Great news... Markit's US Manufacturing PMI (flash) for June beat expectations, rising to 51.4 from 50.7, driven by the fastest rise in exports since Sept 2014 (cough weaker dollar cough) as Input costs rose by the most in 18 months. Small bounces in production and employment do nothing to dismiss the "worrying weak" domestic demand picture; and, as Markit warns, "the three months to June has seen the worst quarter for manufacturing in terms of both production and employment growth since 2009."
Goldman's internal economic tracker, the Current Acticity Indicator, just dropped for one more month, from May's 1.3% print, to 1.2%, and contrary to expectations of a GDP rebound in Q2, this is the lowest economic "expansion" print since 2009. Perhaps not surprising is that this series has been declining in virtually a straight line since the end of QE3.
A few days after the ECB unexpectedly announced its CSPP, or corporate bond buying program which based on its definition was limited to investment grade, non-financial debt, we explained "Why The ECB Will Be Forced To Buy Junk Bonds", saying that "the EU corporate sector’s penchant for bond buybacks may ultimately force Draghi further down the ratings ladder lest the ECB should end up entangled tender offers or else end up without enough debt to monetize." This was confirmed on the very first day of the ECB's bond purchases.
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."
The brief April bounce in US Services economy has died as PMI slipped back to 51.3 as Markit warns "the service sector reported one of the weakest expansions since the recession." This weakness was followed by ISM Services which plunged to its lowest since Feb 2014, crushing the hopes of the April bounce. Employment plunged into contraction and New Orders tumbled, with the surveys pointing to GDP growing at an annualised rate of just 0.7-8% in the second quarter.
Today's NFP report will be under intense scrutiny as it is the final jobs report before the June rate decision by the FOMC. The market has increased the probability of a hike at the June meeting significantly in recent weeks and a strong labour market will be critical to allow the Fed to proceed with a June or July "normalization."
After yesterday's two key events, the ECB and OPEC meetings, ended up being major duds, the market is looking at the week's final and perhaps most important event of the week: the May payrolls report to generate some upward volatility and help stocks finally break out of the range they have been caught in for over a year.
Following China's drop, Japan's plunge, and Brazil's crash, US Manufacturing PMI slipped once again to 50.7 - its weakest since September 2009 amid " subdued client demand and heightened economic uncertainty." New orders bounce is over as it fell to its weakest since Dec 2015 and worse still input costs are surging to 9 month highs as employment suggest payrolls will remain under pressure. ISM Manufacturing data improved marginally - leaving 50% of the last 10 months in contraction and 50% in expansion. The improvement seesm based on a rise in prices paid and customer inventories - hardly a positive sustainable trend. As Markit concludes, "for those looking for a rebound in the economy after the lacklustre start to the year, the deteriorating trend in manufacturing is not going to provide any comfort.”
Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.
Since Abenomics was unleashed on the world (with QQE starting in April 2013), things have not worked out as the smartest men in the Japanese rooms predicted. In fact, with April's final manufacturing PMI printing at 47.7, operating conditions in Japan worsened at the sharpest pace in 40 months... since Abe began his three arrows. Output tumbled at the fastest pace in 25 months and new orders are the worst since Jan 2013. This is the death cross for Abenomics...
When the main economic event this week hits this Friday at 8:30 am EDT, when the BLS releases the May payrolls report, Wall Street consensus wil be expecting a 160,000 print, a number which will have a big impact on market expectations for a Fed rate hike at the June or July FOMC meeting. However, consensus may be disappointed for one reason: the Verizon strike could chop off as much as 35,000 workers from the headline payrolls print.
After a brief dead cat bounce, the US services economy has tumbled back to 3-month (near 7 year) lows, missing expectations by the most on record. With the slowest pace of hiring since Dec 2014 (signalling a mere 128k rise in payrolls for May), business optimism plunged to record lows (since the survey began in Oct 2009). As Markit concludes, the May data "deals a blow to hopes that the US economy will rebound in the second quarter after the dismal start to the year."