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Omicron Could Cause Supply Chain Crunch And Inflation To Worsen, OECD Warns

Omicron Could Cause Supply Chain Crunch And Inflation To Worsen, OECD Warns Before the US follows Europe by ordering more lockdowns as a preventative measure to stop the omicron variant from taking hold (although as many have pointed out, that horse appears to have already left the barn), the president's economic advisers should consider this latest warning from - who else? - the OECD. The NGO currently responsible for sheparding the most significant change in global corporate tax policy in a century is now warning that omicron could cause inflationary pressures - already at their highest level in 30 years - and the supply chain crunch that is helping to drive them higher, to intensify. OECD's Laurence Boone As some two dozen countries tighten border restrictions and impose new lockdowns, the OECD fears the new variant could delay the world's return to "normality", and warned that monetary policy-makers must be "cautious". The organization's chief economist added that central banks should try and focus their policy on providing the most vaccines to the most people, something the central bank is constitutionally ill-equipped to do. Maybe they should ask Bill Gates. The warning was issued alongside the OECD's routine release of projections for member states' economies, the organization believes inflationary pressures are expected to peak next year, not this year. Source: FT The OECD left its growth forecasts unchanged from three months ago, but it hiked its inflation projections for the G-20 substantially. Inflation forecasts for 2022 were raised from 3.9% in its September predictions to 4.4% now. The largest per-country increases were in the US and UK, where inflation forecasts for next year rose in both countries from 3.1% to 4.4%. For better or worse, the OECD believes price pressures will be short-lived: it expects inflation in the G-20 to ease back to 3.8% in 2023. But that presumes that major central banks like the Fed will act to keep a lid on price pressures by raising interest rates more quickly than expected, if necessary. Per the FT, OECD chief economist Laurence Boone fears omicron could add to "the already high level of uncertainty and that could be a threat to the recovery, delaying a return to normality or something even worse." She added, for emphasis, that higher prices warranted higher interest rates and a slightly tighter monetary policy. Moreover, she added that there's no "one-size-fits-all" monetary policy, and that emerging market and developed nations might need to go about managing their recoveries in different ways. Finally, she stressed the need for policymakers to clearly communicate their reasons for hiking rates: They must make sure markets and their participants understand that the Fed isn't hiking rates because of supply shortages, but in an effort to push back against broadening price pressures before they become self-reinforcing. The takeaway: the OECD believes that the initial recovery from the pandemic had been faster than expected. But the massive injections of rescue capital by the US and other developed economies (and plenty of developing economies as well), along with the US's refusal to share its vaccine recipes with the developing world, have created "imbalances" throughout the global economy. So, expect the next few years to be even rockier than the last as the US and its European allies are poised to tumble into a deep recession - unless Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden succeed in selling omicron (or "omNicron") to the American people as a boogeyman worthy of more lockdowns (and thus more stimulus). Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 05:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

What"s Behind The Surge In Yields That Sent Tech Stocks Tumbling, And What Happens Next

What's Behind The Surge In Yields That Sent Tech Stocks Tumbling, And What Happens Next For a while it appeared that stocks, and especially giga-techs, were willing to ignore the plungefest in Treasuries and were riding the wave of new capital (some $125 billion according to Goldman) allocated to stocks of all stripes to start the new year. However, it wasn't meant to last, and with yields suffering their biggest 2-day surge since the chaos in March 2020... ... high-duration names, which just happen to be the market's all-important generals, are finally sliding which in a market with as little breadth as this one... ... is a very big problem because as Goldman warned a few weeks ago, a crack in the largest market leaders (the FAAMGs of course) could result in major pain: for those who forgot, the five most popular tech names - AAPL, MSFT, NVDA, TSLA, GOOGL - have contributed 51% of S&P 500 returns since April. And what goes up can just as easily go down if rates rise high - and fast - enough. Which brings us to the big question: what's behind the puke in Treasuries and will it persist? From 30,000 feet, the catalyst for the selling in Treasuries is hardly a surprise: the Fed is all hawked up and with the accelerated taper, rate hikes are scheduled to take place potentially as soon as April, with some speculating that the Fed may hike more than 25bps at a time (we seriously doubt it absent inflation truly spiraling out of control in the coming weeks). More likely, however, the recent yield spike is tactical (flow/positioning/liquidity-driven), and so we go to one of the most fastidious market tacticians, Nomura's Charlie McElligott who in his morning notes today does a post-mortem of the selloff that started yesterday and has continued for much of Tuesday. According to Charlie, the selloff in US Rates and Treasuries turned violent by the US midday on the first day of the new PNL year as bearish bets were re-engaged (with UST 10Y Yields now cleanly through 50, 100 and 200 DMA’s to the upside, while 30Y Yields are nearing a test of the 200 DMA themselves), and shares the following thesis checklist as a list of the drivers behind the move: Inflation “stuck” and currently unrelenting at multi-decade highs, with more Omicron supply-chain snarls further squeezing prices Still above multi-year trend growth in US (Atlanta Fed GDPNow @ 7.641% last) US Employment pushing “near full” again (4.2% U-Rate back to levels last seen pre-COVID) Imminent (obvious) Fed tapering commencement, but now, with actual balance-sheet runoff (QT) potential thereafter in UST and MBS being socialized by some Fed members, all of which would mean the need for actual (gasp) price-discovery for “private side” buyers--including convexity hedgers in Mortgages. Translation: we may very soon discover what the true yield of TSYs should be. Start-of-year resumption of heavy Corp debt issuance calendar @ ~ $11.25B of paper (Street expectations of ~$140B for the full-month of January), with a particularly duration-heavy (> 10 years) WAM seen in yesterday’s paper (note: more of the same today, with another 7 deals early, mostly Financials) Last but not least, we have seen the shift to the market not just pricing-in 3 full FOMC hikes this year, but pulling the liftoff forward almost every day, with the March meeting now ~ 72% “priced” These key drivers behind persistent Treasury weakness were not lost on the market, and as Charlie writes, there was lumpy Duration selling in both Cash and Futs on Monday (especially a notable late-day WN block seller ~ $1.1mm in DV01), which was matched by "particularly aggressive options flows", including what McElligott calls "an eye-wateringly ENORMOUS buyer of TY downside, where HUGE prem was spent on 71k of the TYH2 127 Puts (~1.95% yield target by mid-Feb exp) at nearly ~$5.5mm bp dv01" (here he notes that this was an ADD to a view, with OI on Dec 31st at 161k, but now 231k as of Jan 3rd). The move has led to Treasuries posting their worst start to the year since 2009, sending ripples through markets from Australia to the U.K. Adding to this, and in agreement with point 1 above, Bloomberg adds that Treasury traders "are betting the rapid spread of the omicron variant will increase inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy, rather than weaken them." Specifically, the article looks at 10-year breakeven rates which climbed to as high as 2.66% on Tuesday, the most since November, and up from as low as 2.36% on Dec. 14. Even real rates jumped from as low as -1.13% at the end of 2021 to -0.96% today. “Inflation continues to be the major theme of the market given life with the coronavirus,” said Makoto Noji, chief currency and foreign bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo. There is speculation that “the widening spread of the virus will lead to a decline in labor participation and supply constraints,” he wrote in a research note. So how has this rate puke impacted stocks? Well, as McElligott continues, yesterday there was an outright “Momentum Shock” in the US Equities factor space, with the “Long-Term Momentum” factor absolutely "rekt" -3.5%, a 1d -3.1 std dev move over the past 1Y window and the largest drawdown in the factor since the peak of the meme stock / HF unwind on 1/27/21! Furthermore, the Nomura quant writes that the rally/short-squeeze in “Low Quality/High Vol” stocks seen yesterday - i.e. “Leverage” and “Short Interest” factors booming - was a stark contrast to the recent theme of the grab into “Quality” (high over low), “Size” (large over small), “Low Risk” (over high vol). Putting this together, this end-of-’21 “up in Quality” dynamic noted above was a large part of the blow-up in “Unprofitable Tech/Highly Speculatives” trade seen since the start of Nov ’21 into year-end (as the “short” leg of the trade), but yesterday, all of that “high spec” stuff really squeezed higher again, according to McElligott, as it looks like short books were de-grossed in a major way, while some too simply were taking discretionary punts on “high beta” to play for the January effect raising all boats, but particularly in the stuff which has just been the most beaten-down and ripe for O/P. Of course, this “Momentum shock” reversal (lower in Size, Quality, Low Risk “longs” vs the squeeze in “junk” Leverage / High Vol / Cyclical Value) also meant a frustrating day for hedge fund long & short “Crowding” proxies on the first day of the year, as both suffered outsized losses: Hedge Fund Crowding Factor -0.8% (-1.3 z-score) Hedge Fund L/S Proxy -1.5% (-1.8 z-score) Adding to the confusion, while hedge funds were clearing out their 2021 short-book leftovers, CTA/vol control funds were mechanistically rushing back into stocks, leading to the overall market ramp. According to McElligott's calculations, the Nomura QIS CTA model showed +$16.4B of fresh buying in Global Equities on the day (particularly focused in Asia with the Nikkei signal flipping from “-49% Short” to “+100% Long”—notionally buying +$15.6B, on top of +$800mm in US and and +$100mm in European equity futs). In the US, Nomura's Vol Control model estimated another +$3.8B of S&P futures buying as 1-month Realized Vol continued its collapse with a 6th straight day of buying, and now +$23.3B over the past 2 weeks (take a look at where the VIX is and compare it a month ago (spoiler alert: it has been cut in half). So what happens next? Well, as the Nomura strategist reminds us, next week should see the concentration of the forward buying - with particular focus on tomorrow (he is projecting a 1.0% chg = +$7.8B buying; 0.5% chg = +$14.5B buying; 0.0% chg = +$16.9 buying). Yet mechanistic buying aside, the risk is that with Index Options Gamma- and Delta getting longer/more positive, McElligott warns that we are slowly inching nearer towards “potential for a pullback” territory, and as usual Nomura's clients are urged again to focus on the monthly Op-Ex as the “unclench” catalyst there later mid-month January QQQ $Delta back to $13.2B, 94.9%ile SPX / SPY $Delta back to $291.6B, 80.1%ile In conclusion, the Op-Ex tied “window for a pullback” also corresponds with again “stress-y” vol signals as spot indices trade to new highs, and with “Skew” and “Put Skew” flashing again - but particularly noting that “Term Structure” is screening “extreme” and to the point made at the top of the note on the heavy selling of Vol / optionality.  Translated to plain English, what all of the above means is that instead of waiting until Friday to see where this week's op-ex chips may fall, the market is trading more or less as it should, and high duration giga-techs are dumping as yields are spiking... just as one would expect. The only question is whether this "logical" behavior will continue - one look at the chart below shows that the Nasdaq has a ways to drop if indeed it is allowed - or alternatively, if the remarkable bounceback from every op-ex makes another appearance, and spoos trade solidly back over 4,800 on their way to fresh all-time highs. Tyler Durden Tue, 01/04/2022 - 15:01.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 4th, 2022

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2020, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as there "could not have been more regime shifts, volatility moments, and memes than 2020." And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2021, the year did not disappoint and proved to be a successful contender, and if judging by the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments, 2021 was even more memorable and event-filled than 2020. Where does one start? While covid was the story of 2020, the pandemic that emerged out of a (Fauci-funded) genetic lab team in Wuhan, China dominated newsflow, politics and capital markets for the second year in a row. And while the biggest plot twist of 2020 was Biden's victory over Trump in the presidential election (it took the pandemic lockdowns and mail-in ballots to hand the outcome to Biden), largely thanks to Covid, Biden failed to hold to his biggest presidential promise of defeating covid, and not only did he admit in late 2021 that there is "no Federal solution" to covid waving a white flag of surrender less than a year into his presidency, but following the recent emergence of the Xi, pardon Omicron variant, the number of covid cases in the US has just shattered all records. The silver lining is not only that deaths and hospitalizations have failed to follow the number of cases, but that the scaremongering narrative itself is starting to melt in response to growing grassroots discontent with vaccine after vaccine and booster after booster, which by now it is clear, do nothing to contain the pandemic. And now that it is clear that omicron is about as mild as a moderate case of the flu, the hope has finally emerged that this latest strain will finally kill off the pandemic as it becomes the dominant, rapidly-spreading variant, leading to worldwide herd immunity thanks to the immune system's natural response. Yes, it may mean billions less in revenue for Pfizer and Moderna, but it will be a colossal victory for the entire world. The second biggest story of 2021 was undoubtedly the scourge of soaring inflation, which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory", refused to do so and kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s. The only difference of course is that back then, the Fed Funds rate hit 20%. Now it is at 0%, and any attempts to hike aggressively will lead to a horrific market crash, something the Fed knows very well. Whether this was due to supply-chain blockages and a lack of goods and services pushing prices higher, or due to massive stimulus pushing demand for goods - and also prices - higher, or simply the result of a record injection of central bank liquidity into the system, is irrelevant but what does matter is that it got so bad that even Biden, facing a mauling for his Democratic party in next year's midterm elections, freaked out about soaring prices and pushed hard to lower the price of gasoline, ordering releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and vowing to punish energy companies that dare to make a profit, while ordering Powell to contain the surge in prices even if means the market is hit. Unfortunately for Biden, the market will be hit even as inflation still remain red hot for much of the coming year. And speaking of markets, while 2022 may be a year when the piper finally gets paid, 2021 was yet another blockbuster year for risk assets, largely on the back of the continued global response to the 2020 covid pandemic, when as we wrote last year, we saw "the official arrival of global Helicopter Money, tens of trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus, an overhaul of the global economy punctuated by an unprecedented explosion in world debt, an Orwellian crackdown on civil liberties by governments everywhere, and ultimately set the scene for what even the World Economic Forum called simply "The Great Reset." Yes, the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to stabilize the world, the Fed injected almost $2 trillion in the subsequent period, of which $1.5 trillion in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring. This, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money (i.e., MMT) in 2020. It's also why with inflation running red hot and real rates the lowest they have ever been, everyone was forced to rush into the "safety" of stocks (or stonks as they came to be known among GenZ), and why after last year's torrid stock market returns, the S&P rose another 27% in 2021 and up a staggering 114% from the March 2020 lows, in the process trouncing all previous mega-rallies (including those in 1929, 1938, 1974 and 2009)... ... making this the third consecutive year of double-digit returns. This reminds us of something we said last year: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." A year later, we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months since the covid pandemic, the richest 1% of US society have seen their net worth increase by over $30 trillion. As a result, the US is now officially a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, the 1% now own more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. It wasn't just the rich, however: politicians the world over would benefit from the transition from QE to outright helicopter money and MMT which made the over monetization of deficits widely accepted in the blink of an eye. The common theme here is simple: no matter what happens, capital markets can never again be allowed to drop, regardless of the cost or how much more debt has to be incurred. Indeed, as we look back at the news barrage over the past year, and past decade for that matter, the one thing that becomes especially clear amid the constant din of markets, of politics, of social upheaval and geopolitical strife - and now pandemics -  in fact a world that is so flooded with constant conflicting newsflow and changing storylines that many now say it has become virtually impossible to even try to predict the future, is that despite the people's desire for change, for something original and untried, the world's established forces will not allow it and will fight to preserve the broken status quo at any price - even global coordinated shutdowns - which is perhaps why it always boils down to one thing - capital markets, that bedrock of Western capitalism and the "modern way of life", where control, even if it means central planning the likes of which have not been seen since the days of the USSR, and an upward trajectory must be preserved at all costs, as the alternative is a global, socio-economic collapse. And since it is the daily gyrations of stocks that sway popular moods the interplay between capital markets and politics has never been more profound or more consequential. The more powerful message here is the implicit realization and admission by politicians, not just Trump who had a penchant of tweeting about the S&P every time it rose, but also his peers on both sides of the aisle, that the stock market is now seen as the consummate barometer of one's political achievements and approval. Which is also why capital markets are now, more than ever, a political tool whose purpose is no longer to distribute capital efficiently and discount the future, but to manipulate voter sentiments far more efficiently than any fake Russian election interference attempt ever could. Which brings us back to 2021 and the past decade, which was best summarized by a recent Bill Blain article who said that "the last 10-years has been a story of massive central banking distortion to address the 2008 crisis. Now central banks face the consequences and are trapped. The distortion can’t go uncorrected indefinitely." He is right: the distortion will eventually collapse especially if the Fed follows through with its attempt rate hikes some time in mid-2020, but so far the establishment and the "top 1%" have been successful - perhaps the correct word is lucky - in preserving the value of risk assets: on the back of the Fed's firehose of liquidity the S&P500 returned an impressive 27% in 2021, following a 15.5% return in 2020 and 28.50% in 2019. It did so by staging the greatest rally off all time from the March lows, surpassing all of the 4 greatest rallies off the lows of the past century (1929,1938, 1974, and 2009). Yet this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x. And while the Fed was the dynamo that has propelled markets higher ever since the Lehman collapse, last year certainly had its share of breakout moments. Here is a sampling. Gamestop and the emergence of meme stonks and the daytrading apes: In January markets were hypnotized by the massive trading volumes, rolling short squeezes and surging share prices of unremarkable established companies such as consoles retailer GameStop and cinema chain AMC and various other micro and midcap names. What began as a discussion on untapped value at GameStop on Reddit months earlier by Keith Gill, better known as Roaring Kitty, morphed into a hedge fund-orchestrated, crowdsourced effort to squeeze out the short position held by a hedge fund, Melvin Capital. The momentum flooded through the retail market, where daytraders shunned stocks and bought massive out of the money calls, sparking rampant "gamma squeezes" in the process forcing some brokers to curb trading. Robinhood, a popular broker for day traders and Citadel's most lucrative "subsidiary", required a cash injection to withstand the demands placed on it by its clearing house. The company IPOed later in the year only to see its shares collapse as it emerged its business model was disappointing hollow absent constant retail euphoria. Ultimately, the market received a crash course in the power of retail investors on a mission. Ultimately, "retail favorite" stocks ended the year on a subdued note as the trading frenzy from earlier in the year petered out, but despite underperforming the S&P500, retail traders still outperformed hedge funds by more than 100%. Failed seven-year Treasury auction:  Whereas auctions of seven-year US government debt generally spark interest only among specialists, on on February 25 2021, one such typically boring event sparked shockwaves across financial markets, as the weakest demand on record hit prices across the whole spectrum of Treasury bonds. The five-, seven- and 10-year notes all fell sharply in price. Researchers at the Federal Reserve called it a “flash event”; we called it a "catastrophic, tailing" auction, the closest thing the US has had to a failed Trasury auction. The flare-up, as the FT put it, reflects one of the most pressing investor concerns of the year: inflation. At the time, fund managers were just starting to realize that consumer price rises were back with a vengeance — a huge threat to the bond market which still remembers the dire days of the Volcker Fed when inflation was about as high as it is today but the 30Y was trading around 15%. The February auaction also illustrated that the world’s most important market was far less liquid and not as structurally robust as investors had hoped. It was an extreme example of a long-running issue: since the financial crisis the traditional providers of liquidity, a group of 24 Wall Street banks, have pulled back because of higher costs associated with post-2008 capital requirements, while leaving liquidity provision to the Fed. Those banks, in their reduced role, as well as the hedge funds and high-frequency traders that have stepped into their place, have tended to withdraw in moments of market volatility. Needless to say, with the Fed now tapering its record QE, we expect many more such "flash" episodes in the bond market in the year ahead. The arch ego of Archegos: In March 2021 several banks received a brutal reminder that some of family offices, which manage some $6 trillion in wealth of successful billionaires and entrepreneurs and which have minimal reporting requirements, take risks that would make the most serrated hedge fund manager wince, when Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management imploded in spectacular style. As we learned in late March when several high-flying stocks suddenly collapsed, Hwang - a former protege of fabled hedge fund group Tiger Management - had built up a vast pile of leverage using opaque Total Return Swaps with a handful of banks to boost bets on a small number of stocks (the same banks were quite happy to help despite Hwang’s having been barred from US markets in 2013 over allegations of an insider-trading scheme, as he paid generously for the privilege of borrowing the banks' balance sheet). When one of Archegos more recent bets, ViacomCBS, suddenly tumbled it set off a liquidation cascade that left banks including Credit Suisse and Nomura with billions of dollars in losses. Conveniently, as the FT noted, the damage was contained to the banks rather than leaking across financial markets, but the episode sparked a rethink among banks over how to treat these clients and how much leverage to extend. The second coming of cryptos: After hitting an all time high in late 2017 and subsequently slumping into a "crypto winter", cryptocurrencies enjoyed a huge rebound in early 2021 which sent their prices soaring amid fears of galloping inflation (as shown below, and contrary to some financial speculation, the crypto space has traditionally been a hedge either to too much liquidity or a hedge to too much inflation). As a result, Bitcoin rose to a series of new record highs that culminated at just below $62,000, nearly three times higher than their previous all time high. But the smooth ride came to a halt in May when China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency and its production, or “mining”, sparked the first serious crash of 2021. The price of bitcoin then collapsed as much as 30% on May 19, hitting a low of $30,000 amid a liquidation of levered positions in chaotic trading conditions following a warning from Chinese authorities of tighter curbs ahead. A public acceptance by Tesla chief and crypto cheerleader Elon Musk of the industry’s environmental impact added to the declines. However, as with all previous crypto crashes, this one too proved transitory, and prices resumed their upward trajectory in late September when investors started to price in the launch of futures-based bitcoin exchange traded funds in the US. The launch of these contracts subsequently pushed bitcoin to a new all-time high in early November before prices stumbled again in early December, this time due to a rise in institutional ownership when an overall drop in the market dragged down cryptos as well. That demonstrated the growing linkage between Wall Street and cryptocurrencies, due to the growing sway of large investors in digital markets. China's common prosperity crash: China’s education and tech sectors were one of the perennial Wall Street darlings. Companies such as New Oriental, TAL Education as well as Alibaba and Didi had come to be worth billions of dollars after highly publicized US stock market flotations. So when Beijing effectively outlawed swaths of the country’s for-profit education industry in July 2021, followed by draconian anti-trust regulations on the country's fintech names (where Xi Jinping also meant to teach the country's billionaire class a lesson who is truly in charge), the short-term market impact was brutal. Beijing’s initial measures emerged as part of a wider effort to make education more affordable as part of president Xi Jinping’s drive for "common prosperity" but that quickly raised questions over whether growth prospects across corporate China are countered by the capacity of the government to overhaul entire business models overnight. Sure enough, volatility stemming from the education sector was soon overshadowed by another set of government reforms related to common prosperity, a crackdown on leverage across the real estate sector where the biggest casualty was Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer. The company, whose boss was not long ago China's 2nd richest man, was engulfed by a liquidity crisis in the summer that eventually resulted in a default in early December. Still, as the FT notes, China continues to draw in huge amounts of foreign capital, pushing the Chinese yuan to end 2021 at the strongest level since May 2018, a major hurdle to China's attempts to kickstart its slowing economy, and surely a precursor to even more monetary easing. Natgas hyperinflation: Natural gas supplanted crude oil as the world’s most important commodity in October and December as prices exploded to unprecedented levels and the world scrambled for scarce supplies amid the developed world's catastrophic transition to "green" energy. The crunch was particularly acute in Europe, which has become increasingly reliant on imports. Futures linked to TTF, the region’s wholesale gas price, hit a record €137 per megawatt hour in early October, rising more than 75%. In Asia, spot liquefied natural gas prices briefly passed the equivalent of more than $320 a barrel of oil in October. (At the time, Brent crude was trading at $80). A number of factors contributed, including rising demand as pandemic restrictions eased, supply disruptions in the LNG market and weather-induced shortfalls in renewable energy. In Europe, this was aggravated by plunging export volumes from Gazprom, Russia’s state-backed monopoly pipeline supplier, amid a bitter political fight over the launch of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. And with delays to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, analysts say the European gas market - where storage is only 66% full - a cold snap or supply disruption away from another price spike Turkey's (latest) currency crisis:  As the FT's Jonathan Wheatley writes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once a source of strength for the Turkish lira, and in his first five years in power from 2003, the currency rallied from TL1.6 per US dollar to near parity at TL1.2. But those days are long gone, as Erdogan's bizarre fascination with unorthodox economics, namely the theory that lower rates lead to lower inflation also known as "Erdoganomics", has sparked a historic collapse in the: having traded at about TL7 to the dollar in February, it has since fallen beyond TL17, making it the worst performing currency of 2021. The lira’s defining moment in 2021 came on November 18 when the central bank, in spite of soaring inflation, cut its policy rate for the third time since September, at Erdogan’s behest (any central banker in Turkey who disagrees with "Erdoganomics" is promptly fired and replaced with an ideological puppet). The lira recovered some of its losses in late December when Erdogan came up with the "brilliant" idea of erecting the infamous "doom loop" which ties Turkey's balance sheet to its currency. It has worked for now (the lira surged from TL18 against the dollar to TL12, but this particular band aid solution will only last so long). The lira’s problems are not only Erdogan’s doing. A strengthening dollar, rising oil prices, the relentless covid pandemic and weak growth in developing economies have been bad for other emerging market currencies, too, but as long as Erdogan is in charge, shorting the lira remains the best trade entering 2022. While these, and many more, stories provided a diversion from the boring existence of centrally-planned markets, we are confident that the trends observed in recent years will continue: coming years will be marked by even bigger government (because only more government can "fix" problems created by government), higher stock prices and dollar debasement (because only more Fed intervention can "fix" the problems created by the Fed), and a policy flip from monetary and QE to fiscal & MMT, all of which will keep inflation at scorching levels, much to the persistent confusion of economists everywhere. Of course, we said much of this last year as well, but while we got most trends right, we were wrong about one thing: we were confident that China's aggressive roll out of the digital yuan would be a bang - or as we put it "it is very likely that while 2020 was an insane year, it may prove to be just an appetizer to the shockwaves that will be unleashed in 2021 when we see the first stage of the most historic overhaul of the fiat payment system in history" - however it turned out to be a whimper. A big reason for that was that the initial reception of the "revolutionary" currency was nothing short of disastrous, with Chinese admitting they were "not at all excited" about the prospect of yet one more surveillance mechanism for Beijing, because that's really what digital currencies are: a way for central banks everywhere to micromanage and scrutinize every single transaction, allowing the powers that be to demonetize any one person - or whole groups - with the flick of a switch. Then again, while digital money may not have made its triumphant arrival in 2021, we are confident that the launch date has merely been pushed back to 2022 when the rollout of the next monetary revolution is expected to begin in earnest. Here we should again note one thing: in a world undergoing historic transformations, any free press must be throttled and controlled, and over the past year we have seen unprecedented efforts by legacy media and its corporate owners, as well as the new "social media" overlords do everything in their power to stifle independent thought. For us it had been especially "personal" on more than one occasions. Last January, Twitter suspended our account because we dared to challenge the conventional narrative about the source of the Wuhan virus. It was only six months later that Twitter apologized, and set us free, admitting it had made a mistake. Yet barely had twitter readmitted us, when something even more unprecedented happened: for the first time ever (to our knowledge) Google - the world's largest online ad provider and monopoly - demonetized our website not because of any complaints about our writing but because of the contents of our comment section. It then held us hostage until we agreed to implement some prerequisite screening and moderation of the comments section. Google's action was followed by the likes of PayPal, Amazon, and many other financial and ad platforms, who rushed to demonetize and suspend us simply because they disagreed with what we had to say. This was a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. One year ago, for the first time in our 13 year history, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us again. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. That said, whether the story of 2022, and the next decade for that matter, is one of helicopter or digital money, of (hyper)inflation or deflation: what is key, and what we learned in the past decade, is that the status quo will throw anything at the problem to kick the can, it will certainly not let any crisis go to waste... even the deadliest pandemic in over a century. And while many already knew that, the events of 2021 made it clear to a fault that not even a modest market correction can be tolerated going forward. After all, if central banks aim to punish all selling, then the logical outcome is to buy everything, and investors, traders and speculators did just that armed with the clearest backstop guarantee from the Fed, which in the deapths of the covid crash crossed the Rubicon when it formally nationalized the bond market as it started buying both investment grade bonds and junk bond ETFs in the open market. As such it is no longer even a debatable issue if the Fed will buy stocks after the next crash - the only question is when. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past year showed vividly why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, the narrative over Biden's trillions proved to be one of the biggest market moving events for much of the year. And with the Biden stimulus plan off the table for now, the Fed will find it very difficult to tighten financial conditions, especially if it does so just as the economy is slowing. Here we like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening. As for predictions about the future, as the past two years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure courtesy of China's covid pandemic, dramatic changes in 2021 persisted, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China's ongoing fight with preserving stability in its gargantuan financial system which is now two and a half times the size of the US. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from the KGB either, although now that the entire Russian hysteria episode is over, those allegations have finally quieted down), and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to accelerate in the coming year when key midterm elections will be held, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2021 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch out of fear of repercussions, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an orchestrated information vacuum and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which the public relations arm of established media outlets refused to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2021 - have realized it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 11-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with 600,000 reads, was an article that touched on one of the most defining features of the market: the reflation theme the sparked a massive rally at the start of the year courtesy of the surprise outcome in the Georgia Senate race, where Democrats ended up wining both seats up for grabs, effectively giving the Dems a majority in both the House and the Senate, where despite the even, 50-seat split, Kamala Harris would cast the winning tie-breaker vote to pursue a historic fiscal stimulus. And sure enough, as we described in "Bitcoin Surges To Record High, Stocks & Bonds Battered As Dems Look Set To Take Both Georgia Senate Seats", with trillions in "stimmies" flooding both the economy and the market, not only did retail traders enjoy unprecedented returns when trading meme "stonks" and forcing short squeezes that crippled numerous hedge funds, but expectations of sharply higher inflation also helped push bitcoin and the entire crypto sector to new all time highs, which in turn legitimized the product across institutional investors and helped it reach a market cap north of $3 trillion.  In 19th spot, over 613,000 readers were thrilled to read at the start of September that "Biden Unveils Most Severe COVID Actions Yet: Mandates Vax For All Federal Workers, Contractors, & Large Private Companies." Of course, just a few weeks later much of Biden's mandate would be struck down in courts, where it is now headed to a decision by SCOTUS, while the constantly shifting "scientific" goal posts mean that just a few months later the latest set of CDC regulations have seen regulators and officials reverse the constant drone of fearmongering and are now even seeking to cut back on the duration of quarantine and other lockdown measures amid a public mood that is growing increasingly hostile to the government response. One of the defining political events of 2021 was the so-called "Jan 6 Insurrection", which the for America's conservatives was blown wildly out of proportion yet which the leftist media and Democrats in Congress have been periodically trying to push to the front pages in hopes of distracting from the growing list of failures of the Obama admin. Yet as we asked back in January, "Why Was Founder Of Far-Left BLM Group Filming Inside Capitol As Police Shot Protester?" No less than 614,000 readers found this question worthy of a response. Since then many more questions have emerged surrounding this event, many of which focus on what role the FBI had in organizing and encouraging this event, including the use of various informants and instigators. For now, a response will have to wait at least until the mid-term elections of 2022 when Republicans are expected to sweep one if not both chambers. Linked to the above, the 17th most read article of 2021 with 617,000 views, was an article we published on the very same day, which detailed that "Armed Protesters Begin To Arrive At State Capitols Around The Nation." At the end of the day, it was much ado about nothing and all protests concluded peacefully and without incident: perhaps the FBI was simply spread too thin? 2021 was a year defined by various waves of the covid pandemic which hammered poor Americans forced to hunker down at home and missing on pay, and crippled countless small mom and pop businesses. And yet, it was also a bonanza for a handful of pharma companies such as Pfizer and Moderna which made billions from the sale of "vaccines" which we now know do little if anything to halt the spread of the virus, and are instead now being pitched as palliatives, preventing a far worse clinical outcome. The same pharma companies also benefited from an unconditional indemnity, which surely would come in useful when the full side-effects of their mRNA-based therapies became apparent. One such condition to emerge was myocarditis among a subset of the vaxxed. And while the vaccines continue to be broadly rolled out across most developed nations, one place that said enough was Sweden. As over 620,000 readers found out in "Sweden Suspends Moderna Shot Indefinitely After Vaxxed Patients Develop Crippling Heart Condition", not every country was willing to use its citizens as experimental guniea pigs. This was enough to make the article the 16th most read on these pages, but perhaps in light of the (lack of) debate over the pros and cons of the covid vaccines, this should have been the most read article this year? Moving on to the 15th most popular article, 628,000 readers were shocked to learn that "Chase Bank Cancels General Mike Flynn's Credit Cards." The action, which was taken by the largest US bank due to "reputational risk" echoed a broad push by tech giants to deplatform and silence dissenting voices by literally freezing them out of the financial system. In the end, following widespread blowback from millions of Americans, JPMorgan reversed, and reactivated Flynn's cards saying the action was made in error, but unfortunately this is just one example of how those in power can lock out any dissenters with the flick of a switch. And while democrats cheer such deplatforming today, the political winds are fickle, and we doubt they will be as excited once they find themselves on the receiving end of such actions. And speaking of censorship and media blackouts, few terms sparked greater response from those in power than the term Ivermectin. Viewed by millions as a cheap, effective alternative to offerings from the pharmaceutical complex, social networks did everything in their power to silence any mention of a drug which the Journal of Antibiotics said in 2017 was an "enigmatic multifaceted ‘wonder’ drug which continues to surprise and exceed expectations." Nowhere was this more obvious than in the discussion of how widespread use of Ivermectin beat Covid in India, the topic of the 14th most popular article of 2021 "India's Ivermectin Blackout" which was read by over 653,000 readers. Unfortunately, while vaccines continue to fail upward and now some countries are now pushing with a 4th, 5th and even 6th vaccine, Ivermectin remains a dirty word. There was more covid coverage in the 13th most popular article of 2021, "Surprise Surprise - Fauci Lied Again": Rand Paul Reacts To Wuhan Bombshell" which was viewed no less than 725,000 times. Paul's reaction came following a report which revealed that Anthony Fauci's NIAID and its parent, the NIH, funded Gain-of-Function research in Wuhan, China, strongly hinting that the emergence of covid was the result of illicit US funding. Not that long ago, Fauci had called Paul a 'liar' for accusing him of funding the risky research, in which viruses are genetically modified or otherwise altered to make them more transmissible to humans. And while we could say that Paul got the last laugh, Fauci still remains Biden's top covid advisor, which may explain why one year after Biden vowed he would shut down the pandemic, the number of new cases just hit a new all time high. One hope we have for 2022 is that people will finally open their eyes... 2021 was not just about covid - soaring prices and relentless inflation were one of the most poignant topics. It got so bad that Biden's approval rating - and that of Democrats in general - tumbled toward the end of the year, putting their mid-term ambitions in jeopardy, as the public mood soured dramatically in response to the explosion in prices. And while one can debate whether it was due to supply-issues, such as the collapse in trans-pacific supply chains and the chronic lack of labor to grow the US infrastructure, or due to roaring demand sparked by trillions in fiscal stimulus, but when the "Big Short" Michael Burry warned that hyperinflation is coming, the people listened, and with over 731,000 reads, the 12th most popular article of 2021 was "Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming."  Of course, Burry did not say anything we haven't warned about for the past 12 years, but at least he got the people's attention, and even mainstream names such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey agreed with him, predicting that bitcoin will be what is left after the dollar has collapsed. While hyperinflation may will be the endgame, the question remains: when. For the 11th most read article of 2021, we go back to a topic touched upon moments ago when we addressed the full-blown media campaign seeking to discredit Ivermectin, in this case via the D-grade liberal tabloid Rolling Stone (whose modern incarnation is sadly a pale shadow of the legend that house Hunter S. Thompson's unforgettable dispatches) which published the very definition of fake news when it called Ivermectin a "horse dewormer" and claimed that, according to a hospital employee, people were overdosing on it. Just a few hours later, the article was retracted as we explained in "Rolling Stone Issues 'Update' After Horse Dewormer Hit-Piece Debunked" and over 812,000 readers found out that pretty much everything had been a fabrication. But of course, by then it was too late, and the reputation of Ivermectin as a potential covid cure had been further tarnished, much to the relief of the pharma giants who had a carte blanche to sell their experimental wares. The 10th most popular article of 2021 brings us to another issue that had split America down the middle, namely the story surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse and the full-blown media campaign that declared the teenager guilty, even when eventually proven innocent. Just days before the dramatic acquittal, we learned that "FBI Sat On Bombshell Footage From Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting", which was read by over 822,000 readers. It was unfortunate to learn that once again the scandal-plagued FBI stood at the center of yet another attempt at mass misinformation, and we can only hope that one day this "deep state" agency will be overhauled from its core, or better yet, shut down completely. As for Kyle, he will have the last laugh: according to unconfirmed rumors, his numerous legal settlements with various media outlets will be in the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.  And from the great US social schism, we again go back to Covid for the 9th most popular article of 2021, which described the terrifying details of one of the most draconian responses to covid in the entire world: that of Australia. Over 900,000 readers were stunned to read that the "Australian Army Begins Transferring COVID-Positive Cases, Contacts To Quarantine Camps." Alas, the latest surge in Australian cases to nosebleed, record highs merely confirms that this unprecedented government lockdown - including masks and vaccines - is nothing more than an exercise in how far government can treat its population as a herd of sheep without provoking a violent response.  The 8th most popular article of 2021 looks at the market insanity of early 2021 when, at the end of January, we saw some of the most-shorted, "meme" stocks explode higher as the Reddit daytrading horde fixed their sights on a handful of hedge funds and spent billions in stimmies in an attempt to force unprecedented ramps. That was the case with "GME Soars 75% After-Hours, Erases Losses After Liquidity-Constrained Robinhood Lifts Trading Ban", which profiled the daytrading craze that gave an entire generation the feeling that it too could win in these manipulated capital markets. Then again, judging by the waning retail interest, it is possible that the excitement of the daytrading army is fading as rapidly as it first emerged, and that absent more "stimmies" markets will remain the playground of the rich and central banks. Kyle Rittenhouse may soon be a very rich man after the ordeal he went through, but the media's mission of further polarizing US society succeeded, and millions of Americans will never accept that the teenager was innocent. It's also why with just over 1 million reads, the 7th most read article on Zero Hedge this year was that "Portland Rittenhouse Protest Escalates Into Riot." Luckily, this is not a mid-term election year and there were no moneyed interests seeking to prolong this particular riot, unlike what happened in the summer of 2020... and what we are very much afraid will again happen next year when very critical elections are on deck.  With just over 1.03 million views, the 6th most popular post focused on a viral Twitter thread on Friday from Dr Robert Laone, which laid out a disturbing trend; the most-vaccinated countries in the world are experiencing  a surge in COVID-19 cases, while the least-vaccinated countries were not. As we originally discussed in ""This Is Worrying Me Quite A Bit": mRNA Vaccine Inventor Shares Viral Thread Showing COVID Surge In Most-Vaxxed Countries", this trend has only accelerated in recent weeks with the emergence of the Omicron strain. Unfortunately, instead of engaging in a constructive discussion to see why the science keeps failing again and again, Twitter's response was chilling: with just days left in 2021, it suspended the account of Dr. Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA technology. Which brings to mind something Aaron Rogers said: "If science can't be questioned it's not science anymore it's propaganda & that's the truth." In a year that was marked a flurry of domestic fiascoes by the Biden administration, it is easy to forget that the aged president was also responsible for the biggest US foreign policy disaster since Vietnam, when the botched evacuation of Afghanistan made the US laughing stock of the world after 12 US servicemembers were killed. So it's probably not surprising that over 1.1 million readers were stunned to watch what happened next, which we profiled in the 5th most popular post of 2021, where in response to the Afghan trajedy, "Biden Delivers Surreal Press Conference, Vows To Hunt Down Isis, Blames Trump." One person watching the Biden presser was Xi Jinping, who may have once harbored doubts about reclaiming Taiwan but certainly does not any more. The 4th most popular article of 2021 again has to do with with covid, and specifically the increasingly bizarre clinical response to the disease. As we detailed in "Something Really Strange Is Happening At Hospitals All Over America" while emergency rooms were overflowing, it certainly wasn't from covid cases. Even more curiously, one of the primary ailments leading to an onslaught on ERs across the nation was heart-related issues, whether arrhytmia, cardiac incidents or general heart conditions. We hope that one day there will be a candid discussion on this topic, but until then it remains one of the topics seen as taboo by the mainstream media and the deplatforming overlords, so we'll just leave it at that. We previously discussed the anti-Ivermectin narrative that dominated the mainstream press throughout 2021 and the 3rd most popular article of the year may hold clues as to why: in late September, pharma giant Pfizer and one of the two companies to peddle an mRNA based vaccine, announced that it's launching an accelerated Phase 2/3 trial for a COVID prophylactic pill designed to ward off COVID in those may have come in contact with the disease. And, as we described in "Pfizer Launches Final Study For COVID Drug That's Suspiciously Similar To 'Horse Paste'," 1.75 million readers learned that Pfizer's drug shared at least one mechanism of action as Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic used in humans for decades, which functions as a protease inhibitor against Covid-19, which researchers speculate "could be the biophysical basis behind its antiviral efficiency." Surely, this too was just another huge coincidence. In the second most popular article of 2021, almost 2 million readers discovered (to their "shock") that Fauci and the rest of Biden's COVID advisors were proven wrong about "the science" of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggested the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines, something we profiled in "This Ends The Debate' - Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta." We were right about one thing: anyone who dared to suggest that natural immunity was indeed more effective than vaccines was promptly canceled and censored, and all debate almost instantly ended. Since then we have had tens of millions of "breakout" cases where vaccinated people catch covid again, while any discussion why those with natural immunity do much better remains under lock and key. It may come as a surprise to many that the most read article of 2021 was not about covid, or Biden, or inflation, or China, or even the extremely polarized US congress (and/or society), but was about one of the most long-suffering topics on these pages: precious metals and their prices. Yes, back in February the retail mania briefly targeted silver and as millions of reddit daytraders piled in in hopes of squeezing the precious metal higher, the price of silver surged higher only to tumble just as quickly as it has risen as the seller(s) once again proved more powerful than the buyers. We described this in "Silver Futures Soar 8%, Rise Above $29 As Reddit Hordes Pile In", an article which some 2.4 million gold and silver bugs read with hope, only to see their favorite precious metals slump for much of the rest of the year. And yes, the fact that both gold and silver ended the year sharply lower than where they started even though inflation hit the highest level in 40 years, remains one of the great mysteries of 2021. With all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2022, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try despite endless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2021 (even the Fed admitted it is clueless when Powell said it was time to retire the term "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of the "expertise class" with their bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that after a record $30 trillion in stimulus was conjured out of thin air by the world's central banks and politicians in the past two years, the attempt to reverse this monetary and fiscal firehose in a world addicted to trillions in newly created liquidity now that central banks are freaking out after finally getting ot the inflation they were hoping to create for so long, will end in tears. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 13, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2022, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2021 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken system. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/02/2022 - 03:44.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 2nd, 2022

Futures Flat Ahead Of Taper Accelerating Payrolls

Futures Flat Ahead Of Taper Accelerating Payrolls U.S. equity futures are flat, rebounding from an overnight slide following news that 5 "mild" Omicron cases were found in New York, and European stocks wavered at the end of a volatile week as traders waited for the latest jobs data to assess the likely pace of Federal Reserve tightening and accelerated tapering. Emini S&P futures traded in a narrow range, and were up 2 points or 0.04%, Nasdaq futures were flat,while Dow Jones futures were up 8 points. The dollar edged higher, along with the euro after ECB President Christine Lagarde said inflation will decline in 2022. Crude advanced after OPEC+ left the door open to changing the plan to raise output at short notice. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts fluctuated after dip-buyers Thursday fueled the S&P 500’s best climb since mid-October, a sign that some of the worst fears about the omicron virus strain are dissipating. That said, concerns about omicron are overshadowing economic news for now with “a lot of noise and very little meaningful information,” said Geir Lode, head of global equities at Federated Hermes in London. “The prospect of a faster monetary policy tightening could -- and should probably -- lead to a clear market reaction,” he said. “It is also another argument for why we assume value stocks outperform growth stocks. At the moment, however, investors’ attention is elsewhere.” In the latest U.S. data, jobless claims remained low, suggesting additional progress in the labor market. Traders are awaiting today's big event - the November payrolls numbers, which could shape expectations for the pace of Fed policy tightening (full preview here). Bloomberg Economics expects a strong report, while the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists predicts an increase of 550,000. “Assuming the omicron news remains less end-of-the-world, a print above 550,000 jobs should see the faster Fed-taper trade reassert itself,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. “That may nip the equity rally in the bud, while the dollar and U.S. yields could resume rising.” In premarket trading, Didi Global Inc. jumped more than 14% in U.S. premarket trading before reversing all gains, after the Chinese ride-hailing giant said it began preparations to withdraw from U.S. stock exchanges. U.S. antitrust officials sued to block chipmaker Nvidia’s proposed $40 billion takeover of Arm, saying the deal would hobble innovation and competition. Elon Musk’s offloading of Tesla Inc. shares surpassed the $10 billion mark as he sold stock in the electric-car maker for the fourth consecutive week. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: DocuSign (DOCU US) plunges 32% in premarket trading as the e-signature company’s quarterly revenue forecast missed analysts’ estimates. JPMorgan and Piper Sandler cut ratings. Marvell Technology (MRVL US) shares rise 18% in premarket after the semiconductor company’s fourth-quarter forecast beat analyst estimates; Morgan Stanley notes “an exceptional quarter” with surprising outperformance from enterprise networking, strength in 5G and in cloud. Asana (ASAN US) shares slump 14% in premarket trading after results, with KeyBanc cutting the software firm’s price target on a reset in the stock’s valuation. Piper Sandler said that slight deceleration in revenue and billings growth could disappoint some investors. Zillow Group (ZG US) shares rise 8.8% in premarket after the online real-estate company announced a $750 million share repurchase program and said it has made “significant progress” on Zillow Offers inventory wind- down. Stitch Fix (SFIX US) jumped in premarket after Morgan Stanley raised its rating to equal-weight from underweight. Smartsheet (SMAR US) rose in postmarket trading after the software company boosted its revenue forecast for the full year; the guidance beat the average analyst estimate. National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ US) gained in postmarket trading after the drinks company announced a special dividend of $3 a share. Ollie’s Bargain (OLLI US) plunged 21% in U.S. premarket trading on Friday, after the company’s quarterly results and forecast disappointed, hurt by supply-chain troubles. Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI US) stock fell 15% in postmarket trading after adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter missed the average analyst estimate. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped as much as 0.2% before turning green with mining companies and carmakers underperforming and energy and utility stocks rising. Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB fell as much as 26% after private-equity firm Advent International and Singapore wealth fund GIC abandoned their $7.6 billion bid to buy the drugmaker. Volatility across assets remains elevated, reflecting the Fed’s shift toward tighter monetary settings and uncertainty about how the omicron outbreak will affect global reopening. The hope is that vaccines will remain effective or can be adjusted to cope. New York state identified at least five cases of omicron, which is continuing its worldwide spread, while the latest research shows the risk of reinfection with the new variant is three times higher than for others. “The environment in markets is changing,” Steven Wieting, chief investment strategist at Citigroup Private Bank, said on Bloomberg Television. “Monetary policy, fiscal policy are all losing steam. It doesn’t mean a down market. But it’s not going to be like the rebound, the sharp recovery that we had for almost every asset in the past year.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks held gains from the past two days as travel and consumer shares rallied after their U.S. peers rebounded and a report said Merck & Co. is seeking to obtain approval of its Covid-19 pill in Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed after climbing as much as 0.3%, with Japan among the region’s best performers. South Korea’s benchmark had its biggest three-day advance since February, boosted by financial shares. Still, Asian stocks headed for a weekly loss as U.S. regulators moved a step closer to boot Chinese firms off American stock exchanges. The Hang Seng Tech Index slid as much as 2.7% to a new all time low, as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding fell after Didi Global Inc. began preparations to withdraw its U.S. listing.  “While the risks of delisting have already been brought up previously, a step closer towards a final mandate seems to serve as a reminder for the regulatory risks in Chinese stocks,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. Asian stocks remain stuck near a one-year low, as the delisting issue damped sentiment already hurt by omicron and the Fed’s hawkish pivot. A U.S. payrolls report later today could give further clues on the pace of tightening Japanese equities rose, paring their weekly loss, helped by gains in economically sensitive names. Electronics makers reversed an early loss to become the biggest boost to the Topix, which gained 1.6%. Automakers and banks also gained, while reopening plays tracked a rebound in U.S. peers. Daikin and Recruit were the largest contributors to a 1% gain in the Nikkei 225, which erased a morning decline of as much as 0.6%. The Topix still dropped 1.4% on the week, extending the previous week’s 2.9% slide, amid concerns over the omicron coronavirus variant. Despite some profit-taking in tech stocks in the morning session, “the medium and long-term outlooks for these names continue to be really good,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. “The spread of the omicron variant doesn’t mean an across-the-board selloff for Japanese stocks.” India’s benchmark equity index recorded a weekly advance, partly recovering from a sharp sell-off triggered by uncertainty around the new Covid variant, with investors focusing on the central bank’s monetary policy meeting from Monday.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.3% to 57,696.46, but gained 1% for the week after declining for two weeks. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 1.2%, the biggest one-day decline since Nov. 26. All but three of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of energy companies. “The focus seems to be shifting from premium Indian equities to relatively cheaper markets,” Shrikant Chouhan, head of retail equity search at Kotak Securities said in a note. The cautious mood in India was heightened by the “unenthusiastic” response to the IPO of Paytm, which was also the biggest public share sale in the country, and a resurgence of Covid concerns across Europe, he added.  Investors also focused on the country’s economic outlook, which is showing signs of improvement. Major data releases this week -- from economic expansion to tax collection -- showed robust growth. “Strong domestic indicators are playing a key role in driving the market amid negative global cues,” said Mohit Nigam, a fund manager with Hem Securities. But any further spread of the omicron strain in India may cap local equity gains, he said. Two cases of the new variant have been detected so far in the country. The market’s attention will shift to the Reserve Bank of India’s policy announcement on Dec. 8, after a three-day meeting from Monday. The panel is expected to leave record low interest rates unchanged as inflation remains within its target range. The economy faces new risks from the omicron variant after expanding 8.4% in the three months through September. Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, falling 3%. Out of 30 shares in the index, 26 fell and 4 gained. Australia stocks posted a fourth week of losses amid the Omicron threat even as the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to close at 7,241.20, boosted by banks and miners. That trimmed the benchmark’s loss for the week to 0.5%, its fourth-straight weekly decline.  Corporate Travel was among the top performers, rising for a second session. TPG Telecom led the laggards, tumbling after media reports that founder David Teoh entered into an agreement to sell about 53.1 million shares in a block trade.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 12,676.50. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced and the greenback was higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers, with risk-sensitive Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies the worst performers. Turkish lira swings back to gain against the USD after central bank intervention for the 2nd time in 3 days. The pound weakened and gilt yields fell after Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders urged caution on monetary tightening due to the potential effects of the omicron variant on the economy. The euro fell below $1.13 and some traders are starting to use option plays to express the view that the currency may extend its drop in coming month, yet recover in the latter part of 2022. The Aussie dropped for a fourth day amid concern U.S. payroll data due Friday may add to divergence between RBA and Fed monetary policy. Australia’s sale of 2024 bonds saw yields drop below those in the secondary market by the most on record. The yen weakened for a second day as the prospects for a faster pace of Fed tapering fans speculation of portfolio outflows from Japan. In rates, Treasury yields ticked lower, erasing some of Tuesday jump after Fed officials laid out the case for a faster removal of policy support amid high inflation.  Treasurys followed gilts during European morning, when Bank of England’s Saunders said the omicron variant is a key consideration for the December MPC decision which in turn lowered odds of a December BOE rate hike. Treasury yields are richer by up to 1.5bp across 10-year sector which trades around 1.43%; gilts outperform by ~1bp as BOE rate- hike premium for the December meeting was pared following Saunders comments. Shorter-term Treasury yields inched up, and the 2-year yield touched the highest in a week Friday’s U.S. session features a raft of data headed by the November jobs report due 8:30am ET where the median estimate is 550k while Bloomberg whisper number is 564k; October NFP change was 531k Crude futures extend Asia’s modest gains advanced after OPEC+ proceeded with an output hike but left room for quick adjustments due to a cloudy outlook, making shorting difficult. WTI added on ~2.5% to trade near $68.20, roughly near the middle of the week’s range. Brent recovers near $71.50. Spot gold fades a small push higher to trade near $1,770/oz. Most base metals are well supported with LME aluminum and zinc outperforming.  Looking at the day ahead, and the aforementioned US jobs report for November will be the highlight. Other data releases include the services and composite PMIs for November from around the world, Euro Area retail sales for October, and in addition from the US, there’s October’s factory orders and the November ISM services index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde and chief economist Lane, the Fed’s Bullard and the BoE’s Saunders. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,574.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 466.43 MXAP little changed at 192.06 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 625.64 Nikkei up 1.0% to 28,029.57 Topix up 1.6% to 1,957.86 Hang Seng Index little changed at 23,766.69 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,607.43 Sensex down 1.3% to 57,692.90 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,241.17 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,968.33 Brent Futures up 3.3% to $71.97/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,767.28 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.14% to 96.29 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.37% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1286 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg “I see an inflation profile which looks like a hump” and “we know how painful it is,” ECB President Christine Lagarde says at event Friday. She also said that “when the conditions of our forward guidance are satisfied, we won’t be hesitant to act” and that an interest rate increase in 2022 is very unlikely The betting window is open in the fixed-income market as hedge funds and other traders hunt for mispriced risk heading into 2022 -- whether it’s predictions for accelerating inflation or rising interest rates The U.K. Municipal Bonds Agency aims to sell the first ethical bonds on behalf of local governments early next year. The body, set up to help U.K. councils access capital markets, is looking to issue a couple of sustainable bonds in the first quarter of 2022, according to officials advising on the sales. It expects to follow that with a pooled ethical bond to raise money for a group of different local authorities Low- income countries indebted to Chinese commercial and policy banks could buy specially-created Chinese government bonds and then use these as collateral to support the sale of new yuan debt, Zhou Chengjun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s finance research institute, wrote in an article published in the ChinaBond Magazine Chinese tech shares briefly touched their record lows in Hong Kong, as Didi Global Inc.’s announcement to start U.S. delisting and rising scrutiny on mainland firms traded there dealt a further blow to already soured sentiment The yuan is set to weaken for the first time in three years in 2022, as capital inflows are expected to slow amid a shrinking yield gap between China and the U.S., a Bloomberg survey shows Turkish inflation accelerated for a sixth month in November to the highest level in three years, driven by a slump in the lira that continues to cloud consumer price outlook A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities eventually traded mostly higher following the cyclical-led rebound in the US, but with the mood in the region tentative as Omicron uncertainty lingered after further cases of the new variant were reported stateside and with the latest NFP data drawing near. ASX 200 (+0.2%) lacked direction as resilience in cyclicals was offset by underperformance in defensives and amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns which prompted the Western Australian government to widen its state border closure to include South Australia. Nikkei 225 (+1.0%) was initially subdued amid recent currency inflows and with SoftBank among the worst performers amid several negative headlines including the FTC suing to block the Nvidia acquisition of Arm from SoftBank, while the Japanese conglomerate also suffered from its exposure in “super app” Grab which tumbled 20% in its New York debut and with Didi to start delisting from the NYSE in favour of a Hong Kong listing, although the index eventually recovered losses in latter half of trade. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.9%) were varied with US-listed Chinese companies pressured as the US SEC moved closer to delisting Chinese ADRs for failing to comply with disclosure requirements, while the mood across developers was also glum with Kaisa shares at a record low after its bond exchange offer to avert a default was rejected by bondholders and China Aoyuan Property Group slumped by double-digit percentages following its warning of an inability to repay USD 651.2mln of debt due to a liquidity crunch. Furthermore, participants digested the latest Caixin Services and Composite PMI data which slowed from the prior month, but both remained in expansion territory and with reports that advisors are to recommend lowering China’s economic growth target to 5.0%-5.5% or above 5%, fanning hopes for looser policy. Finally, 10yr JGBs gained and made another incursion above 152.00 with prices supported amid the cautious mood in Japan and with the BoJ also present in the market today for a total of JPY 1.05tln of JGBs heavily concentrated in 1yr-5yr maturities. Top Asian News Astra Said to Sink Advent’s $7.6 Billion Buyout of Biotech Sobi BOJ Is Said to See Omicron as Potential Reason to Keep Covid Aid Kaisa Swap Rejected, Developer Bonds Slide: Evergrande Update Permira Is Said to Near Deal for U.K. Blood Plasma Lab BPL The positivity seen heading into the European open dissipated as the session went underway, with the region seeing more of a mixed configuration in cash markets (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%; Stoxx 600 Unch) – with no clear drivers in the run-up to the US jobs report. The release will be carefully watching measures of labour market slack to gauge the progress towards the Fed's 'three tests' for rate hikes, whilst the Fed appears almost certain to announce a quickening in the pace of asset purchase tapering at its December meeting (Full NFP preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). The recent downside in Europe also seeps into the US futures, with the RTY (-0.2%), NQ (-0.2%) and ES (-0.3%) posting broad-based losses as things stand. Sectors have shifted from the earlier firm cyclical layout to one of a more defensive nature, with Healthcare, Food & Beverages, and Personal & Household Goods making their way up the ranks. Travel & Leisure still sits in the green but largely owed to sector heavyweight Evolution (+6.3%) as the group is to acquire its own shares in Nasdaq Stockholm. Oil & Gas sits as the current winner as crude markets claw back a bulk of this week's losses. On the flip side, Basic Resources are hit as iron ore tumbled overnight. In terms of individual movers, Dassault Aviation (+8.0%) shares soared after France signed a deal with the UAE worth some EUR 17bln. Allianz (+1.0%) stays in the green after entering a reinsurance agreement with Resolution Life and affiliates of Sixth Street for its US fixed index annuity portfolio, with the transaction to unlock USD 4.1bln in value. Top European News U.K. Nov. Composite PMI 57.6 vs Flash Reading 57.7 The Chance of a BOE Rate Hike This Month Has Fallen: BofA’s Wood AP Moller Holding Agrees to Buy Diagnostics Company Unilabs Permira Is Said to Near Deal for U.K. Blood Plasma Lab BPL In FX, it’s debatable whether this month’s US jobs data will carry as much weight as normal given that Fed rhetoric in the run up to the pre-FOMC blackout period has effectively signalled a faster pace of tapering and the likelihood of more hawkishly aligned dot plots. However, the latest BLS report could be influential in terms of shaping the tightening path once QE has been withdrawn, as markets continue to monitor unfolding COVID-19 developments with the main focus on vaccine efficacy against the new Omicron variant. In the meantime, Buck bulls have resurfaced to lift the index more firmly back above 96.000 and towards loftier levels seen earlier this week within a 96.075-324 range, eyeing Monday’s 96.448 peak ahead of the semi-psychological 96.500 mark and then the w-t-d best at 96.647 set the day after. Back to Friday’s agenda, Fed’s Bullard is due to speak and the services ISM rounds off the week. AUD/NZD - The high betas are bearing the brunt of Greenback gains, but also bearish technical forces as the Aussie and Kiwi both lose sight of key chart and simple round number levels that were keeping them afloat or declines relatively contained at least. Aud/Usd is now probing 0.7050 and a Fib retracement just above, while Nzd/Usd is hovering around 0.6775 as the Aud/Nzd cross holds in the low 1.0400 zone. JPY/CAD/CHF/GBP/EUR - All softer vs their US counterpart, with the Yen looking towards 113.50 for support with added protection from option expiry interest up to 113.60 in 1.1 bn, while the Loonie is relying on WTI to maintain recovery momentum before Canada and the US go head-to-head in the employment stakes. Usd/Cad is meandering in the low 1.2800 area as the crude benchmark regains Usd 68+/brl status from a sub-Usd 66.50 base and even deeper trough below Usd 62.50 in knee-jerk response to OPEC+ sticking to its output plan yesterday. Elsewhere, the Franc continues to straddle 0.9200, Sterling has retreated from 1.3300+ terrain again post-fractionally softer than forecast final UK services and composite PMIs, whilst a less hawkish speech from BoE hawk Saunders took Cable to a session low of 1.3255 and a 15bps Dec hike pricing fell from 51% to 26%. The Euro has also reversed from recent highs beyond 1.1300 amidst rather mixed Eurozone readings and pretty routine ECB rhetoric from President Lagarde plus GC members Knot, de Cos and de Guindos. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures continue to nurse losses seen earlier this week, with the post-OPEC downside completely erased alongside some more. To recap, oil contracts were under pressure from compounding COVID headlines at the start of the week and in the run-up to OPEC+ whereby ministers opted to keep production plans despite the Omicron variant and the recent SPR releases. Delving deeper into these themes, desks suggest that a dominant Omicron variant could actually be positive if the strain turns out to be milder than some of its predecessors – with the jury still out but initial reports from India and South Africa suggesting so. Regarding OPEC+, some oil traders suggest the move to maintain plans was more of a political strategy as opposed to an attempt to balance markets, with journalists also suggesting that tensions with the US have simmered down and the prospect of further SPR releases have significantly declined. Further, it's also worth bearing in mind that due to maintenance and underinvestment, the real output hike from OPEC+ producers will likely be under the 400k BPD. In terms of Iranian developments, updates have been less constructive, with sources suggesting that Iran is holding a tougher stance than during the June talks. Negotiations will break today and resume next week. Crude contracts are modestly lower on the week and well-off worst levels, with Brent Feb now back around USD 71.50/bbl (65.72-77.02 weekly range), while WTI Jan resides around USD north of USD 68/bbl (62.43-72.93/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold and silver vary, with the former finding some overnight support around USD 1,766/oz as risk sentiment erred lower, whilst the cluster of DMAs remain around the USD 1,790-91/oz region. In terms of base metals, LME copper is flat on either side of USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Dalian iron ore futures fell amid a decline in mill demand, whilst China's steel hub Tangshan city is to launch a second-level pollution alert from December 3-10th, the local government said – providing further headwinds for iron demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Nov. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 550,000, prior 531,000 Nov. Change in Private Payrolls, est. 525,000, prior 604,000 Nov. Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 45,000, prior 60,000 8:30am: Nov. Unemployment Rate, est. 4.5%, prior 4.6% Nov. Underemployment Rate, prior 8.3% Nov. Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 61.7%, prior 61.6% 8:30am: Nov. Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 5.0%, prior 4.9% Nov. Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4% Nov. Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.7, prior 34.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 56.5 Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 57.0, prior 57.0 10am: Oct. Factory Orders, est. 0.5%, prior 0.2% Oct. Factory Orders Ex Trans, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7% Oct. Durable Goods Orders, est. -0.5%, prior -0.5% Oct. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.3% Oct. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.6% 10am: Nov. ISM Services Index, est. 65.0, prior 66.7 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I got great news yesterday. It was the school Xmas Fayre last weekend and at one stall we had to guess the weight of the school duck that lives in their pond. I spent a long time analysing it outside and was trying to mentally compare it to the weights of my various dumbbells at home. I learnt yesterday that I’d won. My prize? A rubber duck for the bath. In more trivial news I also learnt I was voted no.1 analyst in four categories of the Global Institutional Investor Fixed Income Analyst awards for 2021. So many thanks for all who voted. It is very much appreciated. However in terms of physical mementoes of my achievements yesterday, all I actually have to show for it is a brown rubber duck. Guessing the weight of a duck is a walk in the park at the moment compared to predicting markets. Indeed it’s been a wild week. If you’ve managed to time all the various swings you can surely only have done it via a time machine. If you have done so without one though I will happily hand over my prized rubber duck. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 (+1.42%) had begun to recover following its worst 2-day performance in over a year. The VIX index of volatility ticked back down beneath the 30 mark again, but finished above 25 for the fourth day in five for the first time since December of last year. Meanwhile Oil plunged and then soared on OPEC+ news and curves continued to flatten as 2yr yields got back close to their pre-Omicron levels after a near 20bps round journey over the last week. I’m glad I’m a research analyst not a day trader, and that’s before we get to today’s payrolls print. We’ll start with Omicron, where yesterday predictably saw a number of new countries report confirmed cases for the first time, as well as a second case in the United States during market hours, this one with roots in New York City, which reported more than 11,300 new cases yesterday, the highest daily count since January. After the market closed, an additional five cases were identified in New York, which sent futures over -0.5% lower at the time. They are back to flat as we type possibly helped by a late deal and vote in Congress to fund the US government through to February 18th and avert a shutdown at midnight tonight. Back to the virus and governments continued to ramp up their defence measures, with Germany yesterday announcing a range of fresh restrictions as they grapple with the latest wave, including a requirement that you must either be vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in order to get into restaurants or non-essential stores. There’s also set to be a parliamentary vote on mandatory vaccinations, and incoming Chancellor Scholz said that he expected it to pass. In the US, President Biden announced new measures to fight the impending winter wave and spreading Omicron variant, including tighter testing guidelines for international visitors, wider availability of at home tests, whilst accelerating efforts to get the rest of the world vaccinated. Over in South Africa, the daily case count rose further yesterday, with 11,535 reported, up from 8,561 the previous day and 4,373 the day before that. So definitely one to keep an eye on as we look for clues about what this could mean for the world more broadly. That said, we’re still yet to get the all-important information on how much less or more deadly this might be, as well as how effective vaccines still are and the extent to which it is more transmissible relative to other variants. Back to markets, and the revival in risk appetite led to a fresh selloff in US Treasuries, with the 2yr yield up +6.7bps, and the 10yr yield up +3.7bps. Nevertheless, as mentioned at the top, the latest round of curve flattening has sent the 2s10s slope to its flattest since before the Georgia Senate seat runoff gave Democrats control of Congress. It’s now at just +82.0bps, whilst the 5s30s slope is now at flattest since March 2020, at +55.0bps. So a warning sign for those who believe in the yield curve as a recessionary indicator, albeit with some way to go before that flashes red. In Europe there was also a modest curve flattening, but yields moved lower across the board, with those on 10yr bunds (-2.6bps), OATs (-3.2bps) and BTPs (-5.6bps) all down by the close. Over in equities, there was a decent rebound in the US following the recent selloff, with the S&P 500 (+1.42%) posting a solid gain. It was a very broad-based advance, with over 90% of the index’s members moving higher for the first time since mid-October. Every S&P sector increased, which was enough to compensate for the noticeable lag in mega-cap shares, with the FANG index gaining just +0.15%. The STOXX 600 decreased -1.15%, though that reflected the fact Europe closed ahead of the big reversal in sentiment the previous session. Aside from Omicron, one of the other biggest stories yesterday was the decision by the OPEC+ group to continue with their production hike, which will add a further +400k barrels/day to global supply in January. The news initially sent oil prices sharply lower, with Brent crude falling to an intraday low beneath $66/bbl, before recovering to end the day back at $69.67/bl in light of the group saying that they could adjust their plans “pending further developments of the pandemic”, with the ability to “make immediate adjustments if required”. Even with the bounceback yesterday however, oil has been one of the worst-performing assets over recent weeks, with Brent hitting an intraday high of $86.7/bbl in late-October, followed by a November that marked its worst monthly performance since the pandemic began. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher with the KOSPI (+0.86%), Shanghai Composite (+0.58%), CSI (+0.35%) and the Nikkei (+0.29%) up but with the Hang Seng (-0.74%) under pressure amid the ongoing regulatory clampdown in technology from China as Didi prepares to delist on US markets. Looking forward now, the main highlight on today’s calendar is the US jobs report for November, which comes less than two weeks’ away from the Fed’s meeting where they’ll decide on the pace of tapering. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for nonfarm payrolls to grow by +600k, which would be the fastest pace of job growth since July, and that in turn would take the unemployment rate down to a post-pandemic low of 4.4%. Ahead of that, we had another decent weekly claims report (albeit that took place after the jobs report survey period), with the number for the week through November 26 coming in at a stronger-than-expected 222k (vs. 240k expected). The previous week’s number was also revised down -5k, sending the 4-week moving average down to its own post-pandemic low of 238.75k. Looking at yesterday’s other data releases, the Euro Area unemployment rate fell to a post-pandemic low of 7.3% in October, in line with expectations. However producer price inflation shot up even faster than anticipated to +21.9% (vs. 19.0% expected). To the day ahead now, and the aforementioned US jobs report for November will be the highlight. Other data releases include the services and composite PMIs for November from around the world, Euro Area retail sales for October, and in addition from the US, there’s October’s factory orders and the November ISM services index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde and chief economist Lane, the Fed’s Bullard and the BoE’s Saunders. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears U.S. index futures regained some ground alongside Asian markets while European stocks slumped to session lows in a delayed response to yesterday's late Omicron-driven US selloff, as markets remained volatile following the biggest two-day plunge in more than a year, spurred by concern about the omicron coronavirus variant and Federal Reserve tightening. Investors await data for unemployment claims, as well as earnings from companies including Dollar General and Kroger. Tech is the weakest sector, dropping in sympathy after Apple warned its suppliers of slowing iPhone demand. Nasdaq futures pared earlier gains of up to 0.8% to trade down 0.1% while S&P futures are only 0.2% higher after rising as much as 0.9%. While the knee-jerk reaction of stock investors may “continue to be to take profits before the end of the year,” there is “plenty of liquidity available to drive stock prices higher as dip-buyers enter the market,” Ed Yardeni wrote in a note. The U.S. economy grew at a modest to moderate pace through mid-November, while price hikes were widespread amid supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book survey Tuesday. Cruise-ship operator Carnival jumped 3.8% in premarket trading, while Pfizer and Moderna fell as the World Health Organization said that existing vaccines will likely protect against severe cases of the variant. Boeing contracts gained 3.4% after a report that the flagship 737 Max aircraft has regained airworthiness approval in China. With lots of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and Fed policy, the size of potential market swings is still considerable.  Here are some other notable premarket movers today: Apple (AAPL US) shares fell 1.8% in premarket trading after the iPhone maker was said to tell suppliers that demand for its flagship product has slowed. Wall Street analysts, however, remained bullish. U.S. stocks tied to former President Donald Trump rise in premarket trading following a report his media group is in talks to raise new financing. Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) +24%, Phunware (PHUN US) +38%. Katapult (KPLT US) shares sink 14% in premarket after the financial technology firm said its gross originations over a two-month period were lower than 2020 levels. Vir (VIR US) shares jump 8.1% in premarket trading after its Covid-19 antibody treatment, co-developed with Glaxo, looked to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing. Snowflake (SNOW US) is up 17% premarket following quarterly results that impressed analysts, though some raise questions over the data software company’s valuation. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) shares jumped 5.1% in premarket after it boosted its revenue forecast for the full year. Square’s (SQ US) shares are 0.4% higher premarket. Corporate name change to Block Inc. indicates “a symbolic rebirth,” according to Barclays as it shows a broader set of possibilities than those of a pure payments company. Okta’s (OKTA US) shares advanced in postmarket trading. 3Q results show the cybersecurity company is well- positioned to deliver growth, even if some analysts say its guidance looks conservative and that its growth was not as strong as in prior quarters. The Omicron variant also hurt risk appetite, making the safe-haven bonds more attractive to investors, pushing yields down - although yields picked up again in early European trading. Volatility in equity markets as measured by the Vix hit its highest since February on Wednesday, before easing on Thursday, but remained well above this year’s average and almost twice as high as a month ago. Investors are braced for volatility to continue through December, stirred by tightening central-bank policies to fight inflation just as the omicron variant complicates the outlook for the pandemic recovery. The recent market turmoil may offer investors a chance to position for a trend reversal in reopening and commodity trades, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Investors will need to maintain their calm during a period of uncertainty until the scientific data give a clearer picture of which scenario we face," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management in Zurich. “This, in turn, will help shape the reaction of central bankers." Also weighing on stock markets, and flattening the U.S. yield curve, were remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said that he would consider a faster end to the Fed's bond-buying programme, which could open the door to earlier interest rate hikes. In his second day of testimony in Congress on Wednesday, Powell reiterated that the U.S. central bank needs to be ready to respond to the possibility that inflation does not recede in the second half of next year. read more "In this past what we’ve seen is central banks using COVID as an excuse to remain dovish, and what we're seeing is central banks turn hawkish despite rising concerns around COVID, so it is a bit of a shift in communication," said Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP.  That said, the market is now so oversold, this is where we usually see aggressive dip-buying. In Europe, tech companies were the worst performers after Apple warned its component suppliers of slowing demand for its iPhone 13, the news dragged index heavyweight ASML Holding NV more than 4%. Meanwhile, travel shares were among the worst performers as the omicron variant continued to pop upin countries around the world, including the U.S., Norway, Ireland and South Korea. The Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 1.7% while the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1.5%, extending declines to trade at a session low, with all sectors in the red and led lower by technology and travel stocks. The Stoxx 600 Technology Index slumped as much as 3.9%, the most in two months. Vifor Pharma surged by a record 18% following a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire Swiss drugmaker. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Vifor Pharma shares rise as much as 18% on a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire the Swiss-based drug maker and developer while working with BofA on a A$4 billion funding package. Argenx jumps as much as 9.5% after Kepler Cheuvreux upgrades the stock to buy, saying the biotech company is on the brink of launching its first commercial product. Duerr gains as much as 7.2%, most since Aug. 10, after Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy and sets aa Street-high PT of EU60 for the German engineering company, citing the digitalization of the industry. Daily Mail & General Trust rises as much as 3.9% after Rothermere Continuation raised its bid for all DMGT’s Class A shares by 5.9% to 270p a share in cash. Klarabo surges as much as 54% as shares start trading on Nasdaq Stockholm after the Swedish property company raised SEK750m in an IPO. Eurofins Scientific declines for a fourth session, falling as much as 3.2%, as Goldman Sachs downgrades the company to neutral from buy “following strong outperformance YTD.” Deliveroo drops as much as 6.4% after an offering of 17.6m shares by CEO Will Shu and CFO Adam Miller at a price of 278p a share, representing a 4.2% discount to the last close. M&S falls as much as 3.4% after UBS cut its rating to neutral from buy, citing limited upside to its new price target as well as “little room for meaningful upgrades.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks erased an earlier loss to trade slightly up, as traders continued to assess the potential impact of the omicron virus strain and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep inflation in check.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% after falling 0.4% in the morning. South Korea led regional gains, helped by large-cap chipmakers, while Japan was among the worst performers after the government dropped a plan for a blanket halt to all new incoming flight reservations. Asia’s equity benchmark is still down about 4% so far this year after rebounding in the past two sessions from a one-year low reached earlier this week. Despite the region’s underperformance against the U.S. and Europe, cheap valuations and foreign-investor positioning have prompted brokerages including Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. to turn bullish on Asia’s prospects next year. “Equity markets continue to play omicron tennis and traders looking for short-term direction should just wait for the next virus headline and then act accordingly,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “Volatility, and not market direction, will be the winner this week.” Chinese technology shares including Alibaba Group Holding slid after Beijing was said to be planning to close a loophole used by the sector to go public abroad, fueling concern over existing overseas listings. Japanese equities declined, following U.S. peers lower after the first American case of the omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.5%. SoftBank Group and TDK were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225.  The S&P 500 posted its worst two-day selloff since October 2020 after the first U.S. case of the new strain was reported. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that officials should consider a quicker reduction of monetary stimulus amid elevated inflation. “Truth is, there’s probably a lot of people who are wanting to buy stocks at some point,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “But, with omicron still an unknown, people are responding sensitively to news development, and that’s keeping them from buying.” India’s benchmark equity index climbed for a second day, led by software exporters, on an improving economic outlook and as investors grabbed some beaten-down stocks after recent declines. The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 1.4% to close at 58,461.29 in Mumbai, the biggest advance since Nov. 1. Its two-day gains increased to 2.5%, the most since Aug. 31. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also surged by a similar magnitude. All of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. were up, led by a gauge of utilities companies. “India underperformed the global markets in recent weeks. Investors are now going for value buying in stocks at lower levels,” said A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services. The Sensex gained in three of the past four sessions after plunging 2.9% on Friday, the biggest drop since April. The rally, however, is in contrast to most global peers which are witnessing volatility on worries over the spread of the omicron variant. High frequency indicators in India, such as tax collection and manufacturing activities, have shown robust growth in recent months, while the country’s economy expanded 8.4% in the quarter ended in September, according to an official data release on Tuesday. Mortgage lender HDFC contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 3.9%. Out of 30 shares in the index, 27 rose and three fell. In rates, trading has been relatively quiet as bunds and gilts bull steepen a touch with risk offered, while cash TSYs bear flatten, cheapening ~5bps across the curve.Treasuries retraced part of yesterday’s rally that sent the benchmark 30-year rate to the lowest since early January. A large buyer of 5-year U.S. Treasury options targets the yield dropping around 17bps. 5s10s, 5s30s spreads flattened by ~1bp and ~2bp to multimonth lows; 10-year yields around 1.43%, cheaper by more than 3bp on the day while bunds and gilt yields are richer by ~1bp. Front-end and belly of the curve underperform vs long-end, while bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries. With little economic data slated, speeches by several Fed officials are main focal points. Peripheral spreads tighten with 10y Spain outperforming after well received auctions, albeit with a small size on offer. U.S. economic data slate includes November Challenger job cuts (7:30am) and initial jobless claims (8:30am) In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to a day low in the European session and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers as most crosses consolidated in recent ranges. Two-week implied volatility in the major currencies trades in the green Thursday as it now captures the next policy decisions by the world’s major central banks. Euro- dollar on the tenor rises by as much as 138 basis points to touch 8.22%, highest in a year; the relative premium, however, remains below parity as realized has risen to levels unseen since August 2020. The pound rose along with some other risk- sensitive currencies following the British currency’s three-day slump against the dollar. Long-end gilts underperformed, leading to some steepening of the curve. The yen fell for the first day in three while the Swiss franc fell a second day. The Hungarian forint rose to almost a three-week high after the central bank in Budapest raised the one-week deposit rate by 20 basis points to 3.10%. Economists in a Bloomberg survey were evenly split in predicting a 10 or 20 basis point increase. The Turkish lira resumed its slump after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly replaced his finance minister amid deepening rifts in the administration over aggressive interest-rate cuts that have undermined the currency and fueled inflation. Poland’s central bank Governor Adam Glapinski sent the zloty to a three-week high against the euro on Thursday with his changed rhetoric on inflation, which he no longer sees as transitory after prices surged at the fastest pace in more than two decades. Currency market volatility also rose, with euro-dollar one-month volatility gauges below Monday's one-year peak but still at elevate levels . "Liquidity in some areas of the market is still quite poor as people grapple with this news and as we head towards year-end, a lot of it is really liquidity driven, which is leading to some volatility," said UBP's Kazmi. "Even in the most liquid market of the U.S. treasury market we've seen some fairly large moves on very little newsflow at times." In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains. WTI adds 2.2% near $67, Brent near $70.50 ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting. Spot gold finds support near Tuesday’s, recovering somewhat to trade near $1,774/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum drops as much as 1.1%, nickel, zinc and tin hold in the green Looking at the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,540.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.0% to 466.37 MXAP up 0.2% to 192.07 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 629.36 Nikkei down 0.7% to 27,753.37 Topix down 0.5% to 1,926.37 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 23,788.93 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,573.84 Sensex up 1.3% to 58,436.52 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,225.18 Kospi up 1.6% to 2,945.27 Brent Futures up 2.4% to $70.53/bbl Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,771.73 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.03 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.35% Euro little changed at $1.1320 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she’s “very open” to scaling back the Fed’s asset purchases at a faster pace so it can raise interest rates a couple of times next year if needed A United Nations gauge of global food prices rose 1.2% last month, threatening to make it more expensive for households to put a meal on the table. It’s more evidence of inflation soaring in the world’s largest economies and may make it even harder for the poorest nations to import food, worsening a hunger crisis Germany is poised to clamp down on people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 and drastically curtail social contacts to ease pressure on increasingly stretched hospitals Some investors buffeted by concerns about tighter monetary policy are turning their sights to China’s battered junk bonds, given they offer some of the biggest yield buffers anywhere in global credit markets Pfizer Inc. says data on how well its Covid-19 vaccine protects against the omicron variant should be available within two to three weeks, an executive said GlaxoSmithKline Plc said its Covid-19 antibody treatment looks to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded tentatively following the declines on Wall St where all major indices extended on losses and selling was exacerbated on confirmation of the first Omicron case in the US, while the Asia-Pac region also contended with its own pandemic concerns. ASX 200 (-0.2%) was subdued amid heavy losses in the tech sector and with a surge of infections in Victoria state, although downside in the index was cushioned amid inline Retail Sales and Trade Balance, as well as M&A optimism after Woolworths made a non-binding indicative proposal for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) weakened after the government instructed airlines to halt inbound flight bookings for a month due to fears of the new variant and with auto names also pressured by declines in monthly sales amid the chip supply crunch. KOSPI (+1.6%) showed resilience amid expectations for lawmakers to pass a record budget today and recouped opening losses despite the record increase in daily infections and confirmation of its first Omicron cases, while the index also shrugged off the highest CPI reading in a decade which effectively supports the case for further rate increases by the BoK. Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were choppy following another liquidity drain by the PBoC and with tech pressured in Hong Kong as Alibaba shares extended on declines after recently slipping to a 4-year low in its US listing. Beijing regulatory tightening also provided a headwind as initial reports suggested China is to crack down on loopholes used by tech firms for foreign IPOs, although this was later refuted by China, and the CBIRC is planning stricter regulations on major shareholders of banks and insurance companies, as well as confirmed it will better regulate connected transactions of banks. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher as prices tracked gains in global counterparts and amid the risk aversion in Japan, although prices are off intraday highs after hitting resistance during a brief incursion to the 152.00 level and despite the marginally improved metrics from 10yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Swing as Investors Weigh Omicron Impact, Fed Views Apple Tells Suppliers IPhone Demand Slowing as Holidays Near Moody’s Cuts China Property Sales View on Financing Difficulties Faith in Singapore Leaders Hit by Record Covid Wave, Poll Shows Bourses across Europe have held onto losses seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.4%; Stoxx -1.2%), as the region plays catchup to the downside seen on Wall Street – seemingly sparked by a concoction of hawkish Fed rhetoric and the discovery of the Omicron variant in the US. Nonetheless, US equity futures are firmer across the board but to varying degrees – with the cyclical RTY (+1.1%) and the NQ (+0.3%) the current laggard. European futures ahead of the cash open saw some mild fleeting impetus on reports GlaxoSmithKline's (-0.3%) COVID treatment Sotrovimab retains its activity against Omicron variant, and the UK MHRA simultaneously approved the use of Sotrovimab – but caveated that it is too early to know whether Omicron has any impact on effectiveness. Conversely, brief risk-off crept into the market following commentary from a South African Scientist who warned the country is seeing an exponential rise in new COVID cases with a predominance of Omicron variant across the country – with the variant causing the fastest ever community transmission - but expects fewer active cases and hospitalisations this wave. Back to Europe, Euro indices see broad-based losses whilst the downside in the FTSE 100 (-0.7%) is less severe amid support from its heavyweight Oil & Gas sector – the outperforming sector in the region. Delving deeper, sectors see no overarching theme nor bias – Food & Beverages, Autos and Banks are towards the top of the bunch, whilst Tech, Telecoms, and Travel &Leisure. Tech is predominantly weighed on by reports that Apple (-2% pre-market) reportedly told iPhone component suppliers that demand slowed down. As such ASML (-5.0%), STMicroelectronics (-4.4%) and Infineon (-3.6%) reside among the biggest losers in the Stoxx 600. Deliveroo (-5.3%) is softer following an offering of almost 18mln at a discount to yesterday's close. In terms of market commentary, Morgan Stanley believes that inflation will remain high over the next few months, in turn supporting commodities, financials and some cyclical sectors. The bank identifies beneficiaries including EDF (-1.5%), Engie (-1.2%), SSE (-0.2%), Legrand (-1.3%), Tesco (-0.5%), BT (-0.8%), Michelin (-1.6%) and Sika (-0.9%). Top European News Shell Kicks Off First Wave of Buybacks From Permian Sale Omicron Threatens to Prolong Pain in Bid to Vaccinate the World Apple, Suppliers Drop Premarket After Report Demand Slowed Valeo, Gestamp Gain After Barclays Raises to Overweight In FX, currency markets are still in a state of flux, or limbo bar a few exceptions, and the Greenback is gyrating against major peers awaiting the next major event that could provide clearer direction and a more decisive range break. Thursday’s agenda offers some scope on that front via US initial jobless claims and a host of Fed speakers, but in truth NFP tomorrow is probably more likely to be influential even though chair Powell has effectively given the green light to fast-track tapering from December. In the interim, the index continues to keep a relatively short leash around 96.000, and is holding within 96.138-95.895 confines so far today. JPY/CHF - Although risk considerations look supportive for the Yen, on paper, UST-JGB/Fed-BoJ differentials coupled with technical impulses are keeping Usd/Jpy buoyant on the 113.00 handle, with additional demand said to have come from Japanese exporters overnight. However, the headline pair may run into offers/resistance circa 113.50 and any breach could be capped by decent option expiry interest spanning 113.60-75 (1.5 bn). Similarly, the Franc has slipped back below 0.9200 on yield and Swiss/US Central Bank policy stances plus near term outlooks, and hardly helped by a slowdown in retail sales. GBP/CAD/NZD - All firmer vs their US counterpart, though again well within recent admittedly wide ranges, and the Pound perhaps more attuned to Eur/Gbp fluctuations as the cross retreats to retest 0.8500 and Cable rebounds to have another look at 1.3300 where a fairly big option expiry resides (850 mn). Indeed, Sterling has largely shrugged off the latest BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel release that in truth did not deliver any clues on what is set to be another knife-edge MPC gathering in December. Elsewhere, the Loonie is straddling 1.2800 with eyes on WTI crude ahead of Canadian jobs data on Friday and the Kiwi is hovering above 0.6800 after weaker NZ Q3 terms of trade were offset to some extent by favourable Aud/Nzd headwinds. AUD/EUR - Both narrowly mixed against US Dollar, with the Aussie pivoting 0.7100 in wake of roughly in line trade and retail sales data overnight, but wary about the latest virus outbreak in the state of Victoria, while the Euro is sitting somewhat uncomfortably on the 1.1300 handle amidst softer EGB yields and heightened uncertainty about what the ECB might or might not do in December on the QE guidance front. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are firmer intraday as traders gear up for the JMMC and OPEC+ confabs at 12:00GMT and 13:00GMT, respectively. The jury is still split on what the final decision could be, but the case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening against the backdrop of Omicron coupled with the coordinated SPR releases (an updating Rolling Headline is available on the Newsquawk headline feed). As expected, OPEC sources have been testing the waters in the run-up, whilst yesterday's JTC/OPEC meetings largely surrounded the successor to the Secretary-General position. Oil market price action will likely be centred around OPEC+ today in the absence of any macro shocks. WTI Jan resides around USD 66.50/bbl (vs low USD 65.41/bbl) whilst Brent Feb briefly topped USD 70/bbl (vs low USD 68.73/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold has eased further from the USD 1,800/oz after failing to sustain a break above the 50, 100 and 200 DMAs which have all converged to USD 1,791/oz today. LME copper is on the backfoot amid the cautious risk sentiment, with the red metal back under USD 9,500/t but off overnight lows. US Event Calendar 7:30am: Nov. Challenger Job Cuts -77.0% YoY, prior -71.7% 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 199,000; 8:30am: Nov. Continuing Claims, est. 2m, prior 2.05m 9:45am: Nov. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 52.2 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap With investors remaining on tenterhooks to find out some definitive information on the Omicron variant, yesterday saw markets continue to see-saw for a 4th day running. Following one of the biggest sell-offs of the year on Friday, we then had a partial bounceback on Monday, another bout of fears on Tuesday (not helped by the prospect of faster tapering), and yesterday saw another rally back before risk sentiment turned sharply later in the day as an initial case of the Omicron variant was discovered in the US. You can get some idea of this by the fact that Europe’s STOXX 600 (+1.71%) posted its best daily performance since May, whereas the S&P 500 moved from an intraday high where it had been up +1.88%, before shedding all those gains and more to close -1.18% lower. In fact, that decline means the S&P has now lost over -3% in the last two sessions, marking its worst 2-day performance in over a year, and this heightened volatility saw the VIX index close back above 30 for the first time since early February. In terms of developments about Omicron, we’re still in a waiting game for some concrete stats, but there was positive news early on from the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, who said that they think vaccines “will still protect against severe disease as they have against the other variants”. On the other hand, there was further negative news out of South Africa, as the country reported 8,561 infections over the previous day, with a positivity rate of 16.5%. That’s up from 4,373 cases the day before, and 2,273 the day before that, so all eyes will be on whether this trend continues, and also on what that means for hospitalisation and death rates over the days ahead. Against this backdrop, calls for fresh restrictions mounted across a range of countries, particularly on the travel side. In the US, it’s been reported already by the Washington Post that President Biden could today announce stricter testing requirements for arriving travellers. Meanwhile, France is moving to require non-EU arrivals to show a negative test before arrival, irrespective of their vaccination status. The EU Commission further said that member states should conduct daily reviews of essential travel restrictions, and Commission President von der Leyen also said that the EU should discuss the topic of mandatory vaccinations. There was also a Bloomberg report that German Chancellor Merkel would recommend mandatory vaccinations from February 2022, according to a Chancellery paper that they’d obtained. That came as Slovakia sought to incentivise vaccination uptake among older citizens, with the cabinet backing a €500 hospitality voucher for residents over 60 who’ve been vaccinated. As on Tuesday, the other main headlines yesterday were provided by Fed Chair Powell, who re-emphasised his more hawkish rhetoric around inflation before the House Financial Services Committee. Notably he said that “We’ve seen inflation be more persistent. We’ve seen the factors that are causing higher inflation to be more persistent”, though yields on 2yr Treasuries (-1.4bps) already had the shift in stance priced in. New York Fed President Williams echoed that view in an interview, noting it would be germane to discuss and decide whether it was appropriate to accelerate the pace of tapering at the December FOMC. 10yr yields (-4.1bps) continued their decline, predominantly driven by the turn in sentiment following the negative Omicron headlines. That latest round of curve flattening left the 2s10s slope at its flattest level since early January around the time of the Georgia Senate race that ushered in the prospect of much larger fiscal stimulus. In terms of markets elsewhere, strong data releases helped to support risk appetite earlier in yesterday’s session, with investors also looking forward to tomorrow’s US jobs report for November that will be an important one ahead of the Fed’s decision in less than a couple of weeks’ time. The ISM manufacturing release for November saw the headline number come in roughly as expected at 61.1 (vs. 61.2 expected), and also included a rise in both the new orders (61.5) and the employment (53.3) components relative to last month. Separately, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November likewise came in around expectations, with a +534k gain (vs. +526k expected). Staying on the US, one thing to keep an eye out over the next 24 hours will be any news on a government shutdown, with funding currently set to run out by the weekend as it stands. The headlines yesterday weren’t promising for those hoping for an uneventful, tidy resolution, as Politico indicated that some Congressional Republicans would not agree to an expedited process to fund the government should certain vaccine mandates remain in place. An expedited process is necessary to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week, so one to watch. After the incredibly divergent equity performances in the US and Europe, we’ve seen a much more mixed performance in Asia overnight, with the KOSPI (+1.09%), Hang Seng (+0.23%), and CSI (+0.23%) all advancing, whereas the Shanghai Composite (-0.05%) and the Nikkei (-0.60%) are trading lower. In terms of the latest on Omicron, authorities in South Korea confirmed five cases, which came as the country also reported that CPI in November rose to its fastest since December 2011, at +3.7% (vs +3.1% expected). Separately in China, 53 local Covid-19 cases were reported in Inner Mongolia, whilst Harbin province reported 3 local cases. Looking forward, futures are indicating a positive start in the US with those on the S&P 500 (+0.64%) pointing higher. Back in Europe, sovereign bonds lost ground yesterday, and yields on 10yr bunds (+0.5bps), OATs (+1.1bps) and BTPs (+4.2bps) continued to move higher. Interestingly, there was a continued widening in peripheral spreads, with the gap between both Italian and Spanish 10yr yields over bunds reaching their biggest level in over a year, at 135bps and 77bps, respectively. Another factor to keep an eye on in Europe is another round of increases in natural gas prices, with futures up +3.42% to their highest level since mid-October yesterday. Lastly on the data front, the main other story was the release of the manufacturing PMIs from around the world. We’d already had the flash readings from a number of the key economies, so they weren’t too surprising, but the Euro Area came in at 58.4 (vs. flash 58.6), Germany came in at 57.4 (vs. flash 57.6), and the UK came in at 58.1 (vs. flash 58.2). One country that saw a decent upward revision was France, with the final number at 55.9 (vs. flash 54.6), which marks an end to 5 successive monthly declines in the French manufacturing PMI. One other release were German retail sales for October, which unexpectedly fell -0.3% (vs. +0.9% expected). To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:57.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Apple Slides After Warning Suppliers iPhone 13 Demand Slowing

Apple Slides After Warning Suppliers iPhone 13 Demand Slowing A couple of months ago, we reported that Apple had slashed its lofty production forecasts for the next generation of iPhones as the supply chain crunch came for the world's most valuable consumer-tech behemoth. And on Thursday, Apple shares tumbled in premarket trading following news reports that demand for the iPhone 13 was starting to wane. After confronting the global supply crunch creating headaches for the dozen or so contractors responsible for actually building the iPhones, Apple is now facing something even more insidious: a paucity of demand for the next generation of phones. Bloomberg reports that Apple has told its suppliers - whom just weeks ago it was whipping to accelerate production by any means necessary - that demand for the latest line of new phones has weakened. They characterized it as a sign that consumers are giving up on the hard-to-find product. The company has told its component suppliers that demand for the iPhone 13 lineup has weakened, people familiar with the matter said, signaling that some consumers have decided against trying to get the hard-to-find item. As we have reported, Apple has already cut its iPhone 13 production goal for this year by as many as 10MM units, down from a target of 90MM, due ostensibly to a lack of parts. The company's hope is to make up much of this shortfall next year, when supply is expected to improve. Unfortunately Apple is now informing its vendors that those orders may not materialize. For better or worse, Apple is still on track for a record holiday season, with analysts projecting a sales increase of 6% to $117.9 billion in the final three months of the calendar year. However, it likely won’t be the blockbuster quarter that Apple and Wall Street analysts like Dan Ives had originally envisioned. Shortages and delivery delays have already frustrated millions of consumers. Apple shares tumbled more than 1% in premarket trade. The iPhone is Apple's flagship product, accounting for about half of its $365.8 billion in revenue during the last fiscal year. So, the decision to skip the latest iPhone and wait until next year (consumers typically upgrade on two-year cycles) isn't too surprising. The new iPhone lineup, which starts at $799 for the standard model and $999 for the Pro, is considered a modest update from the iPhone 12, which had a whole new design. For Apple's suppliers, this probably sounds like good news. Last month, Apple’s main iPhone assembler, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., (better known as Foxconn) predicted that its business will shrink in Q4 from a year earlier, a ruction caused by declines in demand for consumer electronics and computing as the company continues to struggle with chip shortages. Bigger changes are expected for the 2022 model, giving some shoppers a reason to wait. And with inflation and the omicron variant bringing fresh concerns to pandemic-weary shoppers, many may forgo expensive gift purchases, especially if the omicron hysteria inspires people to hold off on in-person holiday gatherings. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 08:11.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Omicron Could Cause Supply Chain Crunch And Inflation To Worsen, OECD Warns

Omicron Could Cause Supply Chain Crunch And Inflation To Worsen, OECD Warns Before the US follows Europe by ordering more lockdowns as a preventative measure to stop the omicron variant from taking hold (although as many have pointed out, that horse appears to have already left the barn), the president's economic advisers should consider this latest warning from - who else? - the OECD. The NGO currently responsible for sheparding the most significant change in global corporate tax policy in a century is now warning that omicron could cause inflationary pressures - already at their highest level in 30 years - and the supply chain crunch that is helping to drive them higher, to intensify. OECD's Laurence Boone As some two dozen countries tighten border restrictions and impose new lockdowns, the OECD fears the new variant could delay the world's return to "normality", and warned that monetary policy-makers must be "cautious". The organization's chief economist added that central banks should try and focus their policy on providing the most vaccines to the most people, something the central bank is constitutionally ill-equipped to do. Maybe they should ask Bill Gates. The warning was issued alongside the OECD's routine release of projections for member states' economies, the organization believes inflationary pressures are expected to peak next year, not this year. Source: FT The OECD left its growth forecasts unchanged from three months ago, but it hiked its inflation projections for the G-20 substantially. Inflation forecasts for 2022 were raised from 3.9% in its September predictions to 4.4% now. The largest per-country increases were in the US and UK, where inflation forecasts for next year rose in both countries from 3.1% to 4.4%. For better or worse, the OECD believes price pressures will be short-lived: it expects inflation in the G-20 to ease back to 3.8% in 2023. But that presumes that major central banks like the Fed will act to keep a lid on price pressures by raising interest rates more quickly than expected, if necessary. Per the FT, OECD chief economist Laurence Boone fears omicron could add to "the already high level of uncertainty and that could be a threat to the recovery, delaying a return to normality or something even worse." She added, for emphasis, that higher prices warranted higher interest rates and a slightly tighter monetary policy. Moreover, she added that there's no "one-size-fits-all" monetary policy, and that emerging market and developed nations might need to go about managing their recoveries in different ways. Finally, she stressed the need for policymakers to clearly communicate their reasons for hiking rates: They must make sure markets and their participants understand that the Fed isn't hiking rates because of supply shortages, but in an effort to push back against broadening price pressures before they become self-reinforcing. The takeaway: the OECD believes that the initial recovery from the pandemic had been faster than expected. But the massive injections of rescue capital by the US and other developed economies (and plenty of developing economies as well), along with the US's refusal to share its vaccine recipes with the developing world, have created "imbalances" throughout the global economy. So, expect the next few years to be even rockier than the last as the US and its European allies are poised to tumble into a deep recession - unless Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden succeed in selling omicron (or "omNicron") to the American people as a boogeyman worthy of more lockdowns (and thus more stimulus). Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 05:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory"

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory" Heading into yesterday's painful close to one of the ugliest months since March 2020, which saw a huge forced liquidation rebalance with more than $8 billion in Market on Close orders, we said that while we are seeing "forced selling dump into the close today" this would be followed by "forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close." Forced selling dump into the close today. Forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 30, 2021 And just as expected, despite yesterday's dramatic hawkish pivot by Powell, who said it was time to retire the word transitory in describing the inflation outlook (the same word the Fed used hundreds of times earlier in 2021 sparking relentless mockery from this website for being clueless as usual) while also saying the U.S. central bank would consider bringing forward plans for tapering its bond buying program at its next meeting in two weeks, the frontrunning of new monthly inflows is in full force with S&P futures rising over 1.2%, Nasdaq futures up 1.3%, and Dow futures up 0.9%, recovering almost all of Tuesday’s decline. The seemingly 'hawkish' comments served as a double whammy for markets, which were already nervous about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and its potential to hinder a global economic recovery. "At this point, COVID does not appear to be the biggest long-term Street fear, although it could have the largest impact if the new (or next) variant turns out to be worse than expected," Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P and Dow Jones indices, said in a note. "That honor goes to inflation, which continues to be fed by supply shortages, labor costs, worker shortages, as well as consumers, who have not pulled back." However, new month fund flows proved too powerful to sustain yesterday's month-end dump and with futures rising - and panic receding - safe havens were sold and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped almost 6bps, approaching 1.50%. The gap between yields on 5-year and 30-year Treasuries was around the narrowest since March last year. Crude oil and commodity-linked currencies rebounded. Gold remained just under $1,800 and bitcoin traded just over $57,000. There was more good news on the covid front with a WHO official saying some of the early indications are that most Omicron cases are mild with no severe cases. Separately Merck gained 3.8% in premarket trade after a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration narrowly voted to recommend the agency authorize the drugmaker's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Travel and leisure stocks also rebounded, with cruiseliners Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean rising more than 2.5% each. Easing of covid fears also pushed airlines and travel stocks higher in premarket trading: Southwest +2.9%, Delta +2.5%, Spirit +2.3%, American +2.2%, United +1.9%, JetBlue +1.3%. Vaccine makers traded modestly lower in pre-market trading after soaring in recent days as Wall Street weighs the widening spread of the omicron variant. Merck & Co. bucked the trend after its Covid-19 pill narrowly gained a key recommendation from advisers to U.S. regulators. Moderna slips 2.1%, BioNTech dips 1.3% and Pfizer is down 0.2%. Elsewhere, Occidental Petroleum led gains among the energy stocks, up 3.2% as oil prices climbed over 4% ahead of OPEC's meeting. Shares of major Wall Street lenders also moved higher after steep falls on Tuesday. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Salesforce (CRM US) drops 5.9% in premarket trading after results and guidance missed estimates, with analysts highlighting currency-related headwinds and plateauing growth at the MuleSoft integration software business. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE US) falls 1.3% in premarket after the computer equipment maker’s quarterly results showed the impact of the global supply chain crunch. Analysts noted solid order trends. Merck (MRK US) shares rise 5.8% in premarket after the company’s Covid-19 pill narrowly wins backing from FDA advisers, which analysts say is a sign of progress despite lingering challenges. Chinese electric vehicle makers were higher in premarket, leading U.S. peers up, after Nio, Li and XPeng reported strong deliveries for November; Nio (NIO US) +4%, Li (LI US ) +6%, XPeng (XPEV US) +4.3%. Ardelyx (ARDX US) shares gain as much as 34% in premarket, extending the biotech’s bounce after announcing plans to launch its irritable bowel syndrome treatment Ibsrela in the second quarter. CTI BioPharma (CTIC US) shares sink 18% in premarket after the company said the FDA extended the review period for a new drug application for pacritinib. Allbirds (BIRD US) fell 7.5% postmarket after the low end of the shoe retailer’s 2021 revenue forecast missed the average analyst estimate. Zscaler (ZS US) posted “yet another impressive quarter,” according to BMO. Several analysts increased their price targets for the security software company. Shares rose 4.6% in postmarket. Ambarella (AMBA US) rose 14% in postmarket after forecasting revenue for the fourth quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Emcore (EMKR US) fell 9% postmarket after the aerospace and communications supplier reported fiscal fourth-quarter Ebitda that missed the average analyst estimate. Box (BOX US) shares gained as much as 10% in postmarket trading after the cloud company raised its revenue forecast for the full year. Meanwhile, the omicron variant continues to spread around the globe, though symptoms so far appear to be relatively mild. The Biden administration plans to tighten rules on travel to the U.S., and Japan said it would bar foreign residents returning from 10 southern African nations. As Bloomberg notes, volatility is buffeting markets as investors scrutinize whether the pandemic recovery can weather diminishing monetary policy support and potential risks from the omicron virus variant. Global manufacturing activity stabilized last month, purchasing managers’ gauges showed Wednesday, and while central banks are scaling back ultra-loose settings, financial conditions remain favorable in key economies. “The reality is hotter inflation coupled with a strong economic backdrop could end the Fed’s bond buying program as early as the first quarter of next year,” Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management, said in emailed comments. “With potential changes in policy on the horizon, market participants should expect additional market volatility in this uncharted territory.” Looking ahead, Powell is back on the Hill for day 2, and is due to testify before a House Financial Services Committee hybrid hearing at 10 a.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. Investors are also awaiting the Fed's latest "Beige Book" due at 2:00 p.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. European equities soared more than 1.2%, with travel stocks and carmakers leading broad-based gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, all but wiping out Tuesday’s decline that capped only the third monthly loss for the benchmark this year.  Travel, miners and autos are the strongest sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Proximus shares rise as much as 6.5% after the company said it’s started preliminary talks regarding a potential deal involving TeleSign, with a SPAC merger among options under consideration. Dr. Martens gains as much as 4.6% to the highest since Sept. 8 after being upgraded to overweight from equal- weight at Barclays, which says the stock’s de-rating is overdone. Husqvarna advances as much as 5.3% after the company upgraded financial targets ahead of its capital markets day, including raising the profit margin target to 13% from 10%. Wizz Air, Lufthansa and other travel shares were among the biggest gainers as the sector rebounded after Tuesday’s losses; at a conference Wizz Air’s CEO reiterated expansion plans. Wizz Air gains as much as 7.5%, Lufthansa as much as 6.8% Elis, Accor and other stocks in the French travel and hospitality sector also rise after the country’s government pledged to support an industry that’s starting to get hit by the latest Covid-19 wave. Pendragon climbs as much as 6.5% after the car dealer boosted its outlook after the company said a supply crunch in the new vehicle market wasn’t as bad as it had anticipated. UniCredit rises as much as 3.6%, outperforming the Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after Deutsche Bank added the stock to its “top picks” list alongside UBS, and Bank of Ireland, Erste, Lloyds and Societe Generale. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also soared, snapping a three-day losing streak, led by energy and technology shares, as traders assessed the potential impact from the omicron coronavirus variant and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.3% Wednesday. South Korea led regional gains after reporting strong export figures, which bolsters growth prospects despite record domestic Covid-19 cases. Hong Kong stocks also bounced back after falling Tuesday to their lowest level since September 2020. Asia’s stock benchmark rebounded from a one-year low, though sentiment remained clouded by lingering concerns on the omicron strain and Fed’s potentially faster tapering pace. Powell earlier hinted that the U.S. central bank will accelerate its asset purchases at its meeting later this month.  “A faster taper in the U.S. is still dependent on omicron not causing a big setback to the outlook in the next few weeks,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, adding that he expects the Fed’s policy rate “will still be low through next year, which should still enable good global growth which will benefit Asia.” Chinese equities edged up after the latest economic data showed manufacturing activity remained at relatively weak levels in November, missing economists’ expectations. Earlier, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said he’s fully confident in the nation’s economic growth in 2022 Japanese stocks rose, overcoming early volatility as traders parsed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which closed 0.4% higher after swinging between a gain of 0.9% and loss of 0.7% in the morning session. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.4% rise in the Nikkei 225, which similarly fluctuated. The Topix had dropped 4.8% over the previous three sessions due to concerns over the omicron virus variant. The benchmark fell 3.6% in November, its worst month since July 2020. “The market’s tolerance to risk is quite low at the moment, with people responding in a big way to the smallest bit of negative news,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo. “But the decline in Japanese equities was far worse than those of other developed markets, so today’s market may find a bit of calm.” U.S. shares tumbled Tuesday after Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation In rates, bonds trade heavy, as yield curves bear-flatten. Treasuries extended declines with belly of the curve cheapening vs wings as traders continue to price in additional rate-hike premium over the next two years. Treasury yields were cheaper by up to 5bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by ~5.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 1.48%, cheaper by ~4bp, while gilts lag by additional 2bp in the sector. The short-end of the gilt curve markedly underperforms bunds and Treasuries with 2y yields rising ~11bps near 0.568%. Peripheral spreads widen with belly of the Italian curve lagging. The flattening Treasury yield curve “doesn’t suggest imminent doom for the equity market in and of itself,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., said on Bloomberg Television. “Alarm bells go off in terms of recession” when the curve gets closer to inverting, she said. In FX, the Turkish lira had a wild session, offered in early London trade before fading. USD/TRY dropped sharply to lows of 12.4267 on reports of central bank FX intervention due to “unhealthy price formations” before, once again, fading TRY strength after comments from Erdogan. The rest of G-10 FX is choppy; commodity currencies retain Asia’s bid tone, havens are sold: the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower, as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers. The euro moved in a narrow range and Bund yields followed U.S. yields higher. The pound advanced as risk sentiment stabilized with focus still on news about the omicron variant. The U.K. 10-, 30-year curve flirted with inversion as gilts flattened, with money markets betting on 10bps of BOE tightening this month for the first time since Friday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced as rising commodity prices fuel demand from exporters and leveraged funds. Better-than-expected growth data also aided the Aussie, with GDP expanding by 3.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating the 3% estimated by economists. Austrian lawmakers extended a nationwide lockdown for a second 10-day period to suppress the latest wave of coronavirus infections before the Christmas holiday period.  The yen declined by the most among the Group-of-10 currencies as Powell’s comments renewed focus on yield differentials. 10-year yields rose ahead of Thursday’s debt auction In commodities, crude futures rally. WTI adds over 4% to trade on a $69-handle, Brent recovers near $72.40 after Goldman said overnight that oil had gotten extremely oversold. Spot gold fades a pop higher to trade near $1,785/oz. Base metals trade well with LME copper and nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.2% to 4,620.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 467.58 MXAP up 0.9% to 191.52 MXAPJ up 1.1% to 626.09 Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,935.62 Topix up 0.4% to 1,936.74 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 23,658.92 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,576.89 Sensex up 1.0% to 57,656.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,235.85 Kospi up 2.1% to 2,899.72 Brent Futures up 4.2% to $72.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,778.93 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.98 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1326 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday, the first direct contact between officials of the two countries in weeks as tensions grow amid western fears Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine Oil rebounded from a sharp drop on speculation that recent deep losses were excessive and OPEC+ may on Thursday decide to pause hikes in production, with the abrupt reversal fanning already- elevated volatility The EU is set to recommend that member states review essential travel restrictions on a daily basis in the wake of the omicron variant, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg China is planning to ban companies from going public on foreign stock markets through variable interest entities, according to people familiar with the matter, closing a loophole long used by the country’s technology industry to raise capital from overseas investors Manufacturing activity in Asia outside China stabilized last month amid easing lockdown and border restrictions, setting the sector on course to face a possible new challenge from the omicron variant of the coronavirus Germany urgently needs stricter measures to check a surge in Covid-19 infections and protect hospitals from a “particularly dangerous situation,” according to the head of the country’s DIVI intensive-care medicine lobby. A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as regional bourses atoned for the prior day’s losses that were triggered by Omicron concerns, but with some of the momentum tempered by recent comments from Fed Chair Powell and mixed data releases including the miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was led lower by underperformance in consumer stocks and with utilities also pressured as reports noted that Shell and Telstra’s entrance in the domestic electricity market is set to ignite fierce competition and force existing players to overhaul their operations, although the losses in the index were cushioned following the latest GDP data which showed a narrower than feared quarterly contraction in Australia’s economy. Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) was on the mend after yesterday’s sell-off with the index helped by favourable currency flows and following a jump in company profits for Q3, while the KOSPI (+2.1%) was also boosted by strong trade data. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) were somewhat varied as a tech resurgence in Hong Kong overcompensated for the continued weakness in casinos stocks amid ongoing SunCity woes which closed all VIP gaming rooms in Macau after its Chairman's recent arrest, while the mood in the mainland was more reserved after a PBoC liquidity drain and disappointing Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data which fell short of estimates and slipped back into contraction territory. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid the gains in Japanese stocks and after the pullback in global fixed income peers in the aftermath of Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments, while a lack of BoJ purchases further contributed to the subdued demand for JGBs. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Bounce Back from One-Year Low Despite Looming Risks Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Shell Sees Hedge Funds Moving to LNG, Supporting Higher Prices Abe Warns China Invading Taiwan Would Be ‘Economic Suicide’ Bourses in Europe are firmer across the board (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) as the positive APAC sentiment reverberated into European markets. US equity futures are also on the front foot with the cyclical RTY (+2.0%) outpacing its peers: ES (+1.2%), NQ (+1.5%), YM (+0.8%). COVID remains a central theme for the time being as the Omicron variant is observed for any effects of concern – which thus far have not been reported. Analysts at UBS expect market focus to shift away from the variant and more towards growth and earnings. The analysts expect Omicron to fuse into the ongoing Delta outbreak that economies have already been tackling. Under this scenario, the desk expects some of the more cyclical markets and sectors to outperform. The desk also flags two tails risks, including an evasive variant and central bank tightening – particularly after Fed chair Powell’s commentary yesterday. Meanwhile, BofA looks for an over-10% fall in European stocks next year. Sticking with macro updates, the OECD, in their latest economic outlook, cut US, China, Eurozone growth forecasts for 2021 and 2022, with Omicron cited as a factor. Back to trade, broad-based gains are seen across European cash markets. Sectors hold a clear cyclical bias which consists of Travel & Leisure, Basic Resources, Autos, Retail and Oil & Gas as the top performers – with the former bolstered by the seemingly low appetite for coordination on restrictions and measures at an EU level – Deutsche Lufthansa (+6%) and IAG (+5.1%) now reside at the top of the Stoxx 600. The other side of the spectrum sees the defensive sectors – with Healthcare, Household Goods, Food & Beverages as the straddlers. In terms of induvial movers, German-listed Adler Group (+22%) following a divestment, whilst Blue Prism (+1.7%) is firmer after SS&C raised its offer for the Co. Top European News Wizz Says Travelers Are Booking at Shorter and Shorter Notice Turkey Central Bank Intervenes in FX Markets to Stabilize Lira Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Former ABG Sundal Collier Partner Starts Advisory Firm In FX, the Dollar remains mixed against majors, but well off highs prompted by Fed chair Powell ditching transitory from the list of adjectives used to describe inflation and flagging that a faster pace of tapering will be on the agenda at December’s FOMC. However, the index is keeping tabs on the 96.000 handle and has retrenched into a tighter 95.774-96.138 range, for the time being, as trade remains very choppy and volatility elevated awaiting clearer medical data and analysis on Omicron to gauge its impact compared to the Delta strain and earlier COVID-19 variants. In the interim, US macro fundamentals might have some bearing, but the bar is high before NFP on Friday unless ADP or ISM really deviate from consensus or outside the forecast range. Instead, Fed chair Powell part II may be more pivotal if he opts to manage hawkish market expectations, while the Beige Book prepared for next month’s policy meeting could also add some additional insight. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP - Broad risk sentiment continues to swing from side to side, and currently back in favour of the high beta, commodity and cyclical types, so the Kiwi has bounced firmly from worst levels on Tuesday ahead of NZ terms of trade, the Aussie has pared a chunk of its declines with some assistance from a smaller than anticipated GDP contraction and the Loonie is licking wounds alongside WTI in advance of Canadian building permits and Markit’s manufacturing PMI. Similarly, Sterling has regained some poise irrespective of relatively dovish remarks from BoE’s Mann and a slender downward revision to the final UK manufacturing PMI. Nzd/Usd is firmly back above 0.6800, Aud/Usd close to 0.7150 again, Usd/Cad straddling 1.2750 and Cable hovering on the 1.3300 handle compared to circa 0.6772, 0.7063, 1.2837 and 1.3195 respectively at various fairly adjacent stages yesterday. JPY/EUR/CHF - All undermined by the aforementioned latest upturn in risk appetite or less angst about coronavirus contagion, albeit to varying degrees, as the Yen retreats to retest support sub-113.50, Euro treads water above 1.1300 and Franc straddles 0.9200 after firmer than forecast Swiss CPI data vs a dip in the manufacturing PMI. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are recovering following yesterday’s COVID and Powell-induced declines in the run-up to the OPEC meetings later today. The complex has also been underpinned by the reduced prospects of coordinated EU-wide restrictions, as per the abandonment of the COVID video conference between EU leaders. However, OPEC+ will take centre stage over the next couple of days, with a deluge of source reports likely as OPEC tests the waters. The case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening. There have been major supply and demand developments since the prior meeting. The recent emergence of the Omicron COVID variant and coordinated release of oil reserves have shifted the balance of expectations relative to earlier in the month (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite). In terms of the schedule, the OPEC meeting is slated for 13:00GMT/08:00EST followed by the JTC meeting at 15:00GMT/10:00EST, whilst tomorrow sees the JMMC meeting at 12:00GMT/07:00EST; OPEC+ meeting at 13:00GMT/08:00EST. WTI Jan has reclaimed a USD 69/bbl handle (vs USD 66.20/bbl low) while Brent Feb hovers around USD 72.50/bbl (vs low USD 69.38/bbl) at the time of writing. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver trade with modest gains and largely in tandem with the Buck. Spot gold failed to sustain gains above the cluster of DMAs under USD 1,800/oz (100 DMA at USD 1,792/oz, 200 DMA at USD 1,791/oz, and 50 DMA at USD 1,790/oz) – trader should be aware of the potential for a technical Golden Cross (50 DMA > 200 DMA). Turning to base metals, copper is supported by the overall risk appetite, with the LME contract back above USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Chinese coking coal and coke futures rose over 5% apiece, with traders citing disrupted supply from Mongolia amid the COVID outbreak in the region. US Event Calendar 7am: Nov. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 1.8% 8:15am: Nov. ADP Employment Change, est. 525,000, prior 571,000 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10am: Oct. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.4%, prior -0.5% 10am: Nov. ISM Manufacturing, est. 61.2, prior 60.8 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Nov. Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 13.4m, prior 13m Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before House Panel on CARES Act Relief DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap If you’re under 10 and reading this there’s a spoiler alert today in this first para so please skip beyond and onto the second. Yes my heart broke a little last night as my little 6-year old Maisie said to me at bedtime that “Santa isn’t real is he Daddy?”. I lied (I think it’s a lie) and said yes he was. I made up an elaborate story about how when we renovated our 100 year old house we deliberately kept the chimney purely to let Santa come down it once a year. Otherwise why would we have kept it? She then asked what about her friend who lives in a flat? I tried to bluff my way through it but maybe my answer sounded a bit like my answers as to what will happen with Omicron. I’ll test both out on clients later to see which is more convincing. Before we get to the latest on the virus, given it’s the start of the month, we’ll shortly be publishing our November performance review looking at how different assets fared over the month just gone and YTD. It arrived late on but Omicron was obviously the dominant story and led to some of the biggest swings of the year so far. It meant that oil (which is still the top performer on a YTD basis) was the worst performer in our monthly sample, with WTI and Brent seeing their worst monthly performances since the initial wave of market turmoil over Covid back in March 2020. And at the other end, sovereign bonds outperformed in November as Omicron’s emergence saw investors push back the likelihood of imminent rate hikes from central banks. So what was shaping up to be a good month for risk and a bad one for bonds flipped around in injury time. Watch out for the report soon from Henry. Back to yesterday now, and frankly the main takeaway was that markets were desperate for any piece of news they could get their hands on about the Omicron variant, particularly given the lack of proper hard data at the moment. The morning started with a sharp selloff as we discussed at the top yesterday, as some of the more optimistic noises from Monday were outweighed by that FT interview, whereby Moderna’s chief executive had said that the existing vaccines wouldn’t be as effective against the new variant. Then we had some further negative news from Regeneron, who said that analysis and modelling of the Omicron mutations indicated that its antibody drug may not be as effective, but that they were doing further analysis to confirm this. However, we later got some comments from a University of Oxford spokesperson, who said that there wasn’t any evidence so far that vaccinations wouldn’t provide high levels of protection against severe disease, which coincided with a shift in sentiment early in the European afternoon as equities begun to pare back their losses. The CEO of BioNTech and the Israeli health minister expressed similar sentiments, noting that vaccines were still likely to protect against severe disease even among those infected by Omicron, joining other officials encouraging people to get vaccinated or get booster shots. Another reassuring sign came in an update from the EU’s ECDC yesterday, who said that all of the 44 confirmed cases where information was available on severity “were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.” After the close, the FDA endorsed Merck’s antiviral Covid pill. While it’s not clear how the pill interacts with Omicron, the proliferation of more Covid treatments is still good news as we head into another winter. The other big piece of news came from Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, where the main headline was his tapering comment that “It is appropriate to consider wrapping up a few months sooner.” So that would indicate an acceleration in the pace, which would be consistent with the view from our US economists that we’ll see a doubling in the pace of reductions at the December meeting that’s only two weeks from today. The Fed Chair made a forceful case for a faster taper despite lingering Omicron uncertainties, noting inflation is likely to stay elevated, the labour market has improved without a commensurate increase in labour supply (those sidelined because of Covid are likely to stay there), spending has remained strong, and that tapering was a removal of accommodation (which the economy doesn’t need more of given the first three points). Powell took pains to stress the risk of higher inflation, going so far as to ‘retire’ the use of the term ‘transitory’ when describing the current inflation outlook. So team transitory have seemingly had the pitch taken away from them mid match. The Chair left an exit clause that this outlook would be informed by incoming inflation, employment, and Omicron data before the December FOMC meeting. A faster taper ostensibly opens the door to earlier rate hikes and Powell’s comment led to a sharp move higher in shorter-dated Treasury yields, with the 2yr yield up +8.1bps on the day, having actually been more than -4bps lower when Powell began speaking. They were as low as 0.44% then and got as high as 0.57% before closing at 0.56%. 2yr yields have taken another leg higher overnight, increasing +2.5bps to 0.592%. Long-end yields moved lower though and failed to back up the early day moves even after Powell, leading to a major flattening in the yield curve on the back of those remarks, with the 2s10s down -13.7bps to 87.3bps, which is its flattest level since early January. Overnight 10yr yields are back up +3bps but the curve is only a touch steeper. My 2 cents on the yield curve are that the 2s10s continues to be my favourite US recession indicator. It’s worked over more cycles through history than any other. No recession since the early 1950s has occurred without the 2s10s inverting. But it takes on average 12-18 months from inversion to recession. The shortest was the covid recession at around 7 months which clearly doesn’t count but I think we were very late cycle in early 2020 and the probability of recession in the not too distant future was quite high but we will never know.The shortest outside of that was around 9 months. So with the curve still at c.+90bps we are moving in a more worrying direction but I would still say 2023-24 is the very earliest a recession is likely to occur (outside of a unexpected shock) and we’ll need a rapid flattening in 22 to encourage that. History also suggests markets tend to ignore the YC until it’s too late. So I wouldn’t base my market views in 22 on the yield curve and recession signal yet. However its something to look at as the Fed seemingly embarks on a tightening cycle in the months ahead. Onto markets and those remarks from Powell (along with the additional earlier pessimism about Omicron) proved incredibly unhelpful for equities yesterday, with the S&P 500 (-1.90%) giving up the previous day’s gains to close at its lowest level in over a month. It’s hard to overstate how broad-based this decline was, as just 7 companies in the entire S&P moved higher yesterday, which is the lowest number of the entire year so far and the lowest since June 11th, 2020, when 1 company ended in the green. Over in Europe it was much the same story, although they were relatively less affected by Powell’s remarks, and the STOXX 600 (-0.92%) moved lower on the day as well. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading higher though with the KOSPI (+2.02%), Hang Seng (+1.40%), the Nikkei (+0.37%), Shanghai Composite (+0.11%) and CSI (+0.09%) all in the green. Australia’s Q3 GDP contracted (-1.9% qoq) less than -2.7% consensus while India’s Q3 GDP grew at a firm +8.4% year-on-year beating the +8.3% consensus. In China the Caixin Manufacturing PMI for November came in at 49.9 against a 50.6 consensus. Futures markets are indicating a positive start to markets in US & Europe with the S&P 500 (+0.73%) and DAX (+0.44%) trading higher again. Back in Europe, there was a significant inflation story amidst the other headlines above, since Euro Area inflation rose to its highest level since the creation of the single currency, with the flash estimate for November up to +4.9% (vs. +4.5% expected). That exceeded every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, and core inflation also surpassed expectations at +2.6% (vs. +2.3% expected), again surpassing the all-time high since the single currency began. That’s only going to add to the pressure on the ECB, and yesterday saw Germany’s incoming Chancellor Scholz say that “we have to do something” if inflation doesn’t ease. European sovereign bonds rallied in spite of the inflation reading, with those on 10yr bunds (-3.1bps), OATs (-3.5bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) all moving lower. Peripheral spreads widened once again though, and the gap between Italian and German 10yr yields closed at its highest level in just over a year. Meanwhile governments continued to move towards further action as the Omicron variant spreads, and Greece said that vaccinations would be mandatory for everyone over 60 soon, with those refusing having to pay a monthly €100 fine. Separately in Germany, incoming Chancellor Scholz said that there would be a parliamentary vote on the question of compulsory vaccinations, saying to the Bild newspaper in an interview that “My recommendation is that we don’t do this as a government, because it’s an issue of conscience”. In terms of other data yesterday, German unemployment fell by -34k in November (vs. -25k expected). Separately, the November CPI readings from France at +3.4% (vs. +3.2% expected) and Italy at +4.0% (vs. +3.3% expected) surprised to the upside as well. In the US, however, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure in November fell to its lowest since February at 109.5 (vs. 110.9 expected), and the MNI Chicago PMI for November fell to 61.8 9vs. 67.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 07:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Frenzied Futures Rally Fizzles As All Eyes Turn To Fed"s Taper Announcement

Frenzied Futures Rally Fizzles As All Eyes Turn To Fed's Taper Announcement US futures and European bourses retreated slightly from record highs as investors weighed the ever worsening supply crunch and virus curbs in China against strong earnings with all eyes turning to the conclusion of the Fed's 2-day meeting tomorrow, when Powell will announce the launch of a $15BN/month taper. At 7:20 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.50 points, or 0.01%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 28.75 points, or 0.18%. Iron-ore futures tumbled on shrinking steal output in China. Tesla led premarket losses in New York. Investors paused to reflect on a rally that’s taken U.S. and European stocks to record highs. With a post-pandemic supply crunch stoking inflation and pushing central banks to tighten monetary policy, they have begun to question valuations. Economic recovery is also under strain as countries from China to Bulgaria report rising Covid cases. Both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow have been scaling new peaks as U.S. companies post another stellar quarter for earnings. Of the 295 companies in the equity benchmark that have reported results, 87% have either met or surpassed estimates. Dow futures slipped after the underlying gauge briefly surged past the 36,000 mark on Monday. Russell 2000 contracts rose. Bonds from Europe to the U.S. jumped after Australia signaled patience with rate increases despite abandoning Yield Curve Control due to "economic improvement." Yields on the two-year and five-year Treasuries fell as the RBA joined global central banks inching closer to policy tightening. However, the central bank’s insistence on remaining patient with rate hikes pushed traders to pare back hawkish bets in Australia as well as in global bond markets during European hours. “The Fed meeting could still shake the markets, because even though we know the concrete outcome of the meeting, which is the opening bell of the QE tapering, the risks remain tilted to the hawkish side,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “Still, investors prefer seeing the glass half full.” In early trading, Tesla tumbled 5%, retreating from a gamma-squeeze record on Monday after Elon Musk said the carmaker hasn’t yet signed a contract with Hertz Global for Model 3 sedans. Chegg slumped 32% after the online-education company cut revenue forecasts and its results missed estimates, prompting a raft of downgrades. Clorox rose 1.6% after the bleach maker posted upbeat first-quarter results. Simon Property Group added 4.2% after the mall operator raised its 2021 forecast for profit and quarterly dividend. Pfizer gained 2.4% after the drugmaker boosted (get it "boosted"?) its full-year sales forecast for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine to $36 billion. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Tesla drops as much as 6.9% in premarket trading after closing at a record on Monday after Elon Musk said the electric vehicle-maker hasn’t yet signed a contract with Hertz Global. Chegg slumps 31% after the online education company slashed revenue forecasts and posted quarterly results that missed estimates. Novavax gains 5.3%, signaling an extension of Monday’s 16% rally, amid optimism over Covid vaccine approvals. Triterras tumbles as much as 20% after the short seller target said it encountered an “unanticipated delay in the finalization” of an independent audit of its financial statements. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries depositary receipts rise 7.7% and Endo International (ENDP US) gains 6.3% after the firms joined other former opioid makers in scoring a litigation win. Geron gains 4.5% and and SAB Bio (SABS US) soars 39% after Baird starts coverage of both with outperform ratings. Cryptocurrency-related stocks gained in premarket trading on Tuesday, as Bitcoin climbed and Etherium hit a record high.    NXT-ID up 38.18% premarket, Marathon Digital +4.0%, Riot Blockchain +2.9%, Bit Digital +2.5%, Canaan +3.2%, Coinbase +2.0%, MicroStrategy +1.5% While stocks continue to trade in a world of their own, just shy of all time highs, bond and currency markets are bracing for the Fed to announce a tapering of asset purchases as an initial step to eventually raising interest rates to contain inflation. Equity markets, on the other hand, are focusing on earnings growth and valuations. Meanwhile, mixed data on the global economic revival is further clouding the picture as the pandemic is making a comeback in parts of the world. “We expect volatility in financial markets to remain high as not only the Fed, but other central banks around the world, extract liquidity to combat the rise in inflation,” Lon Erickson, portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management, wrote in a note. Despite Fed rhetoric, “we’ve started to see the market price in earlier policy rate moves, perhaps losing confidence in the ‘transitory’ nature of inflation.” In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.1% from a record reached on Monday, led lower by miners and travel companies. Spain's IBEX and the UK FTSE 100 dropped 0.6%. DAX outperforms. BP dropped 2.8% in London even as the oil giant announced an additional $1.25 billion buyback. HelloFresh jumped 14%, the most this year, after the German meal-kit company raised its full-year outlook. Basic-materials stocks were the weakest of 20 sector indexes in Europe as falling iron ore and steel prices weigh on miners and steel producers. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: HelloFresh shares surge as much as 16%, their best day since Dec. 2020, with analysts positive on the meal-kit maker’s guidance hike. Jefferies says that the company’s 3Q results included “little not to like.” Demant shares rise as much as 6.5%, the most intraday since March 23, after the hearing-aid maker raised its earnings forecast and topped estimates. Fresenius SE shares gain as much as 6.5% after reporting 3Q earnings slightly ahead of analyst estimates, with Jefferies saying the focus lies on the company’s cost-savings efforts and future plans for Kabi. Fresenius Medical shares up as much as 4.5% after posting 3Q earnings. Company’s FY22 recovery is “key to share price development from here,” according to Jefferies. Sinch shares drop as much as 17%, the most on record, after reporting 3Q results which showed organic growth slowing down, a trend Handelsbanken expects to worsen. Standard Chartered shares fall as much as 9.5%, the most since March 2020, as the lender’s third-quarter margins disappointed amid suppressed Asia rates and analysts flagged weakness in its retail operations. Flutter shares drop as much as 9% in London, the most intraday since March 2020, after the gaming company cut its profit outlook on unfavorable sporting results and a regulatory change in the Netherlands. Analysts expect ex-U.S. earnings consensus to fall. Steel makers underperform, with Kloeckner -5.3%, ArcelorMittal -2.9%, ThyssenKrupp -2.5%, Salzgitter -2.5% Asian stocks dipped, led by Chinese shares on concerns about the impact of measures to curb Covid-19 infections, while financials underperformed ahead of key central bank decisions this week. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased earlier gains of as much as 0.4% to fall 0.2% in afternoon trading. Blue-chip financial stocks including China Merchants Bank and Westpac Banking were among the biggest drags. Traders are focused on this week’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting amid concerns about elevated inflation. Sentiment turned sour after authorities in Beijing halted classes at 18 schools amid Covid-19 resurgence. China’s benchmark CSI 300 Index fell 1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index reversed an earlier gain of 1.9% to close in negative territory.  China’s CSI 300 Index falls by as much as 1.9% after Beijing’s suspension of classes across 18 schools heightened concerns over the impact of the recent Covid-19 outbreak. China Tourism Group Duty Free slumped as much as 9.8%, the worst performer in the benchmark and one of its biggest drags. The Shanghai Composite Index also extends decline to 1.9% while the ChiNext Index pares a 1.2% gain to trade little changed. “Investors are worried that Beijing’s virus measures may cool down China’s economic activities and hamper its recovery,” said Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. Asian stocks rose on Monday, a turnaround after a drop of 1.5% during last week, the worst such performance since early October. Shares have been whipsawed by ongoing concern over supply-chain constraints impacting industries such as technology and auto making. Investors are also parsing through earnings data, with more than half of the companies on MSCI’s Asia gauge having reported results.  “At this level, it can be said that investors are no longer pessimistic but are not yet hopeful either,” Olivier d’Assier, head of APAC applied research at Qontigo, wrote in a note.  Japanese stocks fell, halting a two-day rally, as some investors adjusted positions after the market jumped yesterday.  The Topix index slid 0.6% to 2,031.67 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.4% to 29,520.90.  Mitsui & Co. contributed most to the Topix’s loss, decreasing 4%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 538 rose and 1,583 fell, while 60 were unchanged. Both the Topix and Nikkei 225 gained more than 2% on Monday after the ruling coalition secured an election victory that was better than many had expected. Japan’s stock market will be closed Wednesday for a national holiday. Australian stocks slide, with the S&P/ASX 200 index falling 0.6% to close at 7,324.30, after the Reserve Bank of Australia abandoned a bond-yield target, following an acceleration in inflation that spurred traders to price in higher borrowing costs. Banks and miners slumped, while real estate and consumer discretionary stocks climbed. Goodman Group was the biggest gainer after the company raised its full-year guidance. Insurance Australia Group tumbled after the firm cut its reported insurance margin forecast for the full year.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 12,992.50. In rates, Treasuries were higher across both the front-end and belly of the curve, led by bull-steepening gains across European bonds with peripherals outperforming. Treasury yields were lower by 2bp-3bp across front-end of the curve, steepening 2s10s by that amount with 10-year little changed around 1.55%; German 10-year is lower by ~4bp, U.K. by ~1bp. Aussie front-end rallied during Asia session after the RBA abandoned its yield target but maintained its bond buying pace; euro-zone money markets subsequently pared the amount of ECB policy tightening that’s priced in. European fixed income rallied with curves bull steepening. Belly of the German curve outperforms, trading ~2-3bps richer to gilts and USTs respectively. Peripheral spreads tighten; long-end Italy outperforms, narrowing ~6bps near 170bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched up and the greenback advanced versus all its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen; Treasury yields fell by up to 3bps as the curve bull- steepened. The euro hovered around $1.16 while Italian bonds and bunds jumped, snapping three days of declines and tracking short-end Australian debt. The Australian dollar declined against all Group-of-10 peers and Australian short-end bond yields fell after the central bank dispensed with its bond-yield target and damped expectations of interest-rate hikes.  One-week volatility in the Australian dollar dropped a second day as spot pulls back from its 200-DMA of 0.7556 after the central bank’s policy decision. The pound fell for a third day, to nearly a three-week low, as investors weighed up the possibilities for the Bank of England’s policy meeting on Thursday. The yen strengthened ahead of a local holiday in Japan and amid souring market sentiment. In commodities, crude futures hold a narrow range with WTI near $84 and Brent stalling near $85. Spot gold drift close to $1,795/oz. The base and ferrous metals complex remains under pressure: LME nickel and zinc drop ~1%, iron ore down over 6%. Looking at the day ahead now, and the data highlights include the October manufacturing PMIs for the Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy. Central bank speakers will include the ECB’s Elderson and de Cos, whilst today’s earnings releases include Pfizer, T-Mobile, Estee Lauder and Amgen. Finally, there are US gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Virginia is the more interesting race from a macro perspective: a big, diverse state that has bounced between Democratic and Republican candidates on the national stage. So it could provide the first read of American voter sentiment heading into next year’s mid-terms. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,605.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 477.90 MXAP down 0.2% to 198.29 MXAPJ down 0.2% to 646.50 Nikkei down 0.4% to 29,520.90 Topix down 0.6% to 2,031.67 Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 25,099.67 Shanghai Composite down 1.1% to 3,505.63 Sensex down 0.3% to 59,984.88 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 7,324.32 Kospi up 1.2% to 3,013.49 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.14% Euro little changed at $1.1603 Brent Futures up 0.5% to $85.17/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,791.04 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.89 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve policy makers are expected to announce this week that they will start scaling back their massive asset-purchase program amid greater concern over inflation, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said President Emmanuel Macron backed away from his imminent threat to punish the U.K. for restricting the access of French fishing boats to British waters, saying he would give negotiations more time The Reserve Bank of Australia’s dovish policy statement and downplaying of the inflation threat is likely to reignite a steepening of the yield curve from near the flattest in a year. The spread between three- and 10-year yields jumped as much as 10 basis points on Tuesday after central bank Governor Philip Lowe cooled expectations for any near-term interest-rate increase even though the RBA scrapped its yield- curve control policy A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed as upcoming risk events kept participants cautious and offset the momentum from the US, where stocks began the month on the front foot in a continuation of recent advances to lift the major indices to fresh record highs. Nonetheless, ASX 200 (-0.6%) was pressured by underperformance in the top-weighted financials sector and notable weakness in mining names, while quasi holiday conditions due to the Melbourne Cup in Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria and the crucial RBA policy announcement in which it maintained the Cash Rate Target at 0.10% but dropped the April 2024 government bond yield target and tweaked its guidance, further added to the cautious mood. Nikkei 225 (-0.4%) was lacklustre as it took a breather from the prior day’s surge after stalling just shy of the 29,600 level and with the index not helped by a slight reversal of the recent beneficial currency flows. Hang Seng (-0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.4%) were varied as the former initially atoned for yesterday’s losses led by strength in tech and biotech including Alibaba shares with its Singles Day sales event underway. In addition, Hong Kong participants were seemingly unfazed by the recent weaker than expected GDP for Q3 as the data showed it narrowly averted a technical recession, although the gains were later wiped out and the mainland suffered following another substantial liquidity drain and with Chinese commodity prices pressured including iron futures which hit limit down. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat with price action muted despite the subdued mood for Tokyo stocks and with the presence of the BoJ in the market for over JPY 1tln of JGBs in mostly 1yr-5yr maturities, doing little to spur demand. Top Asian News Bank of Korea Minutes Show Majority Sees Need for Rate Hike China’s Gas Prices Are Surging Just as Coal Market Cools Off China Shares Fall as Shut Schools Spark Concern on Virus Curbs SMBC Nikko Is Working With Securities Watchdog on Investigation Bourses in Europe have now adopted more of a mixed picture (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%; Stoxx 600 -0.2%) Stoxx 600 following the lacklustre cash open and downbeat APAC handover. US equity futures meanwhile are somewhat mixed with the RTY (+0.2%) narrowly outperforming the ES (-0.1%), YM (Unch), and NQ (-0.2%) – with the latter also seeing some pressure from Tesla (-6.0% pre-market) after CEO Musk said no deal was signed yet with Hertz and that a deal would have zero impact on Tesla's economics. Back to Europe, a divergence is evident with the DAX 40 (+0.4%) outpacing amid post-earnings gains from HelloFresh (+14%), Fresenius SE (+4.6%) and Fresenius Medical Care (+2.0%). The FTSE 100 (-0.5%) meanwhile lags with the Dec futures and cash both under 7,250 – with the index pressured by heft losses in some of its heaviest sectors. Basic resources sit at the foot of the bunch due to softer base metal prices across the board, which saw Dalian iron ore futures hit limit down at least twice in the overnight session. Travel & Leisure closely follows as sector heavyweight Flutter Entertainment (~23% weighting) slipped after cutting guidance. Oil & Gas and Banks closely follow due to the recent declines in crude (and BP post-earnings) and yields respectively. On the flip side, some of the more defensive sectors stand at the top of the leader board with Healthcare and Food & Beverages the current winners. In terms of other individual movers, THG (-6.1%) resides near the bottom of the Stoxx 600 second-largest shareholder BlackRock (9.5% stake) is reportedly planning to sell 55mln shares equating to around 4% of its holding. It’s also worth noting Apple (-0.1% pre-market) has reportedly reduced iPad production to feed chips to the iPhone 13, according to Nikkei sources; iPad production was reportedly -50% from Apple's original plans, sources added. In terms of broad equity commentary, Credit Suisse remains overweight value in Europe, whilst raising US small caps to overnight and reducing the UK to underweight. Looking at the rationale, CS notes that European value tend to outperform while inflation expectations or Bund yields rise. US small caps meanwhile have underperformed almost all macro drivers, whilst earnings momentum takes a turn for the better. Finally, CS argues UK small caps are much more cyclical than large caps and could face further tailwinds from UK’s macro landscape and with some tightening potentially on the table this week. Top European News BP Grows Buyback as Profit Rises on Higher Prices, Trading Ferrexpo Drops as Credit Suisse Downgrades on Lower Pricing OPEC+ Gets a Warning From Japan Before Key Supply Meeting THG Extends Decline as Key Shareholder BlackRock Reduces Stake In FX, the Aussie has reversed even more sharply from its recent core inflation and yield induced highs in wake of the RBA policy meeting overnight and confirmation of the moves/tweaks most were expecting. To recap, YCT was officially withdrawn after the Bank allowed the 3 year target rate to soar through the 0.1% ceiling and guidance on rates being held at the same level until 2024, at the earliest, was also withdrawn and replaced by a more flexible or conditional timeframe when inflation is sustainably in the 2-3% remit range. However, Governor Lowe retained a decidedly dovish tone in the aftermath, pushing back against more aggressive market pricing for tightening and stressing that it is entirely plausible that the first increase in the Cash Rate will not be before the maturity of the current April 2024 target bond, though it is also plausible that a hike could be appropriate in 2023 and there is genuine uncertainty as to the timing of future adjustments in the Cash Rate. Aud/Usd is now closer to 0.7450 than 0.7550 and the Aud/Nzd cross nearer 1.0400 than the round number above with added weight applied by weakness in copper and iron ore prices especially (latter hit limit down on China’s Dallian exchange). Meanwhile, the Kiwi also felt some contagion after a drop in NZ building consents and as attention turns to the Q3 HLFS report, with Nzd/Usd eyeing 0.7150 having got to within pips of 0.7200 only yesterday. EUR/DXY - Technical forces seem to be having an influence on direction in Eur/Usd amidst somewhat mixed Eurozone manufacturing PMIs as the headline pair topped out precisely or pretty much bang on a 50% retracement of the reversal from 1.1692 to 1.1535 at 1.1613 and subsequently probed the 21 DMA that comes in at 1.1598 today. Moreover, the Euro appears reliant on hefty option expiry interest for support given 1.9 bn rolling off at 1.1585 if it cannot reclaim 1.1600+ status, as the Dollar regroups and trades firmer against most majors, bar the Yen. Indeed, in stark contrast to Monday, the index has bounced off a marginally deeper sub-94.000 low between tight 93.818-985 confines, albeit in cautious, choppy pre-FOMC mood. CHF/CAD/GBP - No traction for the Franc via firmer than forecast Swiss CPI or a faster pace of consumption, while the Loonie is on the defensive ahead of Canadian building permits and Sterling is still on a softer footing awaiting the BoE on Thursday alongside what could be a make or break meeting in France where UK Brexit Minister Frost is due to tackle the fishing dispute face-to-face with Secretary of State for European Affairs Beaune. Usd/Chf is straddling 0.9100, Usd/Cad is hovering around 1.2400, Cable pivots 1.3650 and Eur/Gbp is probing 0.8500. JPY - As noted above, the Yen is bucking the broad G10 trend with gains vs the Greenback amidst appreciably softer US Treasury and global bond yields, as Usd/Jpy retreats from 114.00+ peaks to test support circa 113.50. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are moving sideways ahead of the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday, whereby expectations are skewed towards an unwind of current curbs by 400k BPD despite outside pressure for the group to further open the taps. Ministers, including de-facto heads Russia and Saudi, have been vocal in their support towards a maintained pace of production hikes. There have also been reports of Angola and Nigeria struggling to keep up with the output hikes, which may further dissuade the producer to further ramp up output. The morning also saw macro commentary from BP, whereby the CFO suggested global oil demand has returned to levels above 100mln BPD. The Co. expects oil prices to be supported by continued inventory draw-down, with the potential for additional demand from gas to oil switching. OPEC+ decision making on production levels continues to be a key factor in oil prices and market rebalancing. Gas markets were very strong in the quarter and BP expect the market to remain tight during the period of peak winter demand. In the fourth quarter industry refining margins are expected to be lower compared to the third quarter driven by seasonal demand. WTI Dec trades on either side of USD 84/bbl and Brent on either side of USD 85/bbl. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are relatively flat with the former in close proximity to its 200 DMA (1,790/oz), 100 DMA (1,785/oz), 50 DMA (1,780/oz) and 21 DMA (1,778/oz). Over to base metals, Dalian iron ore futures were in focus overnight after prices hit limit down at least twice and nearly hit 1yr lows amid high supply and lower demand, with the latter namely a function of China cutting steel output forecasts. LME copper meanwhile has clambered off worst levels (USD 9,430/t) but remains just under USD 9,500/t as prices track sentiment. US Event Calendar Oct. Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 12.5mm, prior 12.2mm DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The RBA press conference is still going onas we type this but the key outcome has been that they’ve abandoned the 0.1% target for the April 2024 bond. However they seem to be making it clear in the presser that their expectation is only that rate hikes might creep into 2023 rather than 2024 previously. The governor has said that market expectations of hikes in 2022 are “a complete overreaction to recent inflation data”. So they are trying to pull back the market expectations that ran away from them last week. The reality is that they’ll now be hostage to the data. They don’t expect inflation to be a big problem going forward but time will tell. Yield moves have been relatively subdued but are generally lower with a small steepening seen. 2y (-0.2bps), 3y (-4.5bps) and 5y (-3.3bps) are falling but with the 10y (+0.3bps) steadier. Ahead of the RBA, risk assets got the month off to a strong start as investors awaited tomorrow’s all-important Federal Reserve meeting conclusion. However there was little sign of caution in equities as a range of global indices advanced to all-time records yesterday, including the S&P 500 (+0.18%), the NASDAQ (+0.63%), the STOXX 600 (+0.71%), and the MSCI World Index (+0.50%). Energy (+1.59%) and consumer discretionary (+1.46%) were the clear outperformers in the S&P, with Tesla (+8.49%) doing a lot of the work of boosting the latter sector. While it’s a busy week for earnings, only 2 S&P companies reported during trading hours yesterday, so it didn’t materially drive sentiment. 11 more companies reported after hours, with 7 beating earnings estimates. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones actually crossed the 36,000 mark in trading for the first time. Readers of a certain age may remember an infamous book published in 1999 called “Dow 36,000” during the dot com bubble, which predicted the Dow would more than triple over the next 3-5 years to that level. In reality, even the half way mark of 18k wasn’t reached until late-2014, and of course it took 22 years to get to yesterday’s 36k milestone. So a good case study of the heady optimism many had back then. We’ll see if yesterday’s milestones are the first step on the path to Dow 100k, but one asset inching its way to $100 in oil, with yesterday seeing a fresh recovery in many commodity prices after their declines last week. Both WTI (+0.57%) and Brent crude (+0.39%) posted gains, with copper (+0.58%) also seeing a modest advance. Agricultural prices set fresh records, with wheat prices (+3.17%) climbing above $8/bushel in intraday trading for the first time since 2012. It may be a pretty busy macro week with the Fed, BoE and the US jobs report, but the OPEC+ meeting on output this Thursday could also be a vital one for the global economy in light of the resurgence in energy prices lately. We’ve already heard some frustration at the group from a number of countries, with President Biden saying this Sunday at the G20 that “I do think that the idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia and other major producers are not gonna pump more oil so people can have gasoline to get to and from work for example, is … not right”. So one to keep an eye on, with potentially big implications for inflation and hence central banks. Staying on an inflation theme, investors got a further glimpse of ongoing supply chain issues from the ISM manufacturing print as well yesterday. The overall reading for October actually came in slightly above expectations at 60.8 (vs. 60.5 expected), but the prices paid order similarly rose to 85.7 (vs. 82.0 expected) in its second successive monthly increase. Bear in mind it’s been above the 80 mark for all but one month so far this year, and there were further signs of supply-chain issues from the supplier delivery time measure, which hit a 5-month high of 75.6. With markets attuned to inflation and the potential for plenty of central bank action this week, sovereign bonds came under further pressure yesterday on both sides of the Atlantic, even if they finished well off the yield highs. Yields on 10yr Treasuries ended the session up +0.7 bps to 1.56%, which comes as markets are almost pricing an initial full hike from the Fed by the time of their June 2022 meeting. However we were off the day’s high of 1.60%. Meanwhile in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (+0.4 bps), OATs (+0.3 bps) and gilts (+2.8 bps) moved higher as well, but interestingly we also saw peripheral sovereign bond spreads closing in on their highest levels for some time. Indeed by the close of trade yesterday, the gap between Italian (+4.4 bps) and Spanish (+2.2 bps) 10yr yields over bunds had widened to their biggest level in almost a year. Meanwhile, 10yr breakevens widened +4.5 bps in the UK and +2.0 bps in Germany. US breakevens were the outlier, narrowing -7.5 bps to 2.51% and now -18.0 bps below the highs reached just a week ago. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 (-0.56%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.62%) are trading lower, while the Hang Seng (+0.74%) and the KOSPI (+1.36%) are edging higher. Some of the news weighing on Chinese stocks are surging gas prices, which reached a record high today. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 futures (-0.22%) is down this morning and the 10y US Treasury is at 1.55% (-0.9bps). Heads of state gave their opening salvos at COP26 yesterday. The biggest commitment came from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the world’s third-biggest emitter will have zero net pollution by 2070, while also making more near-term commitments to increase reliance on non-fossil fuel energy sources. Looking at yesterday’s other data, German retail sales unexpectedly fell by -2.5% in September (vs. +0.4% expected). However, the final UK manufacturing PMI for October was revised up a tenth from the flash reading to 57.8. Over in the US though, there was a downward revision to 58.4 (vs. flash 59.2). To the day ahead now, and the data highlights include the October manufacturing PMIs for the Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy. Central bank speakers will include the ECB’s Elderson and de Cos, whilst today’s earnings releases include Pfizer, T-Mobile, Estee Lauder and Amgen. Finally, there are US gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Virginia is the more interesting race from a macro perspective: a big, diverse state that has bounced between Democratic and Republican candidates on the national stage. So it could provide the first read of American voter sentiment heading into next year’s mid-terms. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 07:52.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions

Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and showcases expert insights on what’s to come in 2022. Inflation is not normal right now—that is something no one is disputing. Core inflation was up 4% year-over-year last month, double what the Federal Reserve has […] The post Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions appeared first on RISMedia. Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and showcases expert insights on what’s to come in 2022. Inflation is not normal right now—that is something no one is disputing. Core inflation was up 4% year-over-year last month, double what the Federal Reserve has set as a target, and overall inflation hit an alarming 5.4% in September. Essential items like groceries, energy and rent have all spiked, causing concern across broad swaths of the economy. Though many pundits have disputed the Fed’s assertion that this inflation is “transitory,” economists and other experts who spoke to RISMedia predicted that barring catastrophic, unforeseen new developments or a significant regression in the fight against the pandemic, the current path of inflation will not immediately upend the real estate industry—though inventory issues make take some time to resolve and broader policy shifts could have long-term ramifications for housing. “I expect demand to remain strong,” says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). “We expect to be at normal levels .” Amid a world-wide supply chain crunch and a historically hot housing market, the sharp rise in inflation is actually not even one of the biggest concerns for real estate professionals going forward. Delays in building new homes—something only partially attributable to inflation and the supply chain—is likely to have a larger impact and last longer, the economists say, even if the Fed misses its goal of 2% inflation by the middle of next year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank will begin tapering its bond purchases starting as early as this year and could start raising interest rates if inflation remains at a concerning level, with more clarity expected following the board’s next meeting on Nov. 3. Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Seattle-based independent brokerage Windermere, says that the top-level data and inflation numbers are actually not offering an appropriate, contextual picture of what is going on. He adds that rather than looking at year-over-year numbers, using an annualized comparison to February of 2020—before the onset of the pandemic—can give a more accurate reading of current inflation concerns. “It is kind of silly to look at year-over-year comparisons because they’re not informative. And they’re not informative because, look at where we were last year,” he says. “If you go back to February of last year, the compounded annual growth rate is not 4%, it’s 3%.” “So that’s better, but it’s still not good,” he admits. If you subtract one of the most extreme outliers in price increases—namely used cars which have risen close to 30%—you can get the inflation rate down to about 2.2%. “Really not terrible,” he says. This angle might help reassure people who are worried that the country is on track for any kind of runaway hyper-inflation. But there are still many questions and uncertainties that will need to be resolved in the months ahead. Jeff Cohen is an economist and professor at the University of Connecticut. He says he is less convinced that inflation will simply return to the extremely stable pattern it has held over the last decade even once supply chain and pandemic disruptions are resolved—something that optimistically could happen by the end of next year. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be gone forever,” he warns. The Fed’s plan is far from set in stone, Cohen says, and any prediction they have made publicly or any policy that is implemented could easily be dropped depending on the month-to-month progress of the economy and the pandemic. One of his biggest concerns is the rising cost of rentals, Cohen says, which he predicts will either continue their sharp increases seen over the last couple months or at best, flatten out. Pressure on the rental markets caused by competition and the market power of institutional investors will not be solved without policy shifts and big investments in affordable housing, according to Cohen. “I don’t see them going down in the near future, just because there is a national shortage of affordable housing,” he says. From a broader numbers standpoint, Gardner says he is slightly less optimistic about inflation compared to the Fed’s broad predictions (he advises the Philadelphia branch of the bank), predicting that core inflation will peak around 5% in the first quarter of next year and not reach the target of 2% or 2.5% until the end of 2022. This is not likely to deeply affect the real estate market, though, as even a moderate increase in interest rates will fail to dampen demand for homes. The resilience of the real estate market against even significant inflationary growth can be attributed both to the fundamental principle that real estate investment is a hedge against inflation, Gardner says, along with the particular (and unprecedented) current market conditions. Brooke Dalzell is the vice president of Minute Mortgage in Arizona. She says inflation does not so far seem to be influencing people one way or another and the demand for mortgages remains red-hot. The anticipation that the Fed will begin tapering bond purchases and increasing interest rates is also not causing any significant alarm among consumers, with refinances down but new mortgages holding steady. “From a purchase standpoint, I would say we are relatively stable,” she says. “People may see inflation rise so they may cut down on spending, but as far as mortgages—the only real relationship we see is between inflation and interest rates.” The Mortgage Bankers Association has predicted that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will hit 4% by the end of 2022 based on strong economic growth and the Fed’s plans. Dalzell says that no one can know for certain exactly where the rate will fall, but even significant increases likely will not fully stymie demand for homes. “I think the real question will be how long will inflation stay where it’s at,” she says. Evangelou says she believes part of the reason demand will slow but not falter despite the effects of inflation is the current demographic of homebuyers, who are both inelastic and zealous in their desire for homes. “Millenials are the largest cohort of homebuyers…they have all these lifestyle needs,” she says. Even in the incredibly competitive (and often over-priced) market for buyers, millennials were still buying homes, according to Evangelou, and will remain eager to do so regardless of things like mortgage rate and the price of gas and cars—at least within reason. Matt Cohen is a real estate agent for Brown Harris Stevens, focused mostly on the luxury market in New York City. He says that in his market, many upper-middle-class families have been saving money and remain eager to flex their buying power as other luxury goods remain scarce. “They can’t spend money because things are sold out, or it’s going to take a year for it to come back, or furniture is eight months delayed,” he says. “The one thing that people can do even if there is low inventory is buy real estate.” Though the New York City luxury market might differ from much of the country, from that perspective of consumer confidence, Gardner agrees that inflation is unlikely to dissuade too many potential homebuyers. “Rising inflation is unlikely to offset demand given the expectation that mortgage rates are going to rise, and people just want to lock in that historically low rate if they haven’t already. The impacts are going to be felt in the new construction arena because of price,” he says. Construction and Hyperinflation If Fed policy and pandemic recovery is successful at calming the rate of inflation, that does not necessarily mean some of the pains that real estate is going through will be alleviated. The underlying cause—pandemic disruptions and specifically, a global supply chain meltdown—are not going to be solved on Wall Street or by the Fed. Some people have worried that the economy is on track for a scenario like what was seen in the late 1970s and early 80s, where the country reached double-digit “hyperinflation” sparked by an oil crisis and wartime spending. According to Gardner, the current situation is essentially nothing like that one. “There’s all manner of things that are different,” he says. “People see this and think we’re going back there again, and we’re not.” A large portion of the products, components and commodities that are squeezing prices higher have relatively short-term fixes, Gardner says. Either through corrections to the supply chain issues, or as other pandemic-related disruptions normalize, everything from computer chips to vegetables will start reaching stores or factories in (relatively) short order. This is in contrast to the late 1970s when the United States was heavily dependent on foreign oil and took a very different approach at the policy level. At the same time, Gardner says supply-chain issues are not going to be solved overnight, and even when they are, it might not immediately bring housing inventory to a level that can meet demand, which has been the most persistent problem of the last year or so for real estate. Labor shortages, regulatory fees, land costs and risk management are all going to hamper attempts by builders to put up enough homes to meet demand, according to Gardner, even if the price of lumber and other construction materials normalize. “There’s certainly a lot of impediments,” he says. The U.S. is at least 200,000 workers short in the home-building industry, he says. At the same time, a little-known census metric that measures the number of homes currently under construction (separate from “housing starts,” which have been down nearly the entire pandemic) is actually on the rise, which Gardner says could indicate the industry is maybe more on track to catch up in inventory. “So there’s a lot of different nuances to it. But simply speaking we’re still not building enough to meet demographically driven demand,” he admits. “I think there’s still a lot of pent-up demand that is still waiting on the sidelines.” Cohen says a recent drop in lumber prices can be seen as a “bright spot,” but warns that another very unpredictable and volatile metric on the rise—fuel costs—could quickly tighten pressure on builders even as other burdens are lifted. He also warns that acquiring land in certain markets, particularly in the west and northeast where the cost of land has always been extremely high and relatively inelastic, will prevent those areas from meeting demand—at least with traditional single-family homes. Likely builders will begin replacing traditional starter homes with multi-unit townhouses, condos or cluster developments, Cohen posits, which many local governments have facilitated by relaxing zoning restrictions. This is already happening in New England and can definitely help alleviate the housing crisis, he promises, but also creates problems of its own. “So that might be one way to resolve the supply issue in some ways, but not for the people who are looking for the starter home,” he says. “You can’t get into a bidding war like that , where the house is worth $500,000 but someone is offering $1.1 million because they’re just going to use the land to build a tremendous amount of units and then sell each one for $500,000.” Another new practice that is becoming more common due to supply shortages is people buying homes that have yet to be constructed—sometimes that haven’t even begun construction. Dalzell says she has seen that scenario become much more common in her market in Arizona, and Gardner says rising inflation—even short-lived inflation—could quickly create chaos for people involved in those transactions. “If my costs go up , I’m going to pass that directly on to you,” Gardner says. “I don’t know anyone that will want to buy a home when he’s not sure what the price is going to be.” Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 29th, 2021

Futures Slide On Stagflation Fears As 10Y Yields Spike

Futures Slide On Stagflation Fears As 10Y Yields Spike US index futures dropped after IBM and Tesla fell after their quarterly results, with investors turned cautious awaiting more reports to see the see the adverse impact of supply chain disruption and labor shortages on companies even as jitters remained over elevated inflation and the outlook for China’s property sector. The dollar reversed an overnight drop, while Treasuries fell pushing the 10Y yield to a 5-month high of 1.68%. At 745 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 98 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.31%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 49.25 points, or 0.32%. In the premarket, Tesla fell 1% in premarket trading as it said on Wednesday its upcoming factories and supply-chain headwinds would put pressure on its margins after it beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter revenue. AT&T rose 1% in pre-market trading after exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for profit and wireless subscriber growth. PayPal Holdings also climbed as it explores a $45 billion acquisition of social media company Pinterest Inc., in what could be the biggest technology deal of the year. Dow gained 1.1% after it posted a more than a five-fold jump in third-quarter profit as economic recovery boosted prices for chemicals. IBM plunged 4.7% after it missed market estimates for quarterly revenue as its managed infrastructure business suffered from a decline in orders. Some other notable premarket movers: Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) surges 30% after the blank-check company agreed to merge with Trump Media & Technology. Former U.S. President Donald Trump says the new company plans to start a social media firm called Truth Social. Denny’s (DENN US) rises 1.4% as the restaurant chain is upgraded to buy from hold at Truist Securities, which sees upside to 3Q estimates, partly due to expanding operating hours. ESS Tech (GWH US) adds 4.6% as Piper Sandler says the stock offers a compelling entry point for investors seeking exposure to energy storage, initiating coverage at overweight. As Bloomberg notes, corporate results have tempered but not dissipated worries that cost pressures could slow the pandemic recovery. Among S&P 500 companies that have disclosed results, 84% have posted earnings that topped expectations, a hair away from the best showing ever. Yet, the firms that surpassed profit forecasts got almost nothing to show for it in the market. And misses got punisheddearly, by the widest margin since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 2017. European equities faded early losses but remain in small negative territory. Euro Stoxx 50 is 0.4% lower having dropped ~0.8% at the open. IBEX lags peers. Miners led a retreat in Europe’s Stocks 600 index, while industrial commodities including copper and iron ore reversed earlier gains; retail and banks were also among the weakest sectors. Concerns about the inflationary impact of higher prices have risen in recent days, with everyone from Federal Reserve officials to Tesla weighing in on cost pressures. Unilever Plc pushed rising raw material costs onto consumers, increasing prices by the most in almost a decade. Meanwhile, Hermes International said sales surged last quarter, showing resilience compared to rival luxury-goods makers. European autos dropped after Volvo Group warned that the global semiconductor shortage and supply-chain challenges will continue to cap truckmaking. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Soitec shares gain as much as 7.3% in Paris, the stock’s best day since June, after reporting 2Q results and raising its full- year sales forecast. BioMerieux shares rise as much as 5.9%. Sales in 3Q were well ahead of expectations on strong U.S. demand for BioFire respiratory panels, Jefferies (hold) writes in a note. Randstad shares rise as much as 4.7%, the most intraday since Dec. 2020, with RBC (sector perform) saying the staffing firm’s 3Q earnings topped estimates. Sodexo shares rise as much as 4.8% after activist investor Sachem Head took a stake in the French catering co., saying the investment is passive and that Sodexo is going “activist on itself.” Zur Rose shares fall as much as 8.1% after the Swiss online pharmacy cut its growth guidance and posted 3Q sales that Jefferies says missed consensus expectations. Nordic Semi shares drop as much as 7% before recovering some losses, after results; Mirabaud Securities says any weakness in the stock is a “great buying opportunity.” Eurofins shares drop as much as 7.5%, the most in nearly a year, after the laboratory-testing company left its 2021 Ebitda and free cash flow guidance unchanged, which Morgan Stanley says implies a lower Ebitda margin versus previous guidance. Bankinter shares fell as much as 6.6%, most intraday since December. Jefferies highlighted the weaker trend for the Spanish lender’s 3Q net interest income. Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell in late-afternoon trading as investors sold Japanese and Hong Kong-listed tech shares, which helped trigger broader risk aversion among investors. Ailing China Evergrande Group sank on a worsening cash squeeze, while other developers rallied after regulators said their funding needs are being met. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.8%, with Japanese equities slumping by the most in over two weeks as the yen -- typically seen as a safe haven -- strengthened against the dollar, likely boosted by technical factors. Toyota Motor and Alibaba were the biggest drags on the regional benchmark as higher bond yields weighed on sentiment toward the tech sector. The story “shapes up to be worries about higher inflation and the follow-on policy response,” said Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. Bucking the downtrend were Chinese developers, which shrugged off China Evergrande Group’s scrapping of a divestment plan and climbed after regulators said risks in the real estate market are controllable and reasonable funding needs are being met. China was one of the region’s top-performing equity markets.  Still, Asian stocks continue to feel pressure from higher U.S. bond yields as the 10-year rate surpassed 1.6%. In addition, earlier optimism about earnings is being muted by the outlook for inflation and supply-chain bottlenecks. Chinese growth, global supply constraints and inflation are “acting as a bit of a brake on markets,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy & chief economist at AMP Capital. However, with U.S. equities trading near a record high, investors are “a bit confused,” he said. Japanese equities fell by the most in over two weeks, extending losses in afternoon trading as the yen strengthened against the dollar. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 1.3%, with all 33 industry groups in the red. Tokyo Electron and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 1.9% loss in the Nikkei 225. S&P 500 futures and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index similarly extended drops. “There has been a general turn in equity market sentiment evident by the afternoon decline in U.S. equity futures and main regional equity indexes,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign-exchange strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. “The reversal in risk-sensitive FX pairs like the AUD is reflecting this u-turn.” The Japanese currency gained 0.2% to 114.05 per U.S. dollar, while the Australian dollar weakened. The yen is still down 9.5% against the greenback this year, the worst among major currencies. Yen Faces Year-End Slump as U.S. Yield Premium Spikes With Oil The gain in the yen on Thursday probably followed technical indicators suggesting the currency was oversold and positioning seen as skewed, said Shusuke Yamada, head of Japan foreign exchange and rates strategy at Bank of America in Tokyo. The rally may be short-lived, as rising oil prices are expected to worsen Japan’s terms of trade, and monetary policies between Japan and overseas are likely to diverge further In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier loss to rise as much as 0.2% as the greenback advanced versus all its Group- of-10 peers apart from the yen; risk-sensitive currencies, led by the New Zealand dollar, were the worst performers. The pound weakened against the dollar and was little changed versus the euro into the European session. U.K. government borrowing came in significantly lower than official forecasts, but a surge in debt costs sent a warning to the government ahead of the budget next week. The U.K.’s green gilt may price today, subject to market conditions, after being delayed earlier this week. The Australian and New Zealand dollars reversed intraday gains on sales against the yen following losses in regional stock indexes. A kiwi bond auction attracted strong demand. The yen headed for a second session of gains as a selloff in Japanese equities fuels haven bids. Government bonds consolidated. In rates, the Treasury curve flattened modestly as yields on shorter-dated notes inched up, while those on longer ones fell; the bund curve shifted as yields rose about 1bp across the curve. Yields were richer by less than 1bp across long-end of the curve, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by ~1bp each; 10-year yields rose to a 5 month high of 1.68%, outperforming bunds by 2bp and gilts by 4bp on the day. Long end USTs outperform, richening ~2bps versus both bunds and gilts. Peripheral spreads tighten slightly. U.S. breakevens are elevated ahead of $19b 5Y TIPS new issue auction at 1pm ET. In commodities, oil slipped from 7 year highs, falling amid a broad-based retreat in industrial commodities, though trader focus was glued to a surging market structure as inventories decline in the U.S.; Oil’s refining renaissance is under threat from the natural gas crisis; American drivers will continue to face historically high fuel prices. WTI was lower by 0.5% to trade near $83 while Brent declined 0.8% before finding support near $85. Spot gold is range-bound near $1,785/oz. Base metals are mixed. LME nickel and copper are deep in the red while zinc gains 1.5%.  Bitcoin was volatile and dropped sharply after hitting an all time high just above $66,500. Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, existing home sales for September, the Conference Board’s leading index for September, and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for October. Central bank speakers will include the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Visco, while the Central Bank of Turkey will be making its latest monetary policy decision. Otherwise, earnings releases include Intel, Danaher, AT&T and Union Pacific. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,515.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 469.02 MXAP down 0.7% to 199.61 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 659.34 Nikkei down 1.9% to 28,708.58 Topix down 1.3% to 2,000.81 Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 26,017.53 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,594.78 Sensex down 1.1% to 60,560.47 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,415.37 Kospi down 0.2% to 3,007.33 Brent Futures down 1.0% to $84.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,785.09 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.11% to 93.67 German 10Y yield up 0.7 bps to -0.119% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1639 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group scrapped talks to offload a stake in its property-management arm and said real estate sales plunged about 97% during peak home-buying season, worsening its liquidity crisis on the eve of a dollar-bond deadline that could tip the company into default. Its shares plunged as much as 14% on Thursday. China’s goods imports from the U.S. have only reached about 53% of the $200 billion worth of additional products and services it promised to buy under the trade deal signed last year, far behind its purchasing target. Signs that policy makers are accelerating toward an interest-rate hike have traders fumbling around to figure out what that means for sterling. Money managers at Jupiter Asset Management and Aberdeen Asset Management turned neutral in recent days, following similar moves by Amundi SA and William Blair Investment Management. The price on eight out of 10 bonds sold in the first three quarters of this year by European investment-grade borrowers fell after issuance, wiping almost 23.5 billion euros ($27.3 billion) from portfolios. The Turkish lira is looking vulnerable as speculation grows that policy makers will cut interest rates again despite the deteriorating inflation outlook. Option traders see a more than 60% chance that the currency will weaken to an all-time-low of 9.50 per U.S. dollar over the next month, according to Bloomberg pricing. That’s the next key psychological threshold for a market trading largely in uncharted territory ahead of Thursday’s decision. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac indices traded somewhat mixed after the similar performance stateside where the broader market extended on gains in which the DJIA touched a fresh record high and the S&P 500 also briefly approached within 5 points of its all-time peak as attention remained on earnings, although the Nasdaq lagged with tech and duration-sensitive stocks pressured by higher longer-term yields. ASX 200 (+0.1%) was positive as Victoria state approaches the end of the lockdown at midnight and with the index led by outperformance in mining stocks and real estate. However, gains were capped amid weakness in energy as shares in Woodside Petroleum and Santos were pressured following their quarterly production results in which both posted a decline in output from a year ago, albeit with a jump in revenue due to the rampant energy prices, while Woodside also flagged a 27% drop in Wheatstone gas reserves. Nikkei 225 (-1.9%) felt the pressure from the pullback in USD/JPY and with focus shifting to upcoming elections whereby election consulting firm J.A.G Japan sees the LDP losing 40 seats but win enough to maintain a majority with a projected 236 seats at the 465-strong Lower House. Hang Seng (-0.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were varied despite another respectable PBoC liquidity effort with the mood slightly clouded as Evergrande concerns persisted with Co. shares suffering double-digit percentage losses after it resumed trade for the first time in three weeks and after its deal to sell a stake in Evergrande Property Services fell through, while reports that Modern Land China cancelled its USD 250mln bond repayment plan on liquidity issues added to the ongoing default concerns although it was later reported that Evergrande secured a three-month extension on USD 260mln Jumbo Fortune bond which matured on October 3rd. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded flat with the underperformance in Japanese stocks helping government bonds overlook the pressure in global counterparts and continued losses in T-note futures following the weak 20yr auction stateside, although demand for JGBs was limited by the absence of BoJ purchases. Top Asian News China Vows to Keep Property Curbs, Evergrande Risk Seen Limited Abu Dhabi Funds Hunt for Asian Unicorns Ahead of IPOs: ECM Watch Biden’s Pick for China Envoy Draws Sharp Lines With Beijing Carlyle, KKR Among Firms Said to Mull $2 Billion Tricor Bid Bourses in Europe have held onto the downside bias seen since the cash open, but with losses less pronounced (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%; Stoxx 600 -0.2%) despite a distinct lack of news flow in the EU morning, and as Chinese property woes weighed on APAC markets, but with earnings seasons picking up globally. US equity futures are also softer with modest and broad-based losses ranging from 0.2-0.3%. Back to Europe, the Netherland’s AEX (+0.3%) outperforms as Unilever (+3.3%) also lifts the Personal & Household Goods sector (current outperformer) following its earnings, whereby underlying sales growth of +2.5%, as +4.1% price growth offset a -1.5% decline in volumes, whilst the group noted: "Cost inflation remains at strongly elevated levels, and this will continue into next year". The AEX is also lifted by Randstad (+4.5%) post earnings after underlying EBITDA topped forecasts. Sectors in Europe are mixed with a slight defensive bias. On the downside, there is clear underperformance in Basic Resources as base metals pull back, whilst Oil & Gas names similarly make their way down the ranks. In terms of individual movers. ABB (-5%) resides at the foot of the SMI (+0.2%) as the group sees revenue growth hampered by supply constraints. Nonetheless, flows into Food & Beverages supports heavy-weight Nestle (+1.0%) which in turn supports the Swiss index. Other earnings-related movers include Barclays (-0.4%), SAP (+1.5%), Carrefour (+1.5%), Nordea (-1.8%), and Swedbank (+2.7%). Top European News Volvo Warns More Chip Woes Ahead Will Curtail Truck Production Hermes Advances After Dispelling Worries on China Demand Stagflation Risk Still Means Quick Rate Hikes for Czech Banker Weidmann Exit Could Pave Way for Bundesbank’s First Female Chief In FX, the Dollar has regained some composure across the board amidst a downturn in broad risk sentiment, but also further retracement in US Treasuries from bull-flattening to bear-steepening in wake of an abject 20 year auction that hardly bodes well for the announcement of next week’s 2, 5 and 7 year issuance, or Usd 19 bn 5 year TIPS supply due later today. In index terms, a firmer base and platform around 94.500 appears to be forming between 93.494-701 parameters ahead of initial claims, the Philly Fed and more housing data as the focus switches to existing home sales, while latest Fed speak comes via Daly and Waller. However, the DXY and Greenback in general may encounter technical resistance as the former eyes upside chart levels at 93.884 (23.6% Fib of September’s move) and 93.917 (21 DMA), while a major basket component is also looking in better shape than it has been of late as the Yen reclaims more lost ground from Wednesday’s near 4 year lows to retest 114.00 in the run up to Japanese CPI tomorrow. NZD/AUD/NOK - No real surprise to see the high beta Antipodeans bear the brunt of their US rival’s revival and the Kiwi unwind some of its post-NZ CPI outperformance irrespective of the nation’s FTA accord in principle with the UK, while the Aussie has also taken a deterioration in NAB quarterly business business confidence into consideration. Nzd/Usd is back below 0.7200 and Aud/Usd has retreated through 0.7500 after stalling just shy of 0.7550 before comments from RBA Governor Lowe and the flash PMIs. Elsewhere, the Norwegian Crown has largely shrugged off the latest Norges Bank lending survey showing steady demand for credit from households and non-financial institutions, but seems somewhat aggrieved by the pullback in Brent from just above Usd 86/brl to under Usd 85 at one stage given that Eur/Nok is hovering closer to the top of a 9.7325-9.6625 range. EUR/CHF/GBP/CAD - All softer against their US counterpart, albeit to varying degrees as the Euro retains a relatively secure grip around 1.1650, the Franc straddles 0.9200, Pound pivots 1.3800 and Loonie tries to contain declines into 1.2350 having reversed from yesterday’s post-Canadian CPI peaks alongside WTI, with the spotlight turning towards retail sales on Friday after a passing glance at new housing prices. SEK/EM - Some traction for the Swedish Krona in a tight band mostly sub-10.0000 vs the Euro from a fall in the nsa jobless rate, but the Turkish Lira seems jittery following a drop in consumer confidence and pre-CBRT as another 100 bp rate cut is widely expected, and the SA Rand is on a weaker footing ahead of a speech by the Energy Minister along with Eskom’s CEO. Meanwhile, the Cnh and Cnh have lost a bit more momentum against the backdrop of ongoing stress in China’s property market, and regardless of calls from the Commerce Ministry for the US and China to work together to create conditions for the implementation of the Phase One trade deal, or fees on interbank transactions relating to derivatives for SMEs being halved. In commodities, WTI and Brent Dec futures have gradually drifted from the overnight session peaks of USD 83.96/bbl and USD 86.10/bbl respectively. The downturn in prices seems to have initially been a function of risk sentiment, with APAC markets posting losses and Europe also opening on the back foot. At the time of writing, the benchmark resides around under USD 83/bbl for the former and sub-USD 85/bbl for the latter. Participants at this point are on the lookout for state interventions in a bid to keep prices from running. Over in China, it’s worth keeping an eye on the COVID situation – with China's Beijing Daily stating "citizens and friends are not required to leave the country, do not gather, do not travel or travel to overseas and domestic medium- and high-risk areas", thus translating to lower activity. That being said, yesterday’s commentary from the Saudi Energy Minister indicated how adamant OPEC is to further open the taps. UBS sees Brent at USD 90/bbl in December and March, before levelling off to USD 85/bbl for the remainder of 2022 vs prev. USD 80/bbl across all timelines. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are relatively flat around USD 1,785 and USD 22.25 with nothing new nor interesting to report thus far, and with the precious metals moving in tandem with the Buck. Base metals meanwhile are softer across the board as global market risk remains cautious, with LME copper trading on either side of USD 10k/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. Continuing Claims, est. 2.55m, prior 2.59m 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 297,000, prior 293,000 8:30am: Oct. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 25.0, prior 30.7 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 51.2 10am: Sept. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 3.6%, prior -2.0% 10am: Sept. Leading Index, est. 0.4%, prior 0.9% 10am: Sept. Home Resales with Condos, est. 6.09m, prior 5.88m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I watched the first of the new series of Succession last night. I like this program as it makes me think I’ve got a totally normal and non-dysfunctional family. It’s a good benchmark to have. There are few dysfunctional worries in equities at the moment as even with the pandemic moving back onto investors’ radars, the resurgence in risk appetite showed no sign of diminishing yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+0.37%) closing just a whisker below early September’s record high. It’s an impressive turnaround from where the narrative was just a few weeks ago, when the index had fallen by over -5% from its peak as concerns from Evergrande to a debt ceiling crunch set the agenda. But the removal of both risks from the immediate horizon along with another round of positive earnings reports have swept away those anxieties. And this has come even as investors have become increasingly sceptical about the transitory inflation narrative, as well as fresh signs that Covid-19 might be a serious issue once again this winter. Starting with the good news, US equities led the way yesterday as a number of global indices closed in on their all-time highs. As mentioned the S&P 500 rallied to close just -0.02% beneath its record, which came as part of a broad-based advance that saw over 75% of the index move higher. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones (+0.43%) also closed just below its all-time high back in August. After the close, Tesla fell short of revenue estimates but beat on earnings, despite materials shortages and port backlogs that have prevented production from reaching full capacity, a common refrain by now. Overall 17 out of 23 S&P 500 companies beat expectations yesterday, meaning that the US Q3 season beat tally is now 67 out of 80. Meanwhile in Europe, equities similarly saw advances across the board, with the STOXX 600 (+0.32%) hitting its highest level in over a month, as it moved to just 1.2% beneath its record back in August. For sovereign bonds it was a more mixed picture, with 10yr Treasury yields moving higher again as concerns about inflation continued to mount. By the close of trade, the 10yr yield had risen +2.0bps to 1.57%, which was driven by a +4.6bps increase in inflation breakevens to 2.60%, their highest level since 2012. That came as oil prices hit fresh multi-year highs after the US EIA reported that crude oil inventories were down -431k barrels, and gasoline inventories were down -5.37m barrels, which puts the level of gasoline inventories at their lowest since November 2019. That saw both WTI (+1.10%) and Brent crude (+0.87%) reverse their earlier losses, with WTI closing at a post-2014 high of $83.87/bbl, whilst Brent hit a post-2018 high of $85.82/bbl. Yields on 2yr Treasuries fell -1.0bps however, after Fed Vice Chair Quarles and President Mester joined Governor Waller in pushing back against the more aggressive path of Fed rate hikes that has recently been priced in. Even so however, money markets are still implying around 1.75 hikes in 2022, about one more hike than was priced a month ago. Separately in Europe, sovereign bonds posted a much stronger performance, with yields on 10yr bunds (-2.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-3.4bps) all moving lower. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading higher this morning with the Shanghai Composite (+0.46%), CSI (+0.35%) and KOSPI (+0.23%) all advancing, whilst the Hang Seng (-0.20%) and the Nikkei (-0.45%) have been dragged lower by healthcare and IT respectively. Meanwhile Evergrande Group (-12.60%) fell sharply in Hong Kong after news that it ended talks on the sale of a majority stake in its property services division to Hopson Development. And we’ve also seen a second day of sharp moves lower in Chinese coal futures (-11.0%) as the government is mulling measures to curb speculation. And there have also been a number of fresh Covid cases in China, with 21 new cases reported yesterday, as the city of Lanzhou moved to shut down schools in response. Elsewhere in Asia, with just 10 days now until Japan’s general election, a poll by Kyodo News found that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party would likely maintain its parliamentary majority. Futures markets are indicating a slow start for markets in the US and Europe, with those on the S&P 500 (-0.09%) and the DAX (-0.05%) both pointing lower. As we’ve been mentioning this week, the Covid-19 pandemic is increasingly returning onto the market radar, with the number of global cases having begun to tick up again. This has been reflected in a number of countries tightening up restrictions, and yesterday saw Russian President Putin approve a government proposal that October 31 to November 7 would be “non-working days”. In the Czech Republic, it was announced that mask-wearing would be compulsory in all indoor spaces from next week, and New York City moved to mandate all municipal workers to get vaccinated, with no alternative negative test result option now available. In Singapore, it was announced that virus restrictions would be extended for another month, which includes a limit on outdoor gatherings to 2 people and a default to work from home. Finally in the UK, the weekly average of cases has risen above 45k per day, up from just under 30k in mid-September. There is lots of talk about the need to put in place some additional restrictions but it feels we’re a fair way from that in terms of government-mandated ones. From central banks, it was announced yesterday that Bundesbank president Weidmann would be stepping down on December 31, leaving his position after just over a decade. He said that he was leaving for personal reasons, and in his letter to the Bundesbank staff, said that “it will be crucial not to look one-sidedly at deflationary risks, but not to lose sight of prospective inflationary dangers either.” It’ll be up to the next government to decide on the new appointment. Staying on Europe, our economists have just released an update to their GDP forecasts, with downgrades to their near-term expectations as supply shortages for goods and energy have created headwinds for the recovery. They now see 2021 growth at +4.9% (down -0.1pp from their previous forecast), whilst 2022 has been downgraded to 4.0% (-0.5pp). Alongside that, they’ve also included the latest oil and gas price movements into their inflation forecasts, and now project Euro Area 2022 HICP at 2.3%, although they don’t see this above-target inflation persisting, with their 2023 HICP forecast remaining unchanged at 1.5%. You can read the full note here. Speaking of inflation, we had a couple of inflation releases yesterday, including the UK’s CPI data for September, which came in slightly beneath expectations at 3.1% (vs. 3.2% expected), whilst core CPI also fell to 2.9% vs. 3.0% expected). As we discussed earlier this week though, there was some downward pressure from base effects, since in September 2020 we had a recovery in restaurant and cafe prices after the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August ended, and that bounce back has now dropped out of the annual comparisons. UK inflation will rise a fair amount in the months ahead. Otherwise, we also had the CPI release from Canada for September, which rose to 4.4% (vs. 4.3% expected), which is its highest reading since February 2003. Finally, bitcoin hit an all-time high, with the cryptocurrency up +2.92% to close at a record $65,996, which was slightly down from its intraday peak of $66,976. Bitcoin has surged over recent weeks, and as it stands it’s up +49.3% so far this month at time of writing, which would mark its strongest monthly performance so far this year. This latest move has occurred along with the first trading of options on Bitcoin-linked ETFs, which the US first listed the day prior. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, existing home sales for September, the Conference Board’s leading index for September, and the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook for October. Central bank speakers will include the Fed’s Waller and the ECB’s Visco, while the Central Bank of Turkey will be making its latest monetary policy decision. Otherwise, earnings releases include Intel, Danaher, AT&T and Union Pacific. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/21/2021 - 08:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 21st, 2021

US stocks tumble as Powell warns of more inflation and Treasury yields hit 3-month high

Mega-cap tech stocks like Apple and Microsoft extended their two-day decline to more than 2% as US Treasury yields surged. Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve. Pool/Getty Images US stocks tumbled on Tuesday amid an ongoing spike in US Treasury yields, which hurt mega-cap tech stocks.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set to testify to Congress that a jump in inflation could last longer than expected.The 10-year US Treasury yield surged to a three-month high of more than 1.50% on Tuesday.Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.US stocks fell on Tuesday amid a spike in US Treasury yields and ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's scheduled testimony to Congress.Powell will tell Congress in prepared remarks that the drivers behind the recent jump in inflation may last longer than expected. Those drivers include disruptions in the global supply chain and a tightened labor market.Mega-cap tech stocks like Apple and Microsoft extended their two day decline to more than 2% as US Treasury yields surged. The 10-Year US Treasury yield hit a three-month high of 1.53%.Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:S&P 500: 4,406.70, down 0.82%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,756.35, down 0.32% (113.02 points)Nasdaq Composite: 14,767.61, down 1.34%Oil prices soared above $80 for the first time in three years as a shortage in natural gas spurs demand for the commodity. Goldman Sachs cut its China GDP forecast for 2021 to 7.8% from 8.7%, warning that the economy's energy crunch represents another growth shock.Ford jumped as much as 5% after the company re-upped its commitment to electric vehicles via the announcement of four new battery and electric vehicle plants that will cost more than $11 billion. Alibaba said it will block sales of crypto mining equipment starting next month to comply with China's ongoing crackdown against cryptocurrencies. West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped as much as 0.95%, to $76.17 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, jumped 0.62%, to $80.02 per barrel.Gold fell as much as 0.97%, to $1,735.00 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 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

Labor Shortage And Surging Shipping Costs Are Biggest Drivers Of US Food Inflation

Labor Shortage And Surging Shipping Costs Are Biggest Drivers Of US Food Inflation Setting aside the ever-present issue of the global supply chain crunch presently gestating in the PROC, where factories and ports are struggling with the most restrictive lockdown measures since the (Fauci-funded) "China virus" first burst forth out of Wuhan, the US is still facing serious shortages of workers and critical goods like foodstuffs and medicine. The US labor market disappointed once again in December, while November's similarly disappointing number was revised up only slightly. Meanwhile, those who are working are struggling with the fact that inflationary price pressures are hammering real wages. And regardless of what the Fed does next, it appears kinks in the economy created by COVID and the federal government's response to COVID will continue to push food prices higher for the foreseeable future, as Reuters reports. Citing three critical factors, high demand for groceries, soaring freight costs and "omicron-related" labor shortages, Reuters projects that prices for "food and fresh produce" will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. Already, growers across the West and Midwest are paying 3x the freight costs from before the pandemic - all to guarantee shipment of perishables like berries and lettuce before they spoil. Some companies are even holding back on shipping certain goods (like long-lasting onions) to see if shipping costs might ease. Shay Myers, CEO of Owyhee Produce, which grows onions, watermelons and asparagus along the border of Idaho and Oregon, said he has been holding off shipping onions to retail distributors until freight costs go down. Myers said transportation disruptions in the last three weeks, caused by a lack of truck drivers and recent highway-blocking storms, have led to a doubling of freight costs for fruit and vegetable producers, on top of already-elevated pandemic prices. "We typically will ship, East Coast to West Coast – we used to do it for about $7,000," he said. "Today it’s somewhere between $18,000 and $22,000." One CongAgra subsidiary blamed labor shortages for the bulk of their troubles. Birds Eye frozen vegetables maker Conagra Brands' CEO Sean Connolly told investors last week that supplies from its U.S. plants could be constrained for at least the next month due to Omicron-related absences. Earlier this week, Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said he expects the supermarket chain to confront more supply chain challenges over the next four to six weeks as Omicron has put a dent in its efforts to plug supply chain gaps. The packaged goods industry is missing more than 100K workers. Participants filled measly 1,500 jobs last month, according to the BLS data. The situation is not expected to abate for at least a few more weeks, Katie Denis, vice president of communications and research at the Consumer Brands Association said, blaming the shortages on a scarcity of labor. The consumer-packaged goods industry is missing around 120,000 workers out of which only 1,500 jobs were added last month, she said, while the National Grocer’s Association said that many of its grocery store members were operating with less than 50% of their workforce capacity. Of course, labor shortages aren't the only issue. Demand for groceries remains sky high as millions of Americans remain hunkered down, too scared to eat at a restaurant - or too tapped out from their financial difficulties to justify dining at one. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/16/2022 - 08:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 16th, 2022

Omicron fallout and tough labor talks likely to rattle supply chains and fuel inflation

The omicron surge has worsened worker shortages and supply chain disruptions, helping fuel inflation. This spring could see another threat as cargo carriers and the longshore workers’ union begin talks aimed at a new contract. Shippers fear a repeat of the work slowdowns and employer retaliation that snarled West Coast ports for several months in 2014-2015......»»

Category: topSource: washpostJan 15th, 2022

4 ways Omicron is screwing up the economy this month

Omicron could peak this month, and it's disrupting the economy: cancelled flights, delayed mail, and sick workers — who may or may not go in to work. Bread aisle shelves at a Target are seen nearly empty as the U.S. continues to experience supply chain disruptions in Washington, U.S.REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger January is only half over. It's been, and will continue to be, a wild month. The Omicron variant is fueling the biggest infection wave yet and hampering the economic recovery. From flight cancellations to historic inflation, here's what's making January a really weird month. January's been a wild month, and it's only half over. The spread of Omicron infections across the world is causing millions of Americans to isolate again like it's 2020. Workers are staying home sick, and others are continuing to avoid the workforce for fear of the virus. Meanwhile consumers are paying the highest prices in almost 40 years.It's a situation unlike any we've seen before, and it's about to get wilder. The worst inflation since 1982 may ease, confusing Americans' budgets once againAfter living with historic inflation for the better part of a whole year, Americans have demanded bigger raises and businesses have struggled to keep goods in stock. Yet that normal is on its way out, and inflation is now likely to start cooling.The latest data show inflation was still hot during the last days of 2021. Prices surged 7% year-over-year in December, according to a Wednesday report, reflecting the strongest inflation since 1982.However, there's reason to believe price growth will start to slow in January. For one, Wall Street banks' forecasts show inflation peaking in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Biden administration and the Federal Reserve have said they expect inflation to fall from elevated levels by the middle of this year. Even everyday Americans' inflation expectations softened in December after skyrocketing through most of the pandemic.The data also shows month-over-month inflation cooling further. Prices rose 0.5% last month, decelerating from November's 0.8% pace and marking the smallest one-month gain since September.Much of the improvement will come from the solving of the global supply-chain mess. Bottlenecks are "easing in all the right places" as global suppliers ramp up production, JPMorgan economists Joshua Lupton and Bruce Kasman said in a Tuesday note.As supply rebounds to better match demand, it's likely inflation will ease faster.Businesses have empty shelves and not enough workersAs Omicron peaks, service may be slower at understaffed stores this month. Or, if companies have resumed pre-pandemic practices, employees at your local restaurant or grocery store might be working with COVID. Many companies started rolling back pandemic-era sick leave policies as vaccines have become available throughout the US. Omicron, however, evades vaccine protection more than previous variants.This leaves more people sick, without enough paid leave.  A Harvard study in 2020 found that nearly 1.5 million grocery workers across 24 grocery chains, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target, lacked access to paid sick leave. Low-income workers are especially affected. Only one third of workers whose wages are at the bottom 10% get any paid sick leave at all, compared with 95% of workers with wages in the top 10%, according to a national compensation survey of employee benefits conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in March. Omicron has also been wreaking havoc on the supply chain, which was already why grocery stores have been struggling to keep food on the shelves. And with the labor shortage still going strong, there are fewer hands to do work on farms, for manufacturers, and for distributors. Even food inspectors have been calling in sick, Bloomberg reported last week. Flights and public transportation will be harder to catchAirlines have been hit hard, with hundreds of flights being canceled every day. United Airlines decreased its number of flights after 3,000 workers, about 4% of United's workforce, tested positive for COVID. JetBlue Airways also reduced its schedule this week, by about 1,280 flights — roughly 10% of its schedule — because of crew members getting sick. Local forms of transit are slowing down for the same reason. Cities like Portland, Oregon, Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., are decreasing their mass transit services as their employees get sick with COVID. The New York Times reported that in New York City, more than a fifth of subway operators and conductors were absent from work. In Florida, school bus drivers are unable to drive students to school. And, the mail is delayed throughout the countryAlthough the United States Postal Service (USPS) largely got people their deliveries on time for the holiday season, the Omicron variant has been spreading amongst its employees. Roughly 6,500 postal workers were quarantined due to COVID-19 as of Christmas Eve, a number that grew to 8,000, the Associated Press reported. The USPS declined to comment on the existence of positive employee COVID-19 cases. Cities and states across the country have been reporting mail delays in response, such as Minnesota, The StarTribune reporting that garbage haulers have been out sick too. In Washington state, winter weather conditions compounded with a surge in cases among postal workers to cause delays. In Maine, some people haven't gotten mail delivered in weeks, which the USPS attributed to the spread of COVID-19."This is an incredibly tough moment. The omicron variant has taken off like wildfire," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a news conference last week, commenting on firefighter and ambulance delays. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 15th, 2022

11 Reasons Why This Was Joe Biden"s Worst Week Ever

11 Reasons Why This Was Joe Biden's Worst Week Ever Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, Joe Biden has had a lot of bad weeks over the last 12 months, but this week has got to take the cake.  In fact, it is hard to remember the last time that any president had a week that was this bad.  But this wasn’t supposed to happen.  Democrats were promising a return to “normalcy” after the Trump years, but instead virtually everything seems to be going wrong.  No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you should be able to admit that Joe Biden’s presidency is not going very well at all.  At this point, even many Democrats are using the word “failure” to describe Biden, and this is fueling rumors that Hillary Clinton may run again in 2024. Yes, Biden’s presidency has been such a complete and utter disaster that the absolutely unthinkable could actually become a reality. Just when you think that things can’t get any worse, somehow they do.  The following are 11 reasons why this was Joe Biden’s worst week ever… #1 The OSHA Mandate On Thursday, we learned that the U.S. Supreme Court had voted 6 to 3 to strike down Biden’s cherished OSHA vaccine mandate… President Biden urged businesses to bring in vaccine mandates on their own and pushed states to ‘do the right thing’ after the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to block his sweeping rules on private companies in a crushing blow to his pandemic response. The high court did however allow a vaccine mandate for employees at health care facilities receiving federal dollars to go into effect. The OSHA mandate would have covered approximately 80 million American workers, and countless workers all over the country that would have lost their jobs under this mandate are greatly celebrating right now. #2 The Filibuster Biden was desperately hoping that all of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate would agree to kill the filibuster so that he could get the “voting rights bill” through Congress, but Senator Kyrsten Sinema just made it exceedingly clear that she is not willing to do that… First, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a fellow Democrat, announced that although she supports the voting rights bill, she’s not willing to do what it would take to make it happen. The filibuster. I’m talking about killing the filibuster. This came only two days after the president made such an impassioned speech in support of knocking off the filibuster that Republicans essentially called it offensive. And even one Democratic senator said Biden, who pledged a year ago to unite Americans, went too far in the speech. When she was elected, I never imagined that the day would come when I would be thankful for Kyrsten Sinema. But today I am definitely very thankful that she has taken this stand. #3 Inflation This week, it was announced that the inflation rate had hit a 40 year high, and Americans are blaming Biden for this. And as I pointed out in an article that I posted on Wednesday, if inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, the official rate of inflation in this country would be above 15 percent at this point. #4 Shortages In December, Joe Biden told the nation that the supply chain crisis was over. Of course that was not true, and now store shelves are so empty that “BareShelvesBiden” has been trending on social media throughout this entire week. #5 Joe Biden’s Approval Rating At the beginning of his presidency, Biden actually had very strong approval ratings, but now they just continue to sink lower and lower. As I pointed out yesterday, the seven most recent Quinnipiac polls show a very clear trend… President Biden’s overall approval rating in the last seven Quinnipiac polls: 49%, 46%, 42%, 38%, 37%, 36%, 33%. [ZH: The dead-cat-bounce in Biden's approval is over...] #6 Fauci’s Approval Rating Dr. Fauci was Biden’s handpicked choice to lead the U.S. out of this pandemic, but he has been steadily losing the trust of the American people. According to a NewsNation poll that was just conducted, only 31 percent of all Americans still believe what he is telling us about the pandemic. #7 Omicron During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly promised that he would “shut down the virus”, but in recent days the number of COVID cases has soared to all-time record highs in the United States.  At this point things are so bad that even Biden administration officials are admitting that essential services are in danger of totally breaking down… Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock gave U.S. lawmakers an ominous warning this week: The nation needs to ensure police, hospital and transportation services don’t break down as the unprecedented wave of omicron infections across the country forces people to call out sick. “It’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is most people are going to get Covid,” Woodcock testified before the Senate health committee on Tuesday. “What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.” #8 The Lack Of COVID Tests Even CNN and MSNBC have been roasting Biden this week for not having enough COVID tests for the American people. Now the Biden administration is telling us that millions of new tests are on the way, but by the time they arrive the Omicron wave may be over. #9 Russia Foreign policy takes a great deal of finesse, and that is something that Biden’s team is sorely lacking. When I first started warning that Biden was surrounded by the worst foreign policy team in U.S. history, a lot of people thought that I was exaggerating. But now the truth is becoming very clear, and a potential war with Russia that nobody wants is closer than ever… Talks to find a diplomatic solution to the worsening situation between Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of collapse after Thursday’s meeting as a key US ambassador warned ‘the drumbeat of war is sounding loud.’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken hit the airwaves on Thursday morning where he also weighed in on the crisis, claiming the ‘jury is still out’ on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive military buildup on Ukraine’s border will end with an invasion. #10 Kamala Harris Is even Kamala Harris turning against Biden? This week, a reporter asked Harris if the Democrats would have the same presidential ticket in 2024. Normally, that would be a really easy question for any vice-president to answer. But instead of answering “of course”, this is how Harris responded… REPORTER: “Are we going to see the same Democrat ticket in 2024?” HARRIS: “[long pause] I’m sorry but we are thinking about today” Wow. I think that this is another very clear sign that there is far more going on behind the scenes than we are being told. #11 Hillary Clinton Biden is such a failure that some Democrats are already suggesting that Hillary Clinton should be the Democratic nominee in 2024. Seriously. On Wednesday, a pro-Hillary piece authored by two key Democratic operatives named Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  In their article, they listed a number of different reasons why they believe that Hillary would be a good choice for the next election cycle… ‘Several circumstances – President Biden’s low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Harris’s unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024 – have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill,’ they write. So could we actually see a rematch between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Of course we still have three more years of the Biden/Harris administration to get through first, and that won’t be pleasant. Decades of very foolish decisions set the stage for where we are today, and now Biden and his minions have us steamrolling down a highway that doesn’t lead anywhere good. By the time we get to 2024, this country could be completely unrecognizable. Biden’s first year has been absolutely terrible, and the next three years are likely to be even worse. But there is no “exit button” on this ride, and so we are all going to have to endure whatever is coming next. *  *  * It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/14/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 14th, 2022

JD Sports Scores A Christmas Cracker On A Shopping Pitch Full Of Obstacles

“JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD) has scored a Christmas cracker on a shopping pitch full of obstacles. Despite the supply chain crunch hitting some brands, a growing income squeeze and fears about the spread of omicron, it’s still notched up a stellar run. Like-for-like revenues grew 10% in the 22 weeks to January 1st, compared […] “JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD) has scored a Christmas cracker on a shopping pitch full of obstacles. Despite the supply chain crunch hitting some brands, a growing income squeeze and fears about the spread of omicron, it’s still notched up a stellar run. Like-for-like revenues grew 10% in the 22 weeks to January 1st, compared to the same period in 2020, with Black Friday and Christmas sales on a winning streak and margins holding up well. Its performance is  testament to the pull of the brands it sells and its well-oiled online operations but the group has also benefited from a Biden bounce. A chunk of the stimulus cheques sent out in the US provided a £100 million kick to sales with many recipients splashing the cash on coveted products worn by their sports icons. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more JD Sports' Goal Of Growth The group’s headline profit before tax for the full year will now be significantly ahead of market expectations of £810 million, reaching £875 million. But ahead, it won’t be so easy to score an easy goal of growth of this level given that the effects of that stimulus boost are fading away and higher national insurance contributions in the UK will have to be absorbed. Adding into the challenging mix are ongoing supply chains issues constraining the availability of some products but the group has already shown its nimble performance in navigating that particular headwind. With sports and fashion fans showing a willingness to queue around the block to get their hands on the latest styles, sales should remain buoyant even as belts are tightened elsewhere." Article by Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst Hargreaves Lansdown About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.67 million clients trust us with £138.0 billion (as at 30 September 2021), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Jan 14, 2022, 9:32 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 14th, 2022

4 Specialty Chemical Stocks to Buy Despite Supply-Chain Snarls

Although the specialty chemical industry is grappling with higher costs related to supply-chain and logistics disruptions, higher demand across key markets augurs well for the industry in 2022. ASIX, HWKN, ICL and LTHM are worth betting on. The specialty chemical industry reeled under the effects of significant demand contraction in 2020, following a slowdown in industrial and economic activities amid the global health crisis. However, the industry witnessed a recovery in 2021 on an uptick in demand in key markets.With the reopening of the major economies around the world, demand for specialty chemicals started to pick up on a rebound in global industrial and manufacturing activities. Notably, demand for specialty chemicals in the United States has been driven by a surge in consumer spending, aided by the accelerated deployment of vaccines coupled with the sizable coronavirus stimulus.While the specialty chemical industry remains hamstrung by supply-chain disruptions and a spike in raw material and logistic costs, healthy demand in key end-use markets bodes well. Stocks like AdvanSix Inc. ASIX, Hawkins, Inc. HWKN, ICL Group Ltd ICL and Livent Corporation LTHM are good choice for investment in the current scenario.Specialty chemicals that include catalysts, surfactants, specialty polymers and coating additives have application in the manufacturing process of a vast range of products, including paints and coatings, cosmetics, petroleum products, inks and plastics. Automotive, construction, textile, food & beverages, electronics, energy and agriculture are among the top markets for these chemicals.The automotive sector has made a recovery after hitting a major speed bump due to the pandemic in 2020, courtesy of a strong rebound in customer demand for new vehicles, low auto loan interest rates and rising preference for private transportation in the wake of the pandemic. Specialty chemicals makers saw healthy demand in automotive in 2021 despite the negative impact on global auto production due to semiconductor shortages.The National Automobile Dealers Association (“NADA”) expects U.S. new-vehicle sales to rise 3.4% year over year to 15.4 million units in 2022. New-vehicle sales in 2021 were impacted by the pandemic and the semiconductor shortages, which contributed to constrained vehicle inventory at dealerships across the United States. Notably, new-vehicle sales went up 3.1% year over year to 14.93 million units last year. NADA sees the disruptions from microchip shortages to continue through at least second-quarter 2022.Meanwhile, a resilient construction sector is driving demand for specialty chemicals such as paints and coatings. Residential construction has picked up around the world, supported by lower interest rates and higher demand for new properties due to the rising trend of work from home amid the pandemic.The U.S. manufacturing sector also remains in the expansion territory despite supply-chain issues and raw material shortages, aided by higher demand for goods and an upturn in the overall economy. The manufacturing sector is a major driver for the chemical industry, which touches around 96% of manufactured goods.The American Chemistry Council (“ACC”) expects the U.S. chemical industry to accelerate in 2022 on the back of strong consumer demand, aided by the resumption of manufacturing activities and restocking of inventories. The chemical industry trade group projects U.S. specialty chemicals volumes to expand 4.1% in 2022, following 2.6% growth in 2021.However, specialty chemical makers are grappling with raw material cost inflation, and supply-chain and freight transportation disruptions. The closure of a large swath of factories to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the global supply chain. This has affected the availability of key raw materials for the specialty chemical industry. The industry also faces headwinds from higher costs associated with logistics constraints and port delays. The shipping bottlenecks have led to a surge in freight costs.The specialty chemical industry bore the brunt of the impacts from the devastating winter storm in the U.S. Gulf Coast — the biggest refining and petrochemical production hub in North America — during the first half of 2021. The supply crunch was worsened by Hurricane Ida. The Category 4 hurricane caused significant damage to critical industries in the Gulf Coast area, with chemicals being among the hardest hit. Force majeures and plant shutdowns associated with Ida further squeezed the supply of major raw materials and pushed up their prices. Ida also curbed chemical production due to raw material and supply constraints.The bottlenecks are unlikely to die down soon as the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus threatens to exacerbate pressure on the already strained global supply chain. The lingering impacts of supply-chain upheavals are expected to continue over the short haul and exert pressure on the margins of chemical specialty companies.4 Stocks Worth Betting OnAlthough the specialty chemical industry is exposed to headwinds from supply-chain bottlenecks and higher raw material and logistics costs due to coronavirus and weather-related events, higher demand across key markets represents a tailwind for the industry.We highlight the following four stocks with a solid Zacks Rank that are good options for investment right now. Our research shows that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) offer good investment opportunities.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.AdvanSix: New Jersey-based AdvanSix is expected to benefit from improved end-market conditions and growth of its differentiated products. ASIX is seeing a recovery in demand across a number of markets, including automotive, building & construction, electronics and packaging. Higher demand is expected to drive its volumes. Strong agricultural industry fundamentals also bode well.AdvanSix, sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has expected earnings growth of 3.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings for ASIX has been revised 1.6% upward over the last 60 days. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters at an average of 46.9%.Hawkins: Minnesota-based Hawkins has a Zacks Rank #2. It is seeing strong growth in its Water Treatment unit, riding on strength across pools, resort and fitness center end markets. Acquisitions of ADC and C&L Aqua are also contributing to its performance. Higher demand for health and immunity products is driving its Health and Nutrition segment. HWKN’s Industrial segment is also benefiting from higher sales of agricultural, pharmaceutical and food ingredient products. The acquisition of NAPCO Chemical also expands its Water Treatment business.Hawkins has expected earnings growth of 15.4% for the current fiscal year. The consensus estimate for HWKN’s earnings for the current fiscal has been revised 5.7% upward over the last 60 days. It beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 21%, on average.ICL Group: Israel-based ICL Group carries a Zacks Rank #2. It is benefiting from the strength in its specialties businesses and an upside in commodity prices. ICL is seeing higher demand across consumer electronics, textiles, automotive and construction markets. Higher end-market demand and prices are expected to drive its performance. A recovery in end markets is likely to drive sales of its bromine compounds and phosphorous and magnesia-based products. Solid demand for electric vehicles and energy storage is also expected to drive demand for its phosphate and bromine-based specialty products.ICL Group has expected earnings growth of 50.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ICL’s current-year earnings has been revised 3.8% upward over the last 60 days. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters at an average of 59.6%.Livent: Pennsylvania-based Livent is expected to benefit from strong demand and high lithium pricing, aided by strong market conditions. Higher realized pricing is expected to drive its top line and margins. LTHM also remains on track with its near-term capacity expansions, with the 5,000 metric ton hydroxide addition in Bessemer City and initial lithium carbonate expansion of 10,000 metric tons in Argentina expected to attain commercial production by third-quarter 2022 and first-quarter 2023, respectively.Livent, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has expected earnings growth of 186.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the current year for LTHM has been revised 10.3% upward over the last 60 days. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks 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 ICL Group Ltd (ICL): Free Stock Analysis Report AdvanSix (ASIX): Free Stock Analysis Report Hawkins, Inc. (HWKN): Free Stock Analysis Report Livent Corporation (LTHM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

Biden Disapproval Hits All-Time High As Agenda Faces Major Headwinds: CNBC

Biden Disapproval Hits All-Time High As Agenda Faces Major Headwinds: CNBC President Biden's disapproval rating hit a new high in December, with 60% of voters disapproving his handling of the economy, 55% on his handling of the pandemic, and 56% disapproving of his overall job as Commander-in-Chief, according to a new CBS/Change poll. Biden's disapproval rating sat at 54% in early September, up from 49% in April. His approval rating currently stands at 44%, down from 46% in September and 51% in April, according to the report, which notes that this is the latest sign of trouble as the Biden admin looks to tackle a wide range of economic and political problems as midterm elections loom. In addition to scrambling to quell fears over inflation, Biden needs to resurrect his Build Back Better legislation, and beef up the country's public health response as the omicron Covid-19 variant rapidly spreads. Frustrations over the economy are the main culprit behind Biden’s flagging popularity as nearly every demographic declared it their No. 1 issue. The economy was the top priority for men and women, every age cohort, Latino and white voters, and those with and without college educations. Black respondents, who named racism their chief priority, said the economy takes second place. Sixty percent of the survey’s 1,895 respondents said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, marking a six-point decline in approval from September. On personal economic issues, voters are even more likely to criticize the president. Some 72% disapprove of his handling of the price of everyday goods, while 66% disapprove of his efforts to help their wallets. -CNBC And as we noted on Sunday, Biden's 2022 is shaping up to be a political disaster. For starters, Covid - the virus he vowed to 'shut down' the moment he entered office - is out of control. Just weeks ago, he warned the unvaccinated that they face a "winter of severe illness and death." Yet the most vaccinated major US cities are setting new records for Covid infections, vaccinated athletes are collapsing across the world, and 2/3 of the Belgian staff at a fully-vaccinated antarctic base have Covid. Next, Biden and Congressional Democrats will attempt to revive the corpse of their $2 trillion Build Back Better agenda - while still facing opposition from moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Without their buy-in, the best Biden and crew can hope for is to salvage components of it into smaller chunks that the two moderates may or may not agree to. "To face this many genuine political fires, from a pandemic raging again to major legislation that might be finished, is the worst way to start a new year," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University." Just to add to the challenge, the midterm season will get fully underway, and it will be harder to persuade any politician to do something that poses electoral risk." The White House will also grapple with supply chain issues and inflation in 2022, after repeatedly insisting it was 'transitory' throughout the second half of 2021. While the president’s party typically loses seats in Congress during a first-term election, present polling about Biden and Democrats suggest they could face a rout in November. That may be because members of both parties are growing more frustrated with inflation. Some 84% of those surveyed said the prices they see for everyday goods are higher than they were a year ago, while just 19% report earning more income over the same period. And only 23% say they believe inflation is starting to come down or will begin to decline soon. -CNBC "In addition to COVID, this is where Biden and his team fumbled the ball," according to one Democratic strategist. "They denied there was a problem, and then they looked silly when they had to backpedal. They can’t do that kind of thing again. It looks bad."   Tyler Durden Tue, 01/04/2022 - 19:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 4th, 2022

JPM Urges Clients To "Stay Bullish" As Positive Catalysts "Are Not Exhausted"

JPM Urges Clients To "Stay Bullish" As Positive Catalysts "Are Not Exhausted" With stocks suddenly swooning today in delayed response to the spike in yields and steepening in yield curves - where various theories have emerged to explain the move, chief among them bets that the spread of omicron will increase inflationary pressures on the US economy - everyone's favorite market cheerleader is out with a weekly dose of optimism. Unlike Morgan Stanley, whose chief equity strategist Michael Wilson continues to spew fire and brimstone (see ""Valuations Fully Reset This Spring" - New Year, Same Old Bearish Michael Wilson"), JPMorgan has traditionally been a source of encouragement for market bulls, and today was no difference. Perhaps sensing the skepticism among markets, the bank's head of global equity strategy Misla Matejka had some words of encouragement in his inaugural for 2022, 190-page Equity Strategy slideshow: "Stay bullish –positive catalysts are not exhausted." According to the JPMoran strategist, "there is further upside for stocks, despite a strong run so far, and have argued in our  December Chartbook that the dip driven by Omicron scare should be bought into." Echoing what Marko Kolanovic (and we) said about a month ago, the Croatian strategist writes that Omicron "is proving to be milder than the prior ones and the adverse impact on mobility much more manageable." As a result, the bank believes that the new variant is unlikely to be a game changer... ... and while COVID cases have spiked, they are unlikely to lead to significant restrictions. ... and even if the Omicron response proves to be more draconian than expected, reopening plays "have been soft ever since last March", suggesting there is more of a cushion. Covid aside, JPM believes that fundamentally, the growth backdrop is likely to stay supportive: "We believe that China activity deceleration is by now largely behind us, with more favorable policy backdrop coming up, while Chinese credit concerns are expected to stay contained." Echoing what we discussed at the end of December, JPM points out that China's credit impulse is at the low end of the historical range, and likely bottoming out. As a result, JPM economists are looking for a move up in China real GDP growth, from -3.3% qoqin Q3 ‘21, to +7% in Q2 ‘22. Additionally, JPM says that there are "signs of supply constraints potentially passing their worst point" (we disagree as we will show in a subsequent post), and of power prices surge easing. Meanwhile, Matejka says that the labor market, key driver of consumer, is staying strong, and the Citigroup Economic Surprise Indexes in main regions are back into positive territory, especially since the mobility dip driven by Omicron is nothing on the scale of the past winter. Finally, the largest US commercial bank doesn't see key central banks getting incrementally more hawkish, relative to what is already priced into the futures markets. Here is a summary of JPM's key bullish views: Post the activity deceleration seen in summer, the pace of growth is likely to stabilize into 2022, with a number of areas of concern receding. JPM economists project 2022 to be another year of real GDP growth beating the trend. Eurozone in particular stands out, with 2022 real GDP forecast at 4.6% yoy, above the US for the first time since 2016. Inventories are very low and their replenishing should be a tailwind. Fiscal support is still there and credit spreads remain very well behaved. Fed is unlikely to keep moving further and further into hawkish territory in the 1H of ‘22, at least relative to what is priced in currently. This holds for ECB too. Headline inflation is likely peaking, which will result in steeper curves => a tailwind for stocks.Inflation forwards and bond yields continue to show a large gap, which could close from both sides. Real rates are likely to move up. USD is not starting this year from record short position, as it did last year. JPM continues to see gains for earnings, and believe that consensus projections for 2022 will again prove too low. Q4 of 2021EPS is expected by consensus to be sequentially below Q3, which doesn’t typically happen. Strong beats are likely for the Q4 reporting season, where the results will start coming out in next weeks. In absolute terms, P/E multiples are elevated, but not equity yields vs credit & bond yields. Notably, there was some multiple compression last year,driven by very strong EPS growth, and Matejka expects in 2022 there will be further, mild and benign, P/E compression. The cushion before rising yields hurt the overall market remains significant. The overall technical picture is favorable, with equities typically performing well at the start of the year. JPM's chronically positive outlook comes as stocks in both the U.S. and Europe trade at record highs, following last year’s ferocious rally on the back of unprecedented fiscal stimulus and a solid rebound from the pandemic-induced slump.  Looking ahead, while JPM sees continued upside in the US, it has US stocks at a Neutral rating, but is especially bullish on Europe (where it is OW) and the UK after 6 years of JPM's "cautious stance", while it views EMs/China as an "opportunity" to wit: Since Q2&Q3 of last year, JPM has been highlighting tactical headwinds to EM, ranging from China credit impulse weakening, stronger USD, but also the continued regulatory uncertainty in China, and relatively greater COVID-19 pressure for EM vs DM. Consequently, "EM equities performed poorly last year, down 21% vs DM. This could end up a good entry point, as the various headwinds are likely to become less problematic," in JPM's view, which recently exited its cautious EM call, and thinks EM equities are likely to start to perform better in 2022. OW Eurozone. Eurozone backdrop appears very encouraging with respect to vaccinations, pace of growth and the level of policy support. Eurozone is delivering strong earnings rebound, is trading cheap, and is a beneficiary of stable peripheral spreads. The Recovery Fund began to be implemented and the labor market is resilient. Crucially, if real rates start rising, that would be a relative tailwind for the region, as would any turn for the better in China. Within Eurozone, JPM prefers domestic plays to exporters, and periphery to core. OW UK. JPM upgraded the UK to OW last quarter, taking advantage of its 6 years of underperformance. UK is trading at a record discount vs other regions, even when Value sectors are taken out. UK equity performance with respect to a number of macro variables appears to be changing, with correlation to bond yields direction turning positive. According to the bank, BoE hiking is unlikely to be a problem for UK market direction, and there are signs of certain bottlenecks, in labour markets and in power prices, easing. FTSE100 should be helped by potentially weaker GBP, as well as by likely turn in China. Finally, UK offers the highest dividend yield globally, which is well covered this time around. Within UK, JPM is now OW FTSE100vs FTSE250. Neutral Japan. The medium term outlook for Japan doesn’t appear exciting, especially if JGB yields stay constrained. The bank's FI team is projecting only a few basis points move higher in yields from current levels. JPM economists believe that the policies of the new administration will be less focused on driving growth upside, and more on the redistribution. Neutral US. US had a renewed period of outperformance since March, as FANGs dominated. Big picture, JPM warns that the US is trading at new relative P/E and EPS highs, and could stall relatively if the Tech outperformance starts to wane. UW parts of RoW, given low beta to global equities, and inverse correlation to bond yields, focused on Switzerland, HK and New Zealand. Looking at the bigger, cross-asset picture, Matejka writes that the yield curve has been flattening since March of last year, given the worsening Growth-Policy tradeoff, and this led to relatively narrow internal leadership since, Quality driven. The strategist believes that this will change again entering 2022, and look for the yield curve to re-steepen, with higher bond yields. As regards commodity equities, the bank had a non-consensus call entering Q2 ‘21, arguing that their rally was likely to fade, given stretched positioning, peaking China credit impulse and potentially firmer USD. While some of these pressures are not going away, and the structural problems for Energy remain acute, the bank upgraded Energy in August, given its 20-30% underperformance during the summer, as "the gap with the underlying is wide, and could show some catch up." JPM is also Overweight Mining, upgraded last quarter, on a likely turn up in China activity in the 1H of this year, after a very poor showing in the past few quarters. Beyond this tactical opportunity though, the bank notes a more mixed longer term outlook for China real estate. Looking at sectors, Matejka has the following recos: OW Banks. Banks are the key play on potentially rising yields and on the re-steepening of the yield curve this year. They still look very cheap, on 0.7x P/B, their balance sheets are resilient this time around, with no need for dilution, dividends are returning to the sector with a healthy 4.9% yield, and earnings are moving higher. Consumer reopening trade to pick up again, as 4th wave and Omicron scares subside. As such, JPM is OW Autos on a likely easing in supply pressures and still strong consumer outlook. Neutral Tech. The bank held an OW Tech in 2020, as well as the whole of 2019, but took profits in Hardware and Software at the start of November ‘20. And while Matejka believes that Tech fundamentals are supportive, through strong balance sheets, significant buybacks and structural tailwinds making this a very different setup to 2001, the relative outperformance was dramatic and the cyclical backdrop for Tech is less positive, especially if real rates start rising.  –see pages 165-167. Within Tech, JPM has kept in 2021an OW in Semis, but last month took profits, given very strong outperformance, where European Semis were up 69% in 2021. Finally, the bank remains UW traditional Defensives–Real Estate, Staples and Healthcare, on unexciting valuations, mixed earnings delivery and potentially rising bond yields. As Bloomberg notes, JPMorgan’s strategists are not alone in their generally bullish view: Credit Suisse this week reiterated a bullish view on US stocks, while Societe Generale on Tuesday repeated a forecast for a 6.6% return for European stocks this year, writing that “this bull market is not over.” Strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the BlackRock Investment Institute also see upside, albeit at a more muted pace. The full, 190-page JPM report is available to professional subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Tue, 01/04/2022 - 14:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 4th, 2022