Will “Trumponomics” change the course of the U.S. economy? We certainly hope so. It will be better for us all. However, as investors, we must understand the difference between a “narrative-driven” advance and one driven by strengthening fundamentals. The first is short-term and leads to bad outcomes. The other isn’t, and doesn’t.
The key economic releases this week are ISM non-manufacturing on Monday and University of Michigan consumer sentiment index on Friday. Away from the US economic calendar, initially focus will be on the Italian referendum result, which appears to have been mostly digested by the market as bullish. It will then shift quickly to a critical ECB meeting.
Another miraculous overnight recovery has eliminated all the bearish aftertaste from the failed Italian referendum. As Guillermo Sampere of MPPM EK put it: "After Brexit, it took three days for markets to shake it off, with Trump it took three hours, with Italy it took three minutes.The fast money, who expected markets to fall further with this outcome, are now covering their positions."
The latest household debt data, which shows debt rose to $12.4 trillion in Q3, suggest some notable deterioration in the performance of subprime auto loans. This translates into a large number of households, with roughly six million individuals at least ninety days late on their auto loan payments
Much of the recent optimism seems to stem from a the belief that the new administration will be able to dramatically (and immediately) increase economic growth. The problem is that the US and global economy continue to face major structural issues that seem to be beyond the control of any politician. Increasingly, it is feeling like we are in a “buy the rumor, sell the news” kind of market.
"2016 has been a landmark year as we seem to have reached a point where the faster the plates are spun the more the unintended short-term consequences... the global financial system remains broken and extremely fragile. Secular stagnation trends are everywhere. The world has too big a debt burden for the current growth environment.."
There was an awful lot of cheering about the recent retail sales report which showed an uptick of 0.8% which beat the analyst’s estimates of 0.6%. However, if we dig deeper behind the headlines more troubling trends emerge for the consumer which begins to erode the narrative of the "economy isdoing great" and “there is no recession" in sight.
The day has finally arrived and as of minutes ago voters in eastern states have begun voting for the next US president. Polls are open in eight states, including battlegrounds Virginia and New Hampshire, as well as in New York, where Clinton votes at a public school in Chappaqua, Trump at a public school in Manhattan.
With the Fed releasing its quarterly update on both auto and student loans in its monthly consumer credit report, we have two new records: a new all time high in both car loans at $1.098 trillion, and a record for student loans, which just hit $1.396 trillion.
The US election this Tuesday is the main focus of the week. The key economic release this week is University of Michigan consumer sentiment on Friday. There are several scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week.
US Index futures, together with European and Asian shares surged after the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton one last time of her handling of emails as secretary of state which it repeated wasn’t a crime. Oil, gas rise, together with most industrial metals; the yen and Swiss franc retreated with gold, silver and other flight to safety assets.
While the entire nation was transfixed on last night's latest, and most scandalous yet "debate", in which there was little actual debating and a lot of talking points and character assassination attempts, index futures were little changed throughout Sunday's 90 minutes event, suggesting that no clear winner had emerged on either side.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, when removing the artificial Arima-X-13 seasonal factors, August consumer credit soared by a near record $46.8 billion, an absolute outlier month, and surpassed just once in history.
U.S. equity index futures fell, with European, Asian stocks also declining before the September payrolls data, following the stunning 2-minute "flash crash" meltdown in sterling which plunged as much as 6.1%, the most since Brexit and is set for its biggest weekly loss since 2009.
Politics will continue to be in focus as US elections draw closer, with attention on post-debate polling numbers high. However, this week should see a pivot toward data with markets looking for evidence of the summer wobble in activity data reversing. In the US the main focus will be the NFP and ISM reports.