on the previous month in the US, Euro Area, Germany, France, UK, Japan and Australia. The headline numbers were the Euro Area composite PMI, which fell to a 9-month low of 53.4 (vs. 54.4 expected), whilst the US composite PMI fell to 56.9. So both still above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction, but some way down from their peaks in the middle of the year. Over in the US, it appears the gap between Democratic senators on President Biden’s Build Back Better bill is just too big, as Democratic leaders acknowledged that negotiations and votes could well drag over into next year. In a statement, President Biden said that “It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote. We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead”. Obviously longer-term outlooks will hinge on whether or not the bill passes, but there’s implications for 2022 growth, too, as the bill was set to extend child tax credits that comprise a not-insubstantial portion of consumer income. Overnight in Asia the main equity indices are trading lower, with the KOSPI (-0.33%), Shanghai Composite (-0.90%), Hang Seng (-1.28%), CSI (-1.31%) and the Nikkei (-1.75%) all declining amidst losses in technology stocks. Some of the main headlines came from the Bank of Japan however, which kept its main policy rates unchanged, announced that it would slowly reduce its corporate debt holdings, but also extended a special covid loans program by six months to end in September 2022, which aims to support small and medium-sized firms. Futures markets in US & Europe are also indicating a slow start, with those on the S&P 500 (-0.14%) and the DAX (-0.67%) both trading in the red. In terms of yesterday’s other data, the weekly initial jobless claims in the US moved up from their half-century low the previous week to 206k (vs. 200k expected). In spite of the uptick however, it was still enough to push the 4-week moving average down to 203.75k. Otherwise, US industrial production grew by +0.5% in November (vs. +0.6% expected), housing starts accelerated to an annualised rate of 1.679m (vs. 1.567m expected), their highest level in 8 months, and building permits rose to an annualised 1.712m (vs. 1.661m expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for December, as well as November data on German PPI and UK retail sales. From central banks, we’ll also hear from the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Rehn. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/17/2021 - 08:07.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 17th, 2021

Futures Jump In Volatile Session Dragged By Latest Twists In Omicron Saga

Futures Jump In Volatile Session Dragged By Latest Twists In Omicron Saga Much of the overnight session was a snooze fest with stocks drifting first higher then lower after surging on Tuesday, as the narrative meandered from "omicron fears ease" optimism to "vaccines won't work" pessimism, before futures took a sudden leg lower, dropping into the red just after 530am ET, following news that UK's Boris Johnson would introduce new restrictions in England to curb Omicron spread, sparking fears that Omicron is more dangerous that expected (and than futures reflected). However, this episode of pessimism proved short-lived because just an hour later, the WSJ confirmed that Omicron is really just a pitch for covid booster shots when it reported that even though the covid vaccine loses significant effectiveness against Omicron in an early study, this is miraculously reversed with a booster shot as three doses of the vaccine were able to neutralize the variant in an initial laboratory study, and the companies said two doses may still protect against severe disease. Futures quickly shot up on the news, spiking above the gamma "all clear" level of 4,700 in a move best summarized with the following chart. And so, after going nowhere, S&P futures climbed for a third day, last seen 12 points, or 0.3% higher, just around 4,700 after rising the most since March on Tuesday. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index rose following the biggest jump in more than a year. In addition to the omicron soap opera, which as we noted yesterday turns out was just one staged covid booster shot advertisement (because Pfizer and Moderna can always do with a bigger yacth), sentiment was also lifted by Chinese authorities' reversal to "easing mode" and aggressive efforts to limit the fallout from property market woes which lifted risk assets in Asia even as key debt deadlines at China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. passed without any sign of payment. "Clearly in the very short term uncertainty has risen over the Omicron virus... but overall at this stage we do not believe it will derail the macro picture in the medium-term," said Jeremy Gatto, multi-asset portfolio manager at Unigestion. Treasury yields were little changed after rising across the curve Tuesday. The VIX spiked first on the FT news, then dropped back into the red, while the dollar was flat and crude rose after turning red. Besides macro, micro was also in play and here are some other notable premarket movers Apple (AAPL US) ticks 1% higher in premarket trading following a Nikkei report that the tech giant told suppliers to speed up iPhone output for Nov.-Jan, citing people it didn’t identify. Amazon.com (AMZN US) shares in focus after an Amazon Web Services outage is wreaking havoc on the e-commerce giant’s delivery operation Stitch Fix (SFIX US) tumbles 25% in U.S. premarket trading after a 2Q forecast miss that analysts called “surprising,” while customer additions also disappointed Pfizer (PFE US) shares drop 2% in U.S. premarket trading after an early study showed that the company’s vaccine provides less immunity to the omicron variant Dare Bioscience (DARE US) soars 41% in premarket trading after Xaciato gets FDA approval for treating bacterial vaginosis EPAM Systems (EPAM US) soars 8% in premarket after S&P Dow Jones Indices said co. will replace Kansas City Southern in the S&P 500 effective prior to the opening of trading on Dec. 14 Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT US) upgraded to buy from hold and target boosted to Street-high $32 from $29 at Deutsche Bank with the company seen as a major beneficiary from the shift to electric vehicles. Shares up 4.3% in premarket trading NXP Semiconductor (NXPI US) shares slide 2.2% in U.S. premarket trading after the chipmaker got a new sell rating at UBS Dave & Buster’s (PLAY US) gained 3.5% postmarket after the dining and entertainment company reported EPS that beat the average analyst estimate and authorized a $100 million share buyback program "Every day that passes without a wave of severe cases driven by Omicron is offering more hope that this won't be the curveball to throw the recovery off course," wrote Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid in a note to clients. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index initially drifted both higher and lower then bounced 0.3% on the favorable Pfizer and BioNTech news one day after posting its bigger surge in a year. European benchmark index earlier rose as much as 2%, dropped 2.1%. Health care sub-index leads gains, rising 1.2%, followed by travel stocks. The Stoxx 600 closed 2.5% higher on Tuesday, biggest gain since November 2020 Earlier in the session, Asia stocks also rose for a second day as concerns about the omicron variant and China’s economic slowdown eased. The MSCI AsiaPacific Index climbed as much as 0.9% after capping its biggest one-day gain in more than three months on Tuesday. Technology and health-care shares provided the biggest boosts. Benchmarks in New Zealand and India -- where the central bank held rates at a record low -- were among the day’s best performers. “The biggest point appealing to investors is that the Omicron variant doesn’t seem to be too fatal,” which is encouraging to those who had been going short to close out their positions, said Tomoichiro Kubota, a senior market analyst at Matsui Securities in Tokyo. “Worry that the Chinese economy will lose its growth momentum has subsided quite a bit.” Thus far, Omicron cases haven’t overwhelmed hospitals while vaccine developments indicate some promise in dealing with the variant. While vaccines like the one made by Pfizer and BioNTech SE may be less powerful against the new strain, protection can be fortified with boosters. The two-day rally in the Asian stock benchmark marks a sharp turnaround following weeks of declines since mid-November. Stocks in China also climbed for a second day. The nation’s central bank said Monday it will cut the amount of cash most banks must keep in reserve from Dec. 15, providing a liquidity boost and helping restore investor confidence In FX, news on the Omicron variant rippled through G-10 currencies after a report the Pfizer vaccine could neutralize the Omicron variant boosted risk appetite. The pound underperformed other Group-of-10 peers, extending declines after reports that the U.K. government is poised to introduce new Covid-19 restrictions.  A gauge of the dollar’s strength fluctuated as Treasuries pare gains and stocks rally after a report that said Pfizer and BioNTech claim three vaccine doses neutralize the omicron variant. EUR/USD rose 0.1% to 1.1277; USD/NOK falls as much as 0.8% to 8.9459, lowest since Nov. 25 Sterling fell against the euro and the dollar, as traders pare bets on the path of Bank of England rate hikes following reports that the U.K. could introduce fresh Covid-19 restrictions such as working from home and vaccine passports for large venues. Money markets pare rate hike bets, with just six basis points of interest rate hikes priced in for the BOE meeting next week. GBP/USD falls as much as 0.6% to 1.3163, testing the key level of 1.3165, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of gains since March 2020. EUR/GBP gains as much as 0.7% to 0.85695, the highest since Nov. 11. “The market will probably see this as more U.K. specific and therefore an issue for the pound at least in the short term,” said Stuart Bennett, FX strategist at Santander. In rates, Treasuries were mixed with markets reacting in a risk-on manner to the Dow Jones report that Pfizer and BioNTech claim three vaccine doses neutralize the omicron variant. Yields remain richer by less than 1bp across long-end of the curve while front-end trades cheaper on the day, flattening curve spreads. Session’s focal points include $36b 10-year note reopening at 1pm ET, following Tuesday’s strong 3-year note auction. Treasury 10-year yields around 1.475%, near flat on the day; gilts outperform slightly after Financial Times report that further Covid restrictions will be announced imminently to curb the variant’s spread. U.S. 2-year yields were cheaper by 1bp on the day, rose to new 2021 high following Pfizer vaccine report; 2s10s spread erased a flattening move In commodities, crude futures turned red, WTI falling 0.8%, popping back below $72. Spot gold holds Asia’s modest gains, adding $8 to trade near $1,792/oz. Looking at the day ahead, and Olaf Scholz is expected to become German Chancellor in a Bundestag vote today. From central banks, the Bank of Canada will be deciding on rates, and we’ll also hear from ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Schnabel. Finally, data releases include the JOLTS job openings from the US for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,693.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 480.55 MXAP up 0.7% to 194.84 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 632.78 Nikkei up 1.4% to 28,860.62 Topix up 0.6% to 2,002.24 Hang Seng Index little changed at 23,996.87 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,637.57 Sensex up 1.8% to 58,654.25 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3% to 7,405.45 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,001.80 Brent Futures down 0.5% to $75.04/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,790.33 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.20 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.38% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1286 Brent Futures down 0.5% to $75.04/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The omicron variant of Covid-19 must inflict significant damage on the euro-area economy for European Central Bank Governing Council member Martins Kazaks to back additional stimulus “The current phase of higher inflation could last longer than expected only some months ago,” ECB vice president Luis de Guindos says at event The earliest studies on omicron are in and the glimpse they’re providing is cautiously optimistic: while vaccines like the one made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE may be less powerful against the new variant, protection can be fortified with boosters U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce new Covid-19 restrictions in England, known as “Plan B,” to stop the spread of the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reported, citing three senior Whitehall officials familiar with the matter. French economic activity will continue to rise in December, despite another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and fresh uncertainty over the omicron variant, according the Bank of France The Kingdom of Denmark will sell a sovereign green bond for the first time next month to help the Nordic nation meet one of the world’s most ambitious climate targets Tom Hayes, the former UBS Group AG and Citigroup Inc. trader who became the face of the sprawling Libor scandal, has lost his bid to appeal his U.K. criminal conviction Poland is poised for a hefty increase in interest rates after a spike in inflation to a two- decade high convinced central bankers that spiraling price growth isn’t transitory. Of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, 20 expect a 50 basis-point hike to 1.75% today and 10 see the rate rising to 2%. The other two expect a 25 basis-point increase Australia is weighing plans for a central bank-issued digital currency alongside the regulation of the crypto market as it seeks to overhaul how the nation’s consumers and businesses pay for goods and services Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya dropped a strong hint that big firms are in less need of funding support, a comment that will likely fuel speculation the BOJ will scale back its pandemic buying of corporate bonds and commercial paper A detailed summary of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded positively as the region took impetus from the global risk momentum following the tech-led rally in the US, where Apple shares rose to a record high and amid increased optimism that Omicron could be less dangerous than prior variants. This was after early hospitalisation data from South Africa showed the new variant could result in less severe COVID and NIH's Fauci also suggested that Omicron was 'almost certainly' not more severe than Delta, although there were some slight headwinds in late Wall Street trade after a small study pointed to reduced vaccine efficacy against the new variant. The ASX 200 (+1.3%) was underpinned in which tech led the broad gains across sectors as it found inspiration from the outperformance of big tech stateside, and with energy bolstered by the recent rebound in underlying oil prices. The Nikkei 225 (+1.4%) conformed to the upbeat mood although further advances were capped after USD/JPY eased off the prior day’s highs and following a wider-than-expected contraction to the economy with the final annualised Q3 GDP at -3.6% vs exp. -3.1%. The Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.2%) were less decisive and initially lagged behind their peers as sentiment was mired by default concerns due to the failure by Evergrande to pay bondholders in the lapsed 30-day grace period on two USD-denominated bond payments and with Kaisa Group in a trading halt after missing the deadline for USD 400mln in offshore debt which didn’t bode well for its affiliates. Furthermore, China Aoyuan Property Group received over USD 650mln in repayment demands and warned it may not be able to meet debt obligations, while a subdued Hong Kong debut for Weibo shares which declined around 6% from the offer price added to the glum mood for Hong Kong’s blue-chip tech stocks, as did reports that China is to tighten rules for tech companies seeking foreign funding. Finally, 10yr JGBs languished after spillover selling from T-notes and due to the heightened global risk appetite, but with downside stemmed by support at the key psychological 152.00 level and amid the presence of the BoJ in the market today for over JPY 1.0tln of JGBs. Top Asian News China Clean Car Sales Spike as Consumers Embrace Electric Gold Edges Higher as Traders Weigh Vaccine Efficacy, Geopolitics Paint Maker Avia Avian Falls in Debut After $763 Million IPO Tokyo Prepares to Introduce Same-Sex Partnerships Next Year Equities in Europe shifted to a lower configuration after a mixed open (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.7%; Stoxx 600 -0.1%) as sentiment was dented by rumours of tightening COVID measures in the UK. Markets have been awaiting the next catalyst to latch onto for direction amidst a lack of fresh fundamentals. US equity futures have also been dented but to a lesser extent, with the YM (-0.1%) and ES (Unch) straddling behind the NQ (+0.2%) and RTY (+0.2%). Sources in recent trade suggested an 85% chance of the UK implementing COVID Plan B, according to Times' Dunn; reports indicate such restrictions could be implemented on Thursday, with the potential for an announcement today. In terms of the timings, the UK cabinet is penciled in for 15:45GMT and presser for 17:30GMT on Plan B, according to BBC's Goodall. Note, this will not be a formal lockdown but more so work-from-home guidance, vaccine passports for nightlife and numerical restrictions on indoor/outdoor gatherings. APAC closed in the green across the board following the tech-led rally in the US. The upside overnight was attributed to a continuation of market optimism after early hospitalisation data from South Africa showed the new variant could result in less severe COVID, albeit after a small study pointed to reduced vaccine efficacy against the new variant. Participants will be closely watching any updates from the vaccine-makers, with the BioNTech CEO stating the drugmaker has data coming Wednesday or Thursday related to the new COVID-19 variant, thus markets will be eyeing a potential update this week ahead of the Pfizer investor call next Friday. Back to European, the UK’s FTSE 100 (Unch) and the Swiss SMI (+0.8%) are largely buoyed by their defensive stocks, with sectors seeing a defensive formation, albeit to a slightly lesser extent vs the open. Healthcare retains its top spot closely followed by Food & Beverages, although Personal & Household Goods and Telecoms have moved down the ranks. On the flip side, Retail, Banks and Travel & Leisure trade at the bottom of the bunch, whilst Tech nursed some earlier losses after opening as the lagging sector. In terms of individual movers, Nestle (+1.8%) is bolstered after announcing a CHF 20bln share repurchase programme alongside a stake reduction in L'Oreal (+1.0%) to 20.1% from 23.3% - worth some EUR 9bln. L’Oreal has shrugged off the stake sale and conforms to the firm sectoral performance across the Personal & Household Goods. Meanwhile, chip names are under pressure after Nikkei sources reported that Apple (+0.8% pre-market) was forced to scale back the total output target for 2021, with iPhone and iPad assembly halted for several days due to supply chain constraints and restrictions on the use of power in China, multiple sources told Nikkei. STMicroelectronics (-1.7%) and Infineon (-5.0%) are among the losers, with the latter also weighed on by a broker downgrade at JPM. Top European News ECB’s Kazaks Sets High Bar for Omicron-Driven Extra Stimulus Biden Is Left Guessing Over Putin’s Ultimate Aim in Ukraine Byju’s Buys Austria’s GeoGebra to Bolster Online Math Courses Scholz Elected by Parliament to Take Charge as German Chancellor In FX, the Dollar index continues to hold above 96.000, but bounces have become less pronounced and the range so far today is distinctly narrower (96.285-130) in fitting with the generally restrained trade in pairings within the basket and beyond, bar a few exceptions. Price action suggests a relatively muted midweek session unless a major game-changer arrives and Wednesday’s agenda does not bode that well in terms of catalysts aside from JOLTS and the BoC policy meeting before the second leg of this week’s refunding in the form of Usd 36 bn 10 year notes. AUD/EUR - Notwithstanding the largely contained currency moves noted above, the Aussie is maintaining bullish momentum on specific factors including strength in iron ore prices and encouraging Chinese data plus PBoC easing that should have a positive knock-on effect for one of its main trading partners even though diplomatic relations between the two nations are increasingly strained. Aud/Usd has also cleared a couple of technical hurdles on the way up to circa 0.7143 and Aud/Nzd is firmer on the 1.0500 handle ahead of the RBA’s latest chart pack release and a speech by Governor Lowe. Elsewhere, the Euro has regained composure after its sub-1.1250 tumble on Tuesday vs the Buck and dip through 0.8500 against the Pound, but still faces psychological resistance at 1.1300 and the 21 DMA that comes in at 1.1317 today, while Eur/Gbp needs to breach the 100 DMA (0.8513) convincingly or close above to confirm a change in direction for the cross from a chart perspective. CHF/CAD/JPY/GBP/NZD - All sitting tight in relation to their US counterpart, with the Franc paring some declines between 0.9255-30 parameters and the Loonie straddling 1.2650 in the run up to the aforementioned BoC that is widely seen as a non-event given no new MPR or press conference, not to mention the actual changes in QE and rate guidance last time. Nevertheless, implied volatility is quite high via a 63 pip breakeven for Usd/Cad. Meanwhile, Sterling lost grip of the 1.3200 handle amidst swirling speculation about the UK reverting to plan B and more Tory MPs calling for PM Johnson to resign, the Yen is rotating around 113.50 eyeing broad risk sentiment and US Treasury yields in context of spreads to JGBs, and the Kiwi is lagging after touching 0.6800 awaiting independent impetus from NZ manufacturing sales for Q3. SCANDI/EM - The Nok extended its advantage/outperformance against the Sek as Brent rebounded towards Usd 76/brl in early trade and Riksbank’s Jansson retained reservations about flagging a repo rate hike at the end of the forecast horizon, while the Mxn and Rub also initially derived some support from oil with the latter also taking on board latest hawkish talk from the CBR. However, the Cny and Cnh are outpacing their rivals again with some assistance from a firmer PBoC midpoint fix to hit multi-year peaks vs the Usd and probe 6.3500 ahead of option expiry interest at 6.3000 and a Fib retracement at 6.2946, in stark contrast to the Try that is unwinding recent recovery gains with no help from the latest blast from Turkish President Erdogan - see 10.00GMT post in the Headline Feed for more. Conversely, the Czk has taken heed of CNB’s Holub underscoring tightening signals and expectations for the next rate convene and the Pln and Brl are anticipating hikes from the NBP and BCB. In commodities, crude futures have been hit on the prospect of imminent COVID-related measures in the UK, albeit the measures do not involve lockdowns. Brent and WTI front month futures slipped from European highs to breach APAC lows. The former dipped below USD 74.50/bbl from a USD 76.00/bbl European peak while its WTI counterpart tested USD 71.00/bbl from USD 72.50/bbl at best. Overnight the benchmarks traded on either side the USD 75/bbl mark and just under USD 72/bbl after the weekly Private Inventories printed a larger-than-expected draw (-3.6mln vs exp. -3.1mln), albeit the internals were less bullish. Yesterday also saw the release of the EIA STEO, cut its 2021 world oil demand growth forecast by an insignificant 10k BPD but raised the 2022 metric by 200k BPD – with the IEA and OPEC monthly reports poised to be released next week. On the vaccine front, a small preliminary study of 12 people showed a 40x reduction in neutralization capacity of the Pfizer vaccine against Omicron, but early hospitalisation data from South Africa showed the new variant could result in less severe COVID. BioNTech CEO said they have data coming in on Wednesday or Thursday related to the new Omicron variant. The geopolitical space is also worth keeping on the radar, with US President Biden yesterday warning Russian President Putin that gas exports via Nord Stream 2 will be targeted and more troops will be deployed if he orders an invasion of Ukraine. Further, reports suggested, an Indian army helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu, with Chief of Defence staff reportedly on board, according to Sputnik. Note, Tamil Nadu is located towards the south of the country and away from conflict zones. Elsewhere spot gold was supported by the overnight pullback in the Dollar, but the recent risk aversion took the yellow metal above the 100 DMA around USD 1,790/oz, with nearby upside levels including the 200 DMA (1,792/oz) and the 50 DMA (1,794/oz). Copper prices meanwhile consolidated within a tight range, with LME copper holding onto a USD 9,500/t handle (just about). Dalian iron ore extended on gains in a continuation of the upside seen in recent trade. US Event Calendar 7am: Dec. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -7.2% 10am: Oct. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 10.5m, prior 10.4m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that we are currently conducting our special 2022 survey. We ask about rates, equities, bond yields and the path of covid in 2022, amongst other things, and also return to a festive question we asked in 2019, namely your favourite ever Christmas songs. The link is here and it’ll be open until tomorrow. All help filling in very much appreciated. My optimism for life has been shattered this morning. Not from the markets or the virus but just as I woke this morning England cricketers finally surrendered and collapsed in a heap on the first day of the Ashes - one the oldest international rivalries in sport. It was all I could do not to turn round and go back to bed. However out of duty I’m soldering on. After the twins nativity play went without incident yesterday, this morning it’s Maisie’s turn. Given she’s in a wheelchair at the moment she can’t get on stage so they’ve given her a solo singing spot at the start. I’m going so I can bring a bucket for all my wife’s tears as she sings!! If I shed a tear I’ll pretend it’s because of the cricket. The global market rebound continued to gather strength yesterday as investors became increasingly optimistic that the Omicron variant wouldn’t prove as bad as initially feared. To be honest, it was more the absence of bad news rather than any concrete good news helping to drive sentiment. Late in the US session we did see some headlines suggesting that the Pfizer vaccine may provide some defence against Omicron but also that the new variant does evade some of the immunity produced by this vaccine. This report of the small study (12 people!!) from South Africa lacked substance but you could take positives and negatives from it. More information is clearly needed. For the markets though, every day that passes without a wave of severe cases driven by Omicron is offering more hope that this won’t be the curveball to throw the recovery off course. Indeed, to get a sense of the scale of the market rebound, both the S&P 500 and the STOXX 600 in Europe have now clocked in their strongest 2-day performances of 2021 so far, with the indices up by +3.27% and +3.76% respectively since the start of the week. Meanwhile, the VIX fell below 25 for the first time in a week. On the day, the S&P 500 (+2.07%) put in its strongest daily performance since March, whilst the STOXX 600 (+2.45%) saw its strongest daily performance since the news that the Pfizer vaccine was successful in trials back in November 2020. Once again the gains were incredibly broad-based, albeit with cyclical sectors leading the way. The Nasdaq (+3.03%) outperformed the S&P 500 for the first time in a week as tech shares led the rally. Small cap stocks also had a strong day, with the Russell 2000 up +2.28%, on the back of Omicron optimism. This recovery in risk assets was also seen in the bounceback in oil prices, with Brent crude (+3.23%) and WTI (+3.68%) now both up by more than $5.5/bbl since the start of the week, which puts them well on the way to ending a run of 6 consecutive weekly declines. For further evidence of this increased optimism, we can also look at the way that investors have been dialling back up their estimates of future rate hikes from the Fed, with yesterday seeing another push in this direction. Before the Omicron news hit, Fed fund futures were fully pricing in an initial hike by the June meeting, but by the close on the Monday after Thanksgiving they’d moved down those odds to just 61% in June, with an initial hike not fully priced until September. Fast forward just over a week however, and we’re now not only back to pricing in a June hike, but the odds of a May hike are standing at +78.8%, which is actually higher than the +66.1% chance priced before the Omicron news hit. A reminder that we’re just a week away now from the Fed’s next decision, where it’s hotly anticipated they could accelerate the pace at which they’ll taper their asset purchases. With investors bringing forward their bets on monetary tightening, front-end US Treasury yields were hitting post-pandemic highs yesterday, with the 2yr Treasury yield up +5.8bps to 0.69%, a level we haven’t seen since March 2020. Longer-dated yield increases weren’t as large, with the 10yr yield up +3.9bps to 1.47%, and the 5s30s curve flattened another -1.8bps to 54.4bps, just above the post-pandemic low of 53.7bps. Over in Europe there was similarly a rise in most countries’ bond yields, with those on 10yr bunds (+1.4bps), OATs (+1.0bps) and BTPs (+4.4bps) all moving higher, though incidentally, the 5s30s curve in Germany was also down -2.2bps to its own post-pandemic low of 50.0bps. One pretty big news story that markets have been relatively unperturbed by so far is the rising tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine. Yesterday saw a video call between US President Biden and Russian President Putin. The US readout from the call did not offer much in the way of concrete details, but if you’re looking for any optimistic news, it said that both sides tasked their teams with following up. Setting the background for the call, there were reports immediately beforehand that the US was considering evacuating their citizens and posturing to stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia invaded Ukraine. The Ruble appreciated +0.42% against the dollar, and is now only slightly weaker versus the dollar on the week. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher led by the Nikkei (+1.49%), CSI (+1.11%), Shanghai Composite (+0.86%) and the KOSPI (+0.78%) as markets respond positively to the Pfizer study mentioned at the top. The Hang Seng (-0.12%) is lagging though. In Japan, the final Q3 GDP contracted -3.6% quarter on quarter annualised against consensus expectations of -3.1% on lower consumer spending than initially estimated. In India, the RBI left the key policy rate unchanged for the ninth consecutive meeting today while underscoring increasing headwinds from the Omicron variant. Futures markets indicate a positive start in the US and Europe with S&P 500 (+0.41%) and DAX (+0.12%) futures trading in the green. Back on the pandemic, despite the relative benign news on Omicron, rising global case counts mean that the direction of travel is still towards tougher restrictions across a range of countries. In fact here in the UK, we saw the 7-day average of reported cases move above 48,000 for the first time since January. In terms of fresh restrictions, yesterday saw Canada announce that they’d be extending their vaccine mandate, which will now require employees in all federally regulated workplaces to be vaccinated, including road transportation, telecommunications and banking. In Sweden, the government is preparing a bill that would see Covid passes introduced for gyms and restaurants, while Poland put further measures in place, including remote schooling from December 20 until January 9, while vaccines would become mandatory for health workers, teachers and uniformed services from March 1. One move to ease restrictions came in Austria, where it was confirmed shops would be reopening on Monday, albeit only for those vaccinated, while restaurants and hotels would reopen the following week. If you see our daily charts you’ll see that cases in Austria have dropped sharply since the peaks a couple of weeks ago, albeit still high internationally. In DC, Congressional leaders apparently agreed to a deal that would ultimately lead to the debt ceiling being increased, after some procedural chicanery. Senate Majority Leader McConnell voiced support for the measure, which is a good sign for its ultimate prospects of passing, but it still needs at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate to pass. McConnell indicated the votes would be there when the Senate ultimately takes it up, which is reportedly set to happen this week. The House passed the measure last night. Yields on Treasury bills maturing in December fell following the headlines. Looking ahead, today will mark the end of an era in Germany, as Olaf Scholz is set to become Chancellor in a Bundestag vote later on, marking an end to Chancellor Merkel’s 16-year tenure. That vote will simply be a formality given the three parties of the incoming coalition (the centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP) have a comfortable majority between them, and the new cabinet will feature 7 SPD ministers, 5 Green ministers, and 4 from the FDP. Among the positions will include Green co-leader Robert Habeck as Vice Chancellor, Green co-leader Annalena Baerbock as foreign minister, and FDP leader Christian Lindner as finance minister. Running through yesterday’s data, the US trade deficit narrowed to $67.1bn in October (vs. $66.8bn expected), marking its smallest level since April. Meanwhile in the Euro Area, the latest Q3 growth estimate was left unchanged at +2.2%, but both Q1 and Q2’s growth was revised up a tenth. Over in Germany, industrial production grew by a stronger-than-expected +2.8% in October (vs. +1.0% expected), with the previous month’s contraction also revised to show a smaller -0.5% decline. In addition, the expectations component of the December ZEW survey fell by less than expected to 29.9 (vs. 25.4 expected), but the current situation measure fell to a 6-month low of -7.4 (vs. 5.7 expected). To the day ahead now, and Olaf Scholz is expected to become German Chancellor in a Bundestag vote today. From central banks, the Bank of Canada will be deciding on rates, and we’ll also hear from ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Schnabel. Finally, data releases include the JOLTS job openings from the US for October. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/08/2021 - 07:58.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 8th, 2021

Key Factors to Affect People"s United (PBCT) in Q3 Earnings

People's United's (PBCT) Q3 earnings are likely to reflect the impacts of a decent deposit balance. A rise in expenses and a decline in operating lease income are expected to have been impediments. People's United Financial, Inc. PBCT is scheduled to report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 21, after market close. While its revenues are expected to have declined year over year, earnings are anticipated to have improved.People's United’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in second-quarter 2021. Results reflect improved fee revenues and controlled expenses. A recovery in the provision for credit losses and a strong capital position also supported the company. However, lower revenues and reduced loans were headwinds.In the trailing four quarters, the company surpassed estimates on all four occasions, the average being 16.9%.People's United Financial, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise  People's United Financial, Inc. price-eps-surprise | People's United Financial, Inc. QuoteThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings for the to-be-reported quarter is pegged at 35 cents, which suggests a rise of 2.9% from the year-ago reported number. However, the consensus estimate for revenues of $482.4 million indicates a 2.1% year-over-year decline.Key Factors and EstimatesFee Income: Ongoing economic recovery and governmental aid are likely to have supported deposits and bank service charges for People’s United. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for bank service charges of $25.6 million suggests a 4.3% year-over-year rise.Higher client activities and continued volatility in the markets, especially in September, are likely to have buoyed the company’s investment management fees. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21.7 million for investment management fees implies a 15.2% year-over-year improvement.Likewise, the consensus estimate of $14.3 million for commercial lending fees indicates a rise of 12.2% from the prior-year quarter.However, a decline in the operating lease income is expected to have hindered overall fee income growth. The consensus estimate for a total non-interest income of $100 million suggests a marginal year-over-year decline.Loan Growth: The lending scenario in the third quarter improved moderately per the Fed’s latest data. This was backed by businesses reopening, corporate confidence rising and increasing economic growth. However, these were partially offset by strong consumer balance sheets, and persistently elevated payment rates and pay downs.Also, the commercial and industrial loan portfolio remained weak as the low-interest rate environment has made borrowing through other avenues like capital markets more attractive. With the majority of People's United's loan portfolio (77%) comprising commercial and industrial lending as well as commercial real estate lending and equipment financing, this is likely to have been dragging the company. Nonetheless, given the strength in the commercial real estate space, commercial real estate lending improved in the third quarter and is likely to have offered some support to the company’s loan growth.Net Interest Income (NII): The stimulus-driven liquidity injected in the banking system continued to support deposit balance in the third quarter. This along with moderate loan growth and the steepening of the yield curve is expected to have aided People's United’s NII in the to-be-reported quarter.However, the low interest rate environment, excess deposits on bank balance sheets invested in low-yield investments and lower yields on the securities portfolio are likely to have kept the net interest margin (NIM) under pressure.The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $56.1 billion for quarterly average earning assets indicates 4.5% year-over-year growth.The consensus estimate of $382 million for NII suggests a 2.3% fall from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure. Similarly, the consensus mark for NIM is pegged at 2.72%, indicating a decline from the year-ago reported figure of 2.97%.Higher Expenses: People’s United’s inorganic growth strategies are likely to have led to higher merger-related costs. Also, with the expansion of operations, compensation and benefits might have risen.For the quarter under review, the efficiency ratio is expected to be 63%, up from the prior quarter’s reported 54%. A rise in the efficiency ratio indicates lower profitability.Earnings WhispersOur quantitative model shows that People’s United does not have the right combination of the two key ingredients — a positive Earnings ESP and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or higher — for increasing the odds of an earnings beat this time.You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Earnings ESP: The Earnings ESP for People’s United is +10.15%.Zacks Rank: People’s United currently carries a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell).Stocks to ConsiderHere are some finance stocks that you may want to consider as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in their upcoming releases, per our model.Capital One Financial Corporation COF is slated to report quarterly earnings on Oct 26. The company, with a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy) at present, has an Earnings ESP of +5.18%.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.BankUnited, Inc. BKU is scheduled to release third-quarter results on Oct 21. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +1.90%.The Earnings ESP for KeyCorp KEY is +0.56%. This Zacks #3 Ranked company is scheduled to report quarterly numbers on Oct 21. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Capital One Financial Corporation (COF): Free Stock Analysis Report KeyCorp (KEY): Free Stock Analysis Report People's United Financial, Inc. (PBCT): Free Stock Analysis Report BankUnited, Inc. (BKU): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 19th, 2021

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck US equity futures, already sharply higher overnight, jumped this morning as a risk-on mood inspired by stellar bank earnings, overshadowed concern that supply snarls. a China property crunch, a tapering Fed and stagflation will weigh on the global recovery. Nasdaq futures jumped 1%, just ahead of the S&P 500 which was up 0.9%. 10-year Treasury yields ticked lower to about 1.5%, and with the dollar lower as well, oil jumped. Bitcoin and the broader crypto space continued to rise. Shares in Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of America jumped as their deal-making units rode a record wave of M&A. On the other end, Boeing shares fell more than 1% after a Dow Jones report said the plane maker is dealing with a new defect on its 787 Dreamliner. Here are some of the biggest other U.S. movers today: Occidental (OXY US) rises 1.6% in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to sell its interests in two Ghana offshore fields for $750m to Kosmos Energy and Ghana National Petroleum Plug Power (PLUG US) rises 3.3% premarket, extending gains from Wednesday, when it announced partnership with Airbus SE and Phillips 66 to find ways to harness hydrogen to power airplanes, vehicles and industry Esports Entertainment (GMBL US) shares rise 16% in U.S. premarket trading after the online gambling company reported its FY21 results and reaffirmed its FY22 guidance Perrigo  (PRGO US) gains 2.8% in premarket trading after Raymond James upgrades to outperform following acquisition of HRA Pharma and recent settlement of Irish tax dispute AT&T (T US) ticks higher in premarket trading after KeyBanc writes upgrades to sector weight from underweight, saying it seems harder to justify further downside from here Avis Budget (CAR US) may be active after getting its only negative rating among analysts as Morgan Stanley cuts to underweight with risk/reward seen pointing toward downside OrthoPediatrics (KIDS US) dipped 2% Wednesday postmarket after it said 3Q revenue was hurt by the surge in cases of Covid-19 delta variant and RSV within children’s hospitals combined with staff shortage Investors continue to evaluate the resilience of economic reopening to supply chain disruptions, a jump in energy prices and the prospect of reduced central bank support. In the earnings season so far, executives at S&P 500 companies mentioned the phrase “supply chain” about 3,000 times on investor calls as of Tuesday -- far higher than last year’s then-record figure. “Our constructive outlook for growth means that our asset allocation remains broadly pro-risk and we continue to be modestly overweight global equities,” according to Michael Grady, head of investment strategy and chief economist at Aviva Investors. “However, we have scaled back that position marginally because of growing pains which could impact sales and margins.” Europe's Stoxx 600 index reached its highest level in almost three weeks, boosted by gains in tech shares and miners. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose over 1% to best levels for the week. FTSE 100 rises 0.75%, underperforming at the margin. Miners and tech names are the strongest sectors with only healthcare stocks in small negative territory. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: THG shares advance as much as 10%, snapping a four-day losing streak, after a non-executive director bought stock while analysts at Goldman Sachs and Liberum defended their buy recommendations. Steico gains as much as 9.9%, the most since Jan., after the insulation manufacturer reported record quarterly revenue, which Warburg says “leaves no doubt” about underlying market momentum. Banco BPM climbs as much as 3.6% and is the day’s best performer on the FTSE MIB benchmark index; bank initiated at buy at Jefferies as broker says opportunity to internalize insurance business offers 9%-16% possible upside to 2023 consensus EPS and is not priced in by the market. Hays rises as much as 4.3% after the recruiter posted a jump in comparable net fees for the first quarter. Publicis jumps as much as 3.7%, the stock’s best day since July, with JPMorgan saying the advertising company’s results show a “strong” third quarter, though there are risks ahead. Kesko shares rise as much as 6.1%. The timing of this year’s third guidance upgrade was a surprise, Inderes says. Ubisoft shares fall as much as 5.5% after JPMorgan Cazenove (overweight) opened a negative catalyst watch, citing short-term downside risk to earnings ahead of results. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced, boosted by a rebound in technology shares as traders focused on the ongoing earnings season and assessed economic-reopening prospects in the region. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, as a sub-gauge of tech stocks rose, halting a three-day slide. Tokyo Electron contributed the most to the measure’s climb, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. closed up 0.4% ahead of its earnings release. India’s tech stocks rose following better-than-expected earnings for three leading firms in the sector. Philippine stocks were among Asia’s best performers as Manila began easing virus restrictions, which will allow more businesses in the capital to reopen this weekend. Indonesia’s stock benchmark rallied for a third-straight day, as the government prepared to reopen Bali to tourists. READ: Commodities Boom, Tourism Hopes Fuel Southeast Asia Stock Rally Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX, said FOMC minutes released overnight provided Asian markets with little direction, which may offer some opportunity for recouping recent losses. The report showed officials broadly agreed last month they should start reducing pandemic-era stimulus in mid-November or mid-December. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields stayed below 1.6%, providing support for tech stocks.  “Markets seemed to conclude the near-term narrative is on pause until further evidence,” Spivak said. Shares in mainland China fell as the country reported factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September. Singapore’s stock benchmark pared initial losses as the country’s central bank unexpectedly tightened policy. Hong Kong’s equity market was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were steady to a tad higher, underperforming Bunds which advanced, led by the long end.  Fixed income is mixed: gilts bull steepen with short dates richening ~2.5bps, offering only a muted reaction to dovish commentary from BOE’s Tenreyro. Bunds rise with 10y futures breaching 169. USTs are relatively quiet with 5s30s unable to crack 100bps to the upside. Peripheral spreads widen slightly. In FX, the Turkish lira was again the overnight standout as it weakened to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired three central bankers. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell and the greenback slipped against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen, with risk-sensitive and resource-based currencies leading gains; the euro rose to trade above $1.16 for the first time in a week.  The pound rose to more than a two-week high amid dollar weakness as traders wait for a raft of Bank of England policy makers to speak. Sweden’s krona temporarily came off an almost eight-month high against the euro after inflation fell short of estimates. The euro dropped to the lowest since November against the Swiss franc as banks targeted large option barriers and leveraged sell-stops under 1.0700, traders said; Currency traders are responding to stagflation risks by turning to the Swiss franc. The Aussie advanced to a five-week high versus the greenback even as a monthly jobs report showed employment fell in September; the jobless rate rose less than economists forecast. The kiwi was a among the top performers; RBNZ Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said inflation pressures were becoming more persistent China’s yuan declined from a four-month high after the central bank signaled discomfort with recent gains by setting a weaker-than-expected reference rate. In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains with WTI up ~$1 before stalling near $81.50. Brent regains a $84-handle. Spot gold drifts through Wednesday’s highs, adding $4 to print just shy of the $1,800/oz mark. Base metals are well bid with LME copper and aluminum gaining as much as 3%.  Looking at the day ahead, we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 4,382.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 464.38 MXAP up 0.7% to 196.12 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 642.66 Nikkei up 1.5% to 28,550.93 Topix up 0.7% to 1,986.97 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 24,962.59 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,558.28 Sensex up 0.7% to 61,190.63 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,311.73 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,988.64 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $83.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,796.13 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.25% to 93.84 German 10Y yield fell 1.5 bps to -0.143% Euro little changed at $1.1615 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $84.13/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg A flattening Treasury yield curve signals increasing concern Federal Reserve efforts to keep inflation in check will derail the recovery in the world’s largest economy China’s factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September, potentially adding to global inflation pressure if local businesses start passing on higher costs to consumers. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired monetary policy makers wary of cutting interest rates further, driving the lira to record lows against the dollar with his midnight decree Singapore’s central bank unexpectedly tightened its monetary policy settings, strengthening the local dollar, as the city-state joins policymakers globally concerned about risks of persistent inflation Shortages of natural gas in Europe and Asia are boosting demand for oil, deepening what was already a sizable supply deficit in crude markets, the International Energy Agency said A tropical storm that’s lashing southern China mixed with Covid-related supply chain snarls is causing a ship backlog from Shenzhen to Singapore, intensifying fears retail shelves may look rather empty come Christmas A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk A constructive mood was seen across Asia-Pac stocks with the region building on the mild positive bias stateside where the Nasdaq outperformed as tech and growth stocks benefitted from the curve flattening, with global risk appetite unfazed by the firmer US CPI data and FOMC Minutes that suggested the start of tapering in either mid-November of mid-December. The ASX 200 (+0.5%) traded higher as tech stocks found inspiration from the outperformance of US counterparts and with the mining sector buoyed by gains in underlying commodity prices. The Nikkei 225 (+1.5%) was the biggest gainer amid currency-related tailwinds and with the latest securities flow data showing a substantial shift by foreign investors to net purchases of Japanese stocks during the prior week. The KOSPI (+1.5%) conformed to the brightening picture amid signs of a slowdown in weekly infections, while the Singapore’s Straits Times Index (+0.3%) lagged for most of the session following weaker than expected Q3 GDP data, and after the MAS surprisingly tightened its FX-based policy by slightly raising the slope of the SGD nominal effective exchange rate (NEER). The Shanghai Comp. (U/C) was initially kept afloat but with gains capped after slightly softer than expected loans and financing data from China and with participants digesting mixed inflation numbers in which CPI printed below estimates but PPI topped forecasts for a record increase in factory gate prices, while there was also an absence of Stock Connect flows with participants in Hong Kong away for holiday. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher after the recent curve flattening stateside and rebound in T-notes with the US longer-end also helped by a solid 30yr auction, although gains for JGBs were capped amid the outperformance in Tokyo stocks and mostly weaker metrics at the 5yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Shares Fall on Debt Crisis: Evergrande Update Japan’s Yamagiwa Says Abenomics Fell Short at Spreading Wealth China Seen Rolling Over Policy Loans to Keep Liquidity Abundant Malaysia’s 2020 Fertility Rate Falls to Lowest in Four Decades Bourses in Europe have modestly extended on the upside seen at the European cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; Stoxx 600 +0.9%) in a continuation of the firm sentiment experienced overnight. US equity futures have also conformed to the broader upbeat tone, with gains seen across the ES (+0.7%), NQ (+0.8%), RTY (+0.8%) and YM (+0.7%). The upside comes despite a lack of overly pertinent newsflow, with participants looking ahead to a plethora of central bank speakers. The major indices in Europe also see a broad-based performance, but the periphery narrowly outperforms, whilst the SMI (Unch) lags amid the sectorial underperformance seen in Healthcare. Overall, the sectors portray somewhat of a cyclical tilt. The Basic Resources sector is the clear winner and is closely followed by Tech and Financial Services. Individual moves are scarce as price action is largely dictated by the macro picture, but the tech sector is led higher by gains in chip names after the world's largest contract chipmaker TSMC (+3.1% pre-market) reported strong earnings and upgraded its revenue guidance. Top European News German 2021 Economic Growth Forecast Slashed on Supply Crunch U.K. Gas Shipper Stops Supplies in Another Blow to Power Firms Christmas Toy Shortages Loom as Cargo Clogs a Major U.K. Port Putin Is Back to Building Financial Fortress as Reserves Grow In FX, the Dollar and index by default have retreated further from Tuesday’s 2021 peak for the latter as US Treasury yields continue to soften and the curve realign in wake of yesterday’s broadly in line CPI data and FOMC minutes that set the schedule for tapering, but maintained a clear differential between scaling down the pace of asset purchases and the timing of rate normalisation. Hence, the Buck is losing bullish momentum with the DXY now eying bids and downside technical support under 94.000 having slipped beneath an early October low (93.804 from the 5th of the month vs 93.675 a day earlier) and the 21 DMA that comes in at 93.770 today between 94.090-93.754 parameters before the next IJC update, PPI data and a heavy slate of Fed speakers. NZD/AUD - No real surprise that the Kiwi has been given a new lease of life given that the RBNZ has already taken its first tightening step and put physical distance between the OCR and the US FFR, not to mention that the move sparked a major ‘sell fact’ after ‘buy rumour’ reaction. However, Nzd/Usd is back on the 0.7000 handle with additional impetus via favourable tailwinds down under as the Aud/Nzd cross is now nearer 1.0550 than 1.0600 even though the Aussie is also taking advantage of the Greenback’s fall from grace to reclaim 0.7400+ status. Note, Aud/Usd may be lagging somewhat on the back of a somewhat labour report overnight as the employment tally fell slightly short of expectations and participation dipped, but the jobless rate fell and full time jobs rose. Moreover, RBA Deputy Governor Debelle repeated that circumstances are different for Australia compared to countries where policy is tightening, adding that employment is positive overall, but there is not much improvement on the wage front. CAD/GBP/CHF - The next best majors in terms of reclaiming losses vs their US counterpart, with the Loonie also encouraged by a firm bounce in oil prices and other commodities in keeping with a general recovery in risk appetite. Usd/Cad is under 1.2400, while Cable is now over 1.3700 having clearly breached Fib resistance around 1.3663 and the Franc is probing 0.9200 for a big figure-plus turnaround from recent lows irrespective of mixed Swiss import and producer prices. EUR/JPY - Relative laggards, but the Euro has finally hurdled chart obstacles standing in the way of 1.1600 and gradually gathering impetus to pull away from decent option expiry interest at the round number and just above (1.5 bn and 1 bn 1.1610-20), and the Yen regrouping around the 113.50 axis regardless of dovish BoJ rhetoric. In short, board member Noguchi conceded that the Bank may have little choice but to extend pandemic relief support unless it becomes clear that the economy has returned to a pre-pandemic state, adding that more easing may be necessary if the jobs market does not improve from pent-up demand, though he doesn't see and immediate need to top up stimulus or big stagflation risk. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are continuing the grind higher seen since the European close yesterday as the risk tone remains supportive and in the aftermath of an overall bullish IEA oil market report. The IEA upgraded its 2021 and 2022 oil demand forecasts by 170k and 210k BPD respectively, which contrasts the EIA STEO and the OPEC MOMR – with the former upping its 2021 but cutting 2022 forecast, whilst the OPEC MOMR saw the 2021 demand forecast cut and 2022 was maintained. The IEA report however noted that the ongoing energy crisis could boost oil demand by 500k BPD, and oil demand could exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022. On this, China has asked Russia to double electricity supply between November-December. The morning saw commentary from various energy ministers, but perhaps the most telling from the Russian Deputy PM Novak who suggested Russia will produce 9.9mln BPD of oil in October (in-line with the quota), but that Russia has no problem in increasing oil output which can go to 11.3mln BPD (Russia’s capacity) and even more than that, but output will depend on market situation. Long story short, Russia can ramp up output but is currently caged by the OPEC+ pact. WTI Nov extended on gain about USD 81/bbl to a current high of USD 81.41/bbl (vs 80.41/bbl low) while its Brent counter topped USD 84.00/bbl to a USD 84.24/bbl high (vs 83.18/bbl low). As a reminder, the weekly DoEs will be released at 16:00BST/11:00EDT on account of the Columbus Day holiday. Gas prices have also moved higher in intraday, with the UK Nat Gas future +5.5% at the time of writing. Returning to the Russian Deputy PM Novak who noted that Nord Stream 2 will be ready for work in the next few days, still expects certification to occur and commercial supplies of gas via Nord Stream 2 could start following certification. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been drifting higher as the Buck wanes, with spot gold topping its 200 DMA (1,7995/oz) and in striking distance of its 100 DMA (1,799/oz) ahead of the USD 1,800/oz mark. Over to base metals, LME copper is again on a firmer footing, owing to the overall constructive tone across the market. Dalian iron ore meanwhile fell for a second straight day in a continuation of the downside seen as Beijing imposed tougher steel output controls for winter. World Steel Association also cut its global steel demand forecast to +4.5% in 2021 (prev. forecast +5.8%); +2.2% in 2022 (prev. forecast 2.7%). US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7%; YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6%; YoY, est. 7.1%, prior 6.7% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; YoY, est. 6.5%, prior 6.3% 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 326,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.67m, prior 2.71m 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 53.4 Central Banks 8:35am: Fed’s Bullard Takes Part in Virtual Discussion 9:45am: Fed’s Bostic Takes Part in Panel on Inclusive Growth 12pm: New York Fed’s Logan Gives Speech on Policy Implementation 1pm: Fed’s Barkin Gives Speech 1pm: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Conference on Small Business Credit 6pm: Fed’s Harker Discusses the Economic Outlook DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Inflation dominated the conversation yet again for markets yesterday, after another upside surprise from the US CPI data led to the increasing realisation that we’ll still be talking about the topic for some time yet. Equities were pretty subdued as they looked forward to the upcoming earnings season, but investor jitters were evident as the classic inflation hedge of gold (+1.87%) posted its strongest daily performance since March, whilst the US dollar (-0.46%) ended the session as the worst performer among the G10 currencies. Running through the details of that release, headline US consumer prices were up by +0.4% on a monthly basis in September (vs. +0.3% expected), marking the 5th time in the last 7 months that the figure has come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, though core prices were in line with consensus at +0.2% month-over-month. There were a number of drivers behind the faster pace, but food inflation (+0.93%) saw its biggest monthly increase since April 2020. Whilst some pandemic-sensitive sectors registered soft readings, housing-related prices were much firmer. Rent of primary residence grew +0.45%, its fastest pace since May 2001 and owners’ equivalent rent increased +0.43%, its strongest since June 2006. These housing gauges are something that Fed officials have signposted as having the potential to provide more durable upward pressure on inflation. The CPI release only added to speculation that the Fed would be forced to hike rates earlier than previously anticipated, and investors are now pricing in almost 4 hikes by the end of 2023, which is over a full hike more than they were pricing in just a month earlier. In response, the Treasury yield curve continued the previous day’s flattening, with the prospect of tighter monetary policy seeing the 2yr yield up +2.0bps to a post-pandemic high of 0.358%, whilst the 10yr decreased -4.0bps to 1.537%. That move lower in the 10yr yield was entirely down to lower real rates, however, which were down -7.4bps, suggesting investors were increasingly concerned about long-term growth prospects, whereas the 10yr inflation breakeven was up +3.3bps to 2.525%, its highest level since May. Meanwhile in Europe, 10yr sovereign bond yields took a turn lower alongside Treasuries, with those on bunds (-4.2bps), OATs (-4.0bps) and BTPs (-2.3bps) all falling. Recent inflation dynamics and issues on the supply-side are something that politicians have become increasingly attuned to, and President Biden gave remarks last night where he outlined efforts to address the supply-chain bottlenecks. This followed headlines earlier in the session that major ports in southern California would move to a 24/7 schedule to unclog delivery backlogs, and Mr. Biden also used the opportunity to push for the passage of the infrastructure plan. That comes as it’s also been reported by Reuters that the White House has been speaking with US oil and gas producers to see how prices can be brought lower. We should hear from Mr. Biden again today, who’s due to give an update on the Covid-19 response. On the topic of institutions that care about inflation, the September FOMC minutes suggested staff still remained optimistic that inflationary pressures would prove transitory, although Committee members themselves were predictably more split on the matter. Several participants pointed out that pandemic-sensitive prices were driving most of the gains, while some expressed concerns that high rates of inflation would feed into longer-term inflation expectations. Otherwise, the minutes all but confirmed DB’s US economists’ call for a November taper announcement, with monthly reductions in the pace of asset purchases of $10 billion for Treasuries and $5 billion for MBS. Markets took the news in their stride immediately following the release, reflecting how the build-up to this move has been gradually telegraphed through the year. Turning to equities, the S&P 500 managed to end its 3-day losing streak, gaining +0.30% by the close. Megacap technology stocks led the way, with the FANG+ index up +1.13% as the NASDAQ added +0.73%. On the other hand, cyclicals such as financials (-0.64%) lagged behind the broader index following flatter yield curve, and JPMorgan Chase (-2.64%) sold off as the company’s Q3 earnings release showed muted loan growth. Separately, Delta Air Lines (-5.76%) also sold off along with the broader S&P 500 airlines index (-3.51%), as they warned that rising fuel costs would threaten earnings over the current quarter. European indices posted a more solid performance than the US, with the STOXX 600 up +0.71%, though the sectoral balance was similar with tech stocks outperforming whilst the STOXX Banks index (-2.05%) fell back from its 2-year high the previous session. Overnight in Asia equities have put in a mixed performance, with the KOSPI (+1.17%) and the Nikkei (+1.01%) moving higher whilst the Shanghai Composite (-0.25%) and the CSI (-0.62%) have lost ground. Those moves follow the release of Chinese inflation data for September, which showed producer price inflation hit its highest in nearly 26 years, at +10.7% (vs. +10.5% expected), driven mostly by higher coal prices and energy-sensitive categories. On the other hand, the CPI measure for September came in slightly below consensus at +0.7% (vs. +0.8% expected), indicating that higher factory gate prices have not yet translated into consumer prices. Meanwhile, equity markets in the US are pointing to a positive start later on with S&P 500 futures up +0.32%. Of course, one of the drivers behind the renewal of inflation jitters has been the recent surge in commodity prices across the board, and we’ve seen further gains yesterday and this morning that will only add to the concerns about inflation readings yet to come. Oil prices have advanced yet again, with Brent Crude up +0.69% this morning to be on track to close at a 3-year high as it stands. That comes in spite of OPEC’s monthly oil market report revising down their forecast for world oil demand this year to 5.8mb/d, having been at 5.96mb/d last month. Elsewhere, European natural gas prices were up +9.24% as they continued to pare back some of the declines from last week, and a further two energy suppliers in the UK collapsed, Pure Planet and Colorado Energy, who supply quarter of a million customers between them. Otherwise, copper (+4.4x%) hit a 2-month high yesterday, and it up a further +1.01% this morning, Turning to Brexit, yesterday saw the European Commission put forward a set of adjustments to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is a part of the Brexit deal that’s caused a significant dispute between the UK and the EU. The proposals from Commission Vice President Šefčovič would see an 80% reduction in checks on animal and plant-based products, as well as a 50% reduction in paperwork by reducing the documentation needed for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It follows a speech by the UK’s David Frost on Tuesday, in which he said that Article 16 of the Protocol, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures, could be used “if necessary”. Mr. Frost is due to meet with Šefčovič in Brussels tomorrow. Running through yesterday’s other data, UK GDP grew by +0.4% in August (vs. +0.5% expected), and the July number was revised down to show a -0.1% contraction (vs. +0.1% growth previously). The release means that GDP in August was still -0.8% beneath its pre-pandemic level back in February 2020. To the day ahead now, and on the calendar we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 08:29.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge US index futures, European markets and Asian stocks all turned negative during the overnight session, surrendering earlier gains as investors turned increasingly concerned about China's looming slowdown - and outright contraction - amid a global stagflationary energy crunch, which sent 10Y TSY yields just shy of 1.50% this morning following a Goldman upgrade in its Brent price target to $90 late on Sunday. At 745 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.1% after rising as much as 0.6%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 83 points, or 0.54% and Dow e-minis were up 80 points, or 0.23%. The euro slipped as Germany looked set for months of complex coalition talks. While the market appears to have moved beyond the Evergrande default, the debt crisis at China's largest developer festers (with Goldman saying it has no idea how it will end), and data due this week will show a manufacturing recovery in the world’s second-largest economy is faltering faster. A developing energy crisis threatens to crimp global growth further at a time markets are preparing for a tapering of Fed stimulus. The week could see volatile moves as traders scrutinize central bankers’ speeches, including Chair Jerome Powell’s meetings with Congressional panels. “Most bad news comes from China these days,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Group Holdings, wrote in a note. “The Evergrande debt crisis, the Chinese energy crackdown on missed targets and the ban on cryptocurrencies have been shaking the markets, along with the Fed’s more hawkish policy stance last week.” Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp rose 1.5% and 1.2% in premarket trade, respectively, tracking crude prices, while big lenders including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp gained about 0.8%.Giga-cap FAAMG growth names such as Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Facebook and Apple all fell between 0.3% and 0.4%, as 10Y yield surged, continuing their selloff from last week, which saw the 10Y rise as high as 1.4958% and just shy of breaching the psychological 1.50% level. While growth names were hit, value names rebounded as another market rotation appears to be in place: industrials 3M Co and Caterpillar Inc, which tend to benefit the most from an economic rebound, also inched higher (although one should obviously be shorting CAT here for its China exposure). Market participants have moved into value and cyclical stocks from tech-heavy growth names after the Federal Reserve last week indicated it could begin unwinding its bond-buying program by as soon as November, and may raise interest rates in 2022. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Gores Guggenheim (GGPI US) shares rise 7.2% in U.S. premarket trading as Polestar agreed to go public with the special purpose acquisition company, in a deal valued at about $20 billion. Naked Brand (NAKD US), one of the stocks caught up in the first retail trading frenzy earlier this year, rises 11% in U.S. premarket trading, extending Friday’s gains. Among other so-called meme stocks in premarket trading: ReWalk Robotics (RWLK) +6.5%, Vinco Ventures (BBIG) +18%, Camber Energy (CEI) +2.9% Pfizer (PFE US) and Opko Health (OPK US) in focus after they said on Friday that the FDA extended the review period for the biologics license application for somatrogon. Opko fell 3.5% in post-market trading. Aspen Group (ASPU) climbed 10% in Friday postmarket trading after board member Douglas Kass buys $172,415 of shares, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Seaspine (SPNE US) said spine surgery procedure volumes were curtailed in many areas of the U.S. in 3Q and particularly in August. Tesla (TSLA US) and other electric- vehicle related stocks globally may be active on Monday after Germany’s election, in which the Greens had their best-ever showing and are likely to be part of any governing coalition. Europe likewise drifted lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index erasing earlier gains and turning negative as investors weighed the risk to global growth from the China slowdown and the energy crunch. The benchmark was down 0.1% at last check. Subindexes for technology (-0.9%) and consumer (-0.8%) provide the main drags while value outperformed, with energy +2.4%, banks +2% and insurance +1.3%.  The DAX outperformed up 0.5%, after German election results avoided the worst-case left-wing favorable outcome.  U.S. futures. Rolls-Royce jumped 12% to the highest since March 2020 after the company was selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today IWG rises as much as 7.5% after a report CEO Mark Dixon is exploring a multibillion-pound breakup of the flexible office-space provider AUTO1 gains as much as 6.1% after JPMorgan analyst Marcus Diebel raised the recommendation to overweight from neutral Cellnex falls as much as 4.3% to a two-month low after the tower firm is cut to sell from neutral at Citi, which says the stock is “priced for perfection in an imperfect industry” European uranium stocks fall with Yellow Cake shares losing as much as 6% and Nac Kazatomprom shares declining as much as 4.7%. Both follow their U.S. peers down following weeks of strong gains as the price of uranium ballooned For those who missed it, Sunday's closely-watched German elections concluded with the race much closer than initially expected: SPD at 25.7%, CDU/CSU at 24.1%, Greens at 14.8%, FDP at 11.5%, AfD at 10.3% Left at 4.9%, the German Federal Returning Officer announced the seat distribution from the preliminary results which were SPD at 206 seats, CDU/CSU at 196. Greens at 118, FDP at 92, AfD at 83, Left at 39 and SSW at 1. As it stands, three potential coalitions are an option, 1) SPD, Greens and FDP (traffic light), 2) CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP (Jamaica), 3) SPD and CDU/CSU (Grand Coalition but led by the SPD). Note, option 3 is seen as the least likely outcome given that the CDU/CSU would be unlikely willing to play the role of a junior partner to the SPD. Therefore, given the importance of the FDP and Greens in forming a coalition for either the SPD or CDU/CSU, leaders of the FDP and Greens have suggested that they might hold their own discussions with each other first before holding talks with either of the two larger parties. Given the political calculus involved in trying to form a coalition, the process is expected to play out over several months. From a markets perspective, the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed due to their poor performance and as such, Bunds trade on a firmer footing. Elsewhere, EUR is relatively unfazed due to the inconclusive nature of the result. We will have more on this in a subsequent blog post. Asian stocks fell, reversing an earlier gain, as a drop in the Shanghai Composite spooked investors in the region by stoking concerns about the pace of growth in China’s economy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index wiped out an advance of as much as 0.7%, on pace to halt a two-day climb. Consumer discretionary names and materials firms were the biggest contributors to the late afternoon drag. Financials outperformed, helping mitigate drops in other sectors.  “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy.”  The Shanghai Composite was among the region’s worst performers along with Vietnam’s VN Index. Shares of China’s electricity-intensive businesses tumbled after Beijing curbed power supplies in the country’s manufacturing hubs to cut emissions. The CSI 300 still rose, thanks to gains in heavily weighted Kweichow Moutai and other liquor makers. Asian equities started the day on a positive note as financials jumped, tracking gains in U.S. peers and following a rise in Treasury yields. Resona Holdings was among the top performers after Morgan Stanley raised its view on the stock and Japanese banks. The regional market has been calmer over the past few trading sessions after being whipsawed by concerns over any fallout from China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles. While anxiety lingers, many investors expect China will resolve the distressed property developer’s problems rather than let them spill over into an echo of 2008’s Lehman crisis. Japanese equities closed lower, erasing an earlier gain, as concerns grew over valuations following recent strength in the local market and turmoil in China. Machinery and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.1%. Daikin and Bandai Namco were the largest contributors to a dip of less than 0.1% in the Nikkei 225. Both gauges had climbed more 0.5% in morning trading. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 1.5% as industrials tumbled amid a power crunch. “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy. That’s why marine transportation stocks, which are representative of cyclical sectors, fell sharply.” Shares of shippers, which have outperformed this year, fell as investors turned their attention to reopening plays. Travel and retail stocks gained after reports that the government is making final arrangements to lift all the coronavirus state of emergency order in the nation as scheduled at the end of this month. Australia's commodity-heavy stocks advanced as energy, banking shares climb. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,384.20, led by energy stocks. Banks also posted their biggest one-day gain since Aug. 2. Travel stocks were among the top performers after the prime minister said state premiers must not keep borders closed once agreed Covid-19 vaccination targets are reached. NextDC was the worst performer after the company’s CEO sold 1.6 million shares. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index. In FX, the U.S. dollar was up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. •    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers o    Volatility curves in the major currencies were inverted last week due to a plethora of central bank meetings and risk-off concerns. They have since normalized as stocks stabilize and traders assess the latest forward guidance on monetary policy •    The yield on two-year U.S. Treasuries touched the highest level since April 2020, as tightening expectations continued to put pressure on front-end rates and ahead of debt sales later Monday •    The pound advanced, with analyst focus on supply chain problems as Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers bringing in army drivers to help. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey’s speech later will be watched after last week’s hawkish meeting •    Antipodean currencies, as well as the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar were among the best Group-of-10 performers amid a rise in commodity prices •    The yen pared losses after falling to its lowest level in six weeks and Japanese stocks paused their rally and amid rising Treasury yields   In rates, treasuries extended their recent drop, led by belly of the curve ahead of this week’s front-loaded auctions, which kick off Monday with 2- and 5-year note sales.  Yields were higher by up to 4bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by 3.2bp on the day; 10-year yields sit around 1.49%, cheaper by 3.5bp and underperforming bunds, gilts by 1.5bp and 0.5bp while the front-end of the curve continues to sell off as rate-hike premium builds -- 2-year yields subsequently hit 0.284%, the highest level since April 2020. 5-year yields top at 0.988%, highest since Feb. 2020 while 2-year yields reach as high as 0.288%; in long- end, 30-year yields breach 2% for the first time since Aug. 13. Auctions conclude Tuesday with 7-year supply. Host of Fed speakers due this week, including three scheduled for Monday. In commodities, Brent futures climbed 1.4% to $79 a barrel, while WTI futures hit $75 a barrel for the first time since July, amid an escalating energy crunch across Europe and now China. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz In equities, Stoxx 600 is up 0.6%, led by energy and banks, and FTSE 100 rises 0.4%. Germany’s DAX climbs 1% after German elections showed a narrow victory for social democrats, with the Christian Democrats coming in a close second, according to provisional results. S&P 500 futures climb 0.3%, Dow and Nasdaq contracts hold in the green. In FX, the U.S. dollar is up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz Investors will now watch for a raft of economic indicators, including durable goods orders and the ISM manufacturing index this week to gauge the pace of the recovery, as well as bipartisan talks over raising the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to prevent the second partial government shutdown in three years, while a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is scheduled for Thursday. On today's calendar we get the latest Euro Area M3 money supply, US preliminary August durable goods orders, core capital goods orders, September Dallas Fed manufacturing activity. We also have a bunch of Fed speakers including Williams, Brainard and Evans. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 4,442.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 464.54 MXAP little changed at 200.75 MXAPJ little changed at 642.52 Nikkei little changed at 30,240.06 Topix down 0.1% to 2,087.74 Hang Seng Index little changed at 24,208.78 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,582.83 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,164.70 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,384.17 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,133.64 German 10Y yield fell 3.1 bps to -0.221% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1689 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $79.04/bbl Gold spot little changed at $1,750.88 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.15% to 93.47 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put the infrastructure bill on the schedule for Monday under pressure from moderates eager to get the bipartisan bill, which has already passed the Senate, enacted. But progressives -- whose votes are likely vital -- are insisting on progress first on the bigger social-spending bill Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats defeated Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an extremely tight German election, setting in motion what could be months of complex coalition talks to decide who will lead Europe’s biggest economy China’s central bank pumped liquidity into the financial system after borrowing costs rose, as lingering risks posed by China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis hurt market sentiment toward its peers as well Global banks are about to get a comprehensive blueprint for how derivatives worth several hundred trillion dollars may be finally disentangled from the London Interbank Offered Rate Economists warned of lower economic growth in China as electricity shortages worsen in the country, forcing businesses to cut back on production Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says it’s necessary for the Bank of Japan to continue with large-scale monetary easing to achieve the bank’s 2% inflation target The quant revolution in fixed income is here at long last, if the latest Invesco Ltd. poll is anything to go by. With the work-from-home era fueling a boom in electronic trading, the majority of investors in a $31 trillion community say they now deploy factor strategies in bond portfolios A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded somewhat mixed with the region finding encouragement from reopening headlines but with gains capped heading towards month-end, while German election results remained tight and Evergrande uncertainty continued to linger. ASX 200 (+0.6%) was led higher by outperformance in the mining related sectors including energy as oil prices continued to rally amid supply disruptions and views for a stronger recovery in demand with Goldman Sachs lifting its year-end Brent crude forecast from USD 80/bbl to USD 90/bbl. Furthermore, respectable gains in the largest weighted financial sector and details of the reopening roadmap for New South Wales, which state Premier Berijiklian sees beginning on October 11th, further added to the encouragement. Nikkei 225 (Unch) was kept afloat for most of the session after last week’s beneficial currency flows and amid reports that Japan is planning to lift emergency measures in all areas at month-end, although upside was limited ahead of the upcoming LDP leadership race which reports noted are likely to go to a run-off as neither of the two main candidates are likely to achieve a majority although a recent Kyodo poll has Kono nearly there at 47.4% of support vs. nearest contender Kishida at 22.4%. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were varied with the mainland choppy amid several moving parts including back-to-back daily liquidity efforts by the PBoC since Sunday and with the recent release of Huawei’s CFO following a deal with US prosecutors. Conversely, Evergrande concerns persisted as Chinese cities reportedly seized its presales to block the potential misuse of funds and its EV unit suffered another double-digit percentage loss after scrapping plans for its STAR Market listing. There were also notable losses to casino names after Macau tightened COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the Golden Week holidays and crypto stocks were hit after China declared crypto activities illegal which resulted in losses to cryptoexchange Huobi which dropped more than 40% in early trade before nursing some of the losses, while there are also concerns of the impact from an ongoing energy crisis in China which prompted the Guangdong to ask people to turn off lights they don't require and use air conditioning less. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat but have clawed back some of the after-hour losses on Friday with demand sapped overnight amid the mild gains in stocks and lack of BoJ purchases in the market. Elsewhere, T-note futures mildly rebounded off support at 132.00, while Bund futures outperformed the Treasury space amid mild reprieve from this month’s losses and with uncertainty of the composition for the next German coalition. Top Asian News Moody’s Says China to Safeguard Stability Amid Evergrande Issues China’s Tech Tycoons Pledge Allegiance to Xi’s Vision China Power Crunch Hits iPhone, Tesla Production, Nikkei Reports Top Netflix Hit ‘Squid Game’ Sparks Korean Media Stock Surge Bourses in Europe have trimmed the gains seen at the open, albeit the region remains mostly in positive territory (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) in the aftermath of the German election and amid the looming month-end. The week also sees several risk events, including the ECB's Sintra Forum, EZ CPI, US PCE and US ISM Manufacturing – not to mention the vote on the bipartisan US infrastructure bill. The mood in Europe contrasts the mixed handover from APAC, whilst US equity futures have also seen more divergence during European trade – with the yield-sensitive NQ (-0.3%) underperforming the cyclically-influenced RTY (+0.4%). There has been no clear catalyst behind the pullback since the Cash open. Delving deeper into Europe, the DAX 40 (+0.6%) outperforms after the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed. The SMI (-0.6%) has dipped into the red as defensive sectors remain weak, with the Healthcare sector towards to bottom of the bunch alongside Personal & Household Goods. On the flip side, the strength in the price-driven Oil & Gas and yield-induced Banks have kept the FTSE 100 (+0.2%) in green, although the upside is capped by losses in AstraZeneca (-0.4%) and heavy-weight miners, with the latter a function of declining base metal prices. The continued retreat in global bonds has also hit the Tech sector – which resides as the laggard at the time of writing. In terms of individual movers, Rolls-Royce (+8.5%) trades at the top of the FTSE 100 after winning a USD 1.9bln deal from the US Air Force. IWG (+6.5%) also extended on earlier gains following reports that founder and CEO Dixon is said to be mulling a multibillion-pound break-up of the Co. that would involve splitting it into several distinct companies. Elsewhere, it is worth being cognizant of the current power situation in China as the energy crisis spreads, with Global Times also noting that multiple semiconductor suppliers for Tesla (Unch), Apple (-0.4% pre-market) and Intel (Unch), which have manufacturing plants in the Chinese mainland, recently announced they would suspend their factories' operations to follow local electricity use policies. Top European News U.K. Relaxes Antitrust Rules, May Bring in Army as Pumps Run Dry Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Hits Greek Island of Crete German Stocks Rally as Chances Wane for Left-Wing Coalition German Landlords Rise as Left’s Weakness Trumps Berlin Poll In FX, the Aussie is holding up relatively well on a couple of supportive factors, including a recovery in commodity prices overnight and the Premier of NSW setting out a timetable to start lifting COVID lockdown and restrictions from October 11 with an end date to completely re-open on December 1. However, Aud/Usd is off best levels against a generally firm Greenback on weakness and underperformance elsewhere having stalled around 0.7290, while the Loonie has also run out of momentum 10 pips or so from 1.2600 alongside WTI above Usd 75/brl. DXY/EUR/CHF - Although the risk backdrop is broadly buoyant and not especially supportive, the Buck is gleaning traction and making gains at the expense of others, like the Euro that is gradually weakening in wake of Sunday’s German election that culminated in narrow victory for the SPD Party over the CDU/CSU alliance, but reliant on the Greens and FDP to form a Government. Eur/Usd has lost 1.1700+ status and is holding a fraction above recent lows in the form of a double bottom at 1.1684, but the Eur/Gbp cross is looking even weaker having breached several technical levels like the 100, 21 and 50 DMAs on the way down through 0.8530. Conversely, Eur/Chf remains firm around 1.0850, and largely due to extended declines in the Franc following last week’s dovish SNB policy review rather than clear signs of intervention via the latest weekly Swiss sight deposit balances. Indeed, Usd/Chf is now approaching 0.9300 again and helping to lift the Dollar index back up towards post-FOMC peaks within a 93.494-206 range in advance of US durable goods data, several Fed speakers, the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index and a double dose of T-note supply (Usd 60 bn 2 year and Usd 61 bn 5 year offerings). GBP/NZD/JPY - As noted above, the Pound is benefiting from Eur/Gbp tailwinds, but also strength in Brent to offset potential upset due to the UK’s energy supply issues, so Cable is also bucking the broad trend and probing 1.3700. However, the Kiwi is clinging to 0.7000 in the face of Aud/Nzd headwinds that are building on a break of 1.0350, while the Yen is striving keep its head afloat of another round number at 111.00 as bond yields rebound and curves resteepen. SCANDI/EM - The Nok is also knocking on a new big figure, but to the upside vs the Eur at 10.0000 following the hawkish Norges Bank hike, while the Cnh and Cny are holding up well compared to fellow EM currencies with loads of liquidity from the PBoC and some underlying support amidst the ongoing mission to crackdown on speculators in the crypto and commodity space. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures kicked the week off on a firmer footing, which saw Brent Nov eclipse the USD 79.50/bbl level (vs low 78.21/bbl) whilst its WTI counterpart hovers north of USD 75/bbl (vs low 74.16/bbl). The complex could be feeling some tailwinds from the supply crunch in Britain – which has lead petrol stations to run dry as demand outpaces the supply. Aside from that, the landscape is little changed in the run-up to the OPEC+ meeting next Monday, whereby ministers are expected to continue the planned output hikes of 400k BPD/m. On that note, there have been reports that some African nations are struggling to pump more oil amid delayed maintenance and low investments, with Angola and Nigeria said to average almost 300k BPD below their quota. On the Iranian front, IAEA said Iran permitted it to service monitoring equipment during September 20th-22nd with the exception of the centrifuge component manufacturing workshop at the Tesa Karaj facility, with no real updates present regarding the nuclear deal talks. In terms of bank commentary, Goldman Sachs raised its year-end Brent crude forecast by USD 10 to USD 90/bbl and stated that Hurricane Ida has more than offset the ramp-up in OPEC+ output since July with non-OPEC+, non-shale output continuing to disappoint, while it added that global oil demand-deficit is greater than expected with a faster than anticipated demand recovery from the Delta variant. Conversely, Citi said in the immediate aftermath of skyrocketing prices, it is logical to be bearish on crude oil and nat gas today and forward curves for later in 2022, while it added that near-term global oil inventories are low and expected to continue declining maybe through Q1 next year. Over to metals, spot gold and silver have fallen victim to the firmer Dollar, with spot gold giving up its overnight gains and meandering around USD 1,750/oz (vs high 1760/oz) while spot silver briefly dipped under USD 22.50/oz (vs high 22.73/oz). Turning to base metals, China announced another round of copper, zinc and aluminium sales from state reserves – with amounts matching the prior sales. LME copper remains within a tight range, but LME tin is the outlier as it gave up the USD 35k mark earlier in the session. Finally, the electricity crunch in China has seen thermal coal prices gain impetus amid tight domestic supply, reduced imports and increased demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.9% 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.4%, prior 0.1% 8:30am: Aug. -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Aug. Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior -0.1% 10:30am: Sept. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11.0, prior 9.0 Central Banks 8am: Fed’s Evans Speaks at Annual NABE Conference 9am: Fed’s Williams Makes Opening Remarks at Conference on... 12pm: Fed’s Williams Discusses the Economic Outlook 12:50pm: Fed’s Brainard Discusses Economic Outlook at NABE Conference DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Straight to the German elections this morning where unlike the Ryder Cup the race was tight. The centre-left SPD have secured a narrow lead according to provisional results, which give them 25.7% of the vote, ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, which are on 24.1%. That’s a bit narrower than the final polls had suggested (Politico’s average put the SPD ahead by 25-22%), but fits with the slight narrowing we’d seen over the final week of the campaign. Behind them, the Greens are in third place, with a record score of 14.8%, which puts them in a key position when it comes to forming a majority in the new Bundestag, and the FDP are in fourth place currently on 11.5%. Although the SPD appear to be in first place the different parties will now enter coalition negotiations to try to form a governing majority. Both Olaf Scholz and the CDU’s Armin Laschet have said that they will seek to form a government, and to do that they’ll be looking to the Greens and the FDP as potential coalition partners, since those are the most realistic options given mutual policy aims. So the critical question will be whether it’s the SPD or the CDU/CSU that can convince these two to join them in coalition. On the one hand, the Greens have a stronger policy overlap with the SPD, and governed with them under Chancellor Schröder from 1998-2005, but the FDP seems more in line with the Conservatives, and were Chancellor Merkel’s junior coalition partner from 2009-13.  So it’s likely that the FDP and the Greens will talk to each other before talking to either of the two biggest parties. For those wanting more information, our research colleagues in Frankfurt have released a post-election update (link here) on the results and what they mean. An important implication of last night’s result is that (at time of writing) it looks as though a more left-wing coalition featuring the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke would not be able for form a majority in the next Bundestag. So the main options left are for the FDP and the Greens to either join the SPD in a “traffic light” coalition or instead join the CDU/CSU in a “Jamaica” coalition. The existing grand coalition of the SPD and the CDU/CSU would actually have a majority as well, but both parties have signalled that they don't intend to continue this. That said, last time in 2017, a grand coalition wasn’t expected after that result, and there were initially attempts to form a Jamaica coalition. But once those talks proved unsuccessful, discussions on another grand coalition began once again. In terms of interesting snippets, this election marks the first time the SPD have won the popular vote since 2002, which is a big turnaround given that the party were consistently polling in third place over the first half of this year. However, it’s also the worst ever result for the CDU/CSU, and also marks the lowest combined share of the vote for the two big parties in post-war Germany, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties we’ve seen elsewhere in continental Europe. Interestingly, the more radical Die Linke and AfD parties on the left and the right respectively actually did worse than in 2017, so German voters have remained anchored in the centre, and there’s been no sign of a populist resurgence. This also marks a record result for the Greens, who’ve gained almost 6 percentage points relative to four years ago, but that’s still some way down on where they were polling earlier in the spring (in the mid-20s), having lost ground in the polls throughout the final weeks of the campaign. Markets in Asia have mostly started the week on a positive note, with the Hang Seng (+0.28%), Nikkei (+0.04%), and the Kospi (+0.25%) all moving higher. That said, the Shanghai Comp is down -1.30%, as materials (-5.91%) and industrials (-4.24%) in the index have significantly underperformed, which comes amidst power curbs in the country. In the US and Europe however, futures are pointing higher, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.37%, and those on the DAX up +0.51%. Moving onto another big current theme, all the talk at the moment is about supply shocks and it’s not inconceivable that things could get very messy on this front over the weeks and months ahead. However, I think the discussion on supply in isolation misses an important component and that is demand. In short we had a pandemic that effectively closed the global economy and interrupted numerous complicated supply chains. The global authorities massively stimulated demand relative to where it would have been in this environment and in some areas have created more demand than there would have been at this stage without Covid. However the supply side has not come back as rapidly. As such you’re left with demand outstripping supply. So I think it’s wrong to talk about a global supply shock in isolation. It’s not as catchy but this is a “demand is much higher than it should be in a pandemic with lockdowns, but supply hasn't been able to fully respond” world. If the authorities hadn’t responded as aggressively we would have plenty of supply for the demand and a lot of deflation. Remember negative oil prices in the early stages of the pandemic. So for me every time you hear the phrase “supply shock” remember the phenomenal demand there is relative to what the steady state might have been. This current “demand > supply” at lower levels of activity than we would have had without covid is going to cause central banks a huge headache over the coming months. Should they tighten due to what is likely to be a prolonged period of higher prices than people thought even a couple of months ago or should they look to the potential demand destruction of higher prices? The risk of a policy error is high and the problem with forward guidance is that markets demand to know now what they might do over the next few months and quarters so it leaves them exposed a little in uncertain times. This problem has crept up fast on markets with an epic shift in sentiment in the rates market after the BoE meeting Thursday lunchtime. I would say they were no more hawkish than the Fed the night before but the difference is that the Fed are still seemingly at least a year from raising rates and a lot can happen in that period whereas the BoE could now raise this year (more likely February). That has focused the minds of global investors, especially as Norway became the first central bank among the G-10 currencies to raise rates on the same day. Towards the end of this note we’ll recap the moves in markets last week including a +15bps climb in US 10yr yields in the last 48 hours of last week. One factor that will greatly influence yields over the week ahead is the ongoing US debt ceiling / government shutdown / infrastructure bill saga that is coming to a head as we hit October on Friday - the day that there could be a partial government shutdown without action by the close on Thursday. It’s a fluid situation. So far the the House of Representatives has passed a measure that would keep the government funded through December 3, but it also includes a debt ceiling suspension, so Republicans are expected to block this in the Senate if it still includes that. The coming week could also see the House of Representatives vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill (c.$550bn) that’s already gone through the Senate, since Speaker Pelosi had previously committed to moderate House Democrats that there’d be a vote on the measure by today. She reaffirmed that yesterday although the timing may slip. However, there remain divisions among House Democrats, with some progressives not willing to support it unless the reconciliation bill also passes. In short we’ve no idea how this get resolved but most think some compromise will be reached before Friday. Pelosi yesterday said it “seems self-evident” that the reconciliation bill won’t reach the $3.5 trillion hoped for by the administration which hints at some compromise. Overall the sentiment has seemingly shifted a little more positively on there being some progress over the weekend. From politics to central banks and following a busy week of policy meetings, there are an array of speakers over the week ahead. One of the biggest highlights will be the ECB’s Forum on Central Banking, which is taking place as an online event on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the final policy panel on Wednesday will include Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and BoJ Governor Kuroda. Otherwise, Fed Chair Powell will also be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen, and on Monday, ECB President Lagarde will be appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs as part of the regular Monetary Dialogue. There are lots of other Fed speakers this week and they can add nuances to the taper and dot plot debates. Finally on the data front, there’ll be further clues about the state of inflation across the key economies, as the Euro Area flash CPI estimate for September is coming out on Friday. Last month's reading showed that Euro Area inflation rose to +3.0% in August, which was its highest level in nearly a decade. Otherwise, there’s also the manufacturing PMIs from around the world on Friday given it’s the start of the month, along with the ISM reading from the US, and Tuesday will see the release of the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for the US as well. For the rest of the week ahead see the day-by-day calendar of events at the end. Back to last week now and the highlight was the big rise in global yields which quickly overshadowed the ongoing Evergrande story. Bonds more than reversed an early week rally as yields rose for a fifth consecutive week. US 10yr Treasury yields ended the week up +8.9bps to finish at 1.451% - its highest level since the start of July and +15bps off the Asian morning lows on Thursday. The move saw the 2y10y yield curve steepen +4.5bps, with the spread reaching its widest point since July as well. However, at the longer end of the curve the 5y30y spread ended the week largely unchanged after a volatile week. It was much flatter shortly following the FOMC and steeper following the BoE. Bond yields in Europe moved higher as well with the central bank moves again being the major impetus especially in the UK. 10yr gilt yields rose +7.9bps to +0.93% and the short end moved even more with the 2yr yield rising +9.4bps to 0.38% as the BoE’s inflation forecast and rhetoric caused investors to pull forward rate hike expectations. Yields on 10yr bunds rose +5.2bps, whilst those on the OATs (+6.3bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) increased substantially as well, but not to the same extent as their US and UK counterparts. While sovereign debt sold off, global equity markets recovered following two consecutive weeks of declines. Although markets entered the week on the back foot following the Evergrande headlines from last weekend, risk sentiment improved at the end of the week, especially toward cyclical industries. The S&P 500 gained +0.51% last week (+0.15% Friday), nearly recouping the prior week’s loss. The equity move was primarily led by cyclicals as higher bond yields helped US banks (+3.43%) outperform, while higher commodity prices saw the energy (+4.46%) sector gain sharply. Those higher bond yields led to a slight rerating of growth stocks as the tech megacap NYFANG index fell back -0.46% on the week and the NASDAQ underperformed, finishing just better than unchanged (+0.02). Nonetheless, with four trading days left in September the S&P 500 is on track for its third losing month this year, following January and June. European equities rose moderately last week, as the STOXX 600 ended the week +0.31% higher despite Friday’s -0.90% loss. Bourses across the continent outperformed led by particularly strong performances by the IBEX (+1.28%) and CAC 40 (+1.04%). There was limited data from Friday. The Ifo's business climate indicator in Germany fell slightly from the previous month to 98.8 (99.0 expected) from 99.4 on the back a lower current assessment even though business expectations was higher than expected. In Italy, consumer confidence rose to 119.6 (115.8 expected), up just over 3pts from August and at its highest level on record (since 1995). Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 08:09.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 27th, 2021

Reasons to Hold Caterpillar (CAT) Stock in Your Portfolio

Robust backlog levels, solid demand in its markets, savings from cost-reduction actions and upbeat earnings growth estimates make Caterpillar (CAT) stock worth retaining in the portfolio. Caterpillar Inc. CAT is well-poised for growth, backed by improving demand in its end markets and cost-control efforts. A strong liquidity position, ongoing investments in expanded offerings, and services and digital initiatives are expected to contribute to growth.Caterpillar currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a VGM Score of B. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 offer the best investment opportunities. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Let’s delve deeper and analyze the factors that make this stock worth holding on to.Solid Q2 Results & Robust Backlog Levels: Caterpillar’s adjusted earnings per share were $3.18 in second-quarter 2022, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.00. The bottom-line figure marked a 22% improvement year over year. Strong demand across most of its end markets and a favorable price realization improved earnings in the quarter. Backlog at the end of the second quarter of 2022 was an impressive $28.4 billion. This bodes well for CAT’s top-line performance in the days ahead.Positive Earnings Surprise History: Caterpillar’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 13.15%.Healthy Growth Projections: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings is currently pegged at $12.69, suggesting growth of around 17% from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for fiscal 2023 earnings stands at $14.11, indicating an improvement of 11% from the prior-year reported number. Caterpillar has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.Sturdy Demand to Fuel Top LineIn North America, demand in both residential and non-residential construction sectors is likely to bolster demand for Caterpillar’s construction equipment. The perked-up investment in roads, bridges, airports and waterways due to the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents a huge opportunity for CAT. In the Asia Pacific (barring China) region, higher commodity prices, housing strength and increased government spending on infrastructure will support construction equipment sales. Increased construction activity will drive machine demand in EAME and Latin America.In Resource Industries, mining orders are on an uptrend, courtesy of improving metal prices. Miners are increasingly relying on autonomous systems to enhance productivity, and reduce costs and emissions. Hence, Caterpillar is enhancing its autonomous capabilities and bringing innovative products into the market.In the Energy & Transportation segment, strong order rates in most applications are expected to support revenues in 2022. Industrial is anticipated to witness growth, with activity strengthening across most applications.Strong Balance SheetCaterpillar expects to deliver ME&T a free cash flow between $4 billion and $8 billion this year. Its cash and liquidity position remains strong, as it ended the second quarter of 2022 with cash and short-term investments of $6 billion. ME&T debt stood at $9.6 billion. Its times interest earned ratio has improved substantially over the years and is currently 10.5.Recently, Caterpillar hiked its quarterly dividend by 8% to $1.20 per share. CAT has paid out higher dividends to its shareholders for 28 straight years and is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrat Index. Its dividend yield and payout ratio are higher than its peers.Over the past four years, CAT has returned an average of 99% of its ME&T free cash flow to its shareholders, in sync with its target to return all its ME&T free cash flow to the shareholders over time.Growth Strategies in PlaceCaterpillar continues to focus on customers and the future by steadily investing in digital capabilities, connecting assets and job sites, and developing next-generation productive and efficient products. CAT is consistently investing in expanded offerings and services, and digital initiatives like e-commerce to drive long-term growth.Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of Caterpillar have gained 2.8% in the past six months compared with the industry’s growth of 1.1%.Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks from the Industrial Products sector are Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. AIT, Sonoco Products Company SON and Greif Inc. GEF. While AIT and SON sport a Zacks Rank of 1, GEF carries a Zacks Rank #2, at present.Applied Industrial has an estimated earnings growth rate of 10.9% for fiscal 2023. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2023 earnings has been revised 6% upward.Applied Industrial pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.8%, on average. AIT’s shares have surged 32.2% in a year.Sonoco has an expected earnings growth rate of 78.3% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year’s earnings has moved up 18% in the past 60 days.Sonoco has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 4.06%, on average. SON’s shares have moved up 11% in the past six months.Greif has an estimated earnings growth rate of 37% for the current year. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 17% upward.Greif pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 22.9%, on average. GEF’s shares have risen 18.6% in the past year. How to Profit from the Hot Electric Vehicle Industry Global electric car sales in 2021 more than doubled their 2020 numbers. And today, the electric vehicle (EV) technology and very nature of the business is changing quickly. The next push for future technologies is happening now and investors who get in early could see exceptional profits. See Zacks' Top Stocks to Profit from the EV Revolution >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Sonoco Products Company (SON): Free Stock Analysis Report Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (AIT): Free Stock Analysis Report Greif, Inc. (GEF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks3 hr. 40 min. ago

US stocks falls as Fed reinforces resolve in hiking rates to cool inflation

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were at risk of snapping four weeks of wins as Fed officials sound open to another rate hike of 75 basis points. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeAndrew Burton/Getty Images US stocks fell Friday as investors reassess the Fed pivot trade that's carried stocks higher in recent weeks.  The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite could mark their first weekly decline after four weeks of gains.  GM will start paying its quarterly dividend again and Bed Bath & Beyond shares sank.  US stocks fell Friday as risk aversion set in after Federal Reserve officials voiced support for another large rate hike at next month's policy meeting, with the hawkish comments coming before the central bank's Jackson Hole symposium next week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were on track to post their first weekly loss after four consecutive weeks of gains. The US Dollar Index climbed to a fresh one-month high following hawkish comments from Fed officials this week. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday said he'd look to raise interest rates by 75 basis points in September, adding that policy makers shouldn't "drag out" raising rates into next year. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly on Thursday said rate hikes of 50 basis points or 75 basis points next month would be "reasonable" and suggested the Fed could keep raising rates into 2023.Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Friday:  S&P 500: 4,256.35, down 0.64%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,794.18, down 0.60% (204.86 points)Nasdaq Composite: 12,850.37, down 0.89%"The story into the end of the week is all about a repricing of Fed expectations," currency exchange LMAX said on its blog. Investors had been looking for more accommodative messaging from the Fed after July inflation cooled to 8.5% from 9.1% in June. "And yet, this hasn't been the case. We've continued to hear hawkish speak out from Fed officials and the market is considering the possibility that the Fed pivot trade may be the wrong way to go, and that the Fed won't be looking to cut rates next year at all," LMAX said. The Fed has raised rates by a hefty 75 basis points at its previous two meetings. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for September 20-21. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak next Friday at the central bank's Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming. Around the markets, General Motors shares rose after the automaker said it will resume paying a quarterly dividend, which it suspended as the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding. It will also resume share repurchases, with the board increasing its buyback capacity to $5 billion from the $3.3 billion that had remained under its existing program. Meme stocks were in focus with Bed Bath & Beyond plunging after Ryan Cohen, the retailer's second-largest shareholder, dumped his entire stake for a $68 million profit. Other speculative parts of financial markets were under pressure, with bitcoin sliding under $22,000. Middle Eastern states like Saudi Arabia will land a $1.3 trillion windfall from soaring oil prices, according to the IMF. Meanwhile, Myanmar is buying Russian oil, calling it "high-quality" and cheap. Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 2.1% to $88.64 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, declined 2.2% to $94.50. Gold slipped 0.3% at $1,766.40 per ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 9 basis points to 2.95%. Bitcoin fell 8.4% to $21,144.10. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider11 hr. 24 min. ago

PDC Energy (PDCE) Q2 Earnings Beat on Strong Realizations

PDC Energy (PDCE) forecast a capital spending budget between $1.025 billion and $1.075 billion for 2022. Upstream operator PDC Energy PDCE reported adjusted earnings per share of $5.11, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.57. The company had reported a profit of $1.66 in the year-ago quarter. The outperformance can be primarily attributed to higher commodity prices.Meanwhile, PDC Energy recorded total revenues of 1.1 billion, soaring from the year-ago level of $228.9 million and exceeding the consensus mark by 3.8%.The company is using the excess cash from a supportive environment to reward investors with dividends and buybacks. As part of that, PDCE’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 35 cents per share to its common shareholders. In fact, PDC Energy returned $250 million to its shareholders during the second quarter through dividends and buybacks. PDC Energy, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise PDC Energy, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | PDC Energy, Inc. Quote Production & PricesFor the second quarter of 2022, PDC Energy’s production totaled 21,410 thousand barrels of oil equivalent/MBoe (61% liquids), reflecting an increase of 22.9% from 17,424 MBoe a year ago. However, the Colorado-focused company’s quarterly average production came in below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21,800 Mboe due to certain operational issues. Of the aggregate output, 18,328 MBoe (or some 86%) came from Wattenberg Field and the rest from Delaware Basin.The average realized natural gas price jumped from $1.98 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in the year-ago quarter to $5.57. PDC Energy sold NGLs at an average price of $34.99 per barrel (Bbls) compared to $20.11 a year ago. Meanwhile, the average oil price realization came in at $108.24 per barrel, 66.4% higher than $65.05 in the year-ago period. Overall, PDC Energy fetched $57.81 per MBoe compared with $30.60 a year ago.Capital Expenditure & Balance SheetThe energy explorer shelled out $346.7 million in the form of oil and gas capital investments, while it raked in $405 million in adjusted free cash flow. As of Jun 30, PDC Energy had approximately $38.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $1.7 billion in long-term debt, representing a debt-to-capitalization of 32.9%.GuidanceFor 2022, PDC Energy expects to pump 230,000-240,000 Boe per day of hydrocarbon. It also gave its average oil production expectation of 73,000-77,000 barrels per day. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company forecast capital spending of $1.025 billion to $1.075 billion. The company has guided for some $1.6 billion in free cash flow in 2022 and hopes to return $1 billion to its shareholders.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Some Key E&P EarningsWhile we have discussed PDCE’s second-quarter results in detail, let’s see how some other exploration and production companies have fared this earnings season.ConocoPhillips COP reported second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $3.91, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.78. Further, COP’s bottom line significantly improved from the prior-year quarter’s $1.27 per share. Strong quarterly results of one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas producers based in Houston, TX, ConocoPhillips, may have been aided by increased oil-equivalent production volumes and realized commodity prices.ConocoPhillips revised higher its expected 2022 return of capital to shareholders. The new guidance is $15 billion versus the prior projection of $10 billion. COP’s incremental returns to stockholders will get distributed through share repurchases and variable returns of cash tiers.Another upstream giant, EOG Resources EOG, reported second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.74, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.99. EOG’s weaker-than-expected earnings were attributed to higher lease and well expenses, as well as transportation costs. However, the bottom line jumped from the year-ago quarter’s earnings of $1.73 due to increased volumes and prices.For the quarter under review, EOG Resources’ production increased 11% year over year, while it generated $1.3 billion in free cash flow. Committed to shareholder returns, EOG announced a special dividend of $1.50 per share.Finally, we have Pioneer Natural Resources Company PXD, which reported second-quarter earnings of $9.36 per share (excluding one-time items), beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.81. The bottom line surged from the year-ago quarter’s profit of $2.55 per share. PXD’s robust bottom line can be attributed to higher production volumes and commodity price realizations.Pioneer Natural announced a dividend payment of $8.57 per share of common stock, which includes a variable dividend of $7.47 per share and a base dividend of $1.10. This suggests a 16.1% increase from the prior dividend of $7.38 per share. Free: Top Stocks for the $30 Trillion Metaverse Boom The metaverse is a quantum leap for the internet as we currently know it - and it will make some investors rich. Just like the internet, the metaverse is expected to transform how we live, work and play. Zacks has put together a new special report to help readers like you target big profits. The Metaverse - What is it? And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks reveals specific stocks set to skyrocket as this emerging technology develops and expands.Download Zacks’ Metaverse Report now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD): Free Stock Analysis Report EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG): Free Stock Analysis Report PDC Energy, Inc. (PDCE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 18th, 2022

What"s in the Cards for Medtronic (MDT) in Q1 Earnings?

Going by the industry-wide macro trend, we expect Medtronic (MDT) to once again report an adverse effect related to the global supply chain issues in fiscal Q1. Medtronic plc MDT is scheduled to report first-quarter and fiscal 2023 results on Aug 23, before the opening bell.In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.56%. Medtronic surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, the average surprise being 1.83%.Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to this announcement.Factors at PlayMedtronic witnessed an adverse trend of procedure volume across its core business over the past few quarters, impacted by the choppy macroeconomic scenario globally. Per the company’s May 2022 update, the full impact of inflation with increased freight expense will be realized in Q1 and Q2 of fiscal 2023. Further, challenges related to the global supply chain as well as extended COVID-led restrictions in China are expected to have impacted the company’s major business lines.In this regard, in fiscal Q4, Medtronic particularly faced raw material shortages within the Surgical Innovations arm resulting in large backorders. The business revenues came well below the company’s expectations. Several of other business too faced similar challenges. Going by the global trend, we expect the company to once again report an adverse effect related to these global supply chain issues in fiscal Q1.In terms of the bottom line, according to the company, the full impact from inflation on raw material and direct labor costs will be realized over the next couple of quarters as inventory rolls off the balance sheet, negatively affecting gross margin.Meanwhile, Cardiovascular portfolio and cardiac rhythm management businesses are expected to have gained in Q1 fiscal 2023 on the recently launched Leadless Pacemakers, including Micra AV in Japan and China as well as Micra VR in China.Medtronic PLC Price and EPS Surprise Medtronic PLC price-eps-surprise | Medtronic PLC QuoteIn the neuroscience portfolio, the company is expected to have increased market share in Cranial and Spinal technologies. Demand for the company’s new spine implants is expected to have contributed to the growth. Strong adoption of AI-enabled surgical planning platform among the U.S. user base, the launch of the Catalyft expandable titanium interbody system and the rollout of enabling technologies are expected to have contributed to the growth in Q1. The Mazor robotics system and StealthStation navigation system particularly are expected to have performed strongly in the to-be-reported quarter.In Neuromodulation, over the past few months, Medtronic has been witnessing strong momentum from new products in both Pain Stim and Brain Modulation.Within Pelvic Health, the FDA approval of the company’s next-generation InterStim recharge-free device and InterStim X are expected to have contributed to top-line growth.In Medical Surgical and surgical robotics, Medtronic remains focused on the limited market release of the Hugo robot while it scales production. The company recently completed Hugo installations in Denmark, France, and Italy, which should have added to the company’s Q1 top-line growth within this arm.In Diabetes, MDT might have gained from the continued execution of its turnaround strategy. Germany and France recently began reimbursement of MiniMed 780G insulin pump, combined with the Guardian 4 sensor system, which is likely to have added to the top line. However, at the same time, the company is expected to have lost its share in the United States due to regulatory complications. Meanwhile, CMS’ Medicare coverage expansion (announced in December 2021) to include CGMs that integrate with Medtronic insulin pumps is expected to have a partial-quarter contribution to this business revenues in the first quarter.Q1 EstimatesThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for Medtronic’s fiscal first-quarter total revenues of $7.20 billion suggests a 9.8% rise from the prior-year reported number. The consensus mark for earnings of $1.12 per share implies a 20.6% plunge from the year-ago reported figure.What Our Quantitative Model PredictsPer our proven model, a stock needs to have the combination of a positive Earnings ESPand a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) to deliver an earnings surprise. But this is not the case here as you will see below.Earnings ESP: Medtronic has an Earnings ESP of -0.57%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Zacks Rank: Medtronic currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).Other ReleasesSome stocks in the broader medical space that have announced quarterly results are Hanger HNGR, Molina Healthcare MOH and Merck & Co. MRK.Hanger, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted EPS of 35 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16.7%. Revenues of $312 million outpaced the consensus mark by 1.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Hanger has an earnings yield of 6.1% compared with the industry’s 3.8%. HNGR’s earnings surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 25.9%.Molina Healthcare, having a Zacks Rank #2, reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted EPS of $4.55, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.8%. Revenues of $8.1 billion outpaced the consensus mark by 6.2%.Molina Healthcare has a long-term estimated growth rate of 16.4%. MOH’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average being 3.2%.Merck reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings of $1.87 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.67. Revenues of $14.6 billion surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.4%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2.Merck has a long-term estimated growth rate of 10.1%. MRK’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 16.8%.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Free: Top Stocks for the $30 Trillion Metaverse Boom The metaverse is a quantum leap for the internet as we currently know it - and it will make some investors rich. Just like the internet, the metaverse is expected to transform how we live, work and play. Zacks has put together a new special report to help readers like you target big profits. The Metaverse - What is it? And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks reveals specific stocks set to skyrocket as this emerging technology develops and expands.Download Zacks’ Metaverse Report now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report Medtronic PLC (MDT): Free Stock Analysis Report Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH): Free Stock Analysis Report Hanger Inc. (HNGR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 18th, 2022

US stock futures edge up and the dollar nears 3-week highs after minutes show the Fed still has appetite for rate hikes

US stock futures gained and the dollar strengthened as investors digested Federal Reserve minutes that signaled a commitment to interest-rate hikes. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).Spencer Platt/Getty Images US stock futures edged up Thursday, as investors assessed Federal Reserve minutes for clues to the path of interest-rate hikes. The dollar gained to near three-week highs as the Fed appeared to commit to more hikes. In Asia, stocks were downbeat after COVID-19 cases in China rose to a three-month high.  US stock futures inched higher Thursday as investors combed through Federal Reserve minutes for clues to policymakers' thinking on the future path of interest-rate hikes.The July minutes released Wednesday were increasingly seen as confirming the Fed will stick with rate increases to cool down inflation, which is running at 40-year highs despite a pullback last month. Policymakers' comments undermined hopes for a pivot to rate cuts in 2023, as many investors hoped for before the minutes' release.Futures on the major US stock benchmarks were all just in the green, with those on the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones ticking up 0.08%, 0.09% and 0.03%, respectively. Meanwhile, the US dollar index, which tracks a basket of currencies, rose to near three-week highs, moving up 0.14% to 106.72. "The minutes were broadly in-line with the market's thinking, and lacked fresh impetus needed to bring up the pricing of Fed's rate hikes," Saxo Bank analysts said. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell to not far off the 3% mark at 2.879%. Prices move inversely to yields.In oil markets, the global benchmark Brent crude rose 1.33% to trade at $94.94 a barrel after OPEC's chief said global oil markets could face squeezed supply and persistent demand. West Texas Intermediate put on 1.17% to trade at $89.14, after US inventory data showed big drop in gas and crude oil reserves. In Europe, stock markets were largely positive. The STOXX 600 was up 0.38%, and Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.85%. Asian stocks largely declined, with China's CSI 300 losing 0.96% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closing 0.80% lower as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to a three-month high, a risk to its economic activity. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.96%.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 18th, 2022

4 Reasons to Add York Water (YORW) to Your Portfolio Now

York Water's (YORW) rising earnings estimates and efficient utilization of funds make it a solid investment bet right now. The York Water Company’s YORW ongoing investments to build and improve infrastructure, steady dividend payments and upward estimate revisions make it a good investment candidate.Let’s focus on the factors that make this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock a strong investment pick at the moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Growth ProjectionsThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings per share and revenues is pegged at $1.36 and $57 million, suggesting an increase of 4.6% and 3.4%, respectively, from the year-ago period.The consensus mark for 2023 earnings and revenues is pegged at $1.41 and $60 million, respectively. The bottom- and top-line estimates suggest a 3.7% and 5.3% year-over-year increase, respectively.Surprise History & Dividend YieldYork Water’s four-quarter positive earnings surprise is 2.2%, on average. The current dividend yield of the company is 1.69%.Return on Equity (ROE)ROE of a company indicates how efficiently the company is utilizing its funds to generate returns. The current ROE of York Water is 10.74 compared with the industry’s average of 9.87, which indicates that the company is utilizing its funds better than its water utility peers.Debt to CapitalThe company’s debt to capital is 36.8%, which is lower than the industry average of 47.3%. This indicates that it is efficiently managing operations via utilizing lesser debt than peers. Its times interest earned ratio at the end of second-quarter 2022 was 4.7, which suggests that the company has enough financial flexibility to meet debt obligations in the near term without any difficulties.Price PerformanceIn the past month, the stock has gained 11.8% compared with the industry’s 10.7% rally Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther Stocks to ConsiderOther top-ranked stocks in the Utilities sector include Otter Tail Corporation OTTR, The Southern Company SO and Sempra Energy SRE. While Otter Tail sports a Zacks Rank #1, the other two companies carry a Zacks Rank of 2.Otter Tail, Southern Company and Sempra Energy delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 31.4%, 9.4% and 4.4%, respectively, in the last four quarters.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings for Otter Tail, Southern Company and Sempra Energy has moved 31.8%, 1.4%, and 1.3% upward, respectively, in the past 60 days.  7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days Just released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops." Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +24.8% per year. So be sure to give these hand-picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Southern Company The (SO): Free Stock Analysis Report Sempra Energy (SRE): Free Stock Analysis Report The York Water Company (YORW): Free Stock Analysis Report Otter Tail Corporation (OTTR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 17th, 2022

How Did Mixed Q2 Earnings Fare For Auto ETF?

The automobile sector came up with mixed results this reporting season but outlook is upbeat. The automobile sector came up with mixed results this reporting season. All of the S&P automobile companies reported this earnings season. About 87.5% of companies beat on earnings while 62.5% surpassed on revenues. Moreover, earnings rose 37.2% year over year while revenues increased 24.5%, as indicated by the Earnings Trends issued on Aug 10, 2022.The U.S. automobile sector has been gaining investor attention of late as the gradual resumption of U.S. and global economic activities highlights brighter prospects. Vehicle demand saw a boost, courtesy of the growing inclination toward personal mobility and still-easier credit conditions. Electric vehicles (EVs) are seeing greater popularity with each passing day and are likely to brighten the prospects of automakers.Let’s delve a little deeper into the earnings.Earnings in FocusIn late July,Tesla TSLA reported second-quarter 2022 earnings of $2.27 a share, up from the year-ago figure of $1.45 and surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.82. This marked the sixth straight earnings beat for the company. Higher-than-expected revenues from Services and Other segment resulted in this outperformance.Total revenues came in at $16,934 million, witnessing year-over-year growth of 41.6%. However, the top line lagged the consensus mark of $17,101 million. The EV giant reported an overall gross margin of 25% for the reported quarter. Further, operating margin came in at 14.6%.Tesla’s production and delivery totaled 258,580 and 254,695 vehicles, reflecting a year-over-year jump of 25% and 27%, respectively. The delivery figure lagged the consensus mark of 303,532 vehicles.In late July, General Motors Company GM came out with quarterly earnings of $1.14 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.97 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of -17.99%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this company would post earnings of $1.56 per share when it actually produced earnings of $2.09, delivering a surprise of 33.97%.General Motors Company, which belongs to the Zacks Automotive - Domestic industry, posted revenues of $35.76 billion for the quarter ended June 2022, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.35%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $34.17 billion.In late July, Ford Motor Co. F reported adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share in second-quarter 2022, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 43 cents. Higher-than-expected profits in its North America, South America and Europe segments led to this outperformance.  The bottom line jumped significantly from the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 13 cents. The company’s consolidated second-quarter revenues came in at $40.2 billion, surging 50.2% year over year.In North America, revenues surged 94% year over year to $29.1 billion in the reported quarter and beat the consensus metric of $23.4 billion. In South America, revenues moved up 29% year over year to $0.7 billion in the quarter. However, the figure lagged the consensus mark of $0.94 billion. In Europe, revenues inched up 3% year over year to $5.8 billion in the quarter but lagged the consensus mark of $6.02 billion. In China, revenues plummeted 20% year over year to $0.4 billion in the reported quarter and lagged the consensus mark of $0.49 billion.Toyota TM posted fiscal first-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings of $4.14 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.77 on higher-than-expected revenues. The bottom line, however, declined from the year-ago earnings of $5.87 a share amid chip woes and supply chain disruptions aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine war. Consolidated revenues came in at $65,543 million, beating the consensus mark of $63,653 million but contracting 9.5% year over year.Automobile ETF in FocusGiven the current scenario, it is prudent to discuss the following ETF that has relatively higher exposure to the major players in the space:First Trust S-Network Future Vehicles & Technology ETF CARZThe investment objective of First Trust S-Network Future Vehicles & Technology ETF is to seek investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield (before the Fund's fees and expenses) of an equity index called the S-Network Electric & Future Vehicle Ecosystem Index.First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF comprises 101 holdings. CARZ’s AUM is $56.2 million while its expense ratio, 0.70%. First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto ETF currently carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold), with a High-risk outlook. CARZ is up 13% past month (as of Aug 12, 2022) in line with the S&P 500’s returns.Bottom LineOn the positive side, Q3 estimates revisions trend has been positive for the Auto sector. Hence, investors can rely on the sector ETF on the better potential.  Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report First Trust SNetwork Future Vehicles & Technology ETF (CARZ): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 17th, 2022

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 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.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 17th, 2022