For the fourth day in a row, US traders arrive at their desks with US equity futures largely rangebound if with a modestly heavy bias, pressured by some recent weakness in European stocks, where DB continues to post modest gains following yesterday's report that Germany is pursuing "discrete talks" over the fate of the German lender. Oil has regained earlier losses following comments by Algeria's oil minister who said that OPEC could cut 1% more than agreed upon while sterling continues to slide on growing concerns of a "hard Brexit."
The stock market can defy economic weakness up to a point, particularly during times of strong money supply growth – but this isn’t going to last if the weakness continues or worsens. Ultimately it will hinge on the state of the economy’s pool of real funding, and all indications are that it is increasingly in trouble.
Goldman: "we are lowering our subjective odds of a rate increase at the September FOMC meeting from 55% to 40%. We are nudging up the odds of a rate increase at the December meeting to 30% from 25%, but taking the cumulative odds for at least one hike this year down to 70% from 80%. With slightly softer data and less “time on the clock”, a rate increase this year now looks a bit less certain, in our view."
The unprecedented period of low volatility, in which the S&P hasn't moved more than 1% in either direction, is now well into its 40th day and the muted overnight session has done nothing to put this streak in jeopardy with S&P futures once again hugging the flatline ahead of the widely expected 3:30pm ramp. European stocks were likewise little changed while Asia was fractionally higher depite a modest dip in the Nikkei.
With the US taking the day off to celebrate the unofficial end of the summer, global markets have been relatively quiet, aside from the dramatic moves in the energy sector over the past few hours, where crude soared in early trading as reported previously on a much-hyped joint statement by the energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia, only to see the spike fizzle.
After 7 consecutive drops in the Dow Jones, the Industrial average is set for an 8th decline with US equity futures modestly lower in the premarket as risk-averse sentiment persists overnight. Oil’s continued slide and recent plunge into a bear market, despite some stabilization this morning just south of $40, has finally rekindled global growth concerns, and is keeping a lid on bullishness. European stocks are little changed, while Asian stocks and S&P futures fall.
"I don’t want to alarm anyone but the facts are the facts, and the facts here is simply that this is precisely the sort of rundown we saw in November 1969, May 1974, December 1979, October 1989, November 2000 and May 2007. Each one of these periods presaged a recession just a few months later — the average being five months." - David Rosenberg
The right question to ask is not what happens to stocks when the Fed starts hiking rates, but what happens to stocks when the Fed is hiking rates during an earnings recession. And, as BofA claculated recently, "Hiking during a profits recession usually hasn’t ended well." The details: "The Fed has only embarked on a tightening cycle during a profits recession three other times, which typically spelled downside for the S&P 500."
In what may be one of the least relevant payroll reports in a long time as the Fed already knows the labor market is doing better quantiatively (qualitatively it has been all about low-paying jobs gaining at the expense of higher paying manufacturing and info-tech positions) and as has further demonstrated it is no longer jobs data dependent, here is what Wall Street consensus expects: total payrolls +200,000, down from 215K in March; a 4.9% unemployment rate; average hourly earnings rising 0.3% (last 0.3%) M/M and 2.4% Y/Y (last 2.3%); on labor force participation of 63%.
"This time it has been the USD which has been the focal point. Investors continue to rotate through a vicious circle of concerns on China, commodities and US growth and with a still large long position, further near-term USD losses are likely as broader US data momentum remains weak."
After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.
After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day.
Optimism in US equity futures appears to have returned, and as of this moment US equity futures are higher by 9 points to 2060 as the attention shifts to what, according to BofA, is truly the most important ever. It is unclear just how the algos would take a second consecutive major disappointment in a row: should today's NFP print be well below the 200,000 consensus, December rate hike odd will tumble and the EUR will surge even more after declining modestly from overnight highs just below 1.10, leading to even more losses in European equities and spilling over to the US.