"Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy tumbled along with the Dow Jones industrial average last week. Though still in positive territory, Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index (ECI) dropped six points to a score of +5 for the week ending March 26. This is the lowest weekly average since the presidential election in November." - Gallup
The latest evidence that rumors of Trumpflation trade's death are not greatly exagerated came overnight from Bank of America which reported that based equity funds saw net outflows of $8.9 billion, the largest in 38 weeks. The most impacted sector was, not surprisingly, banks - the biggest beneficiary of the post-Trump election victory rally, which suffered the biggest outflows in over a year.
Global stocks tumbled amid growing doubts President Trump will be able to deliver on a promise of tax cuts that has powered stocks markets to record highs pushed shares lower on Wednesday and drove investors to seek safety in government debt, gold and the yen. As DB put it: "Warning! US equities can occasionally go down as well as up a lot."
It’s great when a plan comes together. The recipe for the whole move since Election Day is easy. Take one part new Administration with expansive plans to boost the US economy. Add in 2 measures of a Federal Reserve confident enough in existing macro growth to boost interest rates. Add a dollop of money flows. Seems perfect, but there is one thing missing: the analysts who actually cover companies and make earnings forecasts aren’t buying it.
In the latest weekly Gallup survey, 48% of Americans say the economy is getting better, and 45% say it is getting worse. That compares with 54% and 39%, respectively, the prior week. As a result, the economic outlook component of Gallup's index fell to +3 from +15.
European stocks declined for first session in five ahead of Wednesday's Dutch elections and Fed rate hike announcement. Fed concerns also dragged down Asian shares and S&P futures, while the dollar rose. Crude oil has ended its six-day drop. The pound tumbled 0.8% to the lowest since mid-January in a delayed reaction after Theresa May won permission to trigger the country’s departure from the EU.
Perhaps it is the last hurrah of the Trump post-election euphoria but according to Gallup there were two notable development in February: consumer spending hit the highest since 2008, while economic confidence was the highest on record.
It could well be that US investors are taking to heart the words of Oscar Wilde: “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” US stock markets clearly do not have that problem at the moment.
The dollar and U.S. Treasury yields jumped on Wednesday, while global stocks and S&P futures rose as investors gave generally favorable marks to President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress, while paying more attention to the sudden onslaught of Fed hawks who repriced March Fed hike odds from 50% to 80% in a single afternoon. Strong economic data from China and Europe helped propell global risk assets higher.