The weekly rail traffic report published by the Association of American Railroads provides a great snapshot of US economic activity almost in real (weekly) time. Last July we noted that we were starting to witness some signals of a trend change, now suggesting a softening. But much has happened since then, including a broadly unexpected change in the political direction of the US. Have those signals been reversed as a result?
Importantly, with economic growth anemic, consumers stretched and an economy heading into one of the longest post-recessionary expansions on record, there is little room for a policy misstep at this juncture. Maybe Trump will be wildly successful and the economy will come roaring back. That is a possibility. But there is also the risk it won’t. Optimism is one thing. Your personal capital and financial health is quite another.
European and Asian shares, the dollar and crude all rose before President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since July at 11am on Wednesday, while S&P futures are little changed. Surging raw-materials stocks sent Asian stocks higher. Oil rebounds from the lowest level in a month.
Global stocks were fractionally lower in early European trading, closed Asia mixed, while S&P futures were unchanged, as the dollar fell for a second day on concerns ahead of Trump's press conference on Wednesday. Oil rebounded after its Monday plunge, while commodity metals like iron ore rose limit up in Chinese trading.
The main economic release this week is US retail sales, ECB minutes and a series of Chinese economic releases. There are several scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week, including a webcast address by Chair Yellen on Thursday. However, the highlight of the upcoming first full week of 2017 might well be President-elect Trump's first news conference on Wednesday since his election win.
European, Asian stocks fall and U.S. equity-index futures traded mixed on Monday with fresh memories of the Dow Jones rising to under 1 point of 20,000 on Friday. The dollar has rebounded on fresh geopolitical concerns, while the pound extends its decline from Friday and has slide to 10 week lows on a Sunday interview from Theresa May which suggested a "Hard Brexit" may be in the cards.
"There are strong grounds to fade this current rally... I believe that moving against the herd mentality, will likely bear fruit in what is probably going to be an even more intense roller coaster ride than what we witnessed in 2016." - David Rosenberg
European stocks slipped from an 11 month high, Asian stocks and S&P futures were flat as caution pervades global markets before the Federal Reserve’s expected interest-rate hike on Wednesday. Treasuries slipped, after reaching the highest level in more than two years. Oil in New York slid to near $52 a barrel after API showed a build in inventories, and currencies of commodity-exporting nations fell. Gold headed for its biggest gain in a week.
Small Business Optimism was "basically unchanged from October's reading up to the point of the election and then rose dramatically after the results of the election were known," according to NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. In fact the surge was the sharpest since 2009 as the balance of those who thought business conditions would improve exploded from -6 to +38. However, actual sales continue to decline and "business uncertainty" has never been higher.
Yesterday's brief hiccup in what has been an otherwise relentless rally in global risk assets is all but forgotten this morning, as European and Asian stocks, and US equity futures, all rise in quiet trading ahead of tomorrow's FOMC meeting, with the Dow set to make a 16th consecutive post-election all time high.
As it dawned on markets that they had been caught dead wrong for the second time in half a year, first with Brexit and then with the historic election of Donald Trump, their reaction was identical: a slow selloff at first, followed by a furious dump, which led to a limit down halt in NASDAQ and Emini future trading. However, turbulence calmed as investors reassessed the effects of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election.
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.
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.