Weekly Market Report: May 12th, 2023

Markets last week continued to wrestle with banking sector weakness, the debt ceiling stalemate, and a mixed bag of economic data points. The S&P 500 closed the week down 0.29%, outperforming developed (-1%) and emerging (-2.13%) markets, leaving global equity markets up 8% YTD. Bond yields edged slightly higher with the 10yr UST closing at 3.46% while the USD clawed back a good percentage of its YTD losses, up 1.45% for the week. WTI drifted back down to the $70 support level again, joining industrial metals in taking the overall commodity complex lower on the week.

Market Anecdotes

  • Bank balance sheet stress, declining deposits, FDIC seizures, curtailed lending activity, and commercial real estate exposure amount to significant uncertainty surrounding policy, consumer/business confidence, and the overall economic outlook.
  • Key banking system monitoring points are deposit outflows and loan/lease growth alongside credit spreads and bond market receptiveness to new issuance.

  • The latest IMF Global Financial Stability Report highlighted the stark difference between U.S. and European bank stresses in terms of bond market-oriented balance sheet losses with exposure nearly 2x higher in the U.S. and losses as percentage of Tier 1 capital nearly 5x higher.

  • BCA U.S. Political Strategists are assigning a 10% probability of a technical default on U.S. debt thanks to historically high political polarization which may introduce greater risks if the economy proves resilient. Regardless of default, the investment implication is clearly negative.

  • MRB is maintaining a contrarian stance on recession highlighting a stabilizing housing market, the poor track record of a contractionary ISM Manufacturing Index, the manufacturing weighted and narrow variable LEI, and resilient unemployment despite the uptick in claims.

  • While non-U.S. equities are up 18% in USD terms since the mid-October bottom, momentum has slowed materially over the past two months, defensive sectors have been outpacing the cyclicals, and higher beta geographies have underperformed the U.S.

  • Economic data out of China including a sharp decline in aggregate financing and new loan issuance alongside weak PMI and trade data have supported the view of what looks like a lopsided and tempered recovery.

  • The BoE met expectations by delivering a 12th consecutive rate increase, hiking rates by 0.25% to 4.5%.

Economic Release Highlights

  • April’s headline and core CPI readings slowed as expected with headline and core readings of 4.9% and 5.5% respectively. MOM registered 0.4% for both headline and core, as forecasted.

  • April’s headline and core PPI also slowed relative to prior month levels and came in below consensus on both headline (2.3% vs 2.5%) and core (3.2% vs 3.3%) readings.
  • Initial jobless claims of 264k were well above the 245k consensus and the estimated range of 240k-250k, taking the four-week moving average to 245.5k. Claims are now 82k above the 1yr low in September of 2022.
  • May’s U of M Consumer Sentiment survey fell sharply to 57.7, well short of consensus forecast for 63.0 and the prior month reading of 63.5.
  • April’s NFIB Small Business Optimism Index deteriorated slightly to 89.0, just below the 89.7 spot consensus and at the low end of the forecast range (89.0-90.0).
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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