Weekly Market Report: March 1, 2023

Markets last week were handed the informal end of 4Q earnings season, a busy calendar of economic reports, and a continuation of interest rate repricing we’ve seen over the past few weeks. A resilient economic backdrop (labor market, consumer spending) has withered away market expectations of 2H23 rate cuts, instead shifting toward a view of higher rates for longer. As expected, this has resulted in upward pressure in interest rates which will exact pressure on equity market valuations. Accordingly, the S&P 500 turned in a third consecutive weekly pullback with yields shifting higher across the curve. The risk off tone fostered a strong bid in the USD while commodity markets were relatively flat across energy, grains, and metals.

Market Anecdotes

  • The resilient economic backdrop and persistent inflation since Powell’s press conference on February 1st has driven a pronounced shift higher in yields across 6-months, 2-year, and 10-year maturities, impacting bond markets, equity market multiples, and overall financial conditions.

  • Markets are actively pricing in changing expectations toward the formal Fed forecasts for rate hikes on a go forward basis with the terminal rate of 5.37% now expected to be reached in August 2023. Based on constant 3m forward segments, the terminal rate is over 5.52%.

  • One model anecdote supporting the improving Q1 growth backdrop is that the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model has grown from its initial January estimate of 0.7% to +2.7& most recently. Contrary signals include the yield curve inversion, housing market, and trends in the U.S. LEIs.

  • A revision to the U of M consumer sentiment reflects further improvement in consumer sentiment toward the economy but B of A fund manager sentiment remains historically low and equity funds (retail investors) saw their biggest outflow in seven weeks last week.

  • Federal Reserve data on U.S. household debt service show mortgage debt service, while increasing, remains near 20- year lows while consumer debt is at its highest levels since 2008 with delinquencies steadily on the rise since early 2022.

  • With geopolitics seemingly in a constant state of anxiety, a SIPRI look at the world’s two largest arms dealers, with Russia representing 22% of global exports and the U.S. 35%, shows exactly who needs us (KSA, Aussie, South Korea, UAE) and them (India, China, Algeria) the most.

  • Preqin noted the difficult market for public technology stocks translated to a ripple effect in venture capital fundraising with Q422 registering a nine year low in fundraising.

Economic Release Highlights

    • The January PIO (Personal Income and Outlays) reported accelerating and above consensus YoY PCE headline and core inflation of 5.4% and 4.7% alongside MoM readings of 0.6% and 0.6%.

    • The January PIO report showed strong Personal Consumption Expenditures of 1.8% and Personal Income growth of 0.6%.

    • U.S. PMIs (C,M,S) for February of 50.2, 47.8, 50.5 improved over the prior month and came in slightly (manufacturing) and well (services) above the consensus forecast.

    • Global PMIs (C, M, S) for February of 50.2, 47.8, 50.5 were higher than forecasted across the board and improved notably over January’s readings with Europe registering particularly strong.

    • The first 4Q U.S. GDP estimate came in at 2.7% versus consensus of 2.9%, squarely within the street forecast range of 2.5%-3.0%.

    • Existing Home Sales declined -0.7% in January to 4mm, coming in below consensus forecast but well within the low and high end of the range.

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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