Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: February 3, 2023

Weekly Market Report: February 3, 2023

Markets had plenty of news to process last week between central bank policy moves, a heavy dose of corporate earnings, and a very busy economic calendar. Equity markets posted another weekly gain in what has been somewhat of a soft landing/goldilocks-feeling start to the year for both stocks and bonds. The FOMC met expectations with a 25 bps hike but a very strong jobs report on Friday poured a little cold water on a relatively dovish sounding Fed. Markets are weathering the back end of a tightening campaign, a challenging earnings season, and seemingly ever growing geopolitical tensions across both ponds. The S&P 500 returned 1.6%, outpacing both developed (-0.25%) and emerging (-3.36%) markets. Commodities lost 5.6% thanks to softness across the energy complex while interest rates moved higher most notably in the 2 yr
 to 5 yr portion of the curve.

Market Anecdotes

  • The FOMC delivered the expected 25 bps rate hike, taking the upper bound to 4.75%. The post meeting statement was received as somewhat dovish while still jawboning markets not to expect rate relief this year as they seek more evidence of tamed inflation.
  • Perhaps one of the data points that kept the good news jobs report from being outright bad policy news is average hourly earnings growth of 4.4% is the lowest rate since August 2021, but the surge in payrolls sent both rates and equity market volatility higher.

  • Fed Funds futures rate expectations are pricing in another 25bps at the March 22nd meeting and a coin toss of whether there will be any more hikes at the May 3rd meeting or beyond.

  • Bianco Research noted that with a Fed focused on taming inflation and government pandemic assistance ended, YoY money supply (M2) as of 12/31/22 actually declined by 1.3%, the first time this has occurred since 1938.

  • Halfway through 4Q earnings season and results have moved steadily lower with blended top and bottom lines of 4.3% and -5.3% respectively. Earnings beat rates (70%) and beat margins (0.6%) are coming in lower than historical averages.

  • The technical backdrop of the U.S. market looks more encouraging today with the market having broken out above its downtrend and its 200 dma while posting higher highs and higher lows.

  • With a far greater percentage of S&P 500 companies now carrying fixed rate debt, the surge in rates ought to have a more delayed and measured impact on debt service costs. The same cannot be said however for borrowers in syndicated and middle market direct lending areas.

  • Favorable equity market trends so far in 2023 include European markets, small caps, multinationals with high percentages of foreign sales, and last year’s losers (low quality stocks) in what might be considered a dash for trash.

  • An interesting phenomenon since the beginning of the pandemic is that retail trade volume as a percentage of overall trade volume has increased from consistently around 8% to approximately 12% with some spikes as high as 20%.

Economic Release Highlights

  • January payrolls surged 571,000 with upward revisions of 71,000 to prior months. The Household survey showed a gain of +894,000 and the unemployment rate declining to 3.4% while labor force participation improved to 62.4%.

  • Average Hourly Earnings of 0.3% MOM and 4.4% YOY were in line with forecasts. The BLS Employment Cost Index rose 1% in December.

  • The JOLT Survey registered 11.01mm job openings, an increase of 5.48% over November.

  • The U of M Consumer Confidence reading in January improved notably from 59.7 to 64.9 with improvements across

    headline, current conditions, and future expectations measures.

  • January ISM Manufacturing Index softened slightly to 47.4 while ISM Services surged from 49.2 to 55.2

  • Case-Shiller Home Price Index in November rose 6.78% YOY.

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.

Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: January 27, 2023

Weekly Market Report: January 27, 2023

Favorable market trends in place thus far in the first month of 2023 stayed intact last week with a very busy economic calendar and fourth quarter earnings reports the primary market forces. A refreshing blackout period on Fed speaking engagements in anticipation of this week’s FOMC meeting left equity and bond markets focused on fundamentals and they seem to be applauding what they see. U.S. stocks were up approximately 2.5% with technology, REITs, and shadow technology leading the way while non-U.S. developed (+0.9%) and emerging markets (+1.4%) continued to add to their impressive January. Interest rates edged slightly higher with the 10 yr UST sticking around the 3.5% mark but remain down 20-30 bps on the year. Commodities were down slightly with oil (-2%) dropping back below $80 and the USD was flat for the week (-1.5% YTD).

Market Anecdotes

  • We’re now almost a third of the way through a relatively sub-par 4Q earnings season with the bottom line at -5.0%, top line growing 3.9%, profit margins compressing to 11.4%, and forward earnings priced at approximately 17.8x.
  • Decelerating PCE inflation and economic growth were evident with last week’s economic data and markets seem to be comfortable with trends on both fronts.

  • Markets are pricing a 25 bps rate hike this week and another at the March FOMC meeting, consistent with a ‘soft- landing’ view of the economy, taking Fed funds rate up to 450-475.

  • While M2 growth has fallen from 26% YOY at the pandemic peak to 0% recently, consumer savings, bank deposits, and money market funds all remain very elevated.

  • A close look at U.S. housing market metrics shows how rising interest rates have translated to notably higher mortgage debt service but risks of downward pressure in housing prices leaving large swaths of homeowners with negative equity, ala 2008, is still fairly remote.

  • Slowing global growth, falling leading economic indicators, contractionary PMIs, and inverted yield curves have most economists forecasting recession but the mix of weakness and resilience becomes clear when viewed across labor markets, liquidity, and personal consumption.

Economic Release Highlights

  • The December PIO report revealed inline and decelerating YOY PCE headline and core inflation of 5.5% vs 5.5% and 4.4% vs 4.4% alongside MOM readings of 0.1% vs 0.0% and 0.3% vs 0.3%.
  • The December PIO report showed strong Personal Consumption Expenditures (2.1% vs 2.6%) and inline/accelerating Personal Income growth of (0.2% vs 0.2%).
  • January U.S. flash PMIs (C, M, S) of 46.6, 46.8, 46.6 were slightly above consensus estimates.
  • January non-U.S. PMIs (C, M, S) show Japan (50.8, 48.9, 52.4), Eurozone (50.2, 48.8, 50.7), U.K. (47.8, 46.7, 48.0)
  • The first estimate of 4Q GDP registered 2.9%, slightly ahead of consensus 2.7% but squarely within the forecast range of 1.2% to 3.5%.
  • December Durable Goods Orders came in ahead of consensus for New Orders (5.6% vs 2.8%), Ex-Transportation (-0.1% vs -0.2%), and Core Capital Goods (-0.2% vs -0.2%).
  • New Home Sales for December of 616k registered right at the forecasted consensus call. Pending Home Sales grew 2.5%, well above the consensus call of -1.0%.

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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.

Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: January 20, 2023

Weekly Market Report: January 20, 2023

Markets last week digested several 4Q earnings calls, a rather busy economic calendar, and an outsized dose of central bank policy speaking engagements from the Fed and ECB. A nice rally on Friday largely offset a fair amount of mid-week selling pressure to leave the S&P 500 down less than 1% on the week, +3.5% in January. Developed (+1.2%) and emerging (+1.7%) equity markets both managed respectable gains aided in part by a weaker USD. Interest rates were slightly lower with 10 yr yields largely unchanged while 2 yr yields fell 8bps to yield 4.14%. Commodity markets were up 1.7% aided by a strong rally in industrial metals and WTI oil closing up 1.8% to close back above $80, a level it hasn’t been able to sustain since mid-November.

Market Anecdotes

  • While U.S. equity market trends have yet to break out of a well-established downtrend, international equity markets are exhibiting something different with Europe breaking out in November and the MSCI ACWI ex/US seeing its 50 dma crossing through its 200 dma last week.

  • Early (11% reported) 4Q earnings reports aren’t off to a great start with beat rates and magnitudes both below average and earnings contraction of -4.6% and revenue growth of 3.7%.

  • Coming off the back of two consecutive losing years in the bond market, yields have fallen in sympathy with falling inflation to begin 2023.

  • Wage growth is slowing, disinflation is prevailing, and employment has remained strong but, while great for now, these are not equilibrium trends we can expect indefinitely with demand driven inflation later in 2023 a key focus on the part of policy makers.

  • Very hawkish ECB meeting minutes and eight Fed speaking engagements, where officials echoed hawkish remarks, set a clear monetary policy tone, one that is at odds with market expectations.

  • While labor market resilience feels contrary to layoff announcements in the technology and banking sectors, their size relative to leisure and hospitality may explain the divergence.

  • The Beveridge Curve which illustrates a tight inverse relationship between job vacancies and unemployment may be the most important factor to monitor in 2023 as to whether tight labor markets can be loosened by reducing vacancies rather than increasing unemployment.

  • It is likely the looming February 5 EU embargo on Russian refined product imports will lead to larger trade dislocations because, unlike Russian crude oil, which India and China happily absorbed, they are both net exporters of refined product.

  • The need for some form of accommodation in China is supported given annual GDP slowed from 8.4% in 2021 to 3.0% in 2022 and q/q GDP slowed from 3.9% in Q3 to 0.0% in Q4 (3.9% y/y to 2.9% y/y).

Economic Release Highlights

  • CPI in December eased from 7.1% (0.1% MoM) in November to 6.5% (-0.1% MoM) in December. Core also moderated from 6.0% (0.2% MoM) to 5.7% (0.3% MoM).

  • December Retail Sales missed expectations for headline (-1.1% vs -0.8%), ex-vehicles (-1.1% vs -0.5%), and ex-vehicles & gas (-0.7% vs -0.1%).

  • Weekly jobless claims fell to 190k, lower than the consensus call for a slight increase, pulling the 4-week moving average to an eight-month low of 206k.

  • Industrial Production in December came in below expectations for headline (-0.7% vs -0.1%) and manufacturing output (-1.3% vs -0.2%).

  • Regional Fed manufacturing indices for Philly (-8.9) and Empire State (-32.9) both registered well into contractionary territory.

  • January’s Housing Market Index registered 35, ahead of consensus and above the high end of the range.

  • Housing Starts (1.382MM) and Permits (1.330MM) for December registered in the middle of their expected ranges, slightly above and below their spot estimates respectively.

  • Existing Home Sales for December fell 1.5%MoM and 34%YoY, registering 4.02MM, slightly ahead of consensus estimates.

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.

Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: January 13, 2023

Weekly Market Report: January 13, 2023

Last week we saw the beginning of the 4Q earnings season, a highly anticipated CPI report, and some risk on market sentiment countered by a ‘not so fast’ narrative on the part of the Fed. Markets latched onto the former with hopes of a soft landing driven by disinflation traction, firm labor markets, a healthy consumer, and strong corporate balance sheets. U.S. equity markets turned in their strongest week in two months, with large caps up 2.6% and small caps up 5.25%. Non-U.S. markets were even stronger with developed (+3.5%) and emerging markets (+3%) both benefiting from a notably weaker USD (-1.6%). Interest rates edged slightly lower last week with the 10yr UST closing back below 3.5%. Bullish talking points revolved around a dovish policy pivot, depressed sentiment and positioning, China reopening momentum/related policy support, and Europe potentially avoiding a winter energy crisis.

Market Anecdotes

  • Prevailing bullish talking points including disinflation trends/softening monetary policy, China reopening/policy support, depressed sentiment, Europe potentially avoiding a winter energy crisis, and a resilient U.S. economy are being countered by tight monetary policy and slowing economic growth indications translating to a cautiously optimistic near- term outlook.
  • Fear of demand driven inflation seems to be a key motivation for persistent Fed hawkishness in the face of slowing economic growth and objectively tight financial conditions.

  • Bianco Research made note that historically, when the 2 yr yield is above the fed funds rate, it historically marks the end of a Fed tightening cycle. Regardless, markets are pricing in a high likelihood of 25bps hikes for both the February (93%) and March (81%) meetings.

  • With wage growth being a primary driver of ex-shelter core services inflation, it’s worth noting the Atlanta Fed Wage Growth Tracker fell from 6.4% to 6.1% on a 3-month moving average basis, and a wage measure based on the average of regional Fed surveys all point to further easing.

  • Fourth quarter earnings season kicks off this week with consensus earnings and revenue of -2.2% and +4.1% respectively alongside a 2023 EPS estimate of approximately $230.

  • AAII sentiment has ticked higher with bullish sentiment rising from 20.5% to 25% last week and for the first time in two months and only the 11th in the past year, bearish sentiment came in below 40%.

  • Is the equity market overvalued? The long standing “Rule of 20” makes the case that the sum of inflation rate and the S&P 500 P/E multiple (TTM) averages about 20 over time. With a current multiple around 18x, either the PE or inflation need to decline to get us back to the “Rule.”

  • Encouraging GDP data out of Germany and the U.K. last week increased the possibility of a European soft landing with strong consumption/service sector data and easing energy prices leading the way.

  • Strategas noted the unusual turmoil for the House Speaker position is likely just a precursor to an inevitable battle over the U.S. debt ceiling debate later in 2023.

Economic Release Highlights

  • CPI in December eased from 7.1% (0.1% MoM) in November to 6.5% (-0.1% MoM) in December. Core also moderated from 6.0% (0.2% MoM) to 5.7% (0.3% MoM).
  • January’s UofM Consumer Sentiment survey registered 64.6, above the consensus estimate of 60.0 and high end of the range of estimates.
  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for December registered 89.8 versus the consensus call for 91.3.
  • Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations survey for expected 1yr inflation level came in at 3%, a slight downtick from the 3.1% level in December.

 

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.

Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: January 6, 2023

Weekly Market Report: January 6, 2023

Markets started off the new year with a dose of optimism fueled primarily by the economic calendar, Chinese mobility/policy support, and related monetary policy implications. The jobs report on Friday sent equity markets sharply higher and bond yields lower on the back of a friendly mix of robust job creation and moderating wage growth. U.S. equity markets closed up 1.5% for the week while developed international and emerging markets were up 2.7% and 4.3%, respectively. Bond yields fell sharply taking the 10 yr UST to 3.55% while the curve steepened as well. Commodities fell nearly 6% thanks to an 8% decline in crude oil.

Market Anecdotes

  • 2022 left the S&P down 18%, due primarily to multiple compression, closing with a P/E multiple of 16.7x, a valuation almost exactly at the 25-year average.

  • A painful look back at 2022 shows the Barclays Aggregate Index down 13%, the worst return on record by a factor of 4x, a significant contributing factor to the third worst outcome for a 60/40 portfolio since 1950.

  • A strong consumer underpins most bullish/constructive views looking into 2023 – a view bolstered by consumer balance sheets, savings, debt service, and the healthy job market.

  • Real personal disposable income grew in the back half of 2022 after declining for five consecutive quarters – a strong potential bullish tailwind for 2023.

  • With ISM Services and Manufacturing Indexes both falling below 50 for November, a reminder of the predictive nature and efficacy warrants consideration.

  • Freight indices and global PMI survey responses on delivery times and input/output prices continue to illustrate healing supply chains and relaxed pricing pressures. Regardless, Fed officials hit the speaking circuit last week and clearly maintained the higher for longer narrative.

  • A look at high yield and bank loan maturities show relatively light refinancing needs over the next two years but a considerably higher level in 2025 and 2026.

  • BCA suggested most Chinese tier-1 cities have passed peak Covid infections with the remaining areas tick higher and an expectation of return to normalcy sometime later this spring (March).

  • Declines in global trade data of small open economies, (Singapore -14%, Taiwan -23.4%) a bellwether for global trade and manufacturing activity, are flashing caution with China reopening, normalizing consumption patterns, and slowing global growth are all contributing.

Economic Release Highlights

  • The December jobs report came in stronger than consensus with higher job creation (223,000 vs 200,000) and lower headline unemployment (3.5% vs 3.7%). Labor force participation ticked higher from 62.2% to 62.3%.

  • Average hourly earnings growth in December came in below consensus for both MoM (0.3% vs 0.4%) and YoY (4.6% vs 5.0%) readings.

  • The November JOLT survey registered 10.458mm job openings, higher than the consensus spot forecast of 10.1mm and above the high end of estimate range of 10.00mm-10.33mm.

  • The November ISM Manufacturing Index came in at 48.4, a second consecutive decline but slightly higher than consensus forecast of 48.1 and within the estimated range of 47.5 – 49.0.

  • November ISM Services Index surprisingly came in well below consensus estimate (49.6 vs 55.0) and dipped into contraction territory.

  • November’s J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI registered 48.6, down slightly from the prior month reading of 48.8.

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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