Up against the clock

Up against the clock
  • Corporate Earning News
  • Global market indices  
  • Currencies
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Fixed Income
  • Commodity sector news 
  • Key data to move markets this week  
  • Global macro updates   

Corporate Earnings News

The Technology sector took a bit of a hit this week with PayPal Holdings falling after slashing its margin guidance. Apple supplier Skyworks Solutions also fell after it reported a current-quarter revenue and earnings forecast that fell short of analyst estimates. However, the real focus to emerge this week for the tech sector is artificial intelligence (AI). Alphabet’s Google is developing its core search product, the Search Generative Experience, which is supposed to be able to respond to open-ended queries while retaining its recognizable list of links to the Web. As noted by Refinitiv data, Alphabet's shares are up about 26% so far this year, compared with the 8% rise in the S&P 500.

Given the weakening dollar in Q1 as expectations rose during the week that the Fed would hit peak rates, pause and then cut later in 2023, it may be expected that US companies with more international revenue exposure are reporting higher revenues. However, research by Factset indicates that is not the case, with companies that generate more than 50% of sales outside the US reporting blended earnings declining by -10.2%, whereas companies that generate more than 50% of sales inside the US, the blended revenue growth rate is 6.1%. The underperformance has been driven largely by three large companies: Intel, Moderna and Pfizer. The outperformance of S&P 500 companies with higher domestic revenue exposure in terms of earnings is being driven by the Consumer Discretionary sector, with Amazon in particular being the largest contributor to earnings growth for S&P 500 companies with more domestic revenue exposure.

Corporate earning calendar 11-18 May 2023

Thursday: Bayer, Fiverr International, Merck, Sun Life Financial, Takeda Pharmaceutical, NortonLifeLock
Tuesday: 
Home Depot, Keysight Technologies
Wednesday: 
Cisco Systems, Take-Two Interactive Software, Target Corporation, Synopsys
Thursday: 
Walmart, Applied Materials, Ross Stores

US Stock Indices 

Nasdaq 100 +0.76% MTD and +22.00% YTD 
Dow Jones Industrial Average
 -1.57% MTD and +1.25% YTD 
NYSE 
-1.27% MTD and +1.09% YTD 
S&P 500
 -1.21% MTD and +7.28% YTD

Mega caps: AlphabetAmazonAppleMicrosoft, Nvidia and Tesla are all up this week on strong results and the renewed focus on AI propelling markets while Meta Platforms is slightly down.

Energy stocks largely recovered this week with Energy Fuels, Apa Corp (US), Shell, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66, and Marathon Oil all up. Occidental Petroleum was down on poor earning results as Q1 2023 total net sales were down 15% to $7.26 bln vs $7.38 bn expected and diluted adjusted EPS was down to $1.09 vs. $1.28 expected.

Materials and Mining stocks were mixed again this week on signs of weaker than expected demand in China. Albemarle Corporation and Freeport-McMoran were up, however, Yara International, Mosaic, CF Industries Holdings, Newmont Mining and Nucor Corporation were down. Sibanye Stillwater was also down, largely due to its report on Tuesday that its adjusted EBITDA in Q1 2023 was $441 million, a decline of 51% compared to adjusted EBITDA of $898 million in Q1 2022. Its platinum group metal (PGM) output declined nearly 10% during the first quarter, impacted by power cuts in South Africa and the ongoing planned closure and ceasing of production at Simunye shaft at Kroondal.

European Stock Indices 

Stoxx 600 -0.64% MTD and +9.12% YTD 
DAX
 -0.16% MTD and +14.17% YTD 
CAC 40
 -1.74% MTD and +13.71% YTD 
IBEX 35 
-0.79% MTD and +11.41% YTD 
FTSE MIB 
+0.69% MTD and +15.01% YTD
FTSE 100
 -1.64% MTD and +3.89% YTD 

Other Global Stock Indices 

MSCI World Index -0.59% MTD and +7.55% YTD
Hang Seng 
-0.67% MTD and -0.10% YTD

Currencies

The USD fell against most major currencies this week on growing concerns around debt ceiling negotiations and the possibility of default looming ever closer as well as slightly lower headline CPI convincing markets that the Fed will pause in its June meeting. The GBP is +4.34% YTD against the USD, while the EUR is +2.61% YTD against the USD. The BoE is expected to raise rates again today by 25 bps, with a surprisingly resilient economy also supporting Sterling, which is up more than 8% from last September's budget blowup and subsequent gilt crisis. It's at its highest in more than a year against the dollar. As for the Euro, the ECB is expected to maintain its tightening path despite the Fed largely expected to pause. As noted by several ECB policymakers this week, Eurozone inflation momentum remains high and so the ECB is likely to raise lending rates until there is a sustained decline in core inflation.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin -6.19% MTD and +66.43% YTD
Ethereum
 -2.78% MTD and +53.88% YTD

There are growing concerns about liquidity in the crypto market as two market makers, Jane Street and Jump Crypto, are threatening to reduce or exit trading in the US, according to Coindesk.com. A reduction in liquidity causes an increase in volatility. This, coupled with this highly-leveraged nature of crypto markets, could potentially create a credit risk that could affect other asset classes. 

Fixed Income

US 10-year yield to 3.44%.
German 10-year yield to 2.29%.

UK 10-year yield to 3.80%.

US yields fell this week. Concerns over the US debt ceiling standoff are increasing rates on short-term Treasuries. Spreads on US one-year credit default swaps (CDS) widened to 172 basis points, an all-time high, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Although the ECB is expected to raise rates again today by 25 basis points, it is highly likely that there will be at least two further rate rises by Autumn. 

Commodities

Gold futures to $2,037.10 an ounce.
Silver
futures to $25.63 per ounce.
West Texas Intermediate
crude to $72.56 a barrel.
Brent crude
to $76.41 a barrel.

It’s been a mixed week for oil, which rose earlier in the week on news of wildfires in Canada stopping production. However, oil prices fell after US government data showed crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week due to the 6th release from national reserves and a drop in exports. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell 2.9 million barrels last week to 362 million barrels, the lowest since October 1983. The drawdown is part of a congressionally-mandated 26 million barrel release of crude oil.

Gold has continued to benefit from a weakening dollar. However, gold may struggle in the short term with US core inflation unchanged and well above the Fed's target, indicating that the Fed may not pause in June, or may, at least, keep rates higher for longer with no cuts this year. 

Note: As of 5 pm EDT10 May 2023

Key data to move markets this week

EUROPE 

Thursday: A speech by ECB executive board member Isabel Schnabel, 
Friday
: A speech by Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, a speech by ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos.
Monday:
Eurogroup meeting, EC economic growth forecast, and Eurozone Industrial production.
Tuesday:
EcoFin meeting, Eurozone GDP, Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment survey, and German ZEW Economic Sentiment and Current Situation surveys. 
Wednesday:
Eurozone Core Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices.

UK

Thursday: Bank of England Interest Rate Decision, Monetary Policy Report, a speech by BoE Governor Andrew Bailey and NIESR GDP estimate. 
Friday:
GDP, Industrial Production, Manufacturing Production, and a speech by BoE Chief Economist Huw Pill. 
Monday:
BoE Monetary Policy Report Hearings. 
Tuesday:
Average Earnings, Claimant Count Change, Claimant Count Rate, and ILO Unemployment Rate.
Wednesday:
A speech by BoE Governor Andrew Bailey.

US

Thursday: Initial jobless claims, Continuing jobless claims, PPI, and a speech by Fed Board of Governors member Christopher Waller.
Friday: Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and UoM 5-year Consumer Inflation Expectations.
Saturday:
Speeches by Fed Board of Governors members Philip Jefferson and Lisa Cook.
Tuesday
: Retail sales. 
Wednesday:
Building Permits and Housing Starts.
Thursday:
Initial jobless claims, continuing jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey.

G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors meet in Japan today. 

Global Macro Updates

Inflation falls as debt worries rise. CPI rose 0.4% after rising 0.1% in March. However, on a y/o/y basis it came in at 4.9% in April, a slight decline from March’s 5%. Most importantly core CPI rose 0.4% monthly and 5.5% from a year ago. Due to fall in headline inflation, the market appears to be pricing in a Fed cut beginning this summer. However, while inflation is decelerating, it's not at a pace that would justify cutting the Fed funds rate that soon. With the economy still growing, unemployment falling to 3.4% and job growth still strong, the positive headwinds are for a soft landing as tighter credit conditions due to both lagged policy effects and rising caution due to banking sector volatility, are still likely to impact growth and labour demand later this year. 

Investors should also be wary due to the risks from the standoff in US debt talks. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier today, ahead of the G7 meeting of finance ministers in Niigata, Japan, that "A default would threaten the gains that we've worked so hard to make over the past few years in our pandemic recovery. And it would spark a global downturn that would set us back much further," and "It would also risk undermining US global economic leadership and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests." This came after President Biden said that a failure by Congress to resolve the debt ceiling crisis before the Treasury runs out of money to pay the government's bills risked the US economy being thrown into a recession. He said on Wednesday that “if the US defaulted on its debt, the whole world is in trouble” and, according to The Hill, he admitted that he is considering invoking the 14th amendment as a way to unilaterally work around the debt ceiling. In section 4 of that amendment it says, the "validity of the public debt of the United States, authorised by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” This means that, in theory, the Biden administration could challenge the legality of the debt limit by having the Treasury continue to issue new debt to meet its financial obligations. Former US President Donald Trump urged Republican lawmakers to let the US default on its debts unless Democrats capitulate to demands for “massive” spending cuts.

Another rate rise for the BoE. The Bank of England (BoE) raised rates by 25 basis points today, taking the benchmark rate to 4.5% on Thursday for the 12th meeting in a row as it battles stubbornly high inflation. UK inflation came in at 10.1% in March, the highest in the G7. Two of the nine member panel voted for no change.The BoE retained the same guidance as in February and March, saying, "If there were to be evidence of more persistent pressures, then further tightening in monetary policy would be required.” The central bank updated its forecasts and no longer expects a recession this year. It now forecasts the economy will grow 0.25% this year - compared with its February prediction of a 0.5% contraction.

A European altering election? Turkey goes to the polls on Sunday, 14 May. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), will be running for re-election. His main challenger is Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP), who is running under a national alliance banner, a six-party opposition alliance with additional backing from the pro-Kurdish HDP. After twenty years in power, it is not clear if Erdogan will win. The Turkish economy is in crisis with inflation running at over 85% in 2022 and the lira slumping to one tenth of its value against the dollar over the last decade thanks to Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies which forced the Central Bank to continually cut rates. For Europe, the election is important because, as noted by Politico, Erdogan’s actions, supporting Russia, launching incursions into Syria, using its vote in NATO to block Swedish accession, have allowed the EU to avoid the question of Turkey’s accession to the EU. If Kilicdaroglu wins, Turkey is more likely to soften its tone towards NATO, although it may continue to support Russia in a bid to secure its energy supplies. 

Binance vs the US. According to the Financial Times, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has said a crackdown on crypto has made it “very difficult” to do business in the US, adding that it now hopes to be regulated in the UK. Patrick Hillmann, the company’s chief strategy officer, said at the Financial Times’ crypto and digital assets summit, that Binance would do “everything we possibly can” to be regulated in the UK. This comes as two significant market-making firms, Jane Street Group and Jump Crypto, are, according to Cryptonews.com, cutting back their digital asset trading activities in the US due to heightened regulatory pressure. On Wednesday Bloomberg news noted that Jane Street is going even further by scaling back its crypto ambitions globally because regulatory uncertainty has made it difficult for the firm to operate the business in a way that meets internal standards, according to a person familiar with the matter. Jump Crypto, the digital-assets unit of Jump Trading, is also pulling back from the US market for the same reason. Both firms have faced regulatory scrutiny in the US with Jump Crypto being questioned by US prosecutors in a probe of the failed TerraUSD stablecoin project and Jane Street being one of the three US quant-trading firms cited by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in its lawsuit against Binance.

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