Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – December 2, 2022
Saxo Strategy Team
Summary: Risk sentiment fizzled after the strong from the prior day on Fed Chair Powell’s less hawkish than feared speech. That was despite softer than expected October PCE inflation data that helped US treasury yields trade to new local lows all along the curve. Today’s US November jobs report will carry a bit more weight for the treasury market, where yields have helped drag the US dollar to new lows.
What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
U.S. stocks fluctuated between modest gains and losses and finished the session nearly flat. Investors weighed the decline in bond yields from softer US data (see below). Eight of the eleven sectors within the S&P 500 were lower except for communication services, healthcare, and information technology which registered modest gains. Salesforce (CRM: xnys) dropped 8% after the enterprise software maker reported earnings miss, a weak outlook, and CEO resigning. Dollar General (DG:xnys) shed 7.5% on disappointing results and an outlook cut. Snowflake (SNOW:xnys) gained 7.8% on an earnings beat. Netflix (NFLX:xnas) gained 3.7% on news that the company is expanding a program to seek comments from preview audiences.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HISX2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Hang Seng Index and CSI300 Index consolidated and were modestly lower on Friday after the recent rally on signs of further easing of Covid restrictions in mainland China. Profit-taking selling weighed on Chinese property developers, with leading names dropping 4-5%. Online health platform stocks surged. Alibaba Health (00241:xhkg), JD Health (06618:xhkg), and Ping An Healthcare and Technology (01833:xhkg) gained 9-13%.
USD lower still on falling treasury yields, fresh incoming data
Weak US data, including a slightly softer than expected core PCE inflation reading and ISM Manufacturing survey, took US yields lower all along the curve and took the US dollar lower as well, with EURUSD trading above the psychologically key 1.0500 area this morning. The next important resistance there is perhaps the pandemic-outbreak low around 1.0636 or the 38.2% retracement of the entire sell-off from the 1.2350 top at 1.0611. The yield-sensitive USDJPY continued lower as well, nearly hitting the 135.00 level overnight after a chunky further drop yesterday and not far from its 200-day moving average at just above 134.50. An important test for US yields and the US dollar today with the November jobs data releases.
Strong week for precious metals on Fed pivot speculation
Gold rose above $1800 on Thursday supported by softer US data sending the dollar and yields lower, thereby underpinning speculation about a slower pace of future rate hikes. US 10-year real yields have fallen to a two-month low at 1.14% after hitting 1.82% in October while the Bloomberg Dollar Index has lost close to 8% during the past month alone. A break above resistance at $1808 may add further fuel to an ongoing sentiment change towards the metal but with ETF investors not yet engaging the importance of the dollar and yield developments remain key. Silver, supported by a firmer industrial metal sector, trades above $22.25 with the next level of interest being $23.36. Focus today on the US job report given its potential impact on the dollar and yields.
Crude oil (CLF3 & LCOF3) trades up on the week
Crude oil is heading for its best week in two months following another roller coaster week that saw Brent test support at $80 before finding resistance at $90. From an early lockdown scare in China on Monday, the sentiment improved ahead of Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting and the beginning of an EU embargo on Russian seaborne oil from Monday. Additional support was provided by a weaker dollar, China softened its virus approach and Washington calling for halt to further sales from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves. Ahead of the OPEC+ meeting a Bloomberg survey found that OPEC, led by the four major Gulf producers cut production by 1 million barrels a day last month. We expect the online meeting is likely to be strong on words but low on actions. Focus on today’s US job report given its potential impact on the dollar.
US treasury yields edge lower still on weak US data. (TLT:xnas, IEF:xnas, SHY:xnas)
The weak US data (see below) took US treasury yields lower all along the curve, with the 10-year benchmark within a basis point of the important 3.50% area yesterday. That level was a major pivot high posted around the time frame of the June FOMC meeting. But the weak data has not seen much steepening in the US yield curve, even if 2-year yields dropped to new lows cine early October yesterday near 4.25% as the market prices in a slightly lower Fed cycle peak next year (currently 4.87% peak priced) and steeper pace of cuts by late 2023 and especially into 2024. The US November jobs report later today offers an important test for the treasury market as the 10-year has hit this pivotal level.
What is going on?
Weaker US data continues to take the air out of US yields
The October PCE inflation data came in softer than expected for the core month-on-month reading at +0.2% vs. +0.3% expected, while the year-on-year level of 5.0% was expected. Another soft data point was the November ISM Manufacturing survey which came in at 49.0 vs. 49.7 expected and suggesting modest contraction in US manufacturing activity for the first time since the pandemic outbreak months. The New Orders component of that survey dropped to 47.2, Prices Paid plunged further to 43.0 and Employment nudged lower to 48.4.
Sterling boost yesterday on hopes for Northern Ireland deal
EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that Britain and the EU said that the latest talks with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak were “encouraging” and that she is “very confident” a solution is possible if the UK government is on board, with Sunak seen as motivated to iron out a deal with a more pragmatic approach to the issue than former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. EURGBP briefly touched a multi-month low yesterday below 0.8560 and traded within 10 pips of the the 200-day moving average before rebounding overnight.
Blackstone limits withdrawals from large property fund
The company said it would limit how much the wealthy individual investors in its $69 billion real estate fund can withdraw funds to 2% of the net asset value of the fund monthly and 5% quarterly. Real estate is a notoriously illiquid asset.
What are we watching next?
US November Jobs report on tap
The November jobs data is up today, theoretically expected to show payrolls growth of +200k, but with the market perhaps leaning a bit lower after the softest ADP private payrolls growth number in more than 20 months. The Unemployment Rate is seen steady at 3.7%, and Average Hourly Earnings are anticipated to rise +0.3% month-on-month and +4.6% year-on-year after the October data point at 4.7% YoY was the lowest year-on-year reading in just over a year. The Atlanta Fed’s median wage tracker, meanwhile, has shown entirely different levels of earnings growth, with +6.4% in October and 6.7% in both of the prior two months.
Earnings to watch
Earnings next week are a mish-mash of companies, and include high-end homebuilder Toll Brothers on Tuesday, as it will be interesting to hear their outlook on the new home market after the enormous surge in US mortgage rates and collapse in home sales activity. Broadcom (AVGO: xnas) is the market cap giant of the week to report, with the CEO of the company having said that the semiconductor market will not be affected by the US’ new export restrictions on technology to China.
- Tuesday: MongoDB, AutoZone, Toll Brothers, Ferguson
- Wednesday: Brown Forman, Campbell Soup, GameStop
- Thursday: Broadcom, Costco, Lululemon, Chewy
- Friday: Oracle Corp, Li Auto
Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)
- 1330 – Canada Nov. Employment Change / Unemployment Rate
- 1330 – US Nov. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls
- 1330 – US Nov. Unemployment Rate
- 1330 – US Nov. Average Hourly Earnings
- 1415 – US Fed’s Barkin (non-voter) to speak
- 1900 – Us Fed’s Evans (voter 2023) to speak
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