Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.
In July it was 5, then in October the number rose to 8, and moments ago we learned that during the meetings on October 15 and 22, a total of nine regional Feds had asked to increase the Fed's discount rate from 0.75% to 1.00%, with Boston joining the St. Louis, Atlanta, San Francisco Fed, Cleveland, Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Richmond Fed. Two banks, the Chicago and NY Fed wanted to keep rates at 0.75%, while the domain of Fed's uber dove Kocherlakota, the Minneapolis Fed where former Goldmanite Neel Kashkari will soon operate, asked for a Discount Rate cut to 0.50%.
A collapse in new orders and the order backlog combined with a plunge in wages, average workweek, and number of employees has left the Richmond Fed contracting for the 3rd month in a row. The last three times this happened, The US was either in recession or The Fed unleashed QE3.
It had been a relatively quiet session overnight when as reported previously, the geopolitical situation in the middle east changed dramatically in a moment, when NATO-member country Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet allegedly over Turkish territory even though the plane crashed in Syria, and whose pilots may have been captured by local rebel forces. The news promptly slammed Turkish assets and FX, sending the Lira tumbling, pushing lower European stocks and US equity futures while sending 2 Year German Bunds to record negative yields.
It may be a holiday shortened week in the US with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales on deck (some of which may be starting as soon as Wednesday) but there is a lot of macro data to digest in the next few days.
On a day full of Manufacturing/PMI surveys from around the globe, the numbers everyone was looking at came out of China, where first the official, NBS PMI data disappointed after missing Mfg PMI expectations (3rd month in a row of contraction), with the Non-mfg PMI sliding to the lowest since 2008, however this was promptly "corrected" after the other Caixin manufacturing PMI soared to 48.3 in October from 47.2 in September - the biggest monthly rise of 2015 - and far better than the median estimate of 47.6, once again leading to the usual questions about China's Schrodinger economy, first defined here, which is continues to expand and contract at the same time.
“It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.”
We would say today's main event is the culmination of the Fed's two-day meeting and the announcement slated for 2 pm this afternoon, however with the 90 economists polled by Bloomberg all expecting no rate hike, today's Fed decision also happens to be the least anticipated in years (which may be just the time for the Fed to prove it is not driven by market considerations and shock everybody, alas that will not happen). And considering how bad the economic data has gone in recent months, not to mention the recent easing, hints of easing, and outright return to currency war by other banks, the Fed is once again trapped and may not be able to hike in December or perhaps ever, now that the USD is again surging not due to its actions but due to what other central banks are doing.
Two biggest move overnight came from everyone's favorite carry pair, the USDJPY, which may have finally read what we said yesterday, namely that with the Fed and ECB both doing its job, there is little need for the Bank of Japan to repeat its Halloween massacre for the second year in a row, and as a result will keep its QQE program unchanged. It promptly tumbled from its 121 tractor level, to just above 120.25, where BOJ bids were said to be found. With the FOMC October meeting starting today, the other overnight catalyst was not surprisingly the latest Hilsenrath scribe in which he removed any uncertainty about a Wednesday hike, "leaving mid-December as the central bank’s last chance to raise rates this year."
Last week it was all about central banks, when both the ECB and the PBOC unleashed a massive market rally. This week it will be about even more central banks, this time the Fed, which won't hike, and the BOJ, which may but most likely won't as the Fed and the ECB already did its work for it, sending the Yen tumbling with their actions and/or jawboning.
Aside from Chinese monetary data, it was a relatively quiet session in which traders were focusing on every move in the suddenly tumbling USD, and parsing every phrase by central bankers around the globe, as well as the previously noted piece by Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath which effectively ended the debate whether there will be rate hikes in 2015. Adding to the overnight froth were ECB speakers first Ewald Nowotny and then Spain's Restoy, who said that euro-area core inflation "clearly" below goal, remarks which were immediately assumed to signal increasing pressure to boost stimulus, and which promptly translated into even more weakness in EUR and equity strength, pushing US futures up about 15 points from yesterday's close.
Goldman forecasts nonfarm payroll growth of 215k in September, above consensus expectations of 200k by about 0.3 standard deviations of a typical surprise. Noting that August payrolls were likely distorted downward by seasonal bias last month and may be revised up, Goldman expects the unemployment rate to remain flat at 5.1% (and earnings growth to slow). Howver, judging by the collapse in September's regional Fed surveys, today's "most important" payrolls data ever could be a massive miss.
US Futures Surge Nearly 30 Points To Overnight Highs After Tumbling On Worst Chinese Data In 6 YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/23/2015 05:55 -0500
In many ways, the overnight market has so far been a reversal of yesterday, when a stable Asia session (with China stocks rising) gave way to a European tumble which in turn dragged the US lower.
Following August's collapse (from 13 to 0), September's Richmond Fed followed on the heels of Philly, Empire, and Dallas Fed surveys and collapsed to -5 - its lowest since January 2013. Under the covers it is a total disaster, the average workweek crashed from 3 to -12 - the lowest level since April 2009 (as did the order backlog). New Orders and Capacity Utilization also plunged to its lowest since Jan 2013 as clearly the inventory accumulation is starting to feedback into prodiction cuts. Combined, the regional surveys suggest a notable plunge in overall ISM in September... flashing bright red recession warnings.