"Nothing happens without a good reason in these speeches, especially as far as monetary policy signals are concerned. The phrasing “case…has strengthened” was blunt language for a Fed Chair, which would have been unnecessary if she was only trying to convey a general sense that rates would be moving higher over time. There are plenty of other opportunities to prepare markets for a move before the December meeting."
August Non-farm Payrolls have been weaker than consensus expectations in each of the last 5 years and in 14 of the last 18 years of available data. However, with all eyes focused on how Janet will see it, Goldman notes that it is possible that Fed officials would look through moderate weakness given 1) the strength of the June/July payroll gain, 2) their sub-100k estimate of the “breakeven” payroll gain, and 3) the well-publicized tendency for weak first prints in August.
Overall, the “mixed signals” backdrop that has been in evidence for quite some time continues to prevail. And yet, we can see that a number of data points remain quite weak or are deteriorating further (particularly RGPDI). Strong payrolls data are not a reliable indicator of future economic growth – and considering that money supply growth remains at more than 8% y/y, current economic data look actually exceptionally poor (normally more pronounced boom conditions would be expected). Any slowdown in credit growth will quickly sink the good ship US economy.
Last week, when details of Japan's "massive" JPY28 trillion stimulus plan emerged, we pointed out the "minor" snag that assured the plan would be a disappointment: only about JPY7 trillion of this amount would be in the form of new spending. Overnight, Japan finally revealed the full plan, and as expected it was met with significant disappointment by the market, which sent the Yen soaring to new multi-week highs and saw Japanese bond yields surging .
"When the Household survey is put on the same comparable footing as the payroll series (the payroll and population-concept adjusted number), employment fell 119,000 in June — again calling into question the veracity of the actual payroll report — and is down 517,000 through this span. The six-month trend has dipped below the zero-line and this has happened but two other times during this seven-year expansion."
“Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face.” This famous Mike Tyson quote spells out the outlook for investors in the years ahead according to SocGen's Albert Edwards, who warns that investors will not only be punched in the face, they will also get knocked to the floor and kicked repeatedly in the ribs.
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 US and UK market holidays which resulted in a session of unchanged global stocks, US futures are largely where they left off Friday, up fractionally, and just under 2,100. Bonds fell as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates amid signs inflation is picking up. Oil headed for its longest run of monthly gains in five years, while stocks declined in Europe.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the official recession arbiter, the US economy is currently at its fourth longest expansion in history. By the sheer nature of a capitalistic society with its inherent cyclicality it is a safe bet that a new economic recession will hit in the not too distant future. We have argued since June last year that the next recession is imminent and we now feel increasingly confident that our prediction will come true before November’s Presidential Election. Even mainstream forecasters seem to jump on the increasingly likely recession-bandwagon.
While not as quixotic as Morgan Stanley's Adam Parker piece on market-chasing cockroaches, BofA high yield analyst Michael Contopoulos has moved beyond merely bearish and is now outright catastrophic . That may be a little far fetched, but in his latest note - while he doesn't call rally chasers "cockroaches" (yet), he seems at a loss to explain the ongoing junk bond rally. His reasoning: fundamentals just keep getting worse by the day, while price action has completely disconnected from reality, and virtually nobody expects what is about to unfold in the junk bond space.
On the last day of an extremely volatile first quarter, following the latest torrid push higher in risk assets over the past two days following Yellen's dovish Tuesday comments, today has seen a modest pull back in risk, whether because the market is massively overbought, because someone finally looked at what record multiple expansion that has taken place in Q1 as earnings are set to collapse by nearly 10%, or simply due to fears that tomorrow's payrolls number will show an abnormal amount of minimum wage waiters and bartenders added.
There is an odd feeling of Deja QEu this morning, when with two hours to go until the February payrolls, global stocks are modestly higher, US equity futures are likewise slightly higher on the back of a weaker dollar (or perhaps stronger Euro following a Market News report according to which the ECB may disappoint, more on that shortly), but it is gold that is breaking out, and after entering a bull market yesterday when it rallied 20% from its December lows gold has continued to surge, rising as high as @1,274 in early trading a price last seen in January 2015.