Syria War, US GDP, Yellen comments and Black Friday in focus
The big news overnight is that Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian fighter after it apparently crossed over their border with Syria. There has been a moderate increase in oil and gold prices on this news, but with gains of less than 1% it appears cooler heads are prevailing so far. TRY and RUB have both been trading lower on the news.
That being said, this is an excellent example of how the underlying political risks and tensions out there can break through the surface at any time. This could help to put a floor under gold and oil prices in the near term. Also, crude oil has moved up again in the last few minutes, so we could see another wave of interest as North American traders get to work.
Uncertainty in the EU following a poll showing a majority of Britons support a UK from the EU doesn’t appear to be having much of an impact probably because its still early. Brexit talks and the vote may become a bigger deal in 2016.
Nothing came out of yesterday’s Fed Board of Governors meeting on the discount rate but comments from FOMC Chair Yellen have kept a lid. Consumer activist Ralph Nader recently wrote an open letter criticizing the Fed for keeping interest rates too low due to the negative impact low rates have on savers. In her response, she reiterated here preference for gradual hikes suggesting that aggressive hikes would only benefit savers temporarily (implying that the negative impact an aggressive rate hike campaign could have on the economy and employment could outweigh the positive impact for Main Street savers). So even though it looks like an initial hike may be coming next month, the second increase could still be a while off.
This morning, the first revision to US Q3 GDP figures are due. They would have to be really awful at this point to change expectations away from current speculation that a rate hike is likely coming in December.
Heading toward the US Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday later this week, there has been a lot of focus on consumer spending trends in the US particularly with so many traditional retailers posting negative outlooks and Amazon.com apparently poised to eat everyone’s lunch. Today’s earnings reports provide an interesting contrast. Tiffany, who is as high end as they come, joined the chorus of retailers reporting poor earnings and weak guidance. Hormel Foods, who as the maker of SPAM is clearly in the low end camp, meanwhile, beat the street on earnings and guidance.
These results are what we would expect to see in a recession as people with less money move their spending down market. Lower spending particularly comes as a surprise given what should be big tailwinds for consumers from a higher USD and lower gasoline prices. This suggests that the oil crash and the loss of high paying oilpatch jobs has hit some areas particularly hard and possibly pushed some regions close to if not in to recession even the country as a whole is still growing. Traders will likely be continue to monitor spending trends as we move through Black Friday and Cyber Monday over the next week which could have an impact on trading in related stocks.
Tiffany & Company $0.70 vs street $0.75, guides full year EPS (5-10%) or $3.78-$3.99 below street $4.02
Hormel Foods $0.74 vs street $0.69, guides full year EPS to $2.85-$2.95 above street $2.83
Significant announcements released overnight include:
Japan flash manufacturing PMI 52.8 vs street 52.1 and previous 52.4
Germany GDP 1.8% vs street 1.7%
Germany IFO business climate 109.0 vs street 108.2
Germany IFO current assessment 113.4 vs street 112.4
Germany IFO expectations 104.7 vs street 104.0
UK CBI sales 7 vs street 25 vs previous 19
Upcoming significant announcements include:
8:30 am EST US advance goods trade balance street ($60.7B)
8:30 am EST US Q3 GDP update street 2.1%
8:30 am EST US Q3 personal consumption update street 3.2%
8:30 am EST US Q3 Core PCE inflation update street 1.3%
10:00 am EST US consumer confidence street 99.5
10:00 am EST US Richmond Fed street 1