Weekly Market Report: September 30, 2022
Markets put a bow on a week, a month, and a quarter to forget last week including hitting a fresh 52-week low and chalking up the worst month in U.S. equities since 2008. The prior week’s flurry of central bank meetings expressing resolve in battling inflation has resulted in an exceptionally strong USD, surging bond yields, oil
dipping below $80, and an extension of the equity market selloff. U.S. and emerging markets fell approximately 3% while developed international markets were off 1.3%. The 10yr UST traded briefly above the 4% mark but settled back to 3.83% to close the week. Commodities were relatively unchanged on the week and the USD weakened slightly (0.95%) on the week.
• Commensurate with the historic selloff in bonds, a look from Refinitiv and Bloomberg at volatility in interest rates illustrates how much of an outlier we are experiencing with record high MOVE Index readings coupled with record high bond market drawdowns.
• The USD has been on a tear since early 2021 thanks to real rate differentials, risk aversion, and global growth dynamics. Ultimately, dollar strength translates to tightening financial conditions and a domestic deflationary force with respect to global trade.
• Nineteen Fed speaking engagements last week did little to change the narrative coming out of the September FOMC meeting. Focus remained with persistence and resolve on the tightening cycle at hand.
• An upward revision in Q2 personal consumption and decline in initial jobless claims added to the hawkish narrative in what’s likely to be a “good news is bad news” narrative for some time.
• U.S. GDP slipped into negative territory for the first half of 2022 and borrowing costs have risen sharply yet payrolls have increased by an average of 438,000 between January and August and consumers have continued to spend.
• A hot reading in German inflation (10.9% YoY and 2.2% MoM) underscored the need and likely justification for another 75bps ECB hike on October 27th.
• The pandemic rally in overall commodity prices has fizzled with industrial metals, energy, and precious metals all declining but agricultural commodities have stabilized (+3.5% since beginning of August).
• A look by Fidelity at weekly and three-month flows (funds/ ETFs) into equity markets shows investors have yet to run for the exits with flows remaining relatively stable. AAII bearish sentiment readings are near record highs while bullish readings are 17.7% below average.
• Cash is king in a market where both bonds and stocks have been hammered. Bloomberg reports roughly $4.6t is sitting in US money markets, just shy of the 2020 record $4.8t.
• Negative years like 2022 are when hedge funds earn their keep, and this year is no different with CTA and global macro funds profiting nicely relative to long-only/long biased strategies.
• The BoE signaled it would intervene in the bond market to prop up the gilt following a surge in bond yields due to a sizable fiscal stimulus package announced last week. Additionally, the UK government reaffirmed its commitment to BoE independence amidst rumors to the contrary.
Economic Release Highlights
• The August PIO report revealed YoY headline and core inflation of 6.2% vs 6.1% and 4.9% vs 4.8% alongside MoM readings of 0.3% vs 0.2% and 0.6% vs 0.55, all exactly 0.1% higher than forecast.
• The August PIO report revealed higher than forecasted Personal Consumption Expenditures (0.4% vs 0.2%) and in line Personal Income growth of 0.3%.
• Consumer Confidence in September improved over the prior month, higher than forecasted (108.0 vs 104.3).
• The third revision of Q2 GDP maintained the headline QoQ AR of -0.6% but did see a material upward revision in personal consumption expenditures from 1.5% to 2.0%.
• August Durable Goods Orders were marginally better than forecast with New Orders (-0.2% vs -0.4%), ExTransportation (0.2% vs 0.1%), and Core Capital Goods (1.3% vs 0.7%) exceeding consensus forecasts.
• China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI Index dipped further into contractionary territory registering 48.1 versus
consensus estimate of 49.4. The CFLP PMI (C, M, S) registered 50.9, 50.1, 50.6.
• July Case-Shiller Home Price Index missed consensus on both MoM (-0.4% vs +0.3%) and YoY (16.1% vs 17.0%) measures.
• August New Home Sales of 685k came in much stronger than the 498k forecasted and increased over the prior month’s reading of 532k. Pending Home Sales fell 2% versus expectation of -0.8%.