Stocks and oil strengthen in the face of weak earnings and mixed data
We’re continuing to work our way through a seasonal transition as the weakest time of the year for stocks with indices showing surprising resilience in the face of mixed data.
Earnings reports and guidance have been disappointing on balance with the worst offenders being punished severely by traders including Garmin and NetFlix Thursday and Wal-Mart Wednesday. Mattel missed after the close and could be in the spotlight Friday although the level of focus depends on how heavyweight General Electric performs.
Economic data was mixed today. The lowest level of continuing jobless claims in 15 years and rising core inflation were offset by Empire Manufacturing and Philly Fed reports that weren’t as bad as last month but weren’t great either. Meanwhile, US crude oil inventories rose while implied oil demand fell and is now down 12% from its summer peak.
Despite having every reason to decline, stocks and crude oil rebounded in the afternoon and finished strong. This suggests that although some individual stocks could be hit hard on weak earnings, for the most part the summer selloff may have already priced in earnings struggles.
US markets also appear to have responded favourably to comments from New York Fed President Dudley and Cleveland Fed President Mester who both indicated the economy remains on track for a rate hike this year. Dudley also indicated there isn’t as much dissention at the Fed as conflicting FOMC member comments of late would have markets think.
USD rebounded from early weakness while gold and EUIR gave back some of their recent gains as the day progressed as traders discounted the weaker data and hawkish speculation picked up. The Mattel news in particular suggests that the hawkish leanings of the Fed over the last year that sent USD higher have already impacted Main Street and that a one and done hike may not have much further impact on the economy.
Perhaps the biggest factor on when the Fed could raise interest rates changed today as Treasury Secretary Lew indicated the US will hit the debt ceiling wall on November 3rd, less than a week after the next FOMC meeting. With Republican leadership still in flux, the risk of congress stumbling into a crisis a month earlier than previously thought could shift the timing for a rate hike out to December.
Today, we’ll see if Asia Pacific markets can continue to build on yesterday’s gains as traders prepare for China GDP and other major announcements set to kick off next week’s trading. NZD could attract attention on inflation figures while trade numbers could influence trading in Singapore markets.
Mattel $0.71 vs street $0.80, sales $1.79B vs street $1.89B, ($0.20) impact to EPS from higher USD in the quarter
Schlumberger $0.78 vs street $0.77, oilfield activity expected to decline further into 2016 as customers go conservative on price forecasts
Significant announcements released overnight include:
US initial jobless claims 255K vs street 270K tied for lowest level in years
US continuing claims 2,158K vs street 2,200K lowest level in 15 years
US Empire manufacturing (11.3) vs street (8.0) vs previous (14.6)
US Philadelphia Fed (4.5) vs street (2.0) vs previous (6.0)
US consumer prices 0.0% vs street (0.1%)
US core CPI 1.9% vs street 1.8%
US real avg weekly earnings 2.2% vs previous 2.3%
US natural gas storage 100 BCF vs street 91 BCF
US DOE crude oil inventories 7.5 mmbbls vs street 2.5 mmbbls
US DOE gasoline inventories (2.6 mmbbls) vs street (1.2 mmbbls)
US DOE implied oil demand 15,331 mmbbls vs street 15,801 mmbbls down 12.7% from July peak
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
8:45 am AEDT NZ Q3 consumer prices street 0.3%
11:30 am AEDT Singapore electronic exports street 1.2%
11:30 am AEDT Singapore non-oil exports street (3.9%)
10:00 am BST Eurozone consumer prices street (0.1%)
10:00 am BST Eurozone core CPI street 0.9%
1:00 pm BST Poland core CPI street 0.3%
1:00 pm BST Poland average gross wages street 3.3%
1:00 pm BST Poland employment street 1.0%
8:30 am EDT Canada manufacturing sales street (1.0%)
9:15 am EDT US industrial production street (0.2%)
9:15 am EDT US manufacturing production street (0.2%)
10:00 am EDT US UMich consumer sentiment street 89.0
10:00 am EDT US UMich 1-yr inflation estimate street 2.8%
1:00 pm EDT US Baker Hughes drill rig count previous 795
10:00 pm EDT Sun China GDP street 6.8%
9:00 pm CDT Sun China retail sales street 10.8%
8:00 pm MDT Sun China industrial production street 6.0%
7:00 pm PDT Sun China fixed assets street 10.8%
10:30 pm EDT Sun China Bloomberg Sept GDP previous 6.64%
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