Weekly Market Report: April 14, 2023

Markets last week digested a highly anticipated beginning of Q1 earnings season, ample inflation data, and a look at the March FOMC meeting minutes along with a healthy dose of Fed speaking engagements. Risk markets breathed a sigh of relief generally speaking with encouraging reports from the banking sector and continued evidence of decelerating inflation pressures. The relief rally continued in global equity markets which were up 1% to 1.75% led by the cyclicals. Interest rates shifted higher on the week in a relatively parallel fashion leaving 10yr and 2yr yields at 3.52% and 4.08% respectively. Commodity markets were broadly higher with both oil and industrial metals catching a bid while the USD traded approximately 0.25% weaker, leaving it down 2% on the year.

Market Anecdotes

  • Earnings kicked off this week with a closely monitored initial burst of reports from the banking sector where money center banks outperformed on better than feared results while regionals struggled. Some strategists see more downside for earnings with a softening macro backdrop and persistent wage pressures.

  • A very important consequence of declining bank deposits and more comprehensively, M2, is that banks create less new money by making loans and buying securities. Fewer deposits and tightening credit standards translate to less lending which is a prominent risk going forward.

  • Fedspeak last week continued to reiterate a more hawkish tone than markets are expecting with markets currently pricing in nearly 200 bps in cuts over the next 18 months, beginning in June.

  • Notable FOMC minutes anecdotes included ‘several participants’ advocating for a pause in March, banking sector turmoil would likely result in a mild recession later in 2023, and tangible concern about credit creation and bank lending.

  • Last week’s friendly CPI report and very soft PPI report were offset somewhat by rising consumer inflation expectations seen in both UofM and NY Fed survey results, likely contributing to an upward move in May FOMC rate hike probabilities (25bps) to 78%.

  • Data from S&P Global illustrate a worrying trend of increasing bankruptcy filings in the first three months of 2023.

  • Wage growth data also fed the hawkish Fed narrative last week with Atlanta Fed Wage Growth Tracker accelerating from 6.1% to 6.4%.

Economic Release Highlights

  • March headline and core CPI measured 5.0% and 5.6% YOY with 0.10% and 0.40% MOM readings. The March headline and core PPI measured 2.7% and 3.4% YOY with -0.5% and -0.1% MOM readings.

  • March Retail Sales came in below expectations (-1.0% vs -0.4%) with readings on Ex-Vehicles (-0.8% vs -0.4%) and Ex- Vehicles & Gas of -0.3%.

  • Industrial Production in March registered 0.4% versus 0.3% forecast with readings on Manufacturing Production (-0.5% vs -0.1%) and Capacity Utilization (79.8% vs 78.8%).

  • April’s U of M Consumer Sentiment Survey registered 63.5 versus consensus forecast of 62.7.

  • The March NFIB Small Business Optimism Index ticked slightly higher to 90.1, just above the consensus estimate of 89.0.

This communication is provided for informational purposes only and is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security or other investment. This communication does not constitute, nor should it be regarded as, investment research or a research report, a securities or investment recommendation, nor does it provide information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision. Additional analysis of your or your client’s specific parameters would be required to make an investment decision. This communication is not based on the investment objectives, strategies, goals, financial circumstances, needs or risk tolerance of any client or portfolio and is not presented as suitable to any other particular client or portfolio.
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