Tucker Financial Weekly Market Review: June 21st, 2024

Weekly Market Report: June 21st, 2024

Markets lacked any meaningful catalysts last week with a mixed bag of economic reports globally ending with the U.S. seemingly perking up and non-U.S. markets slowing down. Many eyes are cast forward to the looming end of the second quarter and various geopolitical touch points on the horizon with the French elections and first U.S. Presidential debate. Despite NVDA snapping an eight week winning streak, the U.S. S&P 500 (+0.61%) marked yet another record high close (5,505) and emerging (+1.16%) and developed (-0.95%) markets turned in mixed results. Bond yields, commodity markets, and the USD all edged slightly higher on the week leaving the 10yr UST yielding 4.25% and oil back up over the $80 market at $80.73.

Market Anecdotes

  • Corporate earnings will need to be a key driver of returns going forward with little room for multiple expansion and dividend payout ratios unlikely to change. FactSet is currently seeing 11.3% growth in 2024 and 14.4% growth in 2025.
  • Nvidia became the largest company in the world last week, surpassing MSFT and carrying a larger market cap than the UK and France combined.
  • The equity market has been unusually friendly with 31 record closing highs so far this year, a VIX of 12.5, very few 1% daily moves, and only one 2% move this year – the fewest count of 2 handles so far this year since 2017.
  • The gap between the Establishment Survey (+1.2mm jobs) and the Household Survey (-100k jobs) over the same period is perplexing to economists and investors alike. Structural labor market changes due to the pandemic and modeling intricacies are both playing a part.
  • This week brought a good deal of housing market data which were soft on balance with no relief in sight as U.S. mortgage rates, while down from October 2023’s 8% level, still remain well above 7% with a ‘higher for longer’ Fedspeak echoing in the background.
  • The Conference Board’s U.S. LEI has been flashing red since July 2022 and, while still contracting, the magnitude of contraction has been narrowing since April 2023. While this suggests a recession may be averted, there are many other factors still signaling choppy waters ahead.
  • Fears of populism and “Frexit” due to the surprise French election outcomes have sent a charge of volatility into European equities. The upcoming snap elections on June 30th/July 7th will show whether the Macron decision to call for snap elections was genius or reckless.

Economic Release Highlights

  • U.S. flash PMI for June beat consensus forecasts for both manufacturing (51.7 vs 51.0) and services (55.1 vs 53.7) with the composite coming in at a healthy 54.6.
  • Eurozone flash PMI for June came in below forecast for both manufacturing (45.6 vs 48.0) and services (52.6 vs 53.3) pulling the composite (50.8 vs 52.4) down notably versus prior month. UK (C,M,S) also missed to the downside with readings at (51.7, 51.4, 51.2).
  • May Retail Sales came in below consensus on the headline (0.1% vs 0.3%) as well as the Ex-Vehicles & Gas (0.1% vs 0.3%) reading.
  • Industrial Production (0.9% vs 0.3%) and Manufacturing Output (0.9% vs 0.2%) both exceeded consensus forecasts in May.
  • Housing Starts (1.277mm) and Permits (1.386mm) both came in under consensus forecast for May, continuing the cooling trends seen of late.
  • Existing Home Sales of 4.11mm were generally in line with expectations of 4.10mm, down slightly versus the prior month.
  • The Housing Market Index softened slightly from 45 to 43 for the June reading.
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: June 14th, 2024

Weekly Market Report: June 14th, 2024

Markets took in some important inflation data and a highly anticipated FOMC meeting last week. The headline S&P 500 (+1.6%) marked a new record high supported by continued strength in the mega cap names. Small caps continued to struggle in comparison to mega caps, losing 1% last week, and are now in the red for the year. European stocks took the overall international markets lower (-4.2%) due to the tenuous political situation in France while emerging markets moved marginally higher (+0.45%). Bond yields declined sharply last week pushing the 10yr UST yield back down to 4.2%. WTI oil gained nearly 4% on the week, drawing closer to the $80 level alongside some notable strength in the USD, particularly versus the Euro.

Market Anecdotes

  • Narrow U.S. equity market breadth continued last week with AI tailwinds and soft landing narrative supporting big tech while signs of slowdown in the labor market are beginning to weigh on cyclicals and smaller stocks.
  • Inflation data released last week supported the disinflationary trend narrative with, notably, the “super core” measure contracting MoM for the first time since January 2021.
  • While acknowledging friendly base effects in YoY CPI, researchers are challenging dovish policy forecasts by questioning rate cut expectations with headline CPI still over 3%, election year dynamics, and the fact that ‘super core’, while declining, is still 1.1% higher than October 2023.
  • The FOMC and monetary policy watchers welcomed another soft inflation print with strategists now seeing two cuts later this year. The dot plot is now indicating one cut in 2024 and four cuts in 2025 with guidance that softening data must continue to present itself going forward.
  • Alpine Macro recently joined BCA in forecasting a possible ‘soft patch’ this summer based on what they see as a weakening labor market/consumer. They see slowing demand for oil with WTI down 12% since April and a UST rally since late April as potential confirmation.
  • Despite unemployment moving to 4%, the Sahm Rule has yet to trigger with the 3mo average U-3 of 3.9%, now sitting 0.37% above the prior 12mo low U-3 of 3.5%.
  • The BoJ met last week and despite exiting NIRP back in March, soft inflation data has led them to hold rates steady for a second straight meeting and they opted to push back any changes to the bond buying program for the time being.
  • The European Commission announced additional tariffs on Chinese EV imports last week of 17%-38%, on top of existing 10% tariffs.
  • Political turmoil in France caught the attention of European investors with a sizable left-wing coalition forming in response to a surprise loss by Macron to the right wing National Rally party.

Economic Release Highlights

  • May CPI YoY Headline (3.3% vs 3.4%) and Core (3.4% vs 3.5%) along with MoM Headline (0.0% vs 0.1%) and Core (0.2% vs 0.3%) declined from April readings and came in below forecasts.
  • May PPI YoY Headline (2.2% vs 2.5%) and Core (2.3% vs 2.4%) along with MoM Headline (-0.2% vs 0.1%) and Core (0.0% vs 0.3%) declined from April readings and came in below forecasts.
  • June’s Consumer Sentiment reading came in well below expectations (65.6 vs 73.0).
  • The May NFIB Small Business Optimism Index improved slightly to 90.5 from April’s 89.7 reading.
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: June 7th, 2024

Weekly Market Report: June 7th, 2024

Financial markets digested important labor market and economic survey data last week with what might be categorized as a “bad news is good news” mentality (until it’s not…). The S&P 500 (+1.3%) enjoyed a narrow rally to a new record high supported by large technology and shadow technology names across consumer discretionary, communication services, and information technology sectors. International developed (0.11%) and emerging (0.60%) both participated but were weighed down slightly by a strengthening USD (+0.20%). The Treasury yield curve flattened as longer tenured yields fell more than the short end leaving the 10yr (-8bps) yielding 4.43% and the 2yr (-2bps) yielding 4.87%. Commodities traded lower on the week (-1.54%) with WTI down 1.9% to $75 and industrial metals broadly lower.

Market Anecdotes

  • Last week’s top-heavy S&P rally was a microcosm of the nature of the large cap U.S. equity market which has reached a six-decade threshold in terms of index concentration.
  • Equity and bond markets seem to be laser-focused on translating the economic growth backdrop to monetary policy where stronger growth poses ‘overheating’ risks, higher/stickier inflation, and commensurately tight monetary policy.
  • Higher real yields and significantly less competitive relative earnings yield have made bond markets much more appealing to investors of all sorts.
  • The closely watched monthly employment report conveying robust job and wage growth translated to a bounce in UST yields and more speculation about the forward path for rates, a significant consideration impacting potential returns for bond market investors.
  • The ECB and BoC both joined team dove last week by moderating the degree of restrictive rates with 25 bps rate cuts, fully anticipated by markets.
  • One might think there should be very little economic gloom with unemployment under 4% for over two years, median wages up 18% (more for low wage workers), and real consumer spending up 11% right? Wrong. Whether it’s pandemic angst, hyperpartisan echo chambers, negative news bias, federal government dysfunction, or persistent inflation, negative sentiment remains prevalent in many circles.
  • Markets won’t be pricing U.S. politics or elections until after July, but European Parliament elections (June 6-9) are seeing a rise in anti-establishment European right-wing parties in response to high energy costs and immigration discontent.
  • Modi was re-elected for a third term as India’s prime minister making him the third longest serving PM in the country’s history. While the BJP lost its majority, Modi and the coalition are expected to continue to pursue constructive reform policies going forward.
  • An FT article addressed the announced phase out of OPEC+ production curbs noting their clout is running out with the U.S. now the single largest oil producer in the world.

Economic Release Highlights

  • The May jobs report came in stronger than consensus (272,000 vs 182,000) and average hourly earnings were warm at 0.4% (0.3%) MoM and 4.1% (3.9%) YoY. The unemployment rate moved one tick higher to 4% (3.9% expected) and labor participation fell two ticks to 62.5%.
  • The April JOLT Survey reported 8.059M job openings in April, notably fewer than the 8.4M forecast and past several months.
  • May ISM Manufacturing Index registered 48.7, below consensus forecast of 49.8. ISM Services rebounded and beat consensus (53.8 vs 50.7).
  • Non-U.S. PMIs (C,M,S) released last week included India (60.5, 57.5, 60.2), Eurozone (52.2, 47.3, 53.2), U.K. (53.0, 51.2, 52.9), China (C,S: 54.1, 54.0), and JPM Global (53.7, 50.9, 54.1).
  • Factory Orders in April grew in line with consensus at 0.7%, a slightly slower growth rate than March’s 1.6%.
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: May 31st, 2024

Weekly Market Report: May 31st, 2024

Last week markets absorbed the formal end of Q1 earnings season and some closely watched economic reports. Key drivers for the week were a relatively in-line April PCE inflation report, softer than expected Chinese PMIs, and interest rates edging higher on the long end. Within U.S. equity markets, the S&P 500 (-0.51%) and NASDAQ (-1.1%) snapped their respective five-week winning streaks while developed international closed up 1% with both Japan and Europe posting solid returns. Rates continued to back up with the 10yr yield closing back above 4.5% while 5 years and shorter tenors actually saw yields fall slightly. Currency and commodity markets were both relatively calm with both trading slightly lower on the week.

Market Anecdotes

  • U.S. equity markets saw some consolidation on the back of a 5%+ rally over the past five weeks fueled by strong corporate earnings, an increase in economic soft landing narratives, and a continuation of AI backed
    momentum.
  • Q1 earnings season is officially over with solid 6% bottom line growth and 4.2% top line growth leaving the S&P 500 priced at a 20.5x fwd P/E. A beat rate of 80% and margin of 7.5% were healthy as well. AI was the key theme with 199 companies citing AI in earnings calls last quarter.
  • While the Fed is focused on a higher for longer path with markets now pricing in only one cut this year, the ECB has set market expectations for a cut at their upcoming June meeting thanks to an improving cyclical outlook – with important currency and financial market implications.
  • According to BCA Geopolitical analysis, Donald Trump’s conviction of 34 felony counts by a New York state court last week, while troubling, is unlikely to change the course of the November elections with less than 15% of Trump supporters indicating they may reconsider if found guilty.
  • The latest BofA Fund Manager Survey has equity managers the most bullish since January 2022 with overweighting U.S. stocks the most crowded sentiment. It also shows over 60% of bond managers expecting higher rates in 2024.
  • Last week’s inauguration of a third consecutive DPP party President (Taiwan independence platform) saw newly elected President Lai walk dangerously close to Beijing’s line regarding the “One China” policy. Economic and political tensions are going nowhere.
  • A midweek bank downgrade due to its commercial real estate exposure sent a fresh jolt of volatility into the regional banks, serving a reminder to investors to remain vigilant as the slow moving commercial real estate issues continue to grind forward.

Economic Release Highlights

  • PCE inflation in April came in right at the consensus forecast for both YoY headline (2.7%) and core (2.8%) as well as MoM headline (0.3%) and core (0.2%). Personal income grew 0.3% and personal consumption expenditures slowed from 0.8% last month to 0.2%.
  • Chinese PMIs in May unexpectedly contracted on both Manufacturing (49.1) and Services fronts.
  • The second estimate of 1Q GDP reflected a notable downward revision from a 1.6% QoQ annual rate down to 1.3%. Personal consumption was also revised down from 2.5% to 2.0%.
  • May’s Consumer Confidence Index came in well above consensus forecast (102.0 vs 95.3) and the high end of forecast estimates.
  • Pending Home Sales Index fell 7.7% in April, well below the consensus forecast of 0.3% growth.
  • The March Case-Shiller Home Price Index grew 0.3% MoM and 7.4% YoY, exactly in line with the consensus forecast.
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: May 17th, 2024

Weekly Market Report: May 17th, 2024

Markets took in a busy economic calendar last week with several readings on inflation and the consumer. There were also a large number of Fed speaking engagements which provided ample opportunity for Fed members to opine on macro trends. The week saw U.S. equity markets notch fresh record highs while a big rally in China (+5.6%) and India (+4%) pushed emerging markets up 3% on the week. Equity markets got an assist from falling bond yields which have fallen nearly 30 bps since late April, leaving 10yr UST yields at 4.42%. Commodities were up 1.7% on the week thanks in part to a healthy rally across both industrial metals and energy. The energy complex saw WTI oil close back up over $80 and natural gas was up 16.6% on the week.

Market Anecdotes

  • The S&P 500, now up 11.4% on the year, chalked up a fourth consecutive week of gains and took out the late-March record high last week while the VIX hit a 9-year low.
  • Second quarter GDP is currently modeled by the Atlanta Fed at 3.6% supported by personal consumption expenditure growth of 3.6% and domestic investment growth of 5.6%.
  • The three-month average unemployment rate moved up to 3.87% in April, 0.37% over the early 2023 low of 3.5%, technically triggering the Sahm Rule recession indicator.
  • A research note from BCA highlighted a potential scenario where a light recession compresses market valuations from 20x to 16x and we see a 10% decline in operating earnings which would be consistent with a 30% decline in the S&P 500 to 3,700.
  • Tight investment grade and high yield credit spreads are continuing to provide an “all-clear” indication with regard to implied credit risk in the market and seem to be shrugging off signs of a deteriorating labor market.
  • In a week with several disappointing economic data releases, The PBoC announced a $42b property market rescue package designed to absorb excess housing inventory, relaxing mortgage rules, and lowering down payment requirements for homebuyers.
  • Fourteen Fed speaking engagements, including Powell, gave markets ample talking points which amounted to a strong higher for longer narrative. Powell acknowledged the lack of progress on inflation in the first quarter and the possibility of a rate hike, albeit less likely than a cut.
  • A far too early observation on the upcoming U.S. general election is that both POTUS candidates share two market unfriendly campaign threads – a pointed nationalist/protectionist narrative and absolutely no discussion of addressing the massive federal budget deficit spending.

Economic Release Highlights

  • April YoY headline and core CPI readings of 3.4% and 3.6% and MoM readings of 0.3% were softer than expected and lower than March readings across the board.
  • Headline and core PPI registered 2.2% and 2.4% YoY respectively, with warmer than expected MoM readings (0.5% vs 0.3%) and (0.5% vs 0.2%).
  • The NFIB Survey improved from 88.5 to 89.7 in April but the trend this year has been down.
  • The Conference Board LEI returned to a contractionary reading (-0.6% vs -0.3%) after only one month in the plus column over the past two years.
  • Industrial Production in April slowed down from March levels and came in under consensus forecast on both Headline (0.0% vs 0.1%) and Manufacturing Output (-0.3% vs 0.3%) readings.
  • Retail Sales in April cooled notably relative to March and came in below consensus (0.0% vs 0.4%) while the Control Group unexpectedly declined by 0.3%.
  • A reading of 45 for April’s Housing Market Index was below consensus forecast and the March reading, both of which were 51.
  • Housing Starts (1.360M vs 1.435M) and Permits (1.440M vs 1.480M) both came in under consensus forecast.
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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