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Valleywise Health sees ‘modest decline’ in Covid-19 cases but fears nursing shortage will worsen

As Arizonans continue to get vaccinated, the number of Covid-19 cases in one major health system has tapered off. However, Valleywise Health continues to suffer a severe nursing shortage, and officials fear the coming deadline for employees to be vaccinated may make it worse. Valleywise Health, Maricopa County’s health system, held a news conference Wednesday to provide updates on Covid-19 trends. Valleywise reported 26 cases this week across the organization, with 20 at the medical health center….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 13th, 2021

5 Staffing Stocks to Buy on October"s Impressive Jobs Report

Hiring is finally rebounding after a dull summer, which is likely to benefit staffing companies like KornFerry International (KFY), Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN) and Kforce (KFRC). As the economy continues to reopen, industries are getting back to functioning, and people have started finding new jobs. Those furloughed last year due to the pandemic are also being rehired. This saw hiring at U.S. companies finally rebounding in October to the maximum since July.The rebound comes as more people are now going back to work as they are vaccinated. The jump in new job creations and hiring is thus directly helping staffing companies as they are getting busy helping people find jobs.Hiring Surges in OctoberThe Labor Department said on Nov 5 that U.S. companies added 531,000 jobs in October, the highest since July. Interestingly, hiring jumped at a record pace in July, the fastest in almost a year, as the economy started functioning in full swingbut slowed again during summer.However, things finally seem to be changing, as millions of vaccinated people are now confident about going back to work. Industries,too are getting back to functioning at the optimum level, increasing demand for workers.This has resulted in employers stepping up hiring. Also, the Labor Department report showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in October from 4.8% in September. Although the rate is higher than the pre-pandemic levels, it is still one of the lowest in recent times.The report further showed that while hiring was on the higher side in October,it wasn’t as weak as initially reported in August and September. The hiring estimate by the government for August and September was revised by a combined 235,000 jobs.Moreover, hiring in October increased across all sectors expect for government employers reporting loss of jobs. Shipping and warehousing companies added 54,000 jobs, while retailers reported a gain of 35,000 new jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants, bars, hotels and entertainment venues, added 164,000 jobs.Signs of Economic RecoveryHigher job additions, particularly in the retail, and leisure and hospitality sectors showed signs of economic reopening followed by a steady recovery. Widespread vaccination has made people confident about planning vacations and eating out.Also, consumer confidence, which had taken a hit in the past few months, bounced back in October as fears of the Delta variant of coronavirus eased somewhat. Consumer confidence increased to 113.8 in October from September’s reading of 109.8.The retail sector too has been trying to bounce back, with sales jumping 0.7% in September. Sales at restaurants grew 0.3% month over month in September and 29.5% year over year. This once again shows that the above industries are making a fast recovery, which is helping to drive hiring.Also, average hourly earnings for employees jumped 4.9% in October on a year-over-year basis. The jump in hiring and a decline in unemployment is backed by a steady decline in COVID-19 cases. This is likely to further boost consumer confidence in the coming days and encourage employers to hire more.Our ChoicesHiring will be on the rise as the economy further reopens. This thus makes for an ideal opportunity to invest in staffing stocks.KornFerry International KFY is the world's leading and largest executive recruitment firm with the broadest global presence in the executive recruitment industry.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 23.8% over the past 60 days. KornFerry International carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Kforce KFRC is a full-service, web-based specialty staffing firm, providing flexible and permanent staffing solutions toorganizations and career management for individuals in the specialty skill areas of information technology, finance & accounting, human resources, engineering, pharmaceutical, health care, legal, e-solutions consulting, scientific and insurance and investments.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 35.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 10.3% over the past 60 days. Kforce sports a Zacks Rank #1.Robert Half International Inc. RHI is one of the world's largest providers of professional consulting and staffing services. The company's specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 95.9% The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 5.4% over the past 60 days. Robert Half International has a Zacks Rank #1.Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. CCRN is a national leader in providing innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services. Their diverse client base includes both clinical and nonclinical settings, servicing acute care hospitals, physician practice groups, outpatient and ambulatory-care centers, nursing facilities, both public schools and charter schools, rehabilitation and sports medicine clinics, government facilities, and homecare.The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 44.9% over the past 60 days. Cross Country Healthcare has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).DLH DLHC serves clients throughout the United States as a full-service provider of healthcare, logistics, and technical support services to DoD and Federal agencies. Its healthcare delivery solutions include professional services, such as case management, health and injury assessment, critical care, medical/surgical, emergency room/trauma center, counseling, behavioral health and trauma brain injury, medical systems analysis, and medical logistics, and allied support services in the areas of MRI technology, diagnostic sonography, phlebotomy, dosimetry, physical therapy and pharmaceuticals. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 28.8%. DLH shares have gained 16.6% in the past 30 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report KornFerry International (KFY): Free Stock Analysis Report Robert Half International Inc. (RHI): Free Stock Analysis Report Kforce, Inc. (KFRC): Free Stock Analysis Report Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (CCRN): Free Stock Analysis Report DLH Holdings Corp. (DLHC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 8th, 2021

China Trade Surplus Hits Record Just As US Trade Deficit Rises To All-Time High

China Trade Surplus Hits Record Just As US Trade Deficit Rises To All-Time High Amid widespread power shortages, a sudden surge in new covid cases and lockdowns... ... and an accelerating collapse in China's property sector, overnight Beijing reported yet another record monthly trade surplus in October as exports surged despite global supply-chain disruptions. China's export growth moderated slightly to 27.1% yoy in October, above the 22.8% consensus expectation, implying a sequential gain of 2.6% in October (a modest slowdown from +3.0% in September) despite electricity constraints in October. At the same time, imports rose 20.6% yoy in October, missing expectations of a 26.2% surge, but fell 3.2% sequentially in October (vs. -0.7% in September). As a result of the far bigger growth in exports over imports, the monthly trade surplus rose further to a record high of $84.5bn in October, supporting the appreciation of the Chinese yuan in October, even as China's economy has slowed down sharply in recent months. While China’s trade growth has remained well above pre-pandemic levels all year, its exports through October have already surpassed all of 2020 as the world just can't get enough of goods made in China (even if they have to wait months in the Port of LA). Digging into data, we find that China’s exports to the European Union and the U.S. have grown fastest among its major trading partners this year. The nation’s trade surplus with the U.S., a source of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, rose to 2.08 trillion yuan ($325 billion) in the 10 months through October from 1.75 trillion yuan a year earlier, partly because Chinese imports of U.S. soybeans slowed due to weather-related issues in recent months. Broken down by major export destination, export growth to South Korea was resilient and picked up to 33.1% yoy in October (vs. 27.9% in September). Exports to India also rose 46.4% yoy in October, similar to 46.2% yoy in September. Growth of exports to ASEAN edged up to 18.0% yoy (vs. 17.3% in September). Among major DMs, growth of exports to the US slowed meaningfully to 22.7% yoy in October (vs. 30.6% yoy in September) while exports to EU accelerated to 44.3% yoy from 28.6% yoy in September. Exports to Japan grew 16.3% yoy (vs. +15.2% yoy in September). Incidentally, it's hardly a coincidence that just days after the US reported a record trade deficit (so much for all those China tariffs), China posted the biggest trade surplus ever. As we reported last week, in October, the US reported a trade deficit of $80.9BN, the highest on record, and double the pre-covid levels. Also, curiously, as we have pointed out previously, a look into the bilateral trade deficit between the US and China shows that the recent divergence in data continues, with China reporting a greater trade surprlus than the US reports as deficit, a reversal from the trend observed pre-covid (we discussed this extensively in "A Bizarre Discrepancy Is Blowing Up The Trade "Data" Between US And China"). By major export category, machines and electrical products accounted for almost 60% of Chinese exports by value this year, the customs administration said. Labor-intensive products such as clothing and plastic products made up another 18%. Goods such as household appliances, lightings and furniture saw the fastest export growth in October, Goldman analysts said in a note, to wit: moving-in related products continued to outpace other major export categories in October. Household appliances exports rose 39.4% yoy (vs. 38.8% yoy in September) and lightings grew 31.0% yoy (vs. +35.1% in September), although furniture exports moderated further to +14.4% yoy from +15.8% in September. Among tech-related products, exports in electronic integrated circuits remained relatively resilient and grew 29.5% yoy (vs. 32.7% in September), and LCD panels rose 33.8% yoy in October (vs. 36.6% in September). On consumer electronic products, cellphone exports slowed sharply to 12.1% yoy from +70.0% yoy in September, while computers exports grew 19.3% yoy in October, accelerating slightly from +14.6% yoy in September. Additionally, exports of personal protection related products (mainly plastic and textile articles) remained at high levels in absolute terms, with growth of textile & fabric goods up 7.2% yoy (-5.6% yoy in September) and exports of plastic articles increased 8.2% yoy (vs. +11.6% yoy in September). Among major imports categories, crude oil imports grew 56.3% yoy, higher than 34.9% in September, and coal imports rose 292% yoy, accelerating further from 234% yoy in September as domestic coal inventory level remained low in October. In contrast, iron ore imports fell 1.8% yoy in October, reversing from +41.1% in September. Both lower prices and "dual control policy" targetting high-emission sectors contributed to weaker iron ore imports. Imports of integrated circuits increased 11.2% yoy in October, similar to +11.5% yoy in September. In volume terms, crude oil imports contracted further by 11.2% yoy (vs. -15.3% yoy in September) and the decline in iron ore imports widened to -14.2% yoy (vs. -11.9% yoy in September). However, coal import volume picked up to 96.2% yoy from 76.1% yoy in September. Breakdown aside, the strong trade performance is providing support for a Chinese economy that’s slowed sharply in recent months due to weak domestic demand caused by a real estate downturn, electricity shortages that have slowed industrial output, and weak consumer spending worsened by sporadic outbreaks of the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Goldman slashed its China 2022 GDP estimate to 5.2%, the lowest it has ever been. Of note, China’s coal imports almost doubled in October from a year earlier as Beijing scrambled to deal with power cuts caused by a shortage of the commodity and surging demand for electricity, especially from export-oriented manufacturers. Imports of natural gas, an alternative to electricity for heating homes, jumped 22% in the first 10 months of the year. One wonders if anyone at the COP26 will point out that China has just unleashed a tidal wave of CO2 emissions on the rest of the world just to keep warm this winter, in response to its idiotic "green" policies of pretending it could ever comply with net zero regulations heading into the winter olympics. China coal imports rose 292% Y/Y. This is that special "green" coal that G5 globetrotting billionaires never mention when they preach against global warming (they also never mention China for some odd reason) — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 7, 2021 In retrospect, China's trade frenzy should not come as a surprise - global trade has been running at record levels this year as economies around the world recovered from virus-induced lockdowns in 2020. That has put strain on supply chains in many countries due to shortages of containers and ships as well as capacity at ports, including drivers who deliver goods to retailers. As China flooded the world with its products in 2021, it received countless pieces of non-Chinese paper in exchange, and as Bloomberg notes, dollar inflows supported China’s currency this year and added to the government’s reserves of foreign exchange, which rose to $3.22 trillion at the end of October, according to the People’s Bank of China. The dollars offer China an important cushion against any future shocks in the world economy, even as individual companies like Evergrande struggle to repay their debts. * * * Looking ahead, Bloomberg predicts that the nation’s strong export momentum will last at least for the next few months. Demand for Chinese products could slow if consumers in developed economies continue to shift away from goods toward services consumption, and countries in South and Southeast Asia resume factory production following pandemic-related shutdowns. That said, even China's trade dynamo may soon slow -  as we reported last week, China's premier warned of “downward pressure” on the economy and vowed measures to boost domestic demand, including more supportive policies for small and medium-sized companies. Curiously, it has vowed not to use the property market to provide temporary stimulus, and the central bank has remained conservative, sticking to making short-term loans to keep interbank liquidity stable. Bank reserve requirements have been unchanged since July and policy interest rates have been steady since last year.  Tyler Durden Sun, 11/07/2021 - 10:41.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 7th, 2021

October Payrolls Soar To 531K, Smashing Expectations As Prior Months Revised Sharply Higher

October Payrolls Soar To 531K, Smashing Expectations As Prior Months Revised Sharply Higher After two months of dismal job reports, the BLS finally redeemed itself when moments ago it reported that in October the US gained some 531K jobs, well above the 450K consensus exp and above the 500K whisper number. The gain in payrolls was also bigger than all but 10 of the 75 forecasts in Bloomberg’s survey. As Bloomberg calculates, if payroll gains stay at the same pace as October’s, in eight months the total payroll figure would be back at its record high.... that’s also when the Fed would be finished zeroing-out QE. So, time for a rate hike in July? Remarkably, the private payrolls print was a stellar 604K, with government jobs shrinking by 73K in October. Just as importantly, the Sept print was revised solidly higher, from 194K to 312K, as was August, up from 366K to 483K. With these revisions, employment in August and September combined is 235,000 higher than previously reported. Also worth noting: gain in not seasonally adjusted payrolls last month was a whopping 1.56 million, which was more than the prior three months combined! As Bloomberg notes, "in terms of actual people actually heading to work, that’s a whole lot more than we had in summer." In any case, payrolls are now 4.2 million lower than the peak reached before the pandemic, February 2020. Naturally, this is better than the near-5 million we had in September. And there was some very good news for the US manufacturing sector which saw jobs jump by 60K in October, double the expected 30K. We will have a more detailed breakdown later, but despite the solid headline print, leisure and hospitality hiring is still looking slower than before the delta wave... although it is picking up a bit, at +164,000 in October. August and September were also revised up a bit to +71,000 and +88,000, respectively. Validating the solid headline print was the Household survey which showed that the number of employed Americans jumped by 359K from 153.68K to 154.039K, and with the number of unemployed dropping from 7.674M to 7.419M, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.8% to 4.6%, below the 4.7% exp. The labor participation rate was unchanged at 61.6% as the labor force rose modestly by just over 100K. Commenting on the flat print, Ross Mayfield, an analyst at Baird, sees the LFP rate as a "weak spot" again - “Would love to start to see that move higher as Covid wanes to show expanding labor supply and help ease some of those pressure. But a really strong report overall.” There was more good news, with average hourly earnings rising from 4.6% to 4.9% Y/Y, even if the monthly increase dipped modestly from 0.6% to 0.4%. Digging a bit deeper, we find that wage growth is surging in leisure and hospitality, where it jumped 12.4% year-over-year, as retailers still can't find workers. But even in the rest of the labor market, wage growth of 5.9% is also basically the highest since the early 1980s. Average weekly hours worked dipped slightly to 34.7 from 34.8. This measure had been elevated, as expected in a time when employers can’t find workers they ask existing ones to work longer. So the dip in October could suggest that there’s an ever-so-slight reduction in pressures. Looking at the breakdown of job gains, growth was widespread in October, with notable job gains occurring in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in public education declined over the month.  Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 164,000 in October and has risen by 2.4 million thus far in 2021. Over the month, employment rose by 119,000 in food services and drinking places and by 23,000 in accommodation. Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.4 million, or 8.2 percent, since February 2020. Professional and business services added 100,000 jobs in October, including a gain of 41,000 in temporary help services. Employment continued to rise in management and technical consulting services (+14,000), other professional and technical services (+9,000), scientific research and development services (+6,000), and legal services (+5,000). Employment in professional and business services is 215,000 below its level in February 2020. Employment in manufacturing increased by 60,000 in October, led by a gain in motor vehicles and parts (+28,000). Employment also rose in fabricated metal products (+6,000), chemicals (+6,000), and printing and related support activities (+4,000). Manufacturing employment is down by 270,000 since February 2020. Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 54,000 in October and is 149,000 above its February 2020 level. In October, job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+20,000), transit and ground passenger transportation (+16,000), air transportation (+9,000), and truck transportation (+8,000). Employment in couriers and messengers decreased by 5,000 in October, after increasing in the prior 3 months. Construction employment rose by 44,000 in October, following an increase of 30,000 in September. In October, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+19,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+12,000). Construction employment is 150,000 below its February 2020 level. Health care added 37,000 jobs in October, with most of the gain occurring in home health care services (+16,000) and nursing care facilities (+12,000). Employment in health care is down by 460,000 since February 2020. In October, employment in retail trade rose by 35,000. Employment gains occurred in food and beverage stores (+16,000), general merchandise stores (+15,000), health and personal care stores (+8,000), and electronics and appliance stores (+6,000). These gains were partially offset by a job loss in building material and garden supply stores (-10,000). Retail trade employment is 140,000 lower than its level in February 2020. Employment in the other services industry increased by 33,000 in October, as personal and laundry services added 28,000 jobs. Employment in other services is 169,000 below its February 2020 level. Employment in financial activities rose by 21,000 in October and has returned to its February 2020 level. Over the month, job growth occurred in real estate and rental and leasing (+12,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+11,000). Employment in wholesale trade increased by 14,000 in October, reflecting a gain in the durable goods component. Employment in wholesale trade is 158,000 lower than in February 2020. Mining employment continued to trend up in October (+5,000) but is down by 87,000 from a peak in January 2019. The data will come as a relief to the battered White House, as it suggests the weaker August and September reports were indeed much affected by the delta variant, and not something more sinister. Commenting on the data, CFRA's Sam Stovall said that "This month’s numbers played catch-up to the ADP reports of the past two months, demonstrating that the September BLS results were an anomaly." Not everyone was impressed however: Katherine Judge, an economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said that "while better than expected, this print still leaves the unemployment rate 1.1%-points above the lows the Fed is aiming to see in the next two years.” Haris Khurshid, portfolio manager at Fate Capital Management, says the report was “relatively good” but he too had some reservations:“I will add that there still is a record labor shortage, and this is feeding directly into the supply-chain issues we’re seeing. While everyone is basically forecasting a record holiday shopping season, I’m not concerned with the demand, but rather the delays in shipping. We’ll hopefully start seeing a consistent gradual improvement in the coming months within the labor market.” Commenting on the market's kneejerk reaction, Bloomberg Intelligence chief US rates strategist writes that “the Treasury knee-jerk reaction to the payroll report was for the curve to bear flatten with the three- and five-year sectors underperforming. This market appears to be thinking the report is good enough for the Fed to continue hiking beyond what is priced." He adds that "the belly of the curve should continue to attract the most attention, as the market searches for a terminal rate, which we think will be under 2% this cycle and probably not reached until 2024.” As for stocks, with futures trading at new all time highs, the meltup is poised to continue because as Baird’s Mayfield says, this report was “kind of Goldilocks" as it’s probably not a large enough beat to “really inspire the Fed to get much more hawkish,” given the weaker participation rate. “Definitely a positive. Eases any lingering stagflation fears and shows signs that Covid headwinds are waning.” Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 08:39.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 5th, 2021

Futures Slide Dragged Lower By Amazon And Apple

Futures Slide Dragged Lower By Amazon And Apple US equity futures fell along with European and Asian stocks on Friday after tech giants Amazon and Apple and Starbucks sank in premarket trading after their earnings missed expectations, signaling a possible drop of around $180 billion in combined market value when the U.S. reopens, while dizzying bond-market gyrations sparked by surprise central bank announcements amid concerns over inflation and monetary tightening left investors scrambling to guess what happens next. A failure by Biden and the Democrats to pass their massive Build Back Better stimulus package added to the bearish sentiment. At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 22 points, or 0.5%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 138 points, or 0.88%. 10Y yields rose 3bps to 1.61%; the dollar rose while bitcoin was flat at $61,000. “Disappointment on Apple and Amazon results will likely weigh on the market sentiment,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “And there is little to improve the mood, as Joe Biden is still struggling to pass his mega spending bill, the Covid delta-plus cases are surging and the U.S. growth fell short of expectations in the latest read.” There was some relief out of China, where some Evergrande Group bondholders were said to receive an overdue interest payment shortly before the expiry of a grace period, buying more time for the debt-stricken property developer as it tries to raise cash through asset sales. Separately, Joe Biden was dealt a setback on Thursday as the House of Representatives abandoned plans for a vote on an infrastructure bill with progressives seeking more time to consider his call for a separate $1.75 trillion plan for social initiatives. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Apple slides 3.6% in U.S. premarket trading after the iPhone maker reported disappointing fourth-quarter results and warned about the impact of chip shortages, rekindling worries about the key holiday quarter Amazon slumps 5% in premarket trading after its forecast for holiday sales fell short of analysts’ estimates, signaling the pandemic’s boost to online shopping continues to fade Meta Materials up 2.9% in premarket trading after soaring as much as 32% Thursday postmarket as investors mistook it for Facebook Inc. following the Internet giant’s rebrand Western Digital shares drop 10% in premarket trading after its earnings forecast missed estimates U.S. Steel surges 8% in premarket trading as investors cheer a stock buyback and a hike in dividends Starbucks shares decline as much as 4.9% in U.S. premarket trading as the $20b in new payouts to shareholders failed to offset quarterly results that fell short of expectations B. Riley Financial gained in Thursday late trading after announcing a $4 dividend, composed of a $3 special one-time payout and a doubling of its regular quarterly dividend to $1 DaVita Inc.fell 6.7% in after-hours trading after cutting the top end of its forecast for 2021 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations Plantronics tumbled 12% postmarket after the headset maker reported second- quarter revenue that missed its own guidance, as well as analyst estimates A10 Networks shares rose 7.5% in extended trading on Thursday after the computer networking products company said it is confident in accelerating growth beyond the previous targets of 6-8% Tailwind Two shares rose 4.9% Thursday postmarket after Terran Orbital Corp., a builder of small satellites, said it is merging with the SPAC and plans to go public in the first quarter of 2022 Focus now turns to the latest readings on U.S. consumer spending and the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the core PCE price index, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, for clues on the health of the economy ahead of the central bank’s policy meeting next week. “(The data) will carry rather more weight with markets. High prints may see the Fed taper trade priced into the end of the week, with stocks lower, especially above the one-two punch from Apple and Amazon,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA. “Some actual concrete progress on the U.S. spending bills instead of empty rhetoric could give a pleasant boost to markets in the end of the week as well.” In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index extends losses to hit session low, with most sectors declining, as data showing accelerating euro-area inflation stoked concern of faster rate hikes. The Index was -0.8% as of 11:28 am in London, trims best monthly gain since March Real estate, technology sectors are worst performers, while insurance and energy outperform. BBVA jumped 6.1% in Madrid after it announced the start of a planned stock buyback and reported earnings that beat estimates. Asian equities headed for their third day of declines as disappointing results weighed on big technology stocks, and financials fell as bond-yield curves continued to flatten. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.6%, with TSMC, Tencent, AIA and Ping An among the biggest drags. The regional benchmark was set for a weekly loss of 1.1%, its worst in four weeks. The U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted between 20 and 30 years on Thursday, a sign that investors expect central-bank policy tightening to lead to slower economic growth and inflation. Meanwhile, Apple and Amazon.com slid in late trading after reporting weak sales, hurt by the global supply-chain crisis.  “U.S. stock futures and South Korean stocks fell following the drop in Apple,” said Hiroshi Namioka, chief strategist at T&D Asset Management Co. “Investor sentiment deteriorated on concerns about the impact of supply constraints on stocks beyond firms related to Apple.” Benchmarks in Hong Kong, the Philippines, India and Australia were also among the worst performers. The biggest gains were in Indonesia, China and New Zealand In rates, the 10-year US Treasury yield climbed to 1.61% before easing 1 basis point. The curve between 20- and 30-years has inverted for the first time since the U.S. government reintroduced a two-decade maturity in 2020 as inflation pressures and the prospect of interest-rate hikes are whipsawing bond markets. Treasury futures remain near lows of the day into early U.S. session, after trading heavy during Asia session, when Australian bond yields surged as the central bank’s decision not to defend its yield target on Friday fueled bets that policy makers may soon scrap the program. In Treasury futures, multiple block trades shortly after 6am ET were consistent with a curve-steepening wager. Yields were cheaper by 2bp-3bp across the curve, keeping spreads broadly within 1bp of Thursday’s close; 10-year yields around 1.605% are around 1bp richer vs bunds and gilts. Aussie 10-year yields closed 21.8bp cheaper vs U.S. amid speculation that policy makers may soon scrap the yield-curve control program. In the US, 2s10s and 5s30s curves remain flatter on week after reaching most compressed levels in months on Thursday; month-end flows may support long-end Friday, with Bloomberg Treasury index set to extend by an estimated 0.08yr in 4pm rebalancing European bonds extended Thursday’s retreat as data on Eurozone economic growth and inflation topped analysts’ estimates, reinforcing conviction that interest-rate increases are on the horizon after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde offered only mild pushback against traders’ bets on a hike as soon as October next year. The euro slipped after jumping 0.7% on Thursday, but remains on track for a third week of gains. “In the very near term, because many global central banks are just dipping their feet into taper, not even into quantitative tightening, the aggregate liquidity could remain very supportive,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore, said on Bloomberg Television. “Although I think you get very much more discriminatory moves and much more selective moves in the equity markets.” In FX, the U.S. dollar ticked up from a one-month low and crude oil fluctuated and the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced as much as 0.2% as the greenback rose versus all its Group-of-10 peers apart from the Swiss franc; the Kiwi and Scandinavian currencies were the worst performers. The euro pared about half of Thursday’s advance against the dollar and European bond yields rose. Italian bonds led peripheral underperformance vs. euro-area peers and ECB policy-tightening bets gained momentum as markets continued to digest Lagarde’s lack of reassurance in her comments on Thursday. The pound inched lower in the European session. Gilts’ aggressive flattening moves in previous sessions paused as yield increases were most pronounced in the long end. Australian bond yields surged as the central bank’s decision not to defend its yield target on Friday fueled bets that policy makers may soon scrap the program. The currency hovered under its 200-day moving average. In commodities, Brent and WTI both rose about 0.3%. Spot gold flat on the day, trades just below $1,800/oz. Base metals fall on the LME, with zinc, nickel and aluminum declining the most. Ethereum finally hit a new all-time-high, rising briefly above $4400. Chinese coal futures extended a dramatic decline as China’s government said there’s further room for prices to fall, ratcheting up interventions in the market aimed at easing an energy crisis. Looking at today's data we get preliminary September industrial production, preliminary Q3 GDP from Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy, preliminary October CPI from Euro Area, France and Italy, UK September mortgage approvals, Canada August GDP, US September personal spending, personal income, October MNI Chicago PMI and final October University of Michigan consumer sentiment index are due. In corporate earnings, ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Charter Communications, Daimler, BNP Paribas, Aon and NatWest Group are among companies reporting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,567.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 472.83 German 10Y yield up 3.3 bps to -0.103% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1663 Brent Futures up 0.2% to $84.49/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,793.54 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.14% to 93.48 MXAP down 0.5% to 197.77 MXAPJ down 0.7% to 649.27 Nikkei up 0.3% to 28,892.69 Topix little changed at 2,001.18 Hang Seng Index down 0.7% to 25,377.24 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,547.34 Sensex down 0.9% to 59,417.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.4% to 7,323.74 Kospi down 1.3% to 2,970.68 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The returns on carry trades are roaring back in the currency markets of the world’s major developed countries, thanks to surging commodity prices, low volatility and the growing ranks of central banks that are tightening monetary policy U.K. households are under increasing financial stress just as the Bank of England contemplates weaning the nation off near-zero interest rates, according to debt-collection firm Lowell China’s junk dollar bonds had their steepest two-month decline in a decade as stress builds in the battered real estate sector and defaults mount to a record France and Italy drove economic growth in the 19-nation euro area in the third quarter following the suspension of most Covid-19 curbs. A surge in consumer spending propelled French output to 3% in the three months through September, exceeding all but one estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Italy reported an expansion of 2.6% that was bolstered by industry and services As the prospect of interest-rate hikes whipsaws bond markets, bears can be forgiven for betting the recent 10-year Treasury selloff will resume in earnest given the inflationary pressures building everywhere. But with a key section of the U.S. yield curve inverting on growth fears, the likes of AXA Investment Managers to HSBC Holdings Plc can find a receptive audience to make a case that the 40-year bull market is alive and well A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac equities initially traded lower but later painted a mixed picture as the tailwinds from Wall Street dissipated. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs, whilst the DJIA and R2K posted solid gains. Aftermarket earnings saw reports from Apple (-3.5% AM) and Amazon (-4.7% AM), who both fell over 5% at one point, in turn hitting the NQ, with both firms citing supply chain issues. US equity futures overnight resumed trade modestly firmer but then drifted lower as APAC sentiment seeped into the Western futures. The ASX 200 (-1.5%) was dragged lower by its Telecoms and Financials sectors, whilst the KOSPI (-1.3%) conformed to the risk tone. The Nikkei 225 (+0.3%) was initially hampered with some of the export-heavy sectors towards the bottom of the bunch, although later recovered as the JPY eased, and with Japan also looking ahead to the lower house election on Sunday. The Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) saw its opening losses cushioned after another daily net CNY 100bln injection by the PBoC, for a net weekly injection of CNY 680bln – the largest in 21 months. Hang Seng (-0.7%) failed to recover amid post-earnings losses from BYD, Ping An Insurance, and Petrochina, whilst Alibaba and Tencent are also in the red. Finally, the RBA once again refrained from defending the April 2024 yield, with the bond extending its rise to 0.77% vs the RBA's 0.10% target range. Top Asian News Taiwan Growth Slows in Third Quarter Despite Record Exports Asia Stocks Set for Third Day of Losses as Tech, Financials Fall Taiwan 3Q GDP Expands 3.80% Y/Y; Survey Est. 4.3% Malaysia Unveils Biggest Budget to Spur Post-Lockdown Recovery European bourses commenced the session on the back foot, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.9%, though performance throughout the morning has been choppy with indices having been unchanged and lower by as much as 1.0% on the session thus far. The morning’s busy docket hasn’t changed the dial too much, with the action perhaps more a factor of participant’s digesting the US/APAC leads and earnings updates. APAC was subdued with pressure Stateside most pronounced in the NQ (-0.8%) after earnings from Apple (AMZN) and Amazon (AAPL), which both fell around 5.0% in after hours trading, with attention being placed on supply chain issues impacting performance. In Europe, all sectors started in the red, though banking names have picked up given the ongoing drive higher in yields offsetting poorly received updates from the likes of NatWest (-4.5%); attention is on the company’s money laundering provisions of some GBP 300mln. Elsewhere, real estate names are hampered amid reports that UK banks/building societies are to begin increasing mortgage rate given inflation. Auto’s are towards the top of the pile driven by updates from Daimler (+1.7%) and the CFO remarking that market demand is high, could expect an increase in 2022 passenger car sales. Finally, the energy sector is in-focus amid OPEC+ JTC sourced reports (see commodities) and as we have a number of key names due to report stateside, including Exxon (XOM) following Chevron beating on top and bottom lines, +2.1% pre-market. Top European News NatWest Shares Fall as Margin Pressures Overshadow Profit Surge Agnellis Agree to Sell PartnerRe to Covea for $9 Billion Euro-Area Economy Bolstered by France, Italy Growth: GDP Update Telenet Falls as HSBC Cuts to Hold on ‘Drastic’ Strategy In FX, the Dollar has regained some poise following yesterday’s sell-off, largely on the back of a post-ECB rebound in the Euro that knocked the index down to a new w-t-d base and gave other Greenback rivals a lift indirectly. However, the index remains toppy towards the bottom of 94.024-93.277 extremes within a narrow 93.592-320 range, wary about residual or final rebalancing flows that a German bank model suggests is more prominent vs the Pound and Yen. From a tech perspective, the 50 DMA could be pivotal and comes in at 93.415 today after the DXY tested, but respected the 100 DMA circa 94.000 on several occasions, while fundamental drivers may come via a raft of data and survey releases, including PCE price metrics and the Chicago PMI. Aside from all this, yields remain elevated and curves are re-steepening irrespective of a downturn in broad risk sentiment, or perhaps in response to the ongoing bond rout, with safe-haven benefits for the Buck. NZD/AUD - Yet another change in fortunes for the Kiwi and Aussie, as the Antipodean cross rebounds amidst several positive factors for the latter, like much stronger than forecast final retail sales and a pick-up in ppi, while ramp higher in 3 year cash continues unchecked. Hence, Aud/Nzd is eyeing 1.0500 again and Aud/Usd is consolidating near 0.7550, but Nzd/Usd has slipped back below 0.7200. EUR - Some consolidation and a partial loss of the aforementioned ECB-inspired recovery momentum has pushed the Euro back down, with Eur/Usd now testing support and underlying bids around 1.1650 even though flash Eurozone inflation came in well above expectations and most preliminary Q3 GDP prints beat consensus (Germany the exception). Nevertheless, the headline pair looks less inclined to be drawn to the latest option expiries close to 1.1600 (1.5 bn in a band ending at 1.1590) and adjacent to similar size between the half round number and 1.1660 (1.4 bn to be precise). CHF/CAD/GBP/JPY - The Franc is marginally outpacing the Buck and extending its outperformance against the Euro to the brink of 0.9100 and not much further away from 1.0600 respectively in wake of an upbeat Swiss KOF leading indicator, but the SNB could be on edge amidst a sharp ratchet up in implied interest rates via the 3 month strip. Elsewhere, the Loonie is idling either side of 1.2350 vs its US peer in line with crude prices ahead of Canadian monthly GDP and ppi that might provide tangible justification for the BoC’s hawkish shift on QE and rate guidance, Sterling continues encounter resistance circa 1.3800 and 0.8450 against the Euro awaiting developments on the UK-French fishing row front rather than reacting to stronger than forecast BoE mortgage lending and approvals. Similarly, the Yen has taken a raft of Japanese data in stride as it straddles 113.50 in lock-step with its US counterpart and UST/JGB yield differentials In commodities, WTI and Brent are essentially unchanged on the session, and reside towards the mid-point of the week’s range thus far. Newsflow has been limited and we look to energy giant earnings later for further impetus; though, the benchmarks did come under modest pressure on JTC source reports ahead of next week’s OPEC+ gathering. Namely, sources said that the JTC had trimmed its 2021 oil demand forecast to 5.7mln BPD (prev. 5.8mln BPD), though explained that the downward revision was ‘nothing to worry about’ and was due to updated data and rounding effects. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been contained within narrow ranges in the European morning with spot gold not experiencing a meaningful move away from the USD 1800/oz handle. Base metals are a touch softer from the contained performance seen in APAC hours where attention was more on thermal coal, following China’s State Planner said there is room for continued adjustments of coal prices; initial investigation results show coal production costs are significantly below current coal spot prices. In wake of this, thermal coal futures once again hit 10% limit down. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Personal Income, est. -0.3%, prior 0.2%; Personal Spending, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Sept. PCE Deflator YoY, est. 4.4%, prior 4.3%; PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4% 8:30am: Sept. PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 3.7%, prior 3.6%; Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3% 9:45am: Oct. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 63.5, prior 64.7 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 71.4, prior 71.4; Current Conditions, est. 77.9, prior 77.9; Expectations, est. 67.2, prior 67.2 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.8% 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 4.8%, prior 4.8% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The last 36-48 hours has seen a silent rate tantrum that has caused some remarkable volatility at the front end. Silent as equities don’t care for now as US bourses again hit fresh record highs again last night before weak results from Amazon after the bell slightly dented the mood. Although there wasn’t much new in the ECB meeting, the event seemed to calm markets down (even if purely coincidental timing wise) after a pretty stressful Asian and London morning session. To give you a flavour of this 2yr Canadian yields opened (lunchtime London) another +12 bps higher (around +38bps in less than 24 hours) before rallying 25bps over the next 3 hours and then steadying to close -6.5bps on the session, ‘only’ +13.5bps above where they were before Wednesday’s shock BoC news. As another gauge, US 2s10s which on Wednesday morning was at +120bps, rallied another 6bps in Asia and London morning to a low of under +98bps. We closed back at +108.7bps though after a big re-steepening. As we highlighted in yesterday’s CoTD (link here) there was seemingly a big positioning shock that the Canadian and then Aussie news from 24 hours ago encouraged. The latest from the Australian market is that after a +29.7bps move yesterday, 2yr yields have climbed by another +27bps this morning and now sit at 0.8% having been at 0.15% on Wednesday. Remarkable moves and this could set the stage for another frantic London session. The yield on 10yr (+26bps) also jumped as the RBA once again didn’t defend its yield target this morning, contrary to market expectations, leading to speculation that it may be abandoned altogether as early as at the meeting next Tuesday. So this is setting the stage for a seismic event for global markets as there is a huge gap between the 0.1% target and 0.8% where the April 24 note is now trading. Overall government bonds have been all over the place over the last couple of days and the resteepening in the US meant that 10yr yields rose +3.9bps yesterday after rallying early in the session. We’re up another +2.3bps this morning. 20yrs inverted versus 30yrs yesterday for the first time since the issue was re-introduced last year, and this curve finished the session at -2.4bps. On the inflation compensation front, 10yr breakevens narrowed for the second day on the bounce, declining -8.4bps to 2.59% which means that real yields actually rose +12.0bps - their biggest climb since immediately after the June FOMC. European yields rose as 10yr bunds (+4.3bps), OATs (+4.6bps) and BTPs (+10.7bps) and Gilts (+2.3bps) all marched higher, while 2yr yields were +2.5bps, +0.8bps, +9.4bps, and +8.9bps higher respectively. So a mixed bag of curve moves after the BoC/Australia/ECB developments. As in the US, 10yr breakevens narrowed across Europe as well; German, French, Italian, and UK breakevens declined -6.8bps, -4.9bps, -6.0bps, and -1.9bps, respectively. The ECB meeting was the main macro event of the day. Our Europe team offers a more thorough breakdown here, but the three main takeaways are: 1) the ECB recognised that inflation is going to be higher for longer, dropping that it is ‘largely temporary’ from its statement; 2) President Lagarde offered some (but not total) pushback on market pricing, remarking liftoff in 2022 or anytime soon thereafter was inconsistent with the ECB’s forecast and forward guidance; and 3) President Lagarde gave the firmest guidance yet that PEPP would finish in March. Her press conference came hours after Spain reported a +2.0% jump in October inflation versus +1.2% expected, while the German CPI (+0.5%), released just shortly before the press conference, also beat forecasts (+0.5% vs +0.4%). US data was mixed, with a miss in advance Q3 GDP, which came at +2.0% versus +2.6% expected as well as surprising a slowdown in pending home sales (-2.3% vs +0.5% expected), boosted the narrative of slower growth. Meanwhile initial jobless claims (281k versus 288k expected) saw a fresh post pandemic low and personal consumption decelerated slower than expected (+0.9%), coming in at +1.6%. In terms of equities, another string of positive earnings surprises lifted stocks, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 reaching their record highs by the close. Every sector in the two indices, plus the DJIA finished in the green, with the Nasdaq up +1.39%, the S&P 500 +0.98% higher and the DJIA closing up +0.68%. Strong results from Ford and Caterpillar also added to the bullish outlook. Ford reported that demand was strong and that the semiconductor shortages were easing, prompting them to revise higher profit estimates for the year. Caterpillar also noted end-user demand was strong, and expects it to be strong through next year, but supply chain difficulties will limit their ability to fill orders. After the close, earnings from Amazon and Apple weighed on sentiment. Amazon missed on revenue and earnings, and noted the near-term outlook wasn’t great, due to labour shortages and supply chain woes. Apple was also hit by supply chain issues, which caused them to miss revenue estimates. S&P futures are trading lower by -0.3% ahead of the open this morning. In total, of the 52 S&P companies that reported yesterday, 44 beat on earnings while 34 beat revenue estimates. The dynamic was less optimistic on the other side of the Atlantic, where the STOXX 600 (+0.24%) rose moderately, as it was pulled down by a steep drop in energy (-1.85%) after Royal Dutch Shell missed on earnings as well as faced calls to break up its business from an activist hedge fund. Country-wise, we saw the CAC 40 (+0.75%) and the IBEX 35 (+0.60%) outperforming the DAX (-0.06%) and the FTSE 100 (-0.05%). In Asia, equities are mixed after the late earnings misses in the US and disappointing regional economic data. The Nikkei 225 (+0.29%) and the Shanghai composite (+0.16%) are higher, while the KOSPI (-0.62%) and the Hang Seng (-0.47%) is down. In data releases, industrial production in Japan (-5.4% vs -2.7% expected) and South Korea (-1.8% vs +2.0% expected) declined, heavily missing consensus. Tokyo CPI (+0.1%) was also below projections (+0.4%). Meanwhile, China’s National Development and Reform Commission communicated that coal prices can continue to decrease further, extending the decline in coal futures (-8.68%), as the country faces an acute energy crisis. Elsewhere the dollar is trading higher this morning (+0.05%), while gold (-0.15%) retreated from its gains during yesterday’s European session. In energy markets, oil futures are mixed, as WTI (-0.08%) is marginally lower and Brent (+0.23%) is advancing. Natural gas prices, however, continued to decline yesterday, falling in the US (-1.71%) and Europe (-11.75%). President Biden addressed the nation to sell the public (and, ostensibly, his own party) on a $1.75 trillion social and climate spending framework after prolonged negotiations. Along with the big outlays, the proposal includes revenue raising measures via higher tax surcharges on those making more than $10 million, a 15% minimum corporate tax rate, a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks, and funding to improve IRS enforcement of the current tax code. If Congressional Democrats can agree on the new social bill, it should also enable a vote on the separate $550 billion bi-partisan infrastructure plan. Nothing was tabled for a vote yesterday as progressive Democrats were waiting to see the detailed proposal of the social spending bill before giving the bi-partisan infrastructure bill their imprimatur. Nevertheless, it appears that out of the flurry of headlines, yesterday saw some progress in DC negotiations. In today’s data releases, Japan September jobless rate, preliminary September industrial production, preliminary Q3 GDP from Euro Area, Germany, France and Italy, preliminary October CPI from Euro Area, France and Italy, UK September mortgage approvals, Canada August GDP, US September personal spending, personal income, October MNI Chicago PMI and final October University of Michigan consumer sentiment index are due. In corporate earnings, ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Charter Communications, Daimler, BNP Paribas, Aon and NatWest Group are among companies reporting. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/29/2021 - 07:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 29th, 2021

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations

Green Energy: A Bubble In Unrealistic Expectations Authored by David Hay via Everegreen Gavekal blog, “You see what is happening in Europe. There is hysteria and some confusion in the markets. Why?…Some people are speculating on climate change issues, some people are underestimating some things, some are starting to cut back on investments in the extractive industries. There needs to be a smooth transition.” - Vladimir Putin (someone with whom this author rarely agrees) “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of its citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes (an interesting observation for all the modern day Keynesians to consider given their support of current inflationary US policies, including energy-related) Introduction This week’s EVA provides another sneak preview into David Hay’s book-in-process, “Bubble 3.0” discussing what he thinks is the crucial topic of “greenflation.”  This is a term he coined referring to the rising price for metals and minerals that are essential for solar and wind power, electric cars, and other renewable technologies. It also centers on the reality that as global policymakers have turned against the fossil fuel industry, energy producers are for the first time in history not responding to dramatically higher prices by increasing production.  Consequently, there is a difficult tradeoff that arises as the world pushes harder to combat climate change, driving up energy costs to painful levels, especially for lower income individuals.  What we are currently seeing in Europe is a vivid example of this dilemma.  While it may be the case that governments welcome higher oil and natural gas prices to discourage their use, energy consumers are likely to have a much different reaction. Summary BlackRock’s CEO recently admitted that, despite what many are opining, the green energy transition is nearly certain to be inflationary. Even though it’s early in the year, energy prices are already experiencing unprecedented spikes in Europe and Asia, but most Americans are unaware of the severity. To that point, many British residents being faced with the fact that they may need to ration heat and could be faced with the chilling reality that lives could be lost if this winter is as cold as forecasters are predicting. Because of the huge increase in energy prices, inflation in the eurozone recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices on the Continent that are the equivalent of $200 oil. It used to be that the cure for extreme prices was extreme prices, but these days I’m not so sure.  Oil and gas producers are very wary of making long-term investments to develop new resources given the hostility to their industry and shareholder pressure to minimize outlays. I expect global supply to peak sometime next year and a major supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand returns to normal. In Norway, almost 2/3 of all new vehicle sales are of the electric variety (EVs) – a huge increase in just over a decade. Meanwhile, in the US, it’s only about 2%. Still, given Norway’s penchant for the plug-in auto, the demand for oil has not declined. China, despite being the largest market by far for electric vehicles, is still projected to consume an enormous and rising amount of oil in the future. About 70% of China’s electricity is generated by coal, which has major environmental ramifications in regards to electric vehicles. Because of enormous energy demand in China this year, coal prices have experienced a massive boom. Its usage was up 15% in the first half of this year, and the Chinese government has instructed power providers to obtain all baseload energy sources, regardless of cost.  The massive migration to electric vehicles – and the fact that they use six times the amount of critical minerals as their gasoline-powered counterparts –means demand for these precious resources is expected to skyrocket. This extreme need for rare minerals, combined with rapid demand growth, is a recipe for a major spike in prices. Massively expanding the US electrical grid has several daunting challenges– chief among them the fact that the American public is extremely reluctant to have new transmission lines installed in their area. The state of California continues to blaze the trail for green energy in terms of both scope and speed. How the rest of the country responds to their aggressive take on renewables remains to be seen. It appears we are entering a very odd reality: governments are expending resources they do not have on weakly concentrated energy. And the result may be very detrimental for today’s modern economy. If the trend in energy continues, what looks nearly certain to be the Third Energy crisis of the last half-century may linger for years.  Green energy: A bubble in unrealistic expectations? As I have written in past EVAs, it amazes me how little of the intense inflation debate in 2021 centered on the inflationary implications of the Green Energy transition.  Perhaps it is because there is a built-in assumption that using more renewables should lower energy costs since the sun and the wind provide “free power”.  However, we will soon see that’s not the case, at least not anytime soon; in fact, it’s my contention that it will likely be the opposite for years to come and I’ve got some powerful company.  Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, a very pro-ESG* organization, is one of the few members of Wall Street’s elite who admitted this in the summer of 2021.  The story, however, received minimal press coverage and was quickly forgotten (though, obviously, not be me!).  This EVA will outline myriad reasons why I think Mr. Fink was telling it like it is…despite the political heat that could bring down upon him.  First, though, I will avoid any discussion of whether humanity is the leading cause of global warming.  For purposes of this analysis, let’s make the high-odds assumption that for now a high-speed green energy transition will continue to occur.  (For those who would like a well-researched and clearly articulated overview of the climate debate, I highly recommend the book “Unsettled”; it’s by a former top energy expert and scientist from the Obama administration, Dr. Steven Koonin.) The reason I italicized “for now” is that in my view it’s extremely probable that voters in many Western countries are going to become highly retaliatory toward energy policies that are already creating extreme hardship.  Even though it’s only early autumn as I write these words, energy prices are experiencing unprecedented increases in Europe.  Because it’s “over there”, most Americans are only vaguely aware of the severity of the situation.  But the facts are shocking…  Presently, natural gas is going for $29 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) in Europe, a quadruple compared to the same time in 2020, versus “just” $5 in the US, which is a mere doubling.  As a consequence, wholesale energy cost in Great Britain rose an unheard of 60% even before summer ended.  Reportedly, nine UK energy companies are on the brink of failure at this time due to their inability to fully pass on the enormous cost increases.  As a result, the British government is reportedly on the verge of nationalizing some of these entities—supposedly, temporarily—to prevent them from collapsing.  (CNBC reported on Wednesday that UK natural gas prices are now up 800% this year; in the US, nat gas rose 20% on Tuesday alone, before giving back a bit more than half of that the next day.) Serious food shortages are expected after exorbitant natural gas costs forced most of England’s commercial production of CO2 to shut down.  (CO2 is used both for stunning animals prior to slaughter and also in food packaging.)  Additionally, ballistic natural gas prices have forced the closure of two big US fertilizer plants due to a potential shortfall of ammonium nitrate of which “nat gas” is a key feedstock.  *ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance; in 2021, Blackrock’s assets under management approximated $9 ½ trillion, about one-third of the total US federal debt. With the winter of 2021 approaching, British households are being told they may need to ration heat.  There are even growing concerns about the widespread loss of life if this winter turns out to be a cold one, as 2020 was in Europe.  Weather forecasters are indicating that’s a distinct possibility.   In Spain, consumers are paying 40% more for electricity compared to the prior year.  The Spanish government has begun resorting to price controls to soften the impact of these rapidly escalating costs. (The history of price controls is that they often exacerbate shortages.) Naturally, spiking power prices hit the poorest hardest, which is typical of inflation whether it is of the energy variety or of generalized price increases.  Due to these massive energy price increases, eurozone inflation recently hit a 13-year high, heavily driven by natural gas prices that are the equivalent of $200 per barrel oil.  This is consistent with what I warned about in several EVAs earlier this year and I think there is much more of this looming in the years to come. In Asia, which also had a brutally cold winter in 2020 – 2021, there are severe energy shortages being disclosed, as well.  China has instructed its power providers to secure all the coal they can in preparation for a repeat of frigid conditions and acute deficits even before winter arrives.  The government has also instructed its energy distributors to acquire all the liquified natural gas (LNG) they can, regardless of cost.  LNG recently hit $35 per million British Thermal Units in Asia, up sevenfold in the past year.  China is also rationing power to its heavy industries, further exacerbating the worldwide shortages of almost everything, with notable inflationary implications. In India, where burning coal provides about 70% of electricity generation (as it does in China), utilities are being urged to import coal even though that country has the world’s fourth largest coal reserves.  Several Indian power plants are close to exhausting their coal supplies as power usage rips higher. Normally, I’d say that the cure for such extreme prices, was extreme prices—to slightly paraphrase the old axiom.  But these days, I’m not so sure; in fact, I’m downright dubious.  After all, the enormously influential International Energy Agency has recommended no new fossil fuel development after 2021—“no new”, as in zero.  It’s because of pressure such as this that, even though US natural gas prices have done a Virgin Galactic to $5 this year, the natural gas drilling rig count has stayed flat.  The last time prices were this high there were three times as many working rigs.  It is the same story with oil production.  Most Americans don’t seem to realize it but the US has provided 90% of the planet’s petroleum output growth over the past decade.  In other words, without America’s extraordinary shale oil production boom—which raised total oil output from around 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 13 million barrels per day in 2019—the world long ago would have had an acute shortage.  (Excluding the Covid-wracked year of 2020, oil demand grows every year—strictly as a function of the developing world, including China, by the way.) Unquestionably, US oil companies could substantially increase output, particularly in the Permian Basin, arguably (but not much) the most prolific oil-producing region in the world.  However, with the Fed being pressured by Congress to punish banks that lend to any fossil fuel operator, and the overall extreme hostility toward domestic energy producers, why would they?  There is also tremendous pressure from Wall Street on these companies to be ESG compliant.  This means reducing their carbon footprint.  That’s tough to do while expanding their volume of oil and gas.  Further, investors, whether on Wall Street or on London’s equivalent, Lombard Street, or in pretty much any Western financial center, are against US energy companies increasing production.  They would much rather see them buy back stock and pay out lush dividends.  The companies are embracing that message.  One leading oil and gas company CEO publicly mused to the effect that buying back his own shares at the prevailing extremely depressed valuations was a much better use of capital than drilling for oil—even at $75 a barrel. As reported by Morgan Stanley, in the summer of 2021, an US institutional broker conceded that of his 400 clients, only one would consider investing in an energy company!  Consequently, the fact that the industry is so detested means that its shares are stunningly undervalued.  How stunningly?  A myriad of US oil and gas producers are trading at free cash flow* yields of 10% to 15% and, in some cases, as high as 25%. In Europe, where the same pressures apply, one of its biggest energy companies is generating a 16% free cash flow yield.  Moreover, that is based up an estimate of $60 per barrel oil, not the prevailing price of $80 on the Continent. *Free cash flow is the excess of gross cash flow over and above the capital spending needed to sustain a business.  Many market professionals consider it more meaningful than earnings.  Therefore, due to the intense antipathy toward Western energy producers they aren’t very inclined to explore for new resources.  Another much overlooked fact about the ultra-critical US shale industry that, as noted, has been nearly the only source of worldwide output growth for the past 13 years, is its rapid decline nature.  Most oil wells see their production taper off at just 4% or 5% per year.  But with shale, that decline rate is 80% after only two years.  (Because of the collapse in exploration activities in 2020 due to Covid, there are far fewer new wells coming on-line; thus, the production base is made up of older wells with slower decline rates but it is still a much steeper cliff than with traditional wells.)  As a result, the US, the world’s most important swing producer, has to come up with about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of new output just to stay even.  (This was formerly about a 3 million bpd number due to both the factor mentioned above and the 2 million bpd drop in total US oil production, from 13 million bpd to around 11 million bpd since 2019).  Please recall that total US oil production in 2008 was only around 5 million bpd.  Thus, 1.5 million barrels per day is a lot of oil and requires considerable drilling and exploration activities.  Again, this is merely to stay steady-state, much less grow.  The foregoing is why I wrote on multiple occasions in EVAs during 2020, when the futures price for oil went below zero*, that crude would have a spectacular price recovery later that year and, especially, in 2021.  In my view, to go out on my familiar creaky limb, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  With supply extremely challenged for the above reasons and demand marching back, I believe 2022 could see $100 crude, possibly even higher.  *Physical oil, or real vs paper traded, bottomed in the upper teens when the futures contract for delivery in April, 2020, went deeply negative.  Mike Rothman of Cornerstone Analytics has one of the best oil price forecasting records on Wall Street.  Like me, he was vehemently bullish on oil after the Covid crash in the spring of 2020 (admittedly, his well-reasoned optimism was a key factor in my up-beat outlook).  Here’s what he wrote late this summer:  “Our forecast for ’22 looks to see global oil production capacity exhausted late in the year and our balance suggests OPEC (and OPEC + participants) will face pressures to completely remove any quotas.”  My expectation is that global supply will likely max out sometime next year, barring a powerful negative growth shock (like a Covid variant even more vaccine resistant than Delta).  A significant supply deficit looks inevitable as global demand recovers and exceeds its pre-Covid level.  This is a view also shared by Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, among others; hence, my forecast of triple-digit prices next year.  Raymond James pointed out that in June the oil market was undersupplied by 2.5 mill bpd.  Meanwhile, global petroleum demand was rapidly rising with expectations of nearly pre-Covid consumption by year-end.  Mike Rothman ran this chart in a webcast on 9/10/2021 revealing how far below the seven-year average oil inventories had fallen.  This supply deficit is very likely to become more acute as the calendar flips to 2022. In fact, despite oil prices pushing toward $80, total US crude output now projected to actually decline this year.  This is an unprecedented development.  However, as the very pro-renewables Financial Times (the UK’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal) explained in an August 11th, 2021, article:  “Energy companies are in a bind.  The old solution would be to invest more in raising gas production.  But with most developed countries adopting plans to be ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier, the appetite for throwing billions at long-term gas projects is diminished.” The author, David Sheppard, went on to opine: “In the oil industry there are those who think a period of plus $100-a-barrel oil is on the horizon, as companies scale back investments in future supplies, while demand is expected to keep rising for most of this decade at a minimum.”  (Emphasis mine)  To which I say, precisely!  Thus, if he’s right about rising demand, as I believe he is, there is quite a collision looming between that reality and the high probability of long-term constrained supplies.  One of the most relevant and fascinating Wall Street research reports I read as I was researching the topic of what I have been referring to as “Greenflation” is from Morgan Stanley.  Its title asked the provocative question:  “With 64% of New Cars Now Electric, Why is Norway Still Using so Much Oil?”  While almost two-thirds of Norway’s new vehicle sales are EVs, a remarkable market share gain in just over a decade, the number in the US is an ultra-modest 2%.   Yet, per the Morgan Stanley piece, despite this extraordinary push into EVs, oil consumption in Norway has been stubbornly stable.  Coincidentally, that’s been the experience of the overall developed world over the past 10 years, as well; petroleum consumption has largely flatlined.  Where demand hasn’t gone horizontal is in the developing world which includes China.  As you can see from the following Cornerstone Analytics chart, China’s oil demand has vaulted by about 6 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 while its domestic crude output has, if anything, slightly contracted. Another coincidence is that this 6 million bpd surge in China’s appetite for oil, almost exactly matched the increase in US oil production.  Once again, think where oil prices would be today without America’s shale oil boom. This is unlikely to change over the next decade.  By 2031, there are an estimated one billion Asian consumers moving up into the middle class.  History is clear that more income means more energy consumption.  Unquestionably, renewables will provide much of that power but oil and natural gas are just as unquestionably going to play a critical role.  Underscoring that point, despite the exponential growth of renewables over the last 10 years, every fossil fuel category has seen increased usage.  Thus, even if China gets up to Norway’s 64% EV market share of new car sales over the next decade, its oil usage is likely to continue to swell.  Please be aware that China has become the world’s largest market for EVs—by far.  Despite that, the above chart vividly displays an immense increase in oil demand.  Here’s a similar factoid that I ran in our December 4th EVA, “Totally Toxic”, in which I made a strong bullish case for energy stocks (the main energy ETF is up 35% from then, by the way):  “(There was) a study by the UN and the US government based on the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gasses Induced Climate Change (MAGICC).  The model predicted that ‘the complete elimination of all fossil fuels in the US immediately would only restrict any increase in world temperature by less than one tenth of one degree Celsius by 2050, and by less than one fifth of one degree Celsius by 2100.’  Say again?  If the world’s biggest carbon emitter on a per capita basis causes minimal improvement by going cold turkey on fossil fuels, are we making the right moves by allocating tens of trillions of dollars that we don’t have toward the currently in-vogue green energy solutions?” China's voracious power appetite increase has been true with all of its energy sources.  On the environmentally-friendly front, that includes renewables; on the environmentally-unfriendly side, it also includes coal.  In 2020, China added three times more coal-based power generation than all other countries combined.  This was the equivalent of an additional coal planet each week.  Globally, there was a reduction last year of 17 gigawatts in coal-fired power output; in China, the increase was 29.8 gigawatts, far more than offsetting the rest of the world’s progress in reducing the dirtiest energy source.  (A gigawatt can power a city with a population of roughly 700,000.) Overall, 70% of China’s electricity is coal-generated. This has significant environmental implications as far as electric vehicles (EVs) are concerned.  Because EVs are charged off a grid that is primarily coal- powered, carbon emissions actually rise as the number of such vehicles proliferate. As you can see in the following charts from Reuters’ energy expert John Kemp, Asia’s coal-fired generation has risen drastically in the last 20 years, even as it has receded in the rest of the world.  (The flattening recently is almost certainly due to Covid, with a sharp upward resumption nearly a given.) The worst part is that burning coal not only emits CO2—which is not a pollutant and is essential for life—it also releases vast quantities of nitrous oxide (N20), especially on the scale of coal usage seen in Asia today. N20 is unquestionably a pollutant and a greenhouse gas that is hundreds of times more potent than CO2.  (An interesting footnote is that over the last 550 million years, there have been very few times when the CO2 level has been as low, or lower, than it is today.)  Some scientists believe that one reason for the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice in recent decades is due to the prevailing winds blowing black carbon soot over from Asia.  This is a separate issue from N20 which is a colorless gas.  As the black soot covers the snow and ice fields in Northern Canada, they become more absorbent of the sun’s radiation, thus causing increased melting.  (Source:  “Weathering Climate Change” by Hugh Ross) Due to exploding energy needs in China this year, coal prices have experienced an unprecedented surge.  Despite this stunning rise, Chinese authorities have instructed its power providers to obtain coal, and other baseload energy sources, such as liquified natural gas (LNG), regardless of cost.  Notwithstanding how pricey coal has become, its usage in China was up 15% in the first half of this year vs the first half of 2019 (which was obviously not Covid impacted). Despite the polluting impact of heavy coal utilization, China is unlikely to turn away from it due to its high energy density (unlike renewables), its low cost (usually) and its abundance within its own borders (though its demand is so great that it still needs to import vast amounts).  Regarding oil, as we saw in last week’s final image, it is currently importing roughly 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to satisfy its 15 million bpd consumption (about 15% of total global demand).  In other words, crude imports amount to almost three-quarter of its needs.  At $80 oil, this totals $880 million per day or approximately $320 billion per year.  Imagine what China’s trade surplus would look like without its oil import bill! Ironically, given the current hostility between the world’s superpowers, China has an affinity for US oil because of its light and easy-to-refine nature.  China’s refineries tend to be low-grade and unable to efficiently process heavier grades of crude, unlike the US refining complex which is highly sophisticated and prefers heavy oil such as from Canada and Venezuela—back when the latter actually produced oil. Thus, China favors EVs because they can be de facto coal-powered, lessening its dangerous reliance on imported oil.  It also likes them due to the fact it controls 80% of the lithium ion battery supply and 60% of the planet’s rare earth minerals, both of which are essential to power EVs.     However, even for China, mining enough lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, aluminum and the other essential minerals/metals to meet the ambitious goals of largely electrifying new vehicle volumes is going to be extremely daunting.  This is in addition to mass construction of wind farms and enormously expanded solar panel manufacturing. As one of the planet’s leading energy authorities Daniel Yergin writes: “With the move to electric cars, demand for critical minerals will skyrocket (lithium up 4300%, cobalt and nickel up 2500%), with an electric vehicle using 6 times more minerals than a conventional car and a wind turbine using 9 times more minerals than a gas-fueled power plant.  The resources needed for the ‘mineral-intensive energy system’ of the future are also highly concentrated in relatively few countries. Whereas the top 3 oil producers in the world are responsible for about 30 percent of total liquids production, the top 3 lithium producers control more than 80% of supply. China controls 60% of rare earths output needed for wind towers; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 70% of the cobalt required for EV batteries.” As many have noted, the environmental impact of immensely ramping up the mining of these materials is undoubtedly going to be severe.  Michael Shellenberger, a life-long environmental activist, has been particularly vociferous in his condemnation of the dominant view that only renewables can solve the global energy needs.  He’s especially critical of how his fellow environmentalists resorted to repetitive deception, in his view, to undercut nuclear power in past decades.  By leaving nuke energy out of the solution set, he foresees a disastrous impact on the planet due to the massive scale (he’d opine, impossibly massive) of resource mining that needs to occur.  (His book, “Apocalypse Never”, is also one I highly recommend; like Dr. Koonin, he hails from the left end of the political spectrum.) Putting aside the environmental ravages of developing rare earth minerals, when you have such high and rapidly rising demand colliding with limited supply, prices are likely to go vertical.  This will be another inflationary “forcing”, a favorite term of climate scientists, caused by the Great Green Energy Transition. Moreover, EVs are very semiconductor intensive.  With semis already in seriously short supply, this is going to make a gnarly situation even gnarlier.  It’s logical to expect that there will be recurring shortages of chips over the next decade for this reason alone (not to mention the acute need for semis as the “internet of things” moves into primetime).  In several of the newsletters I’ve written in recent years, I’ve pointed out the present vulnerability of the US electric grid.  Yet, it will be essential not just to keep it from breaking down under its current load; it must be drastically enhanced, a Herculean task. For one thing, it is excruciatingly hard to install new power lines. As J.P. Morgan’s Michael Cembalest has written: “Grid expansion can be a hornet’s nest of cost, complexity and NIMBYism*, particularly in the US.”  The grid’s frailty, even under today’s demands (i.e., much less than what lies ahead as millions of EVs plug into it) is particularly obvious in California.  However, severe winter weather in 2021 exposed the grid weakness even in energy-rich Texas, which also has a generally welcoming attitude toward infrastructure upgrading and expansion. Yet it’s the Golden State, home to 40 million Americans and the fifth largest economy in the world, if it was its own country (which it occasionally acts like it wants to be), that is leading the charge to EVs and seeking to eliminate internal combustion engines (ICEs) as quickly as possible.  Even now, blackouts and brownouts are becoming increasingly common.  Seemingly convinced it must be a role model for the planet, it’s trying desperately to reduce its emissions, which are less than 1%, of the global total, at the expense of rendering its energy system more similar to a developing country.  In addition to very high electricity costs per kilowatt hour (its mild climate helps offset those), it also has gasoline prices that are 77% above the national average.  *NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard. While California has been a magnet for millions seeking a better life for 150 years, the cost of living is turning the tide the other way.  Unreliable and increasingly expensive energy is likely to intensify that trend.  Combined with home prices that are more than double the US median–$800,000!–California is no longer the land of milk and honey, unless, to slightly paraphrase Woody Guthrie about LA, even back in the 1940s, you’ve got a whole lot of scratch.  More and more people, seem to be scratching California off their list of livable venues.  Voters in the reliably blue state of California may become extremely restive, particularly as they look to Asia and see new coal plants being built at a fever pitch.  The data will become clear that as America keeps decarbonizing–as it has done for 30 years mostly due to the displacement of coal by gas in the US electrical system—Asia will continue to go the other way.  (By the way, electricity represents the largest share of CO2 emission at roughly 25%.)  California has always seemed to lead social trends in this country, as it is doing again with its green energy transition.  The objective is noble though, extremely ambitious, especially the timeline.  As it brings its power paradigm to the rest of America, especially its frail grid, it will be interesting to see how voters react in other states as the cost of power leaps higher and its dependability heads lower.  It’s reasonable to speculate we may be on the verge of witnessing the Californication of the US energy system.  Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, please be aware the IEA (International Energy Agency) has estimated it will cost the planet $5 trillion per year to achieve Net Zero emissions.  This is compared to global GDP of roughly $85 trillion. According to BloombergNEF, the price tag over 30 years, could be as high as $173 trillion.  Frankly, based on the history of gigantic cost overruns on most government-sponsored major infrastructure projects, I’m inclined to take the over—way over—on these estimates. Moreover, energy consulting firm T2 and Associates, has guesstimated electrifying just the US to the extent necessary to eliminate the direct consumption of fuel (i.e., gasoline, natural gas, coal, etc.) would cost between $18 trillion and $29 trillion.  Again, taking into account how these ambitious efforts have played out in the past, I suspect $29 trillion is light.  Regardless, even $18 trillion is a stunner, despite the reality we have all gotten numb to numbers with trillions attached to them.  For perspective, the total, already terrifying, level of US federal debt is $28 trillion. Regardless, as noted last week, the probabilities of the Great Green Energy Transition happening are extremely high.  Relatedly, I believe the likelihood of the Great Greenflation is right up there with them.  As Gavekal’s Didier Darcet wrote in mid-August:  ““Nowadays, and this is a great first in history, governments will commit considerable financial resources they do not have in the extraction of very weakly concentrated energy.” ( i.e., less efficient)  “The bet is very risky, and if it fails, what next?  The modern economy would not withstand expensive energy, or worse, lack of energy.”  While I agree this an historical first, it’s definitely not great (with apologies for all the “greats”).  This is particularly not great for keeping inflation subdued, as well as for attempting to break out of the growth quagmire the Western world has been in for the last two decades.  What we are seeing in Europe right now is an extremely cautionary case study in just how disastrous the war on fossil fuels can be (shortly we will see who or what has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this conflict). Essentially, I believe, as I’ve written in past EVAs, we are entering the third energy crisis of the last 50 years.  If I’m right, it will be characterized by recurring bouts of triple-digit oil prices in the years to come.  Along with Richard Nixon taking the US off the gold standard in 1971, the high inflation of the 1970s was caused by the first two energy crises (the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 Iranian Revolution).  If I’m correct about this being the third, it’s coming at a most inopportune time with the US in hyper-MMT* mode. Frankly, I believe many in the corridors of power would like to see oil trade into the $100s, and natural gas into the teens, as it will help catalyze the shift to renewable energy.  But consumers are likely to have a much different reaction—potentially, a violently different reaction, as I noted last week.  The experience of the Yellow Vest protests in France (referring to the color of the vest protestors wore), are instructive in this regard.  France is a generally left-leaning country.  Despite that, a proposed fuel surtax in November 2018 to fund a renewable energy transition triggered such widespread civil unrest that French president Emmanuel Macron rescinded it the following month. *MMT stands for Modern Monetary Theory.  It holds that a government, like the US, which issues debt in its own currency can spend without concern about budgetary constraints.  If there are not enough buyers of its bonds at acceptable interest rates, that nation’s central bank (the Fed, in our case) simply acquires them with money it creates from its digital printing press.  This is what is happening today in the US.  Many economists consider this highly inflationary. The sharp and politically uncomfortable rise in US gas pump prices this summer caused the Biden administration to plead with OPEC to lift its volume quotas.  The ironic implication of that exhortation was glaringly obvious, as was the inefficiency and pollution consequences of shipping oil thousands of miles across the Atlantic.  (Oil tankers are a significant source of emissions.)  This is as opposed to utilizing domestic oil output, as well as crude from Canada (which is actually generally better suited to the US refining complex).  Beyond the pollution aspect, imported oil obviously worsens America’s massive trade deficit (which would be far more massive without the six million barrels per day of domestic oil volumes that the shale revolution has provided) and costs our nation high-paying jobs. Further, one of my other big fears is that the West is engaging in unilateral energy disarmament.  Russia and China are likely the major beneficiaries of this dangerous scenario.  Per my earlier comment about a stealth combatant in the war on fossil fuels, it may surprise you that a past NATO Secretary General* has accused Russian intelligence of avidly supporting the anti-fracking movements in Western Europe.  Russian TV has railed against fracking for years, even comparing it to pedophilia (certainly, a most bizarre analogy!).  The success of the anti-fracking movement on the Continent has essentially prevented a European version of America’s shale miracles (the UK has the potential to be a major shale gas producer).  Consequently, the European Union’s domestic natural gas production has been in a rapid decline phase for years.  Banning fracking has, of course, made Europe heavily reliant on Russian gas shipments with more than 40% of its supplies coming from Russia. This is in graphic contrast to the shale output boom in the US that has not only made us natural gas self-sufficient but also an export powerhouse of liquified natural gas (LNG).  In 2011, the Nord Stream system of pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from northern Russia began delivering gas west from northern Russia to the German coastal city of Greifswald.  For years, the Russians sought to build a parallel system with the inventive name of Nord Stream 2.  The US government opposed its approval on security grounds but the Biden administration has dropped its opposition.  It now appears Nord Stream 2 will happen, leaving Europe even more exposed to Russian coercion.  Is it possible the Russian government and the Chinese Communist Party have been secretly and aggressively supporting the anti-fossil fuel movements in America?  In my mind, it seems not only possible but probable.  In fact, I believe it is naïve not to come that conclusion.  After all, wouldn’t it be in both of their geopolitical interests to see the US once again caught in a cycle of debilitating inflation, ensnared by the twin traps of MMT and the third energy crisis? *Per former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasumssen:  Russia has “engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas”. Along these lines, I was shocked to listen to a recent podcast by the New Yorker magazine on the topic of “intelligent sabotage”.  This segment was an interview between the magazine’s David Remnick and a Swedish professor, Adreas Malm.  Mr. Malm is the author of a new book with the literally explosive title “How To Blow Up A Pipeline”.   Just as it sounds, he advocates detonating pipelines to inhibit fossil fuel distribution.  Mr. Remnick was clearly sympathetic to his guest but he did ask him about the impact on the poor of driving energy prices up drastically which would be the obvious ramification if his sabotage recommendations were widely followed.  Mr. Malm’s reaction was a verbal shrug of the shoulders and words to the effect that this was the price to pay to save the planet. Frankly, I am appalled that the venerable New Yorker would provide a platform for such a radical and unlawful suggestion.  In an era when people are de-platformed for often innocuous comments, it’s incredible to me this was posted and has not been pulled down.  In my mind, this reflects just how tolerant the media is of attacks on the fossil fuel industry, regardless of the deleterious impact on consumers and the global economy. Surely, there is a far better way of coping with the harmful aspects of fossil fuel-based energy than this scorched earth (literally, in the case of Mr. Malm) approach, which includes efforts to block new pipelines, shut existing ones, and severely restrict US energy production.  In America’s case, the result will be forcing us to unnecessarily and increasingly rely on overseas imports.  (For example, per the Wall Street Journal, drilling permits on federal land have crashed to 171 in August from 671 in April.  Further, the contentious $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” plan would raise royalties and fees high enough on US energy producers that it would render them globally uncompetitive.) Such actions would only aggravate what is already a severe energy shock, one that may be worse than the 1970s twin energy crises.  America has it easy compared to Europe, though, given current US policy trends, we might be in their same heavily listing energy boat soon. Solutions include fast-tracking small modular nuclear plants; encouraging the further switch from burning coal to natural gas (a trend that is, unfortunately, going the other way now, as noted above); utilizing and enhancing carbon and methane capture at the point of emission (including improving tail pipe effluent-reduction technology); enhancing pipeline integrity to inhibit methane leaks; among many other mitigation techniques that recognize the reality the global economy will be reliant on fossil fuels for many years, if not decades, to come.  If the climate change movement fails to recognize the essential nature of fossil fuels, it will almost certainly trigger a backlash that will undermine the positive change it is trying to bring about.  This is similar to what it did via its relentless assault on nuclear power which produced a frenzy of coal plant construction in the 1980s and 1990s.  On this point, it’s interesting to see how quickly Europe is re-embracing coal power to alleviate the energy poverty and rationing occurring over there right now - even before winter sets in.  When the choice is between supporting climate change initiatives on one hand and being able to heat your home and provide for your family on the other, is there really any doubt about which option the majority of voters will select? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Biden Plays Chicken With Semitruck Drivers

Biden Plays Chicken With Semitruck Drivers Authored by Jackson Elliott, Cara Ding, Allan Stein, Steven Kovac, Jannis Falkenstern and Nick Ciolino via The Epoch Times, American truckers don’t like taking orders. But the Biden administration has increased pressure on them to take the vaccine—willing or unwilling. All through the pandemic, truckers endured hardships to keep America’s infrastructure running. They waited in line for hours in sight of bathrooms they weren’t allowed to use. On the road, some died alone of COVID-19. Now, with supply chains disrupted, Americans need them more than ever. But faced with the prospect of a forced vaccination, many drivers are considering quitting. “I’d fight it,” said veteran trucker Mike Widdins, referring to vaccine mandates. “I think a lot of us will be quitting. Who likes to be forced to do stuff you don’t want to do?” Widdins isn’t alone in his willingness to leave trucking if forced to vaccinate. Polls by trucking publications Commercial Carrier Journal and OverDrive indicate that up to 30 percent of truckers will seriously consider quitting if forced to vaccinate. If they quit, the consequences for America may be massive. US Transport estimates that 70 percent of American freight goes by truck. “It would hurt shipping big-time,” Widdins said. Narrowing Lanes The Sept. 9 mandate establishes an “emergency standard” which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is allowed to issue if it determines workers are in “grave danger.” Currently, the White House Office of Budget and Management’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is reviewing the mandate. The review process can take as long as 90 days. Most of the trucking industry will be unaffected by the Biden vaccine mandate, which demands that all companies with over 100 employees require vaccination or weekly COVID-19 tests. Most truck companies have six trucks or fewer, according to the American Trucking Associations. Independent drivers make an average of $50,000 more per year than drivers at large companies. Some experts say the selective reach of the mandate makes it ineffective. Barbara Smithers, vice president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, told The Epoch Times via email that it makes little sense to “cherry pick” who to vaccinate based on company size. “Truck drivers spend most of their work hours alone in the cab of a truck—literally one of the safest places possible during a pandemic—so why do they need to be regulated in this way?” she said. “Testing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers moving across the country every day is a virtual impossibility.” For mandate-affected companies, Biden’s decision may drive away employees at a time when America needs them most. The American Trucking Associations estimates that America needs 80,000 more truckers to meet transportation needs. Recently, supply chain crises have left many Americans in need. Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said the shortage will last as long as there’s a pandemic. With backups unloading goods at America’s ports, shortages already threaten consumers. But if long lines of trucks waiting to ship goods suddenly become shorter, the crisis will become far worse. Whether America runs short on trucks depends on the Biden administration’s orders and how truckers respond. Joe Trucker and Joe Biden The average trucker is a big, bearded guy with a sturdy, American name like ‘Joe.’ Joe Trucker is friendly given the chance, and he thinks of his job as his little service to America. He has a relative in the military somewhere, or he served himself. Toward government, he holds a strong suspicion that increases the more pressure he feels from it. Joe Trucker doesn’t usually like interviews. If he doesn’t feel open to talking, he drops four-word answers like he tosses peanut shells from his window. In exchange for long hours away from home, he gets low pay, independence, and the nation’s best sunsets. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus hasn’t been kind to Joe Trucker. At a time when many Americans hunkered down at home, he was still on the road. Trucking life during the pandemic was a series of frustrating restrictions, said trucker Victor Morales at a Georgia One9 truck stop. Morales has driven trucks for 25 years. After a long day on the road, Morales would wait for hours to drop off a truckful of deliveries at a warehouse. But warehouse owners didn’t allow truckers to leave their cabs for any reason. “You’re almost forced, like a second-class citizen,” he said. “They want the goods and services you got, but they don’t even want you to get out of your truck.” If they arrived hungry, they waited hungry, he said. They weren’t even allowed to use the toilet only steps away. “You can literally see a bathroom right there behind the glass. But you can’t get out,” said Morales. In the eyes of drivers, Biden’s mandate is the last step in a long line of restrictions that don’t consider their needs or wants. “It’s unconstitutional,” said one trucker who preferred to remain anonymous. “We’ll just buy our own damn trucks and run our own company. All we’ve got to do is shut down and the country doesn’t exist no more.” For many drivers, the vaccine mandate may prove the final straw. Some drivers don’t trust the vaccine because of how new it is. Some distrust it for personal medical reasons. Others distrust it because they don’t trust the government. “I had cancer years ago,” said trucker Jack McGregory. “I don’t want to put something that I don’t know exactly what it will do into my body. If I die, I want to die with a little more time on my hands than that.” McGregory said that he would rather quit than vaccinate. But even those who take the vaccine say they oppose the mandate. At the Pilot Truck Stop at I-69 and Wadhams Road in Michigan, all 10 truckers interviewed by The Epoch Times said they took the vaccine but oppose a vaccine mandate. Kevin Hambrick, a longtime driver with Fortune 500 transportation company J.B. Hunt, opposes the mandate. “Each guy should make his own choice,” Hambrick said. In Arizona, Florida-based truck driver Juan Martinez said that he knows life without freedom, having lived under Cuban communism. He also received a COVID-19 shot and opposes the mandate. “You have to decide for yourself,” he said. “People should do whatever they want to do.” Many drivers feel pressured by their employers. After a year of difficult pandemic restrictions, it seems to them that COVID-19 rules grow ever more invasive. In Flagstaff, Arizona, a long-distance truck driver in his late 20s asked not to be identified, fearing reprisal by his employer. “There’s no place in the middle right now,” he said, adding “if you want to put something in your body, it’s your personal choice.” Other truckers who did not want to be named said they felt angry at those who mandated the vaccine. “We run our country,” one said. “They don’t give a [expletive] about this country.” Roads to Health According to the Biden administration, America needs the new vaccine to increase protection against the CCP virus. “The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing,” president Joe Biden said in a press conference. But more people should get vaccinated, he added. The current available vaccines block COVID-19 in most cases, according to CDC statistics. Today, 79 percent of Americans over 18 are vaccinated, according to the CDC. Experts say that this number might be enough to achieve herd immunity. But as the number of unvaccinated people has dwindled, pressure to increase vaccination numbers has increased. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said to unvaccinated people. “Your refusal has cost all of us.” Some medical experts say clusters of unvaccinated people allow the virus to mutate into a form that can bypass the vaccine. “It’s perhaps just a matter of time,” University of Alabama at Birmingham medicine professor Dr. Michael Saag said. “A new variant could emerge where we won’t be so fortunate, and the existing vaccines won’t work.” Another recent executive order suggested that the White House fears a truck shortage. On Oct. 20, Biden announced an executive order that temporarily lifts weight restrictions on trucks and encourages more people to become truckers. The White House announced this order soon after the vaccine mandate. Neither the White House nor the Department of Transportation responded to repeated requests for comment on this story. Collision Course Truck industry experts say that truckers with the option to quit will do so if forced to take the vaccine. Joe Sculley, the president of Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said that he sees a scenario playing out for those who oppose or refuse to comply with the mandate. “Drivers will leave bigger companies and look for smaller ones that do not have to comply with the mandate, or they will quit altogether and look for another profession,” he said. Right now, the supply chain crisis, the number of drivers who oppose forced vaccination, and the driver shortage leave the best cards in the hands of drivers, Sculley added. “Drivers have leverage,” he said. “It won’t be an empty threat. Nobody is going to be quickly replaced.” Jim Ward, president of D.M. Bowman and Chairman of the Truckload Carriers Associations, agreed that truckers are serious about quitting because of vaccine mandates. “With driver availability already limited, any exodus due to compliance with a vaccine mandate would put our nation and its economy in an even more precarious situation,” he said. Ward added that drivers who quit can’t easily be replaced. They require training. “Our nation’s professional truck drivers are the safest, most well-trained operators on the road today. Replacing any driver who leaves the industry is not an overnight process,” he said. Biden’s best chance to bring in new drivers comes from a pilot program in his recent infrastructure bill. The program would create a “test group” of 18- to 21-year-olds who would be followed to “see how they would perform,” Sculley said. However, the American trucking industry has long faced a driver shortage. Long hours away from home and mediocre pay doesn’t attract new drivers to the business, even when they have the right skills. Impact New workers also might not compare with longtime professionals. Experienced truckers thread their trucks through a complex ballet of traffic conditions and federal regulations to arrive on time. Football games, the Kentucky Derby, hurricanes two states over, and other issues can all mean higher traffic along a route, said Morales. “I’m not a sports fan. But I know when the playoffs are,” he said. If Biden’s mandate goes through, the most experienced truckers are most likely to quit, Morales said. In 10 years, nearly 30 percent of truckers will be 65 or older, according to Department of Transportation statistics. Often, these drivers make more money and have cash saved up, said Morales. “The mandate is going to affect the older drivers that have been here a while,” he said. “They’re gonna have a choice.” If these drivers retire early, it will be a challenge to replace them. To become a trucker, a driver must pass his commercial driver’s license (CDL) test, a process which usually takes four to seven weeks. During the pandemic, many truck driving schools closed, and training schools issued at least 100,000 fewer CDLS. Short-term truckers are often unreliable, said small truck company owner Pete Falkenstern. He calls them “cowboys.” “If somebody’s done it for a long time and hasn’t had a lot of accidents, they’ve been pretty safe,” he said. “They probably take some pride in what they do.” If 20 percent of truckers quit because of the mandate, America will lose about 15 percent of its transportation capacity. America’s infrastructure relies most on trucks. As a transportation system, trucks are incredibly flexible. They can go anywhere at any time, can carry many kinds of goods, and are the most cost-effective form of transportation over short to medium distances. “I love this industry, but without us this country would shut down in three days,” said trucker Jack McGregory. Even so, the trucking industry has a high turnover rate. Backing Up The vaccine mandate will only directly affect companies with over 100 people, but small truck companies won’t have the required resources to absorb many additional drivers, Falkenstern said. “I would love to be able to accommodate 30 people, but the work is not here to support that many,” he said. “I don’t want to operate any more than what I have because of insurance regulations.” Large truck companies also tend to be cheaper, said Falkenstern. They can buy things in bulk and self-insure. “A lot of the bigger companies can keep prices down,” he said. “They can get a lower cost because it’s in bulk.” Cathy Roberson, the founder and president of Logistics Trends and Insights LLC, said it’s unclear right now what the long-term impact of the vaccine mandate will be. If truckers quit, the mandate could damage America’s logistics system, Robertson said. But if they switch to smaller companies, Biden’s executive order might only reshuffle employees. “It really hurts the larger trucking companies more than anything else,” Robertson said. Whatever the case, the mandate will exacerbate current supply chain issues, she said. Already, logistics workers wrestle with the worst supply chain issues ever seen, said Lisa Anderson, the president of logistics group LMA Consulting. “It’s unprecedented. It’s never happened before,” she said. Right now, logistics issues have made it difficult to find replacement parts for trucks, she said. Businesses find themselves in a catch-22 situation; To fix their trucks, they need trucks to transport parts. The supply chain feeds itself. Anderson said the vaccine mandate will almost certainly worsen the driver shortage. Truckers are independent-natured. “They are more of a lone wolf, always navigating complex situations on their own,” she said. “They don’t like to be told what to do.” Delays Ahead If truckers follow through with what they say they will do, America’s supply chain crisis may soon become far worse. From a perspective based purely on material benefits, it seems like it’s only logical to obey the mandate. Truckers can take an effective vaccine, keep their jobs, and keep the national supply chain running. But human beings often want to assert that they amount to more than mere links in a chain, pulling on command from the federal government. The logic of individual freedom doesn’t calculate for material benefits. “It’s just that shoving-it-down-your-throat part,” Morales said. “Our first instinct will be to push back.” Tyler Durden Mon, 10/25/2021 - 19:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 25th, 2021

Futures Flat As Bitcoin Nears All-Time High, Yen Tumbles To 4 Year Low

Futures Flat As Bitcoin Nears All-Time High, Yen Tumbles To 4 Year Low US index futures were little changed as investors weighed the start of the earnings season against growing stagflation, tightening, energy crisis, China property and supply risks. S&P 500 futures were flat after the cash index edged closer to a record on Tuesday, rising above 4,500. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 were also unchanged after the main index rallied for the past five days. At 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 point, or 0.03%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.03%. Oil was down and the dollar steadied. Bitcoin traded just shy of its all time high overnight, and was last seen around $64,000. The S&P closed higher on Tuesday with the biggest boosts from the technology and healthcare sectors amid optimism about solid third-quarter earnings season. The index is just 0.4% below its early September record close, while the Dow Jones Industrials average is 0.5% below its all-time high reached in mid-August. "Earlier this month, stagflation was the buzzword on Wall Street. But now excessive pessimism is receding, especially after strong U.S. retail sales data on Friday," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. "Tech shares and other high-growth shares that would have been sold on rising bond yields are rallying, which clearly shows that there is now strong optimism on upcoming earnings." The positive mood saw U.S. bond yields rising further, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield climbing to 1.67% , a high last seen in May. Shorter yields dipped, however, with the two-year yield slipping to 0.404% from Monday's peak of 0.448% as traders took profits for now from bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will turn hawkish at its upcoming policy meeting in early November. Investors expect the Fed to announce tapering of its bond buying and money markets futures are pricing in one rate hike later next year. "The Fed is likely to become more hawkish, probably tweaking its language on its assessment that inflation will be transient. While the Fed will maintain tapering is not linked to a future rate hike, the market will likely try to price in rate hikes and flatten the yield curve," said Naokazu Koshimizu, senior strategist at Nomura Securities. In premarket trading, Tesla edged 0.4% lower in the run up to its quarterly results after markets close, with investors awaiting details on its performance in China. Anthem rose 0.6% as the second largest health U.S. insurer raised its profit outlook for 2021 after beating third-quarter profit estimates. United Airlines Holdings gained 1.6% after the carrier reported a smaller quarterly loss than a year ago on travel rebound. Ford gained 1.9% after Credit Suisse upgraded the U.S. automaker’s stock to ‘outperform’ on EV transition. Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp slipped 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, tracking crude prices. Meanwhile, Chinese technology ADRs climbed as jitters in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s regulatory crackdowns fade. Netflix’s global sensation “Squid Game” helped lure more customers than expected, the world’s largest streaming service said as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups through the end of the year. Its shares, however, fell 2.7% after hitting a record high earlier this month and gaining 18.2% year-to-date. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Chinese tech stocks listed in the U.S. rally in premarket with Hong Kong peers as jitters in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s regulatory crackdowns fade; Pinduoduo (PDD US) +1.7%; Didi (DIDI US) +1.3% Alibaba (BABA US) jumped 6.7% in Hong Kong after reports that founder Jack Ma has traveled abroad for the first time in a year United Airlines (UAL US) gains 2% in U.S. premarket trading after the airline posted a narrower loss than expected despite the impact of the coronavirus delta variant. Cowen notes that 3Q was better than expected and also ahead of management’s last guidance from early September Novavax (NVAX US) shares fall as much as 25% in U.S. premarket trading after Politico reported a potential delay in registering its Covid-19 vaccine candidate with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in connection with inadequate purity levels Vinco Ventures (BBIG US) shares slump 15% in premarket trading after the company reported the resignations of Chief Executive Officer Christopher Ferguson and Chief Financial Officer Brett Vroman Ford (F US) shares gain 1.7% premarket after Credit Suisse upgrades to outperform with joint Street-high target of $20 following a significant turnaround over the past year Stride (LRN US) gained 7.9% Tuesday postmarket after the education company forecast revenue for the full year that beat the highest analyst estimate WD-40 (WDFC US) sank 10% in postmarket trading after forecasting earnings per share for 2022 that missed the average analyst estimate Omnicom (OMC US) fell 3% in postmarket trading after third quarter revenue fell short of some analyst estimates Canadian National (CNI US) U.S.-listed shares rose 4.6% in postmarket trading after reporting adjusted earnings per share for the third quarter that beat the average analyst estimate Akero Therapeutics (AKRO US) shares rose as much as 12% in Tuesday extended trading after co. said the U.S Verizon Communication, Abbott Laboratories, Tesla Inc, Kinder Morgan and IBM are set to report their earnings later in the day.  Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to rise 32.4% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while also keeping a close eye on growth outlook from companies that are faced with rising costs, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. “Investor response to the latest set of earnings reports has been a touch hit and miss with supply chain issues dogging both Procter and Gamble and Philip Morris,” wrote Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell in a client note. “After six quarters of beating earnings expectations, the focus may now shift to forward guidance for 2022 and away from the likely better than expected results for this quarter,” Clive Emery, a multi asset fund manager at Invesco said in a note. “If CEOs are more conservative, this could dent market pricing – especially after such strong moves in equity markets over the last 18 months.” In Europe, stocks were also little changed as gains in food and beverage stocks offset losses in miners which are some of the region’s steepest decliners as base metals slip after China launched a blitz of measures to tackle the energy crisis. The Stoxx Europe 600 basic resources index drops 2% as of 10:56am in London, worst performance among Stoxx 600 sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Falck Renewables shares rise as much as 15% after Infrastructure Investments Fund agreed to buy Falck SpA’s 60% stake in the company at EU8.81/share. IIF will launch a mandatory cash tender offer for Falck Renewables’ remaining share capital after the transaction. Husqvarna shares advance as much as 7.7%, the most intraday since May 2020, after reporting 3Q operating profit that Pareto Securities says is “substantially” stronger than expected. Getinge shares jump as much as 8.1% to a record high, leading the OMX Stockholm 30 index, after 3Q earnings which Handelsbanken (hold) says showed “impressive” order intake and operating leverage. Deliveroo shares jump as much as 4.9% to their highest level since Sept. 30, after the U.K. online food delivery firm hikes its growth forecast, which Jefferies says is an “aspiration” for players in the sector. Nestle shares advance as much as 3.9% after the world’s largest food company increased its sales outlook for the year. This along with the lack of a negative margin update “should be enough to reassure,” according to Citigroup. AutoStore Holdings shares jumped as much as 15% in its Oslo trading debut after pricing shares at the top end of the marketed range as an online shopping boom and labor shortages drive up demand for its automated warehouse robots. Kering SA shares tumbled as much as 5.8% after slowing growth at Gucci, its biggest brand, put more pressure on the label’s new collection to deliver a strong holiday season. Antofagasta shares slump as much as 6.3%, most intraday for two months, after the miner guides for lower copper production next year. Citi and Morgan Stanley analysts say 2022 outlook came in below expectations Kuehne + Nagel shares fall as much as 4.7% to their lowest level in five months after working- capital concerns outweighed a 3Q earnings beat for Swiss logistics operator. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced with Hong Kong-listed tech shares extending their rally to a fourth day, buoyed by encouraging U.S. earnings and growing optimism that the strictest of China’s new regulations on tech firms may already be announced.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.7%, powered by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which closed up 6.7%. The equity gauge also climbed after Johnson & Johnson raised its profit forecast and Netflix Inc. reported a jump in subscribers. Hong Kong and Australia were among the top-performing markets.  “Asian stocks appear to be taking their cue from the U.S. earnings season and are being bought on the back of the nascent technical confirmation,” said Justin Tang, the head of Asian research at United First Partners. The regional benchmark has gained 5% over the past two weeks as the earnings season progresses and inflation and supply chain worries ease. The measure is close to surpassing its 100-day moving average. Coal stocks listed in mainland China slumped after the nation’s top economic planner said it’s studying ways to intervene in the coal market as the government tries to rein in rising prices and curtail shortfalls. Meanwhile, expectations are falling that China’s central bank will ease monetary policy by cutting the amount of cash banks have to hold in reserve, according to a front-page story from the central bank’s own newspaper. Japanese equities eked out a second day of gains, driven by advances in telecommunications providers. Banks were also among the biggest boosts to the Topix, which rose less than 0.1%. SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 0.1% gain in the Nikkei 225. U.S. equities extended a rally on Tuesday as solid corporate results helped counter concerns stemming from elevated inflation. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to 7,413.70, its highest close since Sept. 16. Banks boosted the index as a subgauge of financials hit a four-year peak. Kogan.com rallied after the company reported gross sales for the first quarter of A$330.5 million vs. A$273 million y/y. Whitehaven plunged after China’s top economic planner said it is studying ways to intervene in the coal market as the government tries to rein in rising prices and curtail shortfalls. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 13,114.24 In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index is little changed in London trade following yesterday’s slide and the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers. The Treasury curve held on to yesterday’s steepening as the 2-year yield fell a second day, while the 10- year yield was steady after earlier rising to 1.67% for the first time since May. Norway’s krone was the worst G-10 performer as it fell from the European open, after yesterday reaching a four-month high versus the dollar. The pound slipped, reversing modest gains, after the U.K.’s September inflation reading came in lower than expectations; still, it’s well beyond the Bank of England’s target and it’s the last before the rate decision in November. Australia’s led G-10 gains and the sovereign bond curve bear steepened, tracking yesterday’s Treasury moves. The yen fell to weakest level in almost four years as traders added to bets on Fed rate hikes and rising oil prices boosted concern about the Japanese trade deficit. China’s offshore yuan extends its overnight softness after a weaker than expected fixing, with USD/CNH 0.25% higher. In rates, treasuries were narrowly mixed and off lows reached during Asia session after being led higher during European morning by gilts, where short maturities outperform. The 10-year TSY yield touched 1.67%, the highest level since May. The treasury futures rally stalled after a block sale in 10-year contracts, apparently fading strength. Treasury curve pivots around a little-changed 10-year sector, with front-end yields slightly richer on the day, long-end slightly cheaper; 5s30s, steeper by 2bp, extends rebound from Monday’s multimonth low; U.K. 10-year yield is lower by nearly 4bp. U.S. session includes 20-year bond auction.   Bunds and gilts ground higher in quiet trade, with curves having a small steepening bias. Long end USTs cheapen 1bp, gilts richen ~2.5bps at the short end. Peripheral spreads are marginally tighter to Germany. Italy’s green BTP syndication is well received with final books over EU48b. European equities fade a small opening dip to trade little changed. Price action is quiet, V2X drops toward 16 In commodities, crude futures drift lower. WTI drops 0.9% near $82.20, Brent is 1% lower holding above $84. Spot gold slowly extends Asia’s gains, rising $9 to trade near $1,780/oz. Most base metals are under pressure with LME copper and aluminum underperforming peers. In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin stood at $64,068, near its all-time peak of $64,895 as the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund began trading on Tuesday Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for September, alongside the German PPI reading for the same month. From central banks, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Kashkari, Evans, Bullard and Quarles, as well as the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson, Holzmann and Visco. Finally, today’s earnings releases include Tesla, Verizon Communications, Abbott Laboratories, NextEra Energy and IBM. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,509.50 MXAP up 0.4% to 200.82 MXAPJ up 0.5% to 661.79 Nikkei up 0.1% to 29,255.55 Topix little changed at 2,027.67 Hang Seng Index up 1.4% to 26,136.02 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,587.00 Sensex down 0.6% to 61,343.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,413.67 Kospi down 0.5% to 3,013.13 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 468.88 German 10Y yield rose 8.5 bps to -0.115% Euro little changed at $1.1628 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $84.32/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,777.33 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.80 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there won’t be a fresh lockdown of the U.K. economy even as Covid-19 cases tick upwards and Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns of a difficult winter ahead The recovery in France and in Europe “remains very strong,” Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau says on Wednesday during a National Assembly finance committee hearing The yen’s tough year is only going to get tougher as a rising tide of oil prices and global yields threatens to send Japan’s currency past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017 PBOC Deputy Governor Pan Gongsheng says financial activities by China’s property sector and financial market prices are gradually becoming normal, China Business News reports, citing a speech at a forum in Beijing Sinic Holdings Group Co. became the latest Chinese real estate firm to default as investors wait to see whether China Evergrande Group Inc. will meet overdue interest payments on dollar bonds this week A more detailed look at global markets from Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as the region took its cue from the extended gains on Wall Street where sentiment was underpinned amid encouraging earnings results and with some hopes for a breakthrough on reconciliation as the White House and Democrats continued deliberations. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was led higher by outperformance in tech and with nearly all of its sectors in the green, while there were also gains seen in some of the blue-chip miners and across the big four banks. Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) was lifted by the weaker currency and following better than expected Exports and Imports data, although the index stalled just shy of the 29.5k level, while KOSPI (-0.5%) failed to hold on to opening gains with confirmation from North Korea that it fired a new submarine launched ballistic missile on Tuesday. Hang Seng (+1.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were varied whereby Hong Kong was boosted by tech and health care with Alibaba leading the advances after it recently unveiled China’s most advanced chip and with its founder Jack Ma travelling abroad for the first time in over a year who is currently on a study tour in Spain. Conversely, the mainland was subdued alongside weakness in domestic commodity prices and despite a firmer liquidity effort by the PBoC, while the central bank provided no surprises in maintaining its benchmark Loan Prime Rates unchanged for the 18th consecutive month and a PBoC-backed paper also noted that expectations for a RRR cut during Q4 have eased. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid spillover selling from global peers and recent curve steepening in US which desks attributed to positioning and upcoming supply, although the downside for JGBs was limited by the presence of the BoJ in the market for nearly JPY 1.4tln of JGBs heavily concentrated in 1yr-10yr maturities. Top Asian News Abu Dhabi’s Top Fund Backs Indonesia’s Largest Internet Firm Singapore Category E COE Price Rises to Highest Since Oct. 2013 China’s Liu He Says Property Market Risks Are Controllable: 21st Rio’s New CEO Starts Turnaround With $7.5 Billion Climate Pledge It’s been a choppy start to the session for European equities (Euro Stoxx 50 flat; Stoxx 600 flat) as opening losses were quickly trimmed after the cash open. Stocks in Europe were unable to benefit from the constructive APAC handover, which itself benefitted from a strong Wall St close as stocks in the US gained for a fifth consecutive session. As it stands, US equity index futures are relatively flat as indices succumb to the choppy price action with events on Capitol Hill not providing much guidance for price action as lawmakers strive to reach a deal on spending by the end of the week. Back to Europe and sectoral performance is somewhat mixed with clear outperformance in the Food & Beverage sector as earnings from Swiss heavyweight Nestle (+3.2%) provides support and prompts upside in the SMI (+0.7%). Nestle reported a beat on 9M revenues and raised FY guidance amid performance of coffee and pet food sales, whilst noting that it increased pricing in a “responsible manner” during Q3. Elsewhere in Switzerland, Roche (-1.0%) also beat on revenues and raised guidance but was unable to benefit from a lift in its share price. To the downside, Basic Resources lag amid softness in some base metals prices as well as a production update from Antofagasta (-4.2%) and a broker downgrade for Rio Tinto (-4.0%). Retail names are also trading on a softer footing after Q3 earnings from Kering (-4.0%) saw the Co. report a decline in consolidated revenues and note that performance for Gucci was hit by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Asia. H&M (-2.7%) is also weighing on the sector after a broker downgrade at Morgan Stanley. Elsewhere, Deliveroo (+3%) is seeing upside today after the Co. upgraded Gross Transaction Value (GTV) growth guidance. Additionally, in what has been a tough week for the Co., IAG (-3.6%) is seeing further losses after being downgraded at Peel Hunt. Finally, updates from the likes of materials name Akzo Nobel (supply chain woes) and semiconductor ASML (revenues fell short of expectations) have sent their shares lower by 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. Top European News Weidmann to to Step Down as Bundesbank Chief at End of Year Credit Suisse Dodges Bigger Fine With Debt-Forgiveness Vow Vinci Up After Reporting Higher 9m Sales; Guidance Confirmed Covid Tests Boost Roche Growth Once Again, Lifting Outlook In FX, the Index has recovered from yesterday's decline, which saw a base at 93.500 – matching the 32.8% Fib retracement of the September move, with the Index now eyeing the 21 DMA at 93.917 ahead of 94.000. The main stateside development has been on the fiscal front, where President Biden told Democrat lawmakers he believed they could secure an agreement for a tax and spending proposal valued at USD 1.75tln-1.90tln, whilst US progressive Democratic Rep. Jayapal said she feels even more optimistic after the White House meeting. As Republicans fully opposed Biden's plans, all Democrat votes are needed in the Senate, whilst only a few can be spared in the House. As a reminder, Congress set an Oct 31st deadline for the passage. Negotiations are expected to wrap up as soon as this week. Ahead, the stateside docket is quiet aside from several Fed regulars after the European close. NZD, AUD, CAD - The Kiwi stands as the current outperformer in a continuation of the strength seen as bets mount for a steeper RBNZ OCR hike at the upcoming meeting in light of the CPI metrics earlier this week. The NZD/USD pair also sees some technical tailwinds after failing to convincingly breach 0.7150 to the downside overnight. AUD/USD meanwhile eyes 0.7500 to the upside from a 0.7466 base with some potential support seen as China taps into Aussie coal amid surging demand. USD/CAD dips below 1.2350 but remains within yesterday's 1.2309-76 range ahead of Canadian CPI later – with headline Y/Y expected to tick higher to 4.3% from 4.1%. EUR, GBP - Both flat vs the Dollar and against each other. Sterling saw some mild weakness as UK CPI narrowly missed expectations at 3.1% vs exp. 3.2% for the headline Y/Y, in turn prompting market pricing to ease a touch as the dust settled – with the implied rate for the 4th Nov meeting modestly under 25bps vs 25.71bps heading into the release. That being said, the slight miss is likely not to provide enough ammunition for the BoE doves, whilst the hawks will likely continue to warn the dangers of persistently high inflation – ultimately not settling the debate on the MPC regarding how soon it should raise rates. GBP/USD fell back under its 100 DMA (1.3805) from a 1.3814 high. From a technical standpoint, aside from yesterday's 1.3833 peak, the pair sees the 200 DMA at 1.3846. EUR/USD meanwhile rebounded off its 21 DMA (1.1615) but remains under 1.1669 high, having seen little reaction to the unrevised Y/Y final EZ CPI metrics, although the M/M metrics were revised slightly higher as expected. Elsewhere, it is worth noting that ECB-hawk Weidmann has submitted his resignation to the Bundesbank and the ECB ahead of next week's Governing Council confab. JPY - The JPY is relatively flat intraday, but overnight price action was interesting as USD/JPY drifted to a high of 114.69, with participants recently flagging barriers just ahead of 115.00. Some have also cited Gatobi demand, where accounts In commodities, WTI and Brent Dec futures are marginally softer on the day in a continuation of the downward trajectory during US hours yesterday. WTI has dipped below USD 82/bbl (vs high USD 82.60/bbl) while its Brent counterpart hovers around USD 84.50/bbl (vs high USD 85.20/bbl). The subdued prices come amid a larger-than-expected build in Private inventories, although the internals were bullish, with the DoEs headline expected to print a build of some 1.8mln bbls. Elsewhere, the Iraqi energy minister has been vocal throughout the session, saying he expects oil prices to reach USD 100/bbl in Q1 and Q2 2022 – in contrast to comments he made last week which suggested that oil price is unlikely to increase further; whilst he also recently noted oil prices between USD 75-80/bbl is a fair price for producers and consumers. The Iraqi minister today said it is preferable for long-term oil prices between USD 75-85/bbl, and OPEC+ is now discussing ways to balance oil prices but no decision has yet been made to add more production above the agreed levels. Elsewhere, following India’s call on OPEC yesterday to lower prices, India’s HPCL executive says current oil prices are high for India; USD 60-70/bbl is comfortable and high oil prices may impact demand growth. Over to metals spot gold resides around its 50 DMA at USD 1,778/oz while spot silver eyes USD 24/bbl to the upside. Overnight, China’s coal intervention saw prices slump – with thermal coal futures hitting limit down and coke futures opening lower by 9%. LME copper prices are also softer, with the contract briefly dipping under USD 10k/t overnight. US Event Calendar 7am: Oct. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 0.2% Oct. 20-Oct. 22: Sept. Monthly Budget Statement, est. -$59b, prior -$124.6b 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Whilst inflation concerns are still very much bubbling under the surface of markets, risk appetite strengthened further yesterday thanks in no small part to decent earnings reports. There are no signs of widespread erosions of margins at the moment. Perhaps there is so much money sloshing about that for now prices are broadly being passed on. We’ll get a better picture of this as the earnings season develops. Indeed, the selloff from September feels like an increasingly distant memory now, with the S&P 500 (+0.74%) advancing for a 5th consecutive session to leave the index just 0.38% beneath all-time closing high from early September. Earlier Europe’s STOXX 600 (+0.33%) also moved higher. In the US, earnings supported sentiment yet again. 10 of the 11 companies reporting during New York trading beating estimates, whilst all 4 of the after-hours reporting beat as well. That brings the total number of reporters for the season thus far to 57, 50 of whom have beat earnings expectations. Most sectors were higher yesterday, with health care (+1.31%), utilities (+1.26%), and energy (+1.14%) leading the way; only consumer discretionary (-0.29%) lagged. We even saw the FANG+ index (+1.56%) of megacap tech stocks hit a new record ahead of Tesla’s earnings today, whilst the NASDAQ (+0.72%) was also up for a 5th consecutive session. Equities may be brushing off the inflation stories for now but they are hardly going away, as yesterday saw oil prices climb to fresh multi-year highs. Brent Crude was up +0.89% to close above $85/bbl for the first time since 2018, whilst WTI (+0.63%) similarly advanced to close just shy of $83/bbl, a mark not reached since 2014. And investor expectations of future inflation are still moving higher in many places, with the Euro Area 5y5y forward inflation swap up +4.0bps to 1.90%, also the highest level since 2014. Against this backdrop, sovereign bonds continued to selloff on both sides of the Atlantic, even though investors slightly pared back some of their Monday bets on near-term rate hikes by the Fed and the BoE. 10yr yields moved higher across the board, with those on Treasuries up +3.7bps to 1.64%, their highest closing level since early June, just as those on bunds (+4.3bps), OATs (+4.3bps) and BTPs (+4.8bps) similarly moved higher. It was a more divergent picture at the 2yr horizon however, with those on 2yr Treasuries down -3.0bps after five days of increases, whereas those on gilts were up +1.0bps. Watch out for UK inflation numbers shortly after this hits your inboxes although this may be the calm (due to base effects) before the inflationary storm in the coming months. From central banks, we had the latest global hike yesterday in Hungary, where the base rate was raised by 15bps to 1.80%, in line with consensus expectations, with Deputy Governor Virag saying afterwards that this monetary tightening was set to carry on into next year. However, we did get some pushback to recent market pricing from ECB chief economist Lane, who said that “If you look at market pricing of the forward interest rate curve, I think it’s challenging to reconcile some of the market views with our pretty clear rate forward guidance”. This didn’t really hit fixed income but it did see the euro pare back some of its gains against the US dollar yesterday, ending the session up just +0.08%, down from an intraday high of +0.51%. Asian equities have followed those moves higher overnight, with the Hang Seng (+1.71%), Nikkei (+0.27%), CSI (+0.08%) and Shanghai Composite (+0.03%) all trading higher, although the KOSPI (-0.11%) has lost ground. China’s property market continues to be in focus after home prices fell -0.08% in September, which is their first monthly decline since April 2015. Separately, Chinese coal futures (-8.00%) have snapped a run of 8 consecutive gains this morning after the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said that it wanted to ensure a rise in coal output to 12m tons per day, and that they would also be looking at other measures to intervene in the market. Outside of Asia, equity futures are pointing slightly lower, with those on the S&P 500 down -0.03%. The pandemic hasn’t been a major influence on markets in recent weeks but there may be some initial signs that the global decline in cases that we’ve seen since late August has stopped. Looking at data from John Hopkins University, the rolling weekly change in confirmed cases has ticked up on each of Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And although we shouldn’t over-interpret a few days’ numbers, we had already seen the rate of decline slow for 3 successive weeks now, which was probably to be expected given the time of year. We’re certainly coming up to a key period where a more indoor northern hemisphere life will combine with waning vaccine effectiveness to test the resolve of the authorities to maintain relatively restriction-free economies. Boosters may be key here. Once we get past this winter things may get easier particularly with new medicines in the pipeline like the viral pill from Merck that trials showed reduced hospitalisations and deaths by around half. On the data front, US housing starts fell to an annualised rate of 1.555m in September (vs. 1.615m expected), whilst building permits also fell to an annualised rate of 1.589m (vs. 1.680m expected). The previous month’s numbers were also revised down for both. Finally in the US, after an acrimonious weekend, Senators Sanders and Manchin expressed optimism they could agree on a framework for the next reconciliation bill by the end of the week in bilateral negotiations, which is set to contain a number of President Biden’s key legislative goals. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for September, alongside the German PPI reading for the same month. From central banks, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Kashkari, Evans, Bullard and Quarles, as well as the ECB’s Villeroy, Elderson, Holzmann and Visco. Finally, today’s earnings releases include Tesla, Verizon Communications, Abbott Laboratories, NextEra Energy and IBM. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/20/2021 - 07:59.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 20th, 2021

Futures Drift Before Taper-Triggering Jobs Report

Futures Drift Before Taper-Triggering Jobs Report US equity-index drifted in a tight range overnight, in a tight range before key jobs data that could provide clues on the Federal Reserve’s policy. As noted in our preview, unless the jobs report is a disaster, it will virtually assure the Fed launches tapering in one month. Markets drifted higher on Thursday after the Senate averted the risk of an immediate default, pushing global stocks on course for their best week since early September, but a late day selloff wiped away most gains and closed spoos below the critical 4400 level. At 07:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 35 points, or 0.10%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.00 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.75 points, or 0.07%. Treasury Yields were 1 point higher after earlier tagging 1.60%, the highest since June. The dollar was flat while Brent topped $83 before paring gains. Bitcoin traded above $55,000. Uncertainty over the debt ceiling negotiations and a run-up in U.S. Treasury yields over elevated inflation were major concerns among investors earlier this week, injecting volatility in equity markets this week. High-growth FAAMG stocks slipped in premarket trading following sharp gains in previous session. Energy firms including Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil gained about 0.8% tracking crude prices, while major U.S. lenders also edged up as the benchmark 10-year yield hit its highest level since June 4. Here are some of the biggest movers and stocks to watch today: Tesla (TSLA US) shares in focus after Elon Musk says a global shortage of chips and ships is the only thing standing in the way of the company maintaining sales growth in excess of 50% Sundial Growers (SNDL US) shares rise as much as 19% in U.S. premarket after the Canadian cannabis producer said it will buy liquor and pot retailer Alcanna for $276m in stock Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO US) plunges 36% in U.S. premarket trading after an early-stage study of its cell therapy was put on hold by U.S. regulators Prelude Therapeutics (PRLD US) fell in U.S. premarket trading, adding to Thursday’s 40% plunge on early- stage data for the company’s experimental cancer treatments that Barclays says came in below expectations Vaxart (VXRT US) rises 8% in U.S. premarket trading after its oral tablet vaccine candidate cut transmission of Covid-19 in animals, according to data from a study led by Duke University Faraday Future (FFIE US) slides 4% in U.S. premarket trading after J Capital says it is short on the stock. The short-seller says they don’t think the company “will ever sell a car” Codiak Biosciences (CDAK US) shares fell 6% in Thursday postmarket trading after disclosing that Sarepta Therapeutics is terminating a research license and option agreement Agile Therapeutics (AGRX US) tumbled Thursday postmarket after the women’s health-care company said that it intends to offer and sell shares of its common stock, as well as warrants to purchase shares of its common stock, in an underwritten public offering Looking to today's main event, economists expect September hiring to have surged by 500,000 jobs as the summer wave of COVID-19 infections began to subside, and as millions of Americans no longer receive jobless benefits, positioning the Fed to start scaling back its monthly bond buying.  “All roads lead to non-farm payrolls data which will decide, in the market’s minds, whether the start of the Fed taper is a done deal for December,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. “I do not believe that markets have priced in the Fed taper and its implications to any large degree yet. Even a weak number probably only delays the inevitable for another month.” Even “reasonably soft” payrolls and unemployment figures wouldn’t be enough to change the minds of its officials, according to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “Only a shockingly low figure could do that,” she said. “The persistent rise in oil prices can only continue boosting inflation fears and the central bank hawks, limiting the upside potential in case of a further recovery in stocks.” “As soon as you start thinking about tapering it’s really hard to not then think about what that means for the Fed funds rate and when that might start to increase,” Kim Mundy, currency strategist and international economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, said on Bloomberg Television. “We do see scope that markets can start to price in a more aggressive Fed funds rate hike cycle.” In Europe, tech companies led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 0.2%, with energy stocks and carmakers being the only industry groups with meaningful gains. Chip stocks fell, especially Apple suppliers, following a profit warning from Asian peer and fellow supplier AAC Technologies. On the other end, European travel stocks rose after U.K. confirmed the travel “red list” will be cut to just seven countries; British Airways parent IAG and TUI led the advances. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Daimler shares gains as much as 3.2%, outperforming peers, after UBS upgrades stock to buy from neutral, calling it an earnings momentum story that stands to gain from strong demand, electrification trends and its future focus on passenger cars. Adler shares rise as much as 13% after shareholder Aggregate sells a call option to Vonovia for a 13.3% stake in the German real estate investment firm at a strike price of EU14 per share. Cewe Stiftung shares jump as much as 4.2%, their best day in over three months, after the photography services firm gets a new buy rating at Hauck & Aufhaeuser. Weir shares fall as much as 6.3%, to the lowest since Nov. 13, after the U.K. machinery maker announced that a ransomware attack will affect full-year profitability; Jefferies says it’s unlikely that guidance beyond that will be revised. Zur Rose slumps as much as 9.2% after Berenberg downgrades the Swiss online pharmacy to hold from buy, citing the expected negative impact from a delay in the implementation of mandatory e-prescriptions in Germany. Czech digital-payments provider Eurowag shares slide as much as 10% as it starts trading in London, after pricing its IPO below an initial range and making its debut a day later than planned. Asian stocks rose for a second day as China’s market reopened higher and the U.S. Senate approved a short-term increase in the debt ceiling. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 1% in a rally led by consumer discretionary shares. Alibaba and Tencent were among the biggest contributors to the gauge’s climb. Shares in mainland China surged more than 1% as investors returned from the Golden Week holiday. Chinese property shares fell after a report that more than 90% of China’s top 100 property developers’ sales declined in September by an average of 36% from the same period last year, while investor concerns about developers’ liquidity rose after Fantasia bonds were suspended from trading. In mainland: CSI 300 Real Estate Index drops as much as 2%, Seazen Holdings falls as much as 5%, Poly Developments -4%. Asia’s stock benchmark is slightly down for the week, as rising bond yields weighed on tech-heavy indexes in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. The gauge is down more than 1% this month amid an energy shortage in China and India.  “Markets may not want to commit directionally” given that we have non-farm payrolls data on the docket, making a follow-through of today’s rally suspect, said Ilya Spivak, the head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. Traders are expecting today’s U.S. employment data to provide clues on the direction of the world’s largest economy. On Thursday, the U.S. averted what would have been its first default on a debt payment. Most major benchmarks in Asia climbed, led by Japan, Indonesia and Australia. India’s central bank kept its lending rates at a record low at a policy meeting today. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.9% to close at 7,320.10. All industry groups edged higher. The benchmark rose 1.9% for the week, the biggest weekly gain since early August. Miners led the charge, having the best week since July, banks the best since the start of March. EML Payments tumbled after an update on its Ireland subsidiary from the country’s central bank. Chalice Mining continued its rebound, finishing the session the strongest performer in the mining subgauge.  There is a risk of excessive borrowing due to low interest rates and rising house prices, Reserve Bank of Australia said in its semiannual Financial Stability Review released Friday. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1% to 13,086.60 In rates, Treasury futures remained under pressure after paring declines that pushed 10-year yield as high as 1.5995% during European morning, highest since June 4; the 1.60% zone is thought to have potential to spur next wave of convexity hedging. U.K. 10-year is higher by 4bp, German by 2.3bp - gilts underperformed, weighing on Treasuries as money markets continue to bring forward BOE rate-hike expectations. During U.S. session, September jobs report may seal case for Fed taper announcement in November.  In FX, the greenback traded in a narrow range versus G10 peers while 10-year Treasury yields approached 1.6%, outperforming Bunds.  Gilt yields rose 5-6bps across the curve; demand for downside protection in the pound eases this week as the U.K. currency moves off cycle lows amid money markets repricing. U.K. wage growth rose at its strongest pace on record in a survey of job recruiters, indicating strains from a shortage of workers are persisting. Turkish lira initially weakens above 8.96/USD before recouping half of its losses In commodities, oil extended a rebound, on track for a seventh weekly gain. Crude futures pushed to the best levels for the week. WTI rises 1.5% near $79.50, Brent pops back on to a $83-handle. Spot gold trades a $5 range near $1,757/oz. Base metals are mostly positive, with LME nickel gaining over 3.5%. Looking at the day ahead, the highlight will be the aforementioned September jobs report. Central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde and the ECB’s Panetta. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,389.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.3% to 457.18 MXAP up 0.4% to 194.72 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 636.80 Nikkei up 1.3% to 28,048.94 Topix up 1.1% to 1,961.85 Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 24,837.85 Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 3,592.17 Sensex up 0.7% to 60,070.61 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,320.09 Kospi down 0.1% to 2,956.30 Brent Futures up 1.4% to $83.09/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,756.25 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.29 German 10Y yield up +3.4 bps to -0.151% Euro little changed at $1.1549 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Global talks to reshape the corporate tax landscape are set to resume on Friday after Ireland’s decision to adhere to the world consensus on a minimum rate removed one hurdle to an agreement that still hangs in the balance Germany’s Social Democrats hailed a positive start in their effort to form a government after their first meeting with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats A U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarine struck an object while submerged in international waters in the Indo- Pacific region last week, the Navy said, adding that no life- threatening injuries were reported China drained the most short- term liquidity from the banking system in a year on a net basis as it reduced support after a week-long holiday. Government bond futures slid by the most since August China’s central bank will continue to push for the reform of its benchmark loan rate and make deposit rates more market-based, according to a senior official India’s central bank surprised markets by suspending its version of quantitative easing, signaling the start of tapering pandemic-era stimulus measures as an economic recovery takes hold U.K. government bond yields have climbed to levels last seen before the Brexit referendum in 2016 relative to German peers, as traders brace for inflation in Britain over the next decade to far outpace the rate in Europe’s largest economy A detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly higher as the region conformed to the global upbeat mood after the agreement in Washington to raise the debt ceiling which the Senate approved, with the overnight bourses also invigorated by the return of China and strong Caixin PMI data. The ASX 200 (+0.9%) was led higher by strength in mining names with underlying commodity prices boosted as Chinese buyers flocked back to market which helped the ASX disregard a record increase in daily COVID-19 cases in Victoria state. Nikkei 225 (+1.3%) was the biggest gainer and reclaimed the 28k level as exporters benefitted from a softer currency, while attention turns to PM Kishida who will outline his policy program today and is reportedly planning to present an additional budget after the election. Furthermore, there were recent comments from an ally of the new PM who suggested that capital gains tax could be raised to 25% from the current 20% without affecting stock prices, although this failed to dent the mood in Tokyo and weaker than expected Household Spending was also brushed aside. The gains for the KOSPI (-0.1%) were later reversed alongside the tentative price action in index heavyweight Samsung Electronics after its Q3 prelim. results showed oper. profit likely rose to its highest in three years but missed analysts’ forecasts. Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.7%) were mixed with the latter jubilant on reopen from the Golden Week holiday after improved Caixin Services and Composite PMI data which both returned to expansionary territory. This helped mainland stocks overlook the recent developer default fears and largest daily liquidity drain by the PBoC since October last year, although Hong Kong initially lagged amid heavy Northbound Stock Connect trade. Finally, 10yr JGBs declined on spillover selling from T-notes and with havens shunned amid the gains across riskier assets, although downside in JGBs was limited given the BoJ’s presence in the market for nearly JPY 1.5tln of JGBs with up to 10yr maturities. Top Asian News Gold Steadies Ahead of Key U.S. Jobs Report as Yields Climb Investors Fear Tax Talk in Kishida’s ‘New Japanese Capitalism’ China Coal Prices Plunge as Producers Vow to Ease Shortages China Developer Stocks Fall After Report of Monthly Sales Drop An initially contained to marginally-firmer European cash open followed an upbeat APAC handover (ex-Hang Seng) was short-lived with bourses coming under moderate pressure; Euro Stoxx 600 -0.3%. As such, major indices are all in the red, except for of the UK FTSE 100 which is essentially unchanged and bolstered by strength in heavy-weight energy and mining names given broader price action the return of China. Sectors were initially mixed at the open, but in-fitting with the action in indices, has turned to a predominantly negative performance ex-energy. Crossing to the US, futures have directionally been following European peers, but the magnitude has been more contained, with the ES unchanged as we await the September labour market report for any read across to the Fed’s policy path; however, officials have already made it clear that it would have to be a very poor report to spark a deviation from its announced intentions, where it is expected to announce an asset purchase tapering in November. Returning to Europe, Daimler (+2.5%) stands out in the individual stocks space, firmer after a broker upgrade and notable price target lift at UBS; Marks & Spencer (+1.5%) is also supported on broker action. To the downside lies Weir Group (-3.0%) after reports of a ransomware attack. Top European News Adler’s Largest Shareholder Sells Option on Stake to Vonovia; A Controversial Tycoon Sits on Adler’s $9 Billion Pile of Debt Chip Stocks Drag Tech Gauge Lower as Asian Apple Supplier Warns European Gas Rises as Bumpy Ride Continues With Cold Air Coming Lira Weakens to Fresh Low as Rising U.S. Yields Add Pressure In FX, the Dollar is trying to regroup and firm up again after its latest downturn amidst a further rebound in US Treasury yields, more pronounced curve re-steepening, and perhaps some relief that the Senate finally passed the debt ceiling extension bill, albeit by a slender margin and only delaying the issue until early December. Looking at the DXY as a benchmark, a marginally higher low above 94.000 and lower high below 94.500 is keeping the index contained as the clock ticks down to September’s jobs report that is expected to show a recovery in hiring after the prior month’s shortfall, but anecdotal data has been rather mixed to offer little clear pointers for the bias around consensus - full preview of the latest BLS release is available via the Research Suite under the Ad-hoc Economic Analysis section. From a technical perspective, near term support for the DXY resides at 94.077 (vs the current 94.139 base) and resistance sits at 94.448 (compared to a 94.338 intraday high). TRY - A double whammy for the already beleaguered Lira as oil prices come back to the boil and ‘sources’ suggest that Turkish President Erdogan’s patience is wearing thin with the latest CBRT Governor as the Bank waited until September to cut rates. Recall, Erdogan has already ousted a CBRT chief for not loosening monetary policy in his belief that lowering the cost of borrowing will bring inflation down, and although the reports have been by a senior member of his administration there is a distinct feeling of no smoke without fire in the markets as Usd/Try remains bid having only held below 9.0000 by short distance between 8.9707-8.8670 parameters. CHF/JPY - No real surprise that the low yielders and funders are underperforming, even though broadly upbeat risk sentiment during APAC hours has not rolled over to the European session. The Franc has retreated to 0.9300 vs the Buck and Yen is trying to fend off pressure on the 112.00 handle after failing to sustain momentum through 111.50 before weaker than expected Japanese household spending data overnight. However, decent option expiry interest from 111.85-75 (1.4 bn) may weigh on Usd/Jpy pending the aforementioned US payrolls outcome. AUD - Some payback for the Aussie after Thursday’s outperformance, as Aud/Usd loses a bit more momentum following its rebound beyond 0.7300 and with hefty option expiries at 0.7335 (2.7 bn) capping the upside more than smaller size at the round number (1.1 bn) cushions the downside. In commodities, WTI and Brent remain on an upward trajectory after the mid-week pullback; as it stands, crude benchmarks are near fresh highs for the week, with WTI for November eyeing USD 80/bbl once again. Fresh news flow for the complex has been sparse, aside from substantial UK press focus on the domestic energy price cap potentially set to increase next year. More broadly, US officials have largely reiterated commentary from the Energy Department provided on Thursday around not currently intending act on energy costs with a reserve release. The session ahead has just the Baker Hughes rig count specifically for crude scheduled, though the complex may well get dragged into a broader risk move depending on the initial reaction to and analysis on NFP. For metals, spot gold and silver are contained around the unchanged mark and haven’t been affected by any significant amount by the firmer USD or elevated yield space thus far. Elsewhere, base metals are buoyed by China’s return and strong Caixin data from the region, although it is worth highlighting that the likes of LME copper are well off earlier highs. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 500,000, prior 235,000 Change in Private Payrolls, est. 450,000, prior 243,000 Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 25,000, prior 37,000 Unemployment Rate, est. 5.1%, prior 5.2% Sept. Underemployment Rate, prior 8.8% Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 61.8%, prior 61.7% Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.7, prior 34.7 Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.6% Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 4.6%, prior 4.3% 10am: Aug. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, est. 0.9%, prior 2.0%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.2% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ve never quite understood why you’d go to the cinema if you’ve got a nice telly at home but such has been the nature of life over the last 19 months that I was giddy with excitement last night at booking tickets for James Bond at the local cinema next week. We’ve booked it on the same night as our first ever physical parents evening where I’ll maybe have the first disappointing clues that my three children aren’t going to be child prodigies and that maybe they’ll even have to settle for a career in finance! Markets have been stirred but not completely shaken this week and yesterday they continued to rebound thanks to the near-term resolution on the US debt ceiling alongside subsiding gas prices, which took the sting out of two of the most prominent risks for investors over the last couple of weeks. That provided a significant boost to risk appetite, and by the close of trade, the S&P 500 had recovered +0.83% in its 3rd consecutive move higher, which put it back to just -3.0% beneath its all-time high in early September, whilst Europe’s STOXX 600 was also up +1.60% and closed before a later US sell-off. Attention will today focus squarely on the US jobs report at 13:30 London time, which is the last one before the Fed’s next decision in early November, where a potential tapering announcement is likely bar an extraordinarily poor number today, or an exogenous event in the next few weeks. Starting with the debt ceiling, yesterday saw Democratic and Republican Senators agree to pass legislation to raise the ceiling by enough to get to early December, meaning we won’t have to worry about it for another 8 whole weeks. The Senate voted 50-48 with no Republicans blocking the legislation to increase the debt limit by $480bn, with House Majority leader Hoyer saying that the House would convene on Tuesday to pass the measure as well. To raise it for a longer period, the chatter out of Washington made it clear that Democrats would need to need to raise the debt ceiling in a partisan manner as part of the reconciliation process. As we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, this extension means that a number of deadlines have now been punted into the year end, including the government funding and the debt ceiling (both now expiring the first Friday of December), just as the Democrats are also seeking to pass Biden’s economic agenda through a reconciliation bill containing much of their social proposals, alongside the $550bn bipartisan infrastructure package. And on top of that, we’ve also got the decision on whether Chair Powell will be re-nominated as Fed Chair, with the decision 4 years ago coming at the start of November. So a busy end to the year in DC. The other main story yesterday was the sizeable decline in European natural gas prices, with the benchmark future down -10.73% to post its biggest daily loss since August. Admittedly, they’re still up almost five-fold since the start of the year, but relative to their intraday peak on Wednesday they’ve now shed -37.5%. So nearly a double bear market all of a sudden! The moves follow Wednesday’s signal that Russia could supply more gas to Europe. However, even as energy prices were starting to fall back from their peak, the effects of inflation were being felt elsewhere, with the UN’s world food price index climbing to its highest level in a decade in September. Looking ahead, today’s main focus will be on the US jobs report for September later on. Last month the report significantly underwhelmed expectations, coming in at just +235k, which was well beneath the +733k consensus expectation and the slowest pace since January. That raised questions as to the state of the labour market recovery, and helped to complicate a potential decision on tapering, with nonfarm payrolls still standing over 5m beneath their pre-Covid peak. This month, our US economists are expecting a somewhat stronger +400k increase in nonfarm payrolls, which should see the unemployment rate tick down to a post-pandemic low of 5.1%. On the bright side at least, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for September on Wednesday came in at an above-forecast 568k (vs. 430k expected), while the weekly initial jobless claims out yesterday for the week through October 2 were beneath expectations at 326k (vs. 348k expected). Ahead of that, global equities posted a decent rebound across the board, with cyclicals leading the march higher on both sides of the Atlantic. As mentioned at the top, the S&P 500 advanced +0.83%, which was part of a broad-based advance that saw over 390 companies move higher on the day. That said the index was up as much as +1.5% in early US trading before slipping lower in the US afternoon. The pullback was partly due to new headlines that China’s central bank plans to continue addressing monopolistic actions in internet companies that operate in the payments sector. Nonetheless, Megacap tech stocks were among the big winners yesterday, with the FANG+ index up +2.08%, whilst the small-cap Russell 2000 index was also up +1.58%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 (+1.60%) posted its strongest daily gain since July, and the broader gains helped the STOXX Banks index (+1.61%) surpass its pre-pandemic high, taking it to levels not seen since April 2019, even as sovereign bond yields moved lower. Speaking of sovereign bonds, yesterday saw a divergent set of moves once again, with yields on 10yr Treasuries up +5.2bps to 1.573%, their highest level since June, whereas those across the European continent moved lower. The US increase came against the backdrop of that debt ceiling resolution, and there was a noticeable rise in yields for Treasury bills that mature in December, which is where the debt ceiling deadline has now been kicked to. Elsewhere in North America, the Bank of Canada’s Macklem joined the global central bank chorus and noted inflation pressures were likely to be temporary, even if they’ve been more persistent than previously expected. Meanwhile over in Europe, lower inflation expectations helped yields move lower, with those on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-1.1bps) and BTPs (-3.6bps) all moving back. Overnight in Asia, all markets are trading in the green with the Nikkei (+2.16%) leading the way, along with CSI (+1.34%), Shanghai Composite (+0.60%), KOSPI (+0.22%) and Hang Seng (+0.04%). Chinese markets reopened after a week-long holiday so the focus will again be back on property market debt, and today the PBOC injected just 10bn Yuan with its 7-day reverse repos, resulting in a net liquidity withdrawal of 330bn Yuan. That comes as the services and composite PMIs did see a pickup from August level, with the services PMI up to 53.4 (vs. 49.2 expected), moving back above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. In Japan however, household spending was down -3.0% year-on-year in August (vs. -1.2% expected) which came amidst a surge in the virus there. There’s also some news on the ESG front, with finance minister Shunichi Suzuki saying that the country would introduce ESG factors when considering the finance ministry’s foreign reserves. Looking forward, S&P 500 futures (+0.06%) are pointing to a small move higher. In Germany, as talks got underway today on a potential traffic-light coalition, it was reported by DPA that CDU leader Armin Laschet had signalled his willingness to stand down, with the report citing unidentified participants from internal discussions. In televised remarks last night, Laschet said that his party needs fresh voices across the board and that new leadership will be in place soon. This moves comes as Germany’s Social Democratic Party held talks with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party to enact a new three-way ruling coalition, which would leave the CDU out of power entirely. There wasn’t a massive amount of data yesterday, though German industrial production fell by -4.0% in August (vs. -0.5% expected), which follows the much weaker than expected data on factory orders the previous day. Elsewhere, the Manheim used car index increased +5.3% in September, its first positive reading in 4 months. Our US economics team points out that there tends to be around a two month lag between wholesale prices and CPI prints, so we aren’t likely to see this impact next week’s CPI print but it will likely prevent a bigger fall towards the end of the year. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned September jobs report from the US. Central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde and the ECB’s Panetta. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/08/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 8th, 2021

Futures Rebound As Energy Prices Soar

Futures Rebound As Energy Prices Soar US equity futures and European markets rebounded from a tech rout on Monday that was triggered by fears of soaring energy costs, stagflation, tech overvaluation and escalating Chinese property distress even as Asian shares tracked Monday's broad Wall Street sell-off to weaken for a third straight session. The dollar rose and yields rebounded back ato 1.50% as the rise in oil continued, pushing Brent above $82/bbl. At of 7:15am ET, S&P futures were up 16.25 points, or 0.38%, to 4,307; Dow futs were up 116 points and Nasdaq futures rose 47.25 points as technology shares bounced in Europe. Bitcoin jumped above $50,000 for the first time since Sept 7. The “market correction, initially sparked by tapering expectations and China’s property sector worries, is now being driven by record energy prices as well as lingering political uncertainties in the U.S. about the crucial question of the debt ceiling,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “Markets are likely to stay volatile this week and with no clear direction until there is significant progress on the existing concerns.” Additionally, the recent calm in global markets which hit an all time high as recently as a few weeks ago, has been shattered by a growing wall of worry spanning a debt crisis in China, elevated inflation on the back of commodity supply shocks, fading economic recovery and U.S. political bickering. Meanwhile, investors brace for a tapering of stimulus by the Federal Reserve. Nerves eased on Tuesday, however, led by a tech rebound following Monday's Facebook-led rout, and big bank stocks were higher in premarket trading as 10-year Treasury yields climbed to about 1.5% led again by breakevens as oil not only held onto recent impressive gains - along with most other commodities after a gauge of commodities soared to an all-time record - but Brent rose above $82 . As to the insanity in Europe's gas sector, European natural gas contracts soared on Tuesday to an unprecedented 111.70 euros per megawatt-hour, compared with 15.49 euros in February. The continent is bracing for a winter crunch in energy supply, with German front-month power contracts also jumping to record levels. Global shortages of gas and coal are pushing energy prices higher, disrupting markets from the U.K. to China, as economies emerge from the pandemic. Surging costs are threatening to raise inflation and starting to weigh onindustrial production, with some companies in Europe forced to cut output. “The fiercely nervous sentiment on the market continues due to fears of reduced supply during the winter,” trader Energi Danmark wrote in a note Tuesday. “Everything looks set for another week of price climbs.” In U.S. premarket trading, Facebook found dip buyers in premarket trading after a 4.9% plunge on Monday amid an hours-long service disruption. The stock added 1.6% in the early New York session. Lordstown Motors shares declined as much as 4.6% after the electric vehicle automaker was downgraded to underweight by Morgan Stanley, while the PT was also cut to $2 from $8. Uphealth fell after pricing its share offering at a discount. And Facebook was up 1.5% following Monday’s slump after it blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of yesterday on a problem with its network configuration. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Amplify Energy (AMPY US) rises 10% in U.S. premarket trading, paring some of Monday’s 44% plunge tied to an oil spill from a California offshore pipeline operated by the company Comtech Telecom (CMTL US) slid more than 7% Monday postmarket after it reported adjusted earnings below average analyst estimates It is “the period of a multiplicity of shocks percolating through the financial markets leaving them in the fog, with many watching from the sidelines for clarity,” Sebastien Galy, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Invetsment, wrote in a note. The technology subgroup in Europe’s benchmark Stoxx 600 advanced for the first time in eight days. European natural-gas contracts jumped as much as 16% and West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a seven-year high. Earlier in the session, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped as much as 1.3%, declining for a third consecutive session. Japan stocks were down 2.5%, South Korea gave up 2% and Australia shed 0.4%. The drop in markets took MSCI's main benchmark to 619.77, the lowest since November 2020 but it pared losses to be down 0.6% in late Asia trade. The index has shed more than 5% this year, with Hong Kong and Japanese markets among the big losers. "Investors are clearly worried about inflation due to supply chain disruptions and the rally in energy prices," said Vasu Menon, executive  director of investment strategy at OCBC Bank.  "We have seen tech stocks outperform value stocks, so if inflation remains a worry, then tech stocks tend to get hit," Menon said. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure with yields near session highs, cheaper by up to 2.5bp across belly of the curve. Yields rose not only on the continued surge in commodities, but about the total chaos over the debt ceiling D-Date which will be hit in two weeks. Gilts lag amid bond auctions, adding to upside pressure on yields, while S&P 500 futures pare about a third of Monday’s 1.3% slide. The RBA kept monetary policy unchanged as expected.  In FX, the dollar rose against most Group-of-10 currencies near a one-year high versus major peers ahead of key U.S. payrolls data due at the end of the week; the pound bucked the trend, advancing for a fourth session. The euro fell 0.25% to $1.1592, while the yen rose 0.29% to $111.18. Leveraged funds sold the kiwi aggressively after a New Zealand business survey showed weak third-quarter economic sentiment.  Sentiment on the euro over the next year reached its most bearish since June 2020 on Friday amid a widening policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. In commodities, oil prices reached a three-year high on Monday (and continued higher on Tuesday) after OPEC+ confirmed it would stick to its current output policy as demand for petroleum products rebounds, despite pressure from some countries for a bigger boost to production. Underscoring the rise in commodity prices, the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB index rose to 233.08 on Monday, the highest in more than six years. U.S. oil rose 1.15% to $78.51 a barrel, a day after hitting its highest since 2014. Brent crude stood at $82.2 after rising to a three-year top. Gold prices eased to $1,757 per ounce, after rising on Monday to the highest since Sept. 23. "OPEC+ may inadvertently cause oil prices to surge even higher, adding to an energy crisis that primarily reflects very tight gas and coal markets," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia's commodities analyst Vivek Dhar. "That potentially threatens the global economic recovery, just as global oil demand growth is picking up as economies re‑open on the back of rising vaccination rates," Dhar said in a note. Traders are now turning their attention to Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls data to gauge the timing of the Fed’s taper. In the latest Fed comments, St. Louis President James Bullard said elevated price pressures may be changing the mentality of businesses and consumers by making them more accustomed to higher inflation. Australia’s central bank kept its monetary settings unchanged. Looking at the day ahead now, the main data highlight will be the services and composite PMIs for September from around the world. We’ll also get the Euro Area PPI reading for August, and from the US there’s the August trade balance and the September ISM Services index. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Holzmann, and the Fed’s Quarles. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,301.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 452.37 MXAP down 0.7% to 192.58 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 626.41 Nikkei down 2.2% to 27,822.12 Topix down 1.3% to 1,947.75 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 24,104.15 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex up 0.4% to 59,531.35 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,248.36 Kospi down 1.9% to 2,962.17 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $81.86/bbl Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,758.11 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.15% to 93.92 German 10Y yield fell 1.2 bps to -0.225% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1603 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s heavily leveraged property firms saw their stocks and bonds tumble after a failure by developer Fantasia Holdings Group Co. to repay notes deepened investor concerns about the sector’s outlook A steep surge in inflation in the euro area has started to take its toll on the economy, according to a survey by IHS Markit China will strictly prevent bank and insurance funds from being used in speculating commodities in a push to maintain market order and stabilize prices The Federal Reserve said that its internal watchdog plans to open an investigation into trading activity by senior U.S. central bank officials, following revelations about transactions in 2020 Facebook Inc. blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of Monday on a problem with its network configuration, adding that it found no evidence that user data was compromised during the downtime A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were pressured following the tech sell-off in the US and amid several headwinds for global markets including US-China trade frictions, China's record incursion into Taiwanese airspace and with higher oil prices stoking inflationary concerns. ASX 200 (-0.6%) was dragged lower after the losses in tech rolled over into the region and following somewhat mixed Trade and PMI data releases, but with downside stemmed by resilience in gold miners and the energy sector, after gains in the underlying commodity prices including the rally in oil to a seven-year high. Nikkei 225 (-2.2%) slumped below the 28k level and briefly entered into correction territory as it suffered intraday losses of as much as 3% and with index heavyweights Fast Retailing and SoftBank dominating the list of worst performers, while KOSPI (-1.9%) also fell into a correction with the index at least 10% below the record highs registered earlier this year despite efforts by South Korea’s antitrust regulator to dispel fears of a harsh tech crackdown. Hang Seng (+0.3%) was pressured at the open amid tech woes and default fears after reports that Fantasia Holdings missed payments due yesterday for USD 206mln of bonds, although the Hong Kong benchmark then pared its losses with notable strength seen in Chinese oil majors as they benefit from the rising energy prices. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially kept afloat by the risk aversion but then reversed course amid the uninspired mood in T-notes and Bund futures, as well as weaker metrics from the 10yr JGB auction which attracted a lower bid to cover despite a decline in accepted prices. Top Asian News Gold Drops After Three-Day Gain as Yields and Dollar Push Higher ‘Kishida Shock’ Hits Japan Markets Wary of Redistribution Plan China Orders Banks to Ramp Up Funding to Boost Coal Output S.Korea’s NPS Could Lose $3.5m From Evergrande Stock Investment European equities (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%; Stoxx 600 +0.7%) have extended on the marginal gains seen at the open as indices attempt to claw back some of yesterday’s losses. Incremental macro newsflow since the close has not provided much cause for optimism and therefore it remains to be seen how durable any recovery will be. Overnight, the APAC session was mostly downbeat as the region contended with the negative US lead, ongoing US-China trade frictions, China's record incursion into Taiwanese airspace and higher oil prices stoking inflationary concern. Final PMIs for the Eurozone saw the composite revised very modestly higher to 56.02 from 56.1 with IHS Markit noting “the current economic situation in the eurozone is an unwelcome mix of rising price pressures but slower growth”. Stateside, futures are exhibiting gains of a similar magnitude to their European counterparts with the ES +0.2% and no real discernible theme across the US majors as traders await further progress in Washington. Sectors in Europe are mostly higher with clear outperformance in banking names with JP Morgan bullish on the sector; Credit Agricole sits at the top of the CAC after launching a new EUR 500mln share repurchase scheme. To the downside, laggards include Construction & Materials and Autos. Individual movers include Greggs (+8.7%) at the top of the Stoxx 600 after raising its profit outlook for the FY despite concerns over supply chain disruptions and staffing issues. Elsewhere, Infineon (+2.8%) has provided some support for the IT sector after confirming its FY 21 forecasts and being confident about the FY22 outlook. Finally, Melrose (-2.2%) is a notable laggard after the Co. cautioned on the fallout of the global chip shortage which has prompted a surge in client cancellations. Top European News European Banks Have Upside on Capital Returns, Yields, JPM Says Romania Edges Toward First Rate Hike Since 2018: Decision Guide Romania Approves Partial Compensation for Higher Energy Costs Morgan Stanley Expands Diversity-Focused ‘Shark Tank’ to Europe In FX, the broader Dollar and index remain firmer on the session, with the latter on either side of 94.000 from a 93.804 overnight base, but still within yesterday’s 93.675-94.104 range which marks the first immediate points of support/resistance. State-side, US President Biden spoke with 12 progressive members of Congress in which they agreed to follow through on key priorities, while it was also reported that President Biden told House progressives the spending package needs to be between USD 1.9tln-2.2tln. Biden will meet with moderate House Democrats virtually today. It is also worth keeping an eye on the Fed’s review of trading activities which could lead to a shift in the balance between hawks and doves, following the parting of hawks Rosengren (2022 voter) and Kaplan (2023 voter), who were set to be voters during the projected rate hike period. Ahead, the US ISM Services PMI will likely be the focal point from a state-side data standpoint. EUR, GBP - The EUR and GBP continue to diverge. Sterling extends on earlier gains, seemingly a function of the EUR/GBP cross topping out just before its 50 DMA (0.8546) before taking out yesterday’s 0.8529 low on its way towards 0.8500. The Sterling strength has helped Cable regain 1.3600+ status from a 1.3585 low. EUR/USD meanders around 1.1600 in a relatively narrow 1.1591-1.1622 current intraday band – with yesterday’s low at 1.1586 ahead of the 200 WMA at 1.1572. Europe saw the release of final Services and Composite PMIs, which continue to highlight the theme of rising prices and spillover into demand. AUD, NZD, CAD - he non-US Dollars see mild losses but trade off worst levels as the Dollar recedes and as market sentiment holds an upside bias. The AUD/NZD cross meanwhile remains in focus amid this week’s RBA/RBNZ central bank standoff. The RBA overnight provided no surprises and did not contain any significant new observations, with the currency experiencing choppiness upon the release. The RBNZ, meanwhile, is poised for a 25bps OCR hike at its announcement at 02:00BST/21:00EDT tomorrow. The AUD/NZD cross resides around session lows near 1.0455, whilst OpEx sees some AUD 2.1bln at strike 1.0410. The Loonie sees an underlying bid from crude prices, with USD/CAD back under its 50 DMA at 1.2600 ahead of Canadian trade data. JPY, CHF - The traditional havens are at the foot of the G10 bunch in what is seemingly a risk-influenced move. USD/JPY within a tight 110.88-111.25 band vs yesterday’s 110.50-112.07 range. USD/CHF, meanwhile, has popped above its 21 DMA (0.9250) and trades towards the top of its current 0.9238-70 parameter. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are choppy but ultimately hold an upside bias in the aftermath of the OPEC+ meeting yesterday. Nonetheless, the benchmarks remain near yesterday’s highs which saw Brent Dec test USD 82.00/bbl to the upside. Brent resides around USD 81.50/bbl at the time of writing whilst WTI Nov hovers just under USD 78/bbl. With OPEC out of the way and until the next meeting, traders will be eyeing developments (if any) regarding the Iranian nuclear talks, alongside the electricity situation in China. Furthermore, traders must be cognizant of potential intervention by governments in a bid to control rising energy prices. As a reminder, the White House held talks with Saudi counterparts before the recent OPEC+ meeting and expressed concern on prices. Aside from that, news flow for the complex has been light during the European morning. Elsewhere, precious metals are softer on the day but spot gold and silver trade off worst levels with the yellow metal still holding into USD 1,750/oz-status and spot silver back above USD 22.50/oz. Over to base metals, LME copper remains pressured in what seems to be a continuation of the lacklustre trade seen during APAC hours amid a lack of demand as China remains on holiday. US Trade Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Trade Balance, est. -$70.8b, prior -$70.1b 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 54.5 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.4, prior 54.4 10am: Sept. ISM Services Index, est. 59.8, prior 61.7 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’m hoping you all survived without WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook yesterday after the outage. We actually had to resort to a conversation over dinner last night. It was a bit weird without hearing pings go off every few minutes. Once the conversation dried up we went on Twitter and then watched Netflix so it wasn’t a total disaster for US tech in our household. Oh and I’m writing this on my iPad while looking up a few things on Google. Tech led the sell-off last night that stretched to both equities and bonds. One of the noticeable features of the recent weakness in equities is that bonds have struggled to rally. This hints at technicals being nowhere near as strong as they were in the summer and also a realisation that bonds aren’t a great haven if the sell-off is partly inflation related. By the close of trade yesterday, the S&P 500 had shed another -1.30%, making it the 3rd time in the last 5 sessions that the index has lost more than 1%, with the latest move now taking it -5.21% beneath its all-time closing high back in early September. However, unlike some of the other declines of the last month, which have been quite obviously connected to a particular concern like Evergrande or the impact of higher yields, the latest selloff looks to be coming from a more generalised set of concerns, with those worries given a fresh impetus by yet another rise in energy prices yesterday as oil hit multi-year highs. In turn, that spike in energy prices has led to renewed fears about inflation accelerating even further than current forecasts are implying, with knock-on implications for central banks and the amount of monetary stimulus we can expect over the coming months. We’ll start with those moves in energy given the effects they had elsewhere. Yesterday saw Brent Crude oil prices (+2.50%) close above $81/bbl for the first time in nearly 3 years, and this morning it’s up another +0.42%. On top of that, WTI (+2.29%) oil prices hit a 6-year high of its own at $77.62/bbl, which saw its YTD gains rise above +60%. The latest advance for oil has come as the OPEC+ group agreed yesterday that they’d stick to their planned output hike of +400k barrels per day in November, in spite of some speculation that there could be a larger increase in supply. However, it wasn’t just oil moving higher, with European natural gas prices (+2.07%) taking another leg up after their recent surge, which leaves them just shy of their recent peak last Thursday. And what’s also concerning from an inflationary standpoint is that the moves in commodities were broader than simply energy, with metals including copper (+1.17%) seeing sizeable gains as well. Overall, that meant Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (+1.12%) finally exceeded its 2011 high yesterday, and brings the index’s gains since the post-pandemic low in March 2020 to +94.7%. Against this backdrop, equities took another tumble as the major indices on both sides of the Atlantic moved lower, including the S&P 500 (-1.30%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.47%). Tech stocks saw the brunt of the declines, with the NASDAQ down -2.14% and the FANG+ index down -3.00%, while Europe’s STOXX Technology Index (-2.39%) fell for a 7th consecutive session. Facebook was one of the bigger laggards yesterday as it fell -4.89% - its worst day since November 2020. The company is dealing with whistleblower allegations that their internal research doesn’t match what executives have been saying about the effect the social media company has on its users. The equal weight S&P 500 was only down -0.63% so the big tech stocks definitely led the way. European equities were less affected than their US counterparts however, having missed out on Friday’s late US equity rally following the European close, with the DAX (-0.79%), the CAC 40 (-0.61%) and the FTSE 100 (-0.23%) all seeing declines of less than 1%. A lower tech weighting probably also helped. Those concerns about stagflation represented further bad news for sovereign bonds yesterday, as investors moved to upgrade their expectations of future inflation. In Europe, 10yr German breakevens were up by +2.0bps to an 8-year high of 1.72%, while their Italian counterparts hit their highest level in over a decade, at 1.63%. Meanwhile in the US, 10yr breakevens were also up +1.3bps to 2.39%. Those moves in inflation expectations supported higher yields, with those on 10yr Treasuries up +1.7bps to 1.479% by the close of trade, as yields on bunds (+1.0bps), OATs (+1.3bps) and BTPs (+1.8bps) similarly moved higher. Overnight in Asia, equities have mostly followed the US lower, with the Nikkei (-2.77%), KOSPI (-1.71%), and Australia’s ASX 200 (-0.74%) all losing ground, though the Hang Seng (+0.20%) has recovered slightly thanks to energy stocks, and S&P 500 futures (+0.13%) are also pointing to a modest recovery. Those declines for the Nikkei and the KOSPI leave them just shy of a 10% correction from their recent peaks. In terms of the latest on Evergrande, there are signs that risks are spreading to other property developers, as China’s Fantasia Holdings missed a repayment worth $205.7m on a bond that matured Monday. Unsurprisingly, the developments are continuing to affect China’s HY dollar bond prices, with a Bloomberg index now down by -14.3% since its high back in May. Elsewhere in Asia, we got confirmation shortly after we went to press yesterday from new Japanese PM Fumio Kishida that there’d be a general election on October 31. Interestingly, that will actually be the 3rd general election in a G7 economy in the space of just six weeks, following the votes in Canada and Germany in late September. Back to the US, and Treasury Secretary Yellen’s estimated deadline to raise the debt ceiling – 18 Oct – is now under 2 weeks away, and during a press conference yesterday President Biden called on Republicans to join with Democrats to raise the debt limit, arguing that over a quarter of the US debt was accumulated during the Trump administration and that it should not be tied to “any new spending being considered. It has nothing to do with my plan for infrastructure or building back better, zero.” Senate Majority Leader Schumer plans to hold a vote this week to lift the debt ceiling, though Republicans are set to block the legislation and are forcing Democrats to use the partisan budget reconciliation process that is currently the vehicle of the Biden “Build Back Better” plan. Whilst time was running out to deal with the debt ceiling, President Biden also met with progressive House Democrats yesterday to discuss the budget reconciliation package and about potentially limiting the scope of the bill that makes up much of the President’s economic agenda. Press Secretary Psaki said that there is a “recognition that this package is going to be smaller than originally proposed,” but that the President is looking to get it across the goal line. Initial estimates could see the final package closer to $2 trillion over 10 years versus the current $3.5 trillion plans. Meanwhile on trade, the Biden administration also announced yesterday that they would hold direct talks with Chinese officials in the coming week seeking to enforce prior commitments and start fresh talks to exclude some goods from US tariffs. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, and is expected to focus on how to add and adjust to the Trump administration’s most recent deal with the Chinese government rather than starting from scratch. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though US factory orders in August rose by +1.2% (vs. +1.0% expected), and the previous month’s growth was revised up to +0.7% (vs. +0.4% previously). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the services and composite PMIs for September from around the world. We’ll also get the Euro Area PPI reading for August, and from the US there’s the August trade balance and the September ISM Services index. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Holzmann, and the Fed’s Quarles. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 5th, 2021

In Deep Ship: What"s Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis

In Deep Ship: What's Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis By Michael Every and Matteo Iagatti of Rabobank Summary It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains  A common view is that this is all the result of Covid-19. Yet while Covid has played a key role, it is only part of a far larger interconnected set of problems This report examines current shipping market dynamics; overlooked “Too Big to Sail” structural issues; a brewing political tsunami as a backlash; possible Cold War icebergs ahead; and the ‘ship of things to come’ if maritime past is a guide to maritime future  The central argument is that while central banks and governments both insist inflation is transitory and will fall once supply-chain bottlenecks are resolved, shipping dynamics suggest they are closer to becoming systemically entrenched Moreover, both historical and current trends towards addressing such problems suggest potential global market disruptions at least equal to the shocks we have already experienced. Many ports will get caught in this storm, if so Ready to ship off? It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains and economies. Businesses face huge headaches as supply dries up. Consumers see bare shelves and rising prices. Governments have no concrete solutions – save the army? Economists have to discuss the physical economy rather than a model. Central banks still assume this will all resolve itself. And shippers make massive profits. The giant Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March 2021, is emblematic of these problems, but they run far deeper. This report will explore the shipping issue coast-to-coast, and past-to-present in six ‘containers’: “Are you shipping me?”, a deep-dive into market dynamics and supply-demand causes of soaring shipping prices; “To Big to Sail”, a key structural issue driving things; “Tsunami of politics” of the looming backlash to what is happening; “Cold War icebergs” of fat geopolitical tail risks; “Ship of things to come?”, asking if the maritime past is a potential guide to maritime future; and “Wait and sea?”, a strategic overview and conclusion. Are You Shipping Me? Since 2020, global shipping has been frenetic, with equally frenetic shipping rates (figure 2); difficulties for both businesses and consumers; and container-carrier profits. Is Covid-19 driving these developments, or are there other structural and cyclical factors at play? Let’s take stock. One root of the problem… In 2020, COVID-19 become a global pandemic, and lockdowns ensued: factories, restaurants, and shops all closed, bringing global supply chain almost to a halt. In this context, container carriers had no visibility on future demand and did the only reasonable thing: cut capacity. There is no economic sense in moving half-empty ships across the globe; it is costly, especially for a sector operated on tiny margins for a very long time. The consequence was widespread vessel cancellations, which soared in the first months of 2020 (figure 3). Progressively, more trade lines and ports were involved as containment measures were enacted globally. By H2-2020, virus containment measures were over in China, and many other nations eased them too. Shipping cancellations did not stop, however, just continuing at a slower pace. Indeed, capacity cuts have plagued supply-chains in 2021. Excluding the January-February peaks, from March to September 2021, an average of 9.2 vessels per week were cancelled, four vessels per week more than the previous off-peak period of July to December 2020 (figure 3). Cumulative cancellations (figure 4) underline the problems. Transpacific (e.g., China-US) and Asia-Northern Europe lines saw the largest capacity cuts, but Transatlantic and Mediterranean-North America vessels also reached historic levels of cancellations. Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines are the backbone of global trade, each representing 40% of the total container trade. More than 3 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, a standard cargo measure) are moved on Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines in total per month. Due to cancellations, more than 10% of that capacity was lost in early 2020. In such a context, it was only normal to expect a rise in container rates. Over January-December 2020 the Global Baltic index (the world reference for box prices) increased by 115% from $1,460 to $3,140/TEU. However, as figure 2 shows, things then changed dramatically in 2021 for a variety of reasons. As can be seen (figure 5), cancellations alone cannot explain the price surge seen in the Baltic Dry Index -- the leading international Freight Rate Index, providing market rates for 12 global trade lines-- and on key global shipping routes (figure 6). So what did? We have instead identified five key themes that have pushed up shipping costs, which we will explore in turn: Suez – and what happened there; Sickness – or Covid-19 (again); Structure – of the shipping market; Stimulus – most so in the US; and “Stuck” – as in logistical congestion. Suez On March 23rd 2021, a 20,000TEU giant vessel, the Ever Given, owned by the Taiwanese carrier Evergreen, was forced by strong winds to park sideways in the Suez Canal, ultimately obstructing it. For the following six days, one of the fundamental arteries of trade between Europe, the Gulf, East Africa, the Indian Ocean, and South East Asia was closed for business. While the world realized how fragile globalized supply chains are, carriers and shippers were counting the costs. 370 ships could not pass the Canal, with cargoes worth around $9.5bn. Every conceivable good was on those ships. The result was more unforeseen delays, more congestions and, of course, more upward pressure on container rates. Sickness New COVID-19 Delta variant outbreaks in 20201 forced the closure of major Chinese ports such as Ningbo and Yantian causing delays and congestion that reverberated both in the region and globally. Vietnamese ports also suffered similar incidents. These closures, while not decisive blows, contributed to taking shipping capacity off the global grid, hindering the recovery trend. They were also signals of how thin the ice is that global supply chain are walking on. Indeed, Chinese and South-east Asian ports are still suffering the consequences of those earlier closures, with record queues of ships waiting to unload. Structure When external shocks cause price spikes it is always wise to look at structure of the sector in which disruption caused the price spike. This exercise provides precious hints on what the “descent” from the spike might look like. Crucially, in the shipping sector, consolidation and concentration has achieved levels that few other sectors of the economy reach. In the last five years, carriers controlling 80% of global capacity became more concentrated, with fewer operators of even larger size (figure 7). However, this is just the most obvious piece of the puzzle. In our opinion, the real change started in 2017, when the three main container alliances (2M, THE, and Ocean) were born. This changed horizontal cooperation between market leaders in shipping. The three do not fix prices, but via their networks capacity is shared and planned jointly, fully exploiting economies of scale that are decisive to making a capital-intensive business profitable and efficient. Unit margins can stay low as long as you move huge volume with high precision, and at the lowest cost possible. To be able to move the huge volumes required by a globalized and increasingly e-commerce economy at the levels of efficiency and speed demanded by operators up and down supply chains, there was little other options than to cooperate and keep goods flowing for the lowest cost possible at the highest speed possible. A tight discipline of cost was imposed on carriers, who also had to get bigger. This strategy more than paid off in the Covid crisis, when shippers demonstrated clear minds, efficiency in implementing capacity control, and a key understanding of the elements they could use to their advantage: in other words – how capitalism actually works. Carriers did not decide on the lockdowns or port closures; but they exploited their position in the global market when the pandemic erupted. In a recent report, Peter Sands from BIMCO (the Baltic and International Maritime Council) put it as follows: “Years of low freight rates resulting in rigorous cost-cutting by carriers have left them in a great position to maximise profits now that the market has turned.” Crucially, this market structure is here to stay - for now. It is a component of the global system. Carriers will continue to exert pressure and find ways to make profit but, most importantly, they will make more than sure that, this time, it is not only them that end up paying the costs of rebalancing within the global system. In short, the current market allows carriers to make historic levels of profits. However, in our view this is not the end of the story – as shall be shown later. Stimulus 2020 and 2021 saw unprecedented economic shocks from Covid-19, as well as unprecedented economic stimulus from some governments. In particular, the US government sent out direct stimulus cheques to taxpayers. With few services to spend the money on, it was instead centred on goods. Hence, consumer demand for some items is red-hot (figures 8-10). The consequences of this surge in buying on top of a workforce still partly in rolling lockdowns, and against a backlog of infrastructure decades in the making, was obvious: logistical gridlock. Moreover, with the US importing high volumes, and not exporting to match, and its own internal logistics log-jammed, there has been a build-up of shipping containers inside the US, and a shortage elsewhere. Shippers are, in some cases, even dropping their cargo and returning to Asia empty: the same has been reported in Australia. Against this backdrop, the US is perhaps close to introducing further major fiscal stimulus, with little of this able to address near-term infrastructure/logistical shortfalls. Needless to say, the impact on shipping, if such stimulus is passed, could be enormous. As such, while central banks and governments still insist that inflation is transitory, supply-chain dynamics suggest it is in fact closer to becoming systemically entrenched. Stuck In normal times, a surge in consumer spending would be a bonanza for everyone: raw material producers, manufacturers, carriers, shippers, and retailers alike. In Covid times, this is all a death-blow to global supply chains. Due to misplaced global capacity, high export volumes cannot be moved fast enough, intermediate goods cannot reach processors in time, and everybody is fighting to get a container spot on the ships available. Ports cannot handle the throughput given the backlog of containers that are still waiting to be shipped inland or loaded on a delayed boat. It is not by chance that congestion hit record peaks at the same time in Los Angeles – Long beach (LALB), and in the main ports in China, the two main poles of transpacific trade. Clearly, LALB cannot handle the surge in imports, the arrival queue keeps on growing by the day (figure 11). There are now plans to shift to working 24/7. However, critics note that all this would do is to shift containers from ships to clog other already backlogged areas of the port, potentially reducing efficiency even further. Meanwhile, in Shanghai and Ningbo there were also 154 ships waiting to unload at time of writing. The power-cuts seeing Chinese factories only operating 3-4 day weeks in many locations suggest a slow-down in the pace of goods accumulating at ports, but also imply disruption, shortages, and delays in loading, still making problems worse overall. Imagine large-scale US stimulus on top of a drop in supply! Overall, “endemic congestion” is the perfect definition for the state of the global shipping market. It is the results of many factors: vessels cancellations and capacity control; Covid; bursts of demand in some trade lines; imbalances in container distribution; regular disruption in key arteries and ports; a backlog and increasing volumes cannot be dealt with at the same time, all creating an exponentially amplifying effect. The epicenter is in the Pacific, but the problem is global. At present 10% of global container capacity is waiting to be unloaded on ship at the anchor outside some port. Solutions need to be found quickly – but can they be? The Transpacific situation is particularly delicate, stemming from a high number of cancellations, ongoing disruption, and the highest demand surge in the global economy. However, this perfect recipe for a disaster is also affecting Asia–Europe lines where shipping rates hikes also do not show any signs of slowing down. …and unstuck? The shipping business would logically seem best-placed to get out of this situation by increasing vessel capacity. Indeed, orders of new ships spiked in 2021, and in coming years 2.5m TEUs will come on stream (figure 12). However, this will not arrive for some time, and may not sharply reduce shipping prices when it does. Indeed, the industry --which historically operates on thin margins, and has seen many boom and bust cycles—knows all too well the old Greek phrase: “98 ships, 101 cargoes, profit; 101 ships, 98 cargoes, disaster”. They will want to preserve as much of the current profitability as possible, which a concentrated ‘Big 3’ makes easier. Tellingly, a recent article stressed: “Ship-owners and financiers should avoid sinking money into new container vessels despite a global crunch because record orders have driven up prices, according to industry insiders.” True, CMA CGM just froze shipping spot rates until February 2022, joining Hapag-Lloyd. Yet in both cases the new implied benchmark is of price freezes at what were once unthinkable levels – not price falls. To conclude, shipping prices are arguably very high for structural reasons, and are likely to stay high ahead – if those structures do not change. On which, we even need to look at the structure of ships themselves. Too Big to Sail Shipping, like much else, has become much larger over the years. Small feeder ships of up to 1,000TEU are dwarfed by the largest Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCVs), which start from 14,501 TEUS up, and are larger than the US Navy’s aircraft carriers. Of course, there is a reason for this gigantism: economy of scale. It is a sound argument. However, the same was said in other industries where painful experience, after the fact, has shown such commercial logic is not the best template for systemic stability. In banking we are aware of the phenomenon, and danger, of “Too Big to Fail”. In shipping, ULCVs and their associated industry patterns could perhaps be seen as representing “Too Big to Sail”. After all, there are downsides to so much topside beyond the obvious incident with the Ever Given earlier in the year: ULVCs cannot fit through the Panama Canal; Not all ports can handle ULCVs; They are slow at sea; They are slow to load and unload; They require more complex cargo placement / handling; They force carriers to maximize efficiency to cover costs; They force all in-land logistics to adapt to their scale; They force a hub-and-spokes global trade model; and They are vulnerable to accident or disruption, i.e., they were designed for an entirely peaceful shipping environment at a time of rising geopolitical tensions (which we will return to later). In short, current ULCV hub-and-spokes trade models are the antithesis of a nimble, distributed, flexible, resilient system, and actually help create and exacerbate the cascading supply-chain failures we are currently experiencing. However, we do not have a global shipping regulator to order shippers to change their commercial practices! Specifically, building ULVCs takes time, and shipyard capacity is more limited. As shown, the issue is not so much a lack of ULCVs, but limited capacity from ports onwards. That means we need to expand ports, which is a far slower and more difficult process than adding new containers or ships, given the constraints of geography, and the layers of local and international planning and politics involved in such developments. There is also then a need for matching warehousing, roads, trucks, truckers, rail, and retailer warehousing, etc. As we already see today, just finding truckers is already a huge issue in many  economies. Meanwhile, any incident that impacts on a ULCV port --a Covid lockdown, a weather event, power-cuts, or a physical action-- exacerbates feedback loops of supply-chain disruption more than any one, or several, smaller ports servicing smaller feeder ships would do. So why are we not adapting? Economic thinking, partly dictated by the need to survive in a tough industry; massive sunk costs; and equally massive vested interests – which we can collectively call “Too Big to Sail”. Naturally, some parties do not wish to move to a nimbler, less concentrated, more widely-distributed, locally-produced, more resilient supply-chain system --with lower economies of scale-- while some do: and this is ultimately a political stand-off. Crucially, nobody is going to make much-needed new investments in maritime logistics until they know what the future map of global production looks like. Post-Covid, do we still make most things in China, or will it be back in the US, EU, and Japan – or India, etc.? Are we Building Back Better? Where? Resolving that will help resolve our shipping problems: but it will of course create lots of new ones while doing so. Tidal Wave of Politics Against this backdrop, is it any surprise that a tsunami of politics could soon sweep over global shipping? In July, US President Biden introduced Executive Order 14036, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy”. This puts forward initiatives for federal agencies to establish policies to address corporate consolidation and decreased competition - which will include shipping. Ironically, the US encouraged “Too Big to Sail” for decades, but real and political tides both turn. Indeed, in August a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress --“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021”-- which proposes radical changes to: Establish reciprocal trade to promote US exports as part of the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) mission; Require ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest, reflecting best practices in the global shipping industry; Require ocean carriers or marine terminal operators to certify that any late fees --known in maritime parlance as “detention and demurrage” charges-- comply with federal regulations or face penalties; Potentially eliminate “demurrage” charges for importers; Prohibit ocean carriers from declining opportunities for US exports unreasonably, as determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking; Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and TEUs (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the US; and Authorizes the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier’s business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate. Promoting reciprocal US trade would either slow global trade flows dramatically and/or force more US goods production. While that would help address the global container imbalance, it would also unbalance our economic and financial architecture. Fining carriers who refuse to pick up US exports would also rock many boats. Moreover, forcing carriers to carry the cost of demurrage would change shipping market dynamics hugely. At the moment, the profits of the shipping snarl sit with carriers and ports, and the rising costs with importers: the US wants to reverse that status quo. While global carriers and US ports obviously say this bill is “doomed to fail”, and will promote a “protectionist race to the bottom”, it is bipartisan, and has been endorsed by a large number of US organisations, agricultural producers and retailers. Even smaller global players are responding similarly. For example, Thailand is considering re-launching a national shipping carrier to help support its economic growth: will others follow suite ahead? Meanwhile, shipping will also be impacted by another political decision - the planned green energy transition. The EU will tax carbon in shipping from 2023, and new vessels will need to be built. For what presumed global trade map, as we just asked? The green transition will also see a huge increase in the demand for resources such as cobalt, lithium, and rare earths. Economies that lack these, e.g., Japan and the EU, will need to import them from locations such as Africa and Australia. That will require new infrastructure, new ports, and new shipping routes – which is also geopolitical. Indeed, the US, China, the EU, UK, and Japan have all made clear that they wish to hold commanding positions in new green value chains - yet not all will be able to do so if resources are limited. Therefore, green shipping threatens to be a zero-sum game akin to the 19th century scramble for resources. As Foreign Affairs noted back in July: “Electricity is the new oil” – meant in terms of ugly power politics, not more beautiful power production. Before the green transition, energy prices are soaring (see our “Gasflation” report). On one hand, this may lift bulk shipping rates; on another, we again see the need for resilient supply chains, in which shipping plays a key role. In short, current zero-sum supply-chains snarls, already seeing a growing backlash, are soon likely to be matched by a zero-sum shift to new green industrial technologies and related raw materials. In both dimensions, shipping will become as (geo)political as it is logistical. Notably, while tides may be turning, we can’t ‘just’ reshape the global shipping system, or get from “just in time” to “just in case”, or to a more localized “just for me” just like that: it will just get messy in the process. Cold War Icebergs The US is now pushing “extreme competition” between “liberal democracy and autocracy”; China counters that US hegemony is over. For both, part of this will run through global shipping. Both giants are happy to decouple supply chains from the other where it benefits them. However, the larger geostrategic implications are even more significant. Piracy and national/imperial exclusion zones used to be maritime problems, but post-WW2, the US Navy has kept the seas safe and open to trade for all carriers equally. This duty is extremely expensive, and will get more so as new ships have to be built to replace an ageing fleet. Meanwhile, China is building its own navy at breath-taking speed, and a maritime Belt and Road (BRI). As a result, a clear shift has occurred in US maritime strategy: 2007’s “A Co-operative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power”, stressed: “We believe that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.” 2015’s update argued: “Our responsibility to the American people dictates an efficient use of our fiscal resources.” 2020’s title was changed to “Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”, and stressed: “...the rules-based international order is once again under assault. We must prepare as a unified Naval Service to ensure that we are equal to the challenge.” The US is also pressing ahead with the AUKUS defence alliance and the ‘Quad’ of Japan, India, and Australia to maintain naval superiority in the Indo-Pacific. This is generating geopolitical frictions, and fears of further escalation of maritime clashes in the region. The Quad has also agreed to key tech and supply-chain cooperation, with Australia a key part of a new green minerals strategy – a race in which China is still well ahead, and the EU lags. Should any kind of major incident occur, shipping costs would escalate enormously, as can easily be seen in the case of US-UK shipping from 1887-1939: this leaped 1,600% during WW1, and these shipping data stopped entirely in September 1939 due to WW2. Crucially, US naval strategy is rooted in the post-WW2 power structure in which it benefitted from such control commercially. That architecture is crumbling - and there is a matching US consensus to shift towards “America First”, or “Made in America”. The thought progression from here is surely: “Why are we paying to protect shipping from China, or economies that do not support us against China?” In short, the strategic and financial logic is: surrender control of the seas, or ensure commercial gains from it. There are enormous implications for shipping if such a shift in thinking were to occur - and such discussions are already taking place. July 2020’s “Hidden Harbours: China’s State-backed Shipping Industry” from the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued: “The time is long overdue for the US to reinvigorate its maritime industries and challenge the Chinese in the same game by using the very same techniques the Chinese have used to gain dominance in the global maritime industry. The private-sector maritime industry cannot do this alone—the US maritime industry simply cannot compete against the power of the Chinese state. The US and allied governments must bring to bear substantial and sustained political action, policies, and financial support. To do anything less is to cede control of the world’s maritime industry and global supply chains to China, and perhaps to force the US and its allies to enter their own ‘century of shame.’” Meanwhile, stories link ports and shipping to national security (see here and here), underlining logistics are no longer seen as purely commercial areas, but rather fall within the “grey zone” between war and peace – as was the case pre-WW2. This again has major implications for the shipping business. Expect that trend to continue ahead if the maritime past as guide, as we shall now explore. The Ship of Things to Come? US maritime history in particular holds some clear lessons for today’s shipping world if looked at carefully. First, the importance of the sea to what we now think of as a land-based US: the US merchant marine helped it win independence from the powerful naval forces of the British, and the first piece of legislation Congress passed in 1789 was a 10% tariff on British imports, both to build US industry and merchant shipping. Indeed, the underlying message of US maritime history is that the US is a major commercial force at sea – but only when it sees this as a national-security goal. Following independence, US commercial shipping and industry surged in tandem, with an understandable dip only due to war with the British in 1812. The gradual normalisation of maritime trade with the UK after that saw a gradual decline in the share of trade US shipping carried, which accelerated with the end of steamship subsidies --which the British maintained-- and the US Civil War. By the start of the 20th century, W. L. Marvin was arguing: “A nation which is reaching out for the commercial mastery of the world cannot long suffer nine-tenths of its ocean-carrying to be monopolized by its foreign rivals.” Yet 1915 saw the welfare-focused US Seaman’s Act passed and US flags move to Panama, where costs were lower. However, WW1 saw US shipping surge, and the Jones Act in 1920 reaffirmed ‘cabotage’ – only US flagged and crewed vessels can trade cargo between US ports. The 1930s saw global trade and the US maritime marine dwindle again – until 1936, when the Federal Maritime Commission was set up "to promote the commerce of the US, and to aid in the national defense." WW2 then saw US mass production of Liberty Ships account for over a third of global merchant shipping – and then post-1945, this lead slipped away again, and the US merchant marine now stands at around just 0.4% of the world fleet. Indeed, in 2020, US sealift capability was reported short on personnel, hulls, and strategy such that the commercial fleet would be unlikely to meet the Pentagon’s needs for a large-scale troop build-up overseas. As we see, the US has been here several times before. If the past is any guide for the future response, this suggests the following US actions could be seen ahead: Use its market size to force shippers to change pricing – which may already be happening; Raise tariffs again (on green grounds?); Refuse to take goods from some foreign ships or ports; Force vessels to re-flag in the US, at higher cost; Build a rival to China’s marine BRI with allies; Massive ship-building, for the 3rd time in the last century; Charter US private firms to bring in green materials; or The US Navy stops protecting some sea lanes/carriers, or forces the costs of their patrols onto others. It goes without saying that any of these steps would have enormous implications for global shipping and the global economy – and yet most of them are compatible with both the strategic military/commercial logic previously underlined, as well as the lessons of history. Wait and Sea? We summarize what we have shown in the key points below: Markets For markets, there are obvious implications for inflation. How can it stay low if imported prices stay high? How will central banks respond? Rate hikes won’t help. Neither will loose monetary policy – and less it is directed to a directly-related government response on supply chains and logistics. This suggests greater impetus for a shift to more localised production on cost grounds, at least at the lower end of the value chain, if not the more-desirable higher end. Yet once this wave starts to build, it may be hard to stop. Look at EU plans for strategic autonomy in semiconductors, for example, which are echoed in the US, China, and Japan. For FX, the countries that ride that wave best will float; the ones that don’t will sink. Helicopter view of ships Clearly, shipping will continue to boom. There are huge opportunities in capex on ships, ports, logistics, and infrastructure ahead – as well as in new production and supply chains. Yet one first needs to be sure what, or whose, map of production will be used for them! As the industry sits and waits for the wind and tide to change, logically one wants to position oneself best for what may be coming next. That implies global consolidation and/or vertical integration: Large shippers looking at smaller shippers to snuff out alternative routes and capacity; shippers looking at ports; ports looking at shippers; giant retailers/producers looking at shippers; importers banding together for negotiating power in ultra-tight markets. Of course, nationally, governments are looking at shippers, or at starting new carriers. If this is to be a realpolitik power struggle for who rules the waves --“Too Big to Sail”, or a new more national/resilient map of production-- then having greater scale now increases your fire-power. Of course, it also makes you a larger target for others. Let’s presume current trends continue. Could we even end up with a return to older patterns of production, e.g., where oil used to be produced by company X, refined in its facilities, shipped on its vessels, to its de facto ports, and on to its retail distribution network. Might we even see the same for consumer goods? That is the logic of globalisation and geopolitics, as well as the accumulation of capital. However, if history is a guide, and (geo)politics is a tsunami, things will look very different on both the surface and at the deepest depths of the shipping industry and the global economy. Much we take as normal today could become flotsam and jetsam. To conclude, who benefits from the huge profits of the current shipping snarl, and who will pay the costs, is ultimately a (geo)political issue, not a market one. Many ports are likely going to be caught up in that storm. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/03/2021 - 12:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 3rd, 2021

JPMorgan Concludes That Delta Variant Was "Less Infectious Than Feared"

JPMorgan Concludes That Delta Variant Was "Less Infectious Than Feared' Now that the Delta variant in the US has peaked in terms of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, media fearmongering surrounding the latest round of the covid pandemic has understandably been quietly pulled from the front pages at least until such time the mu variant, or some other virulent strain du jour, makes a triumphant appearance and Fauci is again trotted across the mainstream media to distill a fresh round of fear and set the scene for a new round of restrictions and lockdowns, a cycle that will repeat at least until the mid-term elections which predictably will have to be conducted largely by mail. And while we wait we wanted to remind readers that last week, JPMorgan made a remarkable discovery: looking at the number of delta variant infections in emerging markets, JPMorgan policy research analyst David Mackie found that "the Delta wave was much milder than expected: none of these countries saw the gains in Re that we anticipated." This prompted JPMorgan to wonder if "the Delta variant may be less infectious than initially assumed." Needless to say, such a finding would blow up the carefully scripted narrative promulgated by the likes of Anthony Fauci, that Delta was far more contagious and "potentially" more deadly than previous variants. So fast forward to today when JPMorgan completes its analysis by looking at the Ro or - basic reproduction number (R0) for the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 - for all countries, not just a handful of emerging nations. As JPM explains, R0 is important "because it is R0 that determines the underlying infectiousness of the virus, and thus what level of immunity in the population, or what manner of changes in behavior, are needed to stabilize new infections as the variant spreads." In the note which could have tremendous implications for public health policy - assuming it ever sees the light of day - JPM's Mackie estimates what has happened to R0 in a number of countries over the period 1 May to 15 September, except for India and the UK where we started the analysis on 1 February and 1 April respectively due to the earlier arrival of the Delta variant in those two countries, as a way of gauging the pressure coming from the Delta variant. Our method is to see how much of the change in Re over this period we can explain by developments in mobility, vaccinations and acquired immunity. What’s left unexplained is attributed to a change in R0 due to the spread of the Delta variant. These calculations are very approximate. They don’t take account of changes in non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as mask wearing, which probably eased over this period. If so, this would suggest that the increase in R0 due to the Delta variant is lower than our estimates. The stunning results are presented in Table 1. They show that at the global level, "the message is clear": as JPM puts it, "the increased infectiousness of the Delta variant as expressed in the implied change in R0 is very low, below the bottom end of the widely accepted range. An estimated increase in R0 of 0.76 due to the spread of the Delta variant would put the level of R0 for the Delta variant at 4.76, assuming that R0 for the Alpha variant is 4.0." Such a "modest increase" in R0 explains why the Delta wave of infection has been so benign on average around the world. Global daily new infections picked up from around 360,000 in mid-June to around 660,000 in late August, but this wave faded fairly quickly and new infections now stand at around 380,000. It also flies in the face of any and all previous claims that Delta was much more "contagious" than previous variants. Looking across the world, JPMorgan finds that the modest estimated increase in R0 is not evenly distributed. On average the estimated increase in R0 in developed markets has been around 1.5, towards the bottom end of the range of 1.0  to 4.0 estimated by academics. However, across emerging markets the increase has generally been smaller on average, especially in Latin America. According to JPM, "it is hard to fully understand the DM/EM difference." One explanation proposed by JPM is that it is "possible that under-reported infections are larger in EM. Take Brazil, for example, where the estimated increase in R0 due to the Delta variant is 0.96. If actual infections had been five times larger than reported infections, then the implied increase in R0 in Brazil would be 1.5, the same as the average increase in the US, Western Europe and Japan." Other countries are harder to rationalize in this way. Take Indonesia, for example, where the estimated increase in R0 due to the Delta variant is 0.24. Actual infections would have to have been forty-two times greater than reported infections in order to get an implied increase in R0 in Indonesia of 1.5. And here another stunning observation from JPM, one which also trounces the Biden admin's feverish attempts to downplay natural immunity. As JPMorgan writes, "If under-reporting of infections explains why estimates of the increase in R0 are small in some EM countries, then this is good news looking forward if we assume that immunity from infection and recovery is the same as that from vaccination." JPMorgan concludes with the provocative observation that "the infectiousness of the Delta variant is at the lower end of the range  estimated by academics early in the summer" a range which was estimated to be between 1.0 and 4.0 but in reality the number was around 1.5! And so, with the global Re currently at close to 1.0 and falling, and the Delta variant fully absorbed, the largest US bank, "the world looks well placed to see a steady pace of infections in the coming months" JPM says, adding that "overall, the global Delta infection wave has been modest thus far and is expected to remain so." Now if only one of the numerous "impartial", "objective" TV anchors would ask media celebrity Dr. Fauci during any of his upcoming TV appearance about the finding of this study... Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 12:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 28th, 2021

Futures Slide, Nasdaq Plunges As Yields Surge And Oil Tops $80

Futures Slide, Nasdaq Plunges As Yields Surge And Oil Tops $80 For much of 2021, a vocal contingent of market bulls had claimed that there is no way the broader market could sell off as long as the gigacap tech "general" refused to drop. Well, it looks like that day is finally upon us because this morning US equity futures are sliding again, continuing their Monday drop as yields from the US to Germany again, the 10Y TSY rising as high as 1.55%, driven to an extent by Fed tapering fears but mostly by the surge in oil which has pushed Brent above $80, the highest price since late 2018. The dollar gained amid the deteriorating global supply crunch from oil to semiconductors. The surge in oil sparked a new round of stagflation fears, sending Nasdaq futures down 240 points or 1.3% as the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury climbed sharply. S&P 500 and Dow Jones futures also retreated, with spoos sliding below 4,400 as to a session low of 4,390. Rising bond yields prompted a shift from growth to cyclical stocks in the United States, in a move that analysts expect could become more permanent after a prolonged period of supressed bond yields. The premarket selloff was led by semiconductor stocks which tracked similar falls for European peers, as a rising 10-year Treasury yield puts pressure on the tech sector. Applied Materials Inc. led a slump in chip stocks in New York premarket trading while Nvidia was down 2.6%, AMD -2.1%, Applied Materials -2.9%, Micron -1.6%. Meanwhile retail trader favorite meme stock Naked Brand Group, an underwear and swimwear retailer, rises again after having surged 40% in the past two trading sessions after Chairman Justin Davis-Rice said in a letter to shareholders that he believes the company has found a “disruptive” potential acquisition in the clean technology sector. Frequency Electronics also soared after being awarded a contract by the Office of Naval Research to develop an atomic clock. Chinese stocks listed in the U.S. were mixed and semiconductor stocks declined. Here are some of the other notable U.S. movers today: iPower (IPW US) shares rise as much as 61% in U.S. premarket trading after the online hydroponics equipment retailer posted 4Q and FY21 earnings Alibaba (BABA US) rises 2.5% in U.S. premarket trading after the company’s shares listed in Hong Kong rose, adding to the Hang Seng Tech Index’s gains Frequency Electronics (FEIM US) soars 20% in U.S. premarket trading after being awarded a contract by the Office of Naval Research to develop an atomic clock Concentrix (CNXC) jumped 5.9% in Monday after hours trading after setting its first dividend payment and buyback program since being spun off from from Synnex in December Brookdale Senior Living (BKD US) shares fell in extended trading on Monday after announcing a $200 million convertible bond offering Altimmune (ALT US) rose as much as 4.2% in Monday postmarket trading on plans to announce results for an early stage study of ALT-801 in overweight people on Tuesday Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP US) fell in extended trading after company said it cut about 60 positions, or a more than 50% reduction in personnel, to extend its cash runway into 1H 2023 Montrose Environmental Group (MEG US) was down 2.8% Monday postmarket after offering shares via JPMorgan, BofA Securities, William Blair The main catalyst for the stock selloff was the continued drop in Treasurys which sent the 10-year Treasury rising as high as 1.55% while shorter-dated rates surged toward pre-pandemic levels. This in turn was driven by the relentless meltup in commodities: overnight Brent roared above $80 a barrel - on its way to Goldman's revised $90 price target - on louder signs that demand is running ahead of supply and depleting inventories as the world finds itself in an unprecedented energy crisis. The international crude benchmark extended a recent run of gains to hit the highest since October 2018, while West Texas Intermediate also climbed. Oil’s latest upswing has come with a flurry of bullish price predictions from banks and traders, forecasts for surging demand this winter, and speculation the industry isn’t investing enough to maintain supplies. The jump to $80 also is adding inflationary pressure to the global economy at a time when prices of energy commodities are soaring. European natural gas, carbon permits and power rose to fresh records Tuesday, with little sign of the rally slowing. As Bloomberg notes, traders have begun reassessing valuations amid multiplying global risks, while Fed officials have communicated increasingly hawkish signals in recent days as supply-chain bottlenecks threaten to keep inflation elevated. China’s growth slowdown which saw Goldman lower its q/q Q3 GDP forecast to a flat 0.0%, and a debt crisis in the nation’s property market.have also fueled the risk-off shift. "Central bankers have set out how they want to normalize monetary policy for some time,” Chris Iggo, chief investment officer for core investments at AXA Investment Managers, said in a note. “That process could start soon. The realization of this has the potential to provoke some volatility in rates and equities." Elsewhere, European stocks also declined with the Stoxx Europe 600 dragged down most by technology shares. Europe’s Stoxx Tech Index drops as much as 2.8% to a five-week low after falling 1.5% on Monday having previously touched its highest level since 2000 earlier in the month. Single-stock downgrades also weighed. Stocks which performed particularly well this year are among the biggest fallers, with chip equipment makers BE Semi -4.6% and ASML -4.4%, and chipmaker Nordic Semi down 4.2%. Among other laggards, Logitech drops as much as 8.5% after being downgraded to underweight at Morgan Stanley. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell for the first time in four days as declines in technology names overshadowed a rally in energy shares.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.7%, with a jump in U.S. Treasury yields weighing on richly-valued tech stocks. That’s even as the region’s oil and gas shares climbed amid signs of a global energy crunch. Chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung Electronics were the biggest drags on the Asian benchmark. “The climb in yields led to the selling of growth stocks that have been strong, with investors rotating into names that are sensitive to business cycles - not unlike what happened in U.S. equities,” said Shutaro Yasuda, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.  Asian equities have been recovering after being whipsawed by concerns over any fallout from China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles. As worries over the distressed property developer abate, the pace of rise in Treasury yields and global inflation data are being closely watched for clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy stance. Australia’s equity benchmark was among the biggest losers in Asia Tuesday, dragged down by losses in mining and healthcare stocks. Still, broad-based gains in oil explorers and refiners helped mitigate the Asian market’s retreat. In South Korea, importers and distributors of liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas rallied as the price of natural gas jumped. The future of Evergrande is being forensically scrutinized by investors after the company last Friday did not meet a deadline to make an interest payment to offshore bond holders. Evergrande has 30 days to make the payment before it falls into default and Shenzen authorities are now investigating the company's wealth management unit. Without making reference to Evergrande, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said Monday in a statement posted to its website that it would "safeguard the legitimate rights of housing consumers". Widening power shortages in China, meanwhile, halted production at a number of factories including suppliers to Apple Inc and Tesla Inc and are expected to hit the country's manufacturing sector and associated supply chains. Analysts cautioned the ongoing blackouts could affect the country's listed industrial stocks. "What we see in China with the developers and the blackouts is going to be a negative weight on the Asian markets," Tai Hui, JPMorgan Asset Management's Asian chief market strategist told Reuters. "Most people are trying to work out the potential contagion effect with Evergrande and how far and wide it could go. We keep monitoring the policy response and we have started to see some shift towards supporting homebuyers which is what we have been expecting." In rates, as noted above, the selloff in Treasuries gathered pace in Asia, early Europe session leaving yields cheaper by 3.5bp to 5.5bp across the curve with 20s and 30s extending above 2% and 10-year through 1.50%. Treasury 10-year yields traded around 1.53%, cheaper by 4.5bp on the day after topping at 1.55%, highest since mid-June; in front- and belly, 2- and 5-year yields remain near cheapest levels in at least 18 months; in 10-year sector, gilts lag by 3bp vs. Treasuries while German yields are narrowly richer. Gilts underperformed further, where long-end yields are cheaper by up to 7.5bp on the day. Treasury futures volumes over Asia, early European session were at more than twice usual levels, with most activity seen in 10-year note contract; eurodollar futures volumes were also well above recent average. With recent aggressive move higher in yields, threat of convexity hedging has exacerbated moves as rate hike premium continues to filter into the curve after last week’s FOMC. Auctions conclude Tuesday with 7-year note sale, while busy Fed speaker slate includes Fed Chair Powell. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar index reached the highest level in more than a month as rising energy costs drove up Treasury yields for a fourth session. The dollar gained against all its peers; Japan’s currency slid for a fifth day against the greenback before a speech Tuesday from Fed Chair Jerome Powell who will say inflation is elevated and is likely to remain so in coming months, according to prepared remarks. Treasury two-year yields rose to the highest since March 2020. “Dollar-yen saw the clearest expression of Treasury yield increases and we attributed this divergence to the surge in energy prices,” says Christopher Wong, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Malayan Banking in Singapore. U.S. natural gas futures soared to their highest since February 2014 on concern over tight inventories. Brent oil topped $80 a barrel amid signs demand is outrunning supply. The euro slipped to hit its lowest level since Aug. 20, nearing the year-to-date low of $1.1664. The Treasury yield curve bear steepened; euro curves followed suit, with the yield on U.K. 10-year notes soaring past 1% for the first time since March 2020 on the prospects for Bank of England policy tightening. In commodities, Crude futures extend Asia’s gains. WTI rises as much as 1.6% to highs of $76.67 before stalling. Brent holds above $80. Spot gold trades around last week’s lows near $1,740/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum outperforming, rising as much as 1.1%; nickel and copper are in the red. Looking at the day ahead, one of the main highlights will be the appearance of Fed Chair Powell, and Treasury Secretary Yellen at the Senate Banking Committee. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Schnabel, Panetta and Kazimir, along with the BoE’s Mann and the Fed’s Evans, Bowman and Bostic. US data highlights include the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for September and the FHFA house price index for July. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.7% to 4,403.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.2% to 456.83 MXAP down 0.4% to 200.06 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 641.05 Nikkei down 0.2% to 30,183.96 Topix down 0.3% to 2,081.77 Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 24,500.39 Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,602.22 Sensex down 1.4% to 59,209.94 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.5% to 7,275.55 Kospi down 1.1% to 3,097.92 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $80.15/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,742.61 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.20% to 93.57 German 10Y yield rose 2.7 bps to -0.196% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1681 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Chinese authorities are striving to signal to traders that whatever happens to China Evergrande Group, its debt crisis won’t spiral out of control or derail the economy Brent oil roared above $80 a barrel, the latest milestone in a global energy crisis, on signs that demand is running ahead of supply and depleting inventories As the dust settles on Germany’s election, control over the finances of Europe’s largest economy could fall to a 42-year-old former tech entrepreneur who wants to lower taxes and tighten spending Wells Fargo agreed to pay $37 million in penalties and forfeiture to settle U.S. claims that it overcharged almost 800 commercial customers that used its foreign exchange services, the latest in a series of scandals at the bank A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed following on from a Wall Street lead where value outperformed growth and tech suffered as yields rose. ASX 200 (-1.5%) was the laggard with losses in healthcare, gold miners and tech frontrunning the declines which dragged the index beneath 7300. Nikkei 225 (-0.2%) was lacklustre and briefly approached 30k to the downside but then bounced off worse levels amid a softer currency, while the KOSPI (-1.1%) also declined following a suspected North Korean ballistic missile launch and with a recent South Korean court order to sell seized Mitsubishi Heavy assets as compensation for wartime forced labour, threatening a flare up of tensions between Japan and South Korea. Hang Seng (+1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.5%) were underpinned after the PBoC continued to inject liquidity ahead of the approaching National Day holidays and with Hong Kong led higher by strength in property names after the PBoC stated it will safeguard legitimate rights and interests of housing consumers which also provided Evergrande-related stocks further reprieve from their recent sell-off. Finally, 10yr JGBs retreated on spillover selling from T-notes after yields rose on the back of further Fed taper rhetoric and with prices not helped by the uninspiring 2yr and 5yr auctions stateside, while weaker results at the 40yr JGB auction also provided a headwind for prices. Top Asian News Top-Performing Global Luxury Stock Seen Cooling After 680% Gain China Power Price Hike Sought Amid Supply Crunch: Energy Update Macau Evacuates Airport Quarantine Hotel After Outbreak Iron Ore Dips Again as China Power Crisis Adds to Steel Curbs Bourses in Europe extended on the losses seen at the cash open and trade lower across the board (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.7%; Stoxx 600 -1.7%) as sentiment retreated from a mixed APAC handover as month-end looms alongside tier 1 data and a slew of central bank speakers. US equity futures have also succumbed to the mood in Europe alongside the surge in global yields – which takes its toll on the NQ (-1.5%) vs the ES (-0.8%), YM (-0.4%) and RTY (-0.3%). From a more technical standpoint, ESZ1 fell under its 50 DMA (4,431) and tested the 4,400 level to the downside, whilst NQZ1 briefly fell under 15k and the YMZ1 inches towards its 100 DMA (34,489). Back to Europe, the FTSE 100 (-0.4%) sees losses to a lesser extent vs its European peers as energy prices and yields keep the index oil giants and banks supported – with some of the top gainers including Shell (+2.8%), BP (+2.1%). Sectors in Europe are predominantly in the red, but Oil & Gas buck the trend. Sectors also portray more of a defensive bias, whilst the downside sees Tech, Real Estate, and Travel & Leisure at the foot of the bunch, with the former hit by the rise in yields, which sees the US 10yr further above 1.50%, the 20yr above 2.00% and the UK 10yr hitting 1.00% for the first time since March 2020. In terms of individual movers, Smiths Group (+3.8%) is at the top of the Stoxx 600 following encouraging earnings. ING (+0.3%) holds onto gains after sources noted SocGen's (-0.6%) interest in ING's retail banking arm. Finally, chip-maker ASM International (-3.5%) has succumbed to the broader tech weakness despite upping its guidance and announcing capacity expansion by early 2023. Top European News U.K. 10-Year Yield Rises Past 1% for First Time Since March 2020 Goldman’s Petershill Unit Valued at $5.5 Billion in U.K. IPO Go-Ahead Sinks as U.K. Takes Over Southeastern Rail Franchise Hedge Funds and Private Equity Are Targeting European Soccer In FX, It took a while for the index to breach resistance ahead of 93.500, but when US Treasuries resumed their bear-steepening run and the intensity of the moves in futures and cash picked up pace the break beyond the half round number was relatively quick and decisive. Indeed, the DXY duly surpassed its post-FOMC peak (93.526) and a prior recent high from August 19 (93.587) on the way to reaching 93.619 amidst almost all round Dollar gains, as 5, 10, 20 and 30 year yields all rallied through or further above psychological levels (such as 1%, 1.5% and 2% in the case of the latter two maturities). However, petro and a few other commodity currencies are displaying varying degrees of resilience in the face of general Greenback strength that is compounded by buy signals for September 30 rebalancing on spot month, quarter and half fy end. Ahead, trade data, consumer confidence, more regional Fed surveys, speakers and the 7 year auction. NZD/CHF/JPY/AUD - The Kiwi was already losing altitude above 0.7000 vs its US counterpart and 1.0400 against the Aussie on Monday, so the deeper retreat is hardly surprising to circa 0.6975 and 1.0415 awaiting some independent impetus that may come via NZ building consents tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Franc has recoiled towards 0.9300 in advance of comments from SNB’s Maechler and the Yen continues to suffer on the aforementioned rampant yield and steeper curve trajectory on top of a more pronounced 1+ sd portfolio hedge selling requirement vs the Buck, with Usd/Jpy meandering midway between 110.94-111.42 parameters irrespective of renewed risk aversion due to same bond rout dynamic. Back down under, Aud/Usd has faded from around 0.7311 to the low 0.7260 area, though holding up a bit better in wake of not quite as weak as forecast final retail sales overnight. CAD/EUR/GBP - All softer against their US rival, but the Loonie putting up a decent fight with ongoing help from WTI crude that has now topped Usd 76.50/brl, and Usd/Cad also has decent option expiry interest to keep an eye on given 1.2 bn rolling off at 1.2615 and an even heftier 3 bn at 1.2675 compared to current extremes spanning 1.2693-1.2652. Elsewhere, the Euro has lost its battle to stay afloat of multiple sub-1.1700 lows even though EGBs are tumbling alongside USTs and the same goes for Sterling in relation to the 1.3700 handle irrespective of the 10 year Gilt touching 1% for the first time since March 2020. SCANDI/EM - Brent’s advances on Usd 80 brl have been offset to an extent by soft Norwegian retail sales data, as the Nok pares more of its post-Norges Bank gains, while the Sek looks somewhat caught between stalls following a recovery in Swedish consumption, but big swing in trade balance from surplus to larger deficit. However, the Try is taking no delight from the costlier price of oil or remarks from Turkey’s Deputy Finance Minister contending that interest rates can move lower by reducing the current account and budget deficits, or conceding that Dollarisation is a problem and steps need to be taken to enhance confidence in the Lira. Conversely, the Cnh and Cny are still holding a firm line following another net injection of 2 week funds from the PBoC and the Governor saying that China will lengthen the period for the implementation of normal monetary policy, adding that it has conditions to keep a normal and upward yield curve, as it sees no need to purchase assets at present. In commodities, WTI and Brent futures have extended on the gains seen during APAC hours, which saw the Brent November contract topping USD 80/bbl, albeit the volume and open interest has migrated to the December contract – which topped out just before the USD 80/bbl mark. WTI November meanwhile advanced past the USD 76/bbl mark to a current peak at USD 76.67/bbl (vs low USD 75.21/bbl). Desks have been attributing the leg higher to tight supply – with the UK fuel situation further deteriorating amid a shortage of drivers coupled with panic buying. It's worth bearing in mind that the demand side of the equation has also seen supportive, with the US announcing the lifting of international travel curbs recently alongside the economic resilience to the Delta variant heading into the winter period. Traders would also be keeping an eye on the electricity situation in China, which in theory would provide tailwinds for diesel demand via generators, although this could be offset by a slowdown in economic activity due to power outages. There has also been growing noise for OPEC+ to hike output beyond the monthly plan of 400k BPD, with some African nations also struggling to ramp up production due to maintenance issues and lack of investments. Ministers recently noted that the plan would be maintained at next week's confab. As a reminder, the OPEC World Oil Outlook is set to be released at 13:30BST/08:30EDT, although the findings may be stale given the recent developments in crude dynamics. Major banks have also provided commentary on Brent following Goldman Sachs' bullish call recently, with Barclays upping its forecast for both benchmarks due to supply deficits, whilst Morgan Stanley maintained its forecast but suggested that the USD 85/bbl Brent scenario clearly exists. MS also noted that oil inventories continue to draw at high rates and suggest that the market is more undersupplied than generally perceived; the analysts see the market undersupplied into 2022 amid its expectation for further OPEC discipline. Nat gas also remains in focus, with prices +11% at one point, whilst Russia's Kremlin said Russia remains the safeguard of natural gas to Europe and Gazprom is ready to discuss new gas supply contracts with increased volumes to meet rising European demand. It's also worth being aware of the increasing likelihood of state intervention at these levels as nations attempt to save or at least cushion consumers and company margins. Elsewhere, precious metals are under pressure as the Buck remains buoyant, with spot gold still under USD 1,750/oz as it inches closer to the 11th August low of USD 1,722/oz. Spot silver remains within recent ranges above USD 22/oz. Overnight Chinese nickel and tin prices extended losses with traders citing subdued demand, whilst coking coal and coke futures leapt on tight supply. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$87.3b, prior -$86.4b, revised -$86.8b 8:30am: Aug. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.8%, prior 0.6% 9am: July S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 20.00%, prior 19.08% 9am: July S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.70%, prior 1.77% 9am: July FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.5%, prior 1.6% 10am: Sept. Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, est. 115.0, prior 113.8 Expectations, prior 91.4 Present Situation, prior 147.3 10am: Sept. Richmond Fed Index, est. 10, prior 9 Central Bank Speakers 9am: Fed’s Evans Makes Welcome Remarks at Payments Conference 10am: Powell and Yellen Appear Before Senate Banking Panel 1:40pm: Fed’s Bowman Speaks at Community Bank Event 3pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses the Economic Outlook 7pm: Fed’s Bullard Discusses U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap What a difference a week makes. You hardly hear the word Evergrande now. We asked in a flash poll last week whether we would still be talking about it in a month or whether it would be a distant memory by then. Maybe we should have narrowed the time frame to a week! We’ve quickly moved on to rate hikes and rising bond yields as the topic de jour. A further rise in the Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index (+1.87%) to a fresh high for the decade helped reinforce the move. Indeed, sovereign bond yields moved higher once again yesterday amidst a sharp rise in inflation expectations, with those on 10yr Treasury yields rising +3.6bps to 1.487%, their highest level in over 3 months. Meanwhile the 2yr yield rose +0.8bps to 0.278%, its highest level since the pandemic began, which comes on the back of last week’s Fed meeting that prompted investors to price in an initial rate hike from the Fed by the end of 2022. The moves in Treasury yields were almost entirely driven by higher inflation breakevens, with 10yr breakevens up +3.7bps. That echoed similar moves in Europe, where the German 10yr breakeven (+4.7bps) hit a post-2013 high of 1.653%, and their Italian counterparts (+3.9bps) hit a post-2011 high. The biggest move was in the UK however, where the 10yr breakeven (+13.2bps) reached its highest level since 2008, which comes amidst a continued fuel shortage in the country, alongside another rise in UK natural gas futures, which were up +8.20% yesterday to £190/therm, exceeding the previous closing peak set a week earlier. We were waiting for the wind to blow in this country to get alternatives back on stream and boy did it blow yesterday but with no impact yet on gas prices. Lower real rates dampened the rise in yields across the continent, though yields on 10yr bunds (+0.5bps), OATs (+0.9bps), BTPs (+1.3bps) and gilts (+2.7bps) had all moved higher by the close of trade. Those spikes in commodity prices were evident more broadly yesterday, with energy prices in particular seeing a major increase. Brent crude oil prices were up +1.84% to $79.53/bbl, marking their highest closing level since late-2018, and this morning in trading they have now exceeded the $80/bbl mark with a further +0.94% increase. It was much the same story for WTI (+1.99%), which closed at $75.45/bbl, which was its own highest closing level since 2018 too. And those pressures in UK natural gas prices we mentioned above were seen across Europe more broadly, where futures were up +8.92%. With yields moving higher and inflationary pressures growing stronger, tech stocks struggled significantly yesterday, with the NASDAQ down -0.52%. The megacap tech FANG+ index fell -0.15% on the day, but was initially down as much as -1.7% in early trading. The NASDAQ underperformed the S&P 500, which was only down -0.28%, but that masked significant sectoral divergences, with interest-sensitive growth stocks struggling, just as cyclicals more broadly posted fresh gains. More specifically, energy (+3.43%), bank (+2.29%) and autos (+2.19%) led the S&P, while biotech (-1.65%) and software (-1.39%) shares were among the largest laggards. European equities were also pretty subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.19%, though the DAX was up +0.27% following the results of the German election, which removed the tail risk outcome of a more left-wing coalition featuring the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke. Staying on the political scene, we are now less than 72 hours away from a potential US government shutdown as it stands. As was expected, Republicans in the Senate blocked the House-passed measure to fund the government for another 2 months and raise the debt ceiling for 2 years. While Democrats have not put forward their alternative strategy if Republicans refuse to vote to lift the debt ceiling, their only option would be to attach it to the budget reconciliation plan that currently makes up much of the Biden economic agenda. In an effort to keep all party members on board, Speaker Pelosi moved the vote on the $550bn bipartisan infrastructure bill to Thursday in order to give all sides more time to finish the larger budget bill and pass both together. It is a going to be a very busy Thursday, since Congress will have to also pass the funding bill that day. Republicans and Democrats already agree on a funding bill to keep the government open that does not include the debt ceiling increase so it is just a matter of how exactly the debt ceiling provision goes through without a Republican Senate vote. Overnight in Asia, equity indices are seeing a mixed performance. On the one hand, most of the region including the Nikkei (-0.24%) and KOSPI (-0.80%) are trading lower as investors begin to price in tighter monetary policy from the Fed. However, the Hang Seng (+1.50%), Shanghai Composite (+0.53%) and CSI (0.38%) have all advanced after the People’s Bank of China said that they would ensure a “healthy property market”. Looking forward, US equity futures are pointing to little change, with those on the S&P 500 down just -0.05%, and 10yr Treasury yields have risen +1.9bps this morning to trade above 1.50% again. Back to the German election, where the aftermath yesterday saw various party leaders assess the results and stake their claims to participate in a new coalition. As a reminder, the SPD came in first place with 25.7%, but the CDU/CSU weren’t far behind on 24.1%, making it mathematically possible for either to form a government in a coalition with the Greens and the FDP. The SPD’s chancellor candidate, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, appealed for the Greens and FDP to join him in forming a government, and told the media that he wanted to form a coalition before Christmas. Meanwhile Green co-leader Robert Habeck said that “Of course there is a certain priority for talks with the SPD and the FDP”, but said that this didn’t mean they wouldn’t speak with the CDU/CSU either. As the SPD were calling for an alliance, the tone sounded more negative from the CDU’s leadership, even though Armin Laschet said that he had not given up on the idea of forming a government. Notably, Laschet said that no party was able to draw a clear mandate from the result, including the SPD, and this echoed remarks from the CSU leader Markus Söder, who said that the conservatives had no mandate to form a government, though they could “make an offer out of a sense of responsibility for the country.” Meanwhile, attention will turn to the FDP and the Greens to see which way they’re leaning when it comes to forming a government. FDP leader Lindner said that he would hold preliminary talks with the Greens, after which they would be open to invitations from either the SPD or the CDU/CSU for further discussions. Back on the UK, there was an interesting speech from BoE Governor Bailey yesterday, where he echoed the line from the MPC minutes last week, saying that “all of us believe that there will need to be some modest tightening of policy to be consistent with meeting the inflation target sustainable over the medium-term”. However, he also said that their view was that “the price pressures will be transient”, and that “monetary policy will not increase the supply of semi-conductor chips … nor will it produce more HGV drivers.” He then further added that tighter policy “could make things worse in this situation by putting more downward pressure on a weakening recovery of the economy”. So a bit of a mixed message of backing rate hike expectations but warning about its impact on growth. Over in the US we heard from a host of Fed speakers with Governor Brainard saying that while “employment is still a bit short of the mark” of “substantial further progress”, she expects that the labour market will recover enough to start tapering asset purchases soon. Separately on the inflation debate, Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari argued that this year’s pickup in US inflation has been a byproduct of the supply disruptions associated with Covid and that policy makers should not react to it just yet. He cited the need to get US employment back up as the Fed’s “highest priority”. New York Fed President Williams agreed with his colleague, saying that “this process of adjustment may take another year or so to complete as the pandemic-related swings in supply and demand gradually recede.” And Chicago Fed President Evans is even worried about downside inflation risks, as he is " more uneasy about us not generating enough inflation in 2023 and 2024 than the possibility that we will be living with too much.” Lastly, news came out yesterday that Boston Fed President Rosengren will retire this week due to health concerns. He was due to step down in June regardless as there is a mandatory retirement age of 65. Dallas Fed President Kaplan also announced his retirement yesterday, which will take effect October 8th. Both officials have drawn scrutiny in recent days stemming from their recent disclosure of trading activity over the last year, though the activity did not violate the Fed’s ethics code even as Fed Chair Powell announced an official review of those rules. The Boston Fed President will be a voting member on the FOMC next year, and the Dallas Fed President in 2023. Running through yesterday’s data, the preliminary reading for US durable goods orders in August showed growth of +1.8% (vs. +0.7% expected), and the previous month was also revised up to show growth of +0.5% (vs. -0.1% previously). Meanwhile core capital goods orders grew by +0.5% (vs. +0.4% expected), and the previous month’s growth was revised up two-tenths. Finally, the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for September came in at 4.6 (vs. 11.0 expected) – its lowest reading since July 2020. To the day ahead now, and one of the main highlights will be the appearance of Fed Chair Powell, and Treasury Secretary Yellen at the Senate Banking Committee. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Schnabel, Panetta and Kazimir, along with the BoE’s Mann and the Fed’s Evans, Bowman and Bostic. US data highlights include the US Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for September and the FHFA house price index for July. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 07:52.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 28th, 2021

Big Tech Week Begins with New Highs and a 5-Day Winning Streak

Big Tech Week Begins with New Highs and a 5-Day Winning Streak SPECIAL ALERT: We’ve just released our new 5 Stocks Set to Double Special Report which includes five stocks our team believes have the potential to grow +100% in the next 12 months. This latest report features favorite stocks from David Bartosiak, Brian Bolan, Madeleine Johnson, Ben Rains and David Borun. Log on to Zacks.com to see these stocks today. The market won’t have a huge deficit to overcome this week, as the major indices pushed their winning streaks to five days on Monday and set another round of closing highs. Meanwhile, investors are getting ready for what's likely to be the most consequential week of earnings as the FAANGs and other tech giants are scheduled to report. Remember last Monday? The Dow had its worst session of the year by plunging 725 points, while the other major indices dipped more than 1%. Investors were fretting about rising covid cases due to the delta variant. But then stocks pushed their fears aside and rallied for the next four days to finish with impressive weekly performances. This Monday was a lot calmer, but stocks still made some history. The S&P advanced 0.24% to 4422.30, while the Dow rose by the same percentage (or nearly 83 points) to 35,144.31. The NASDAQ, which substantially outperformed last week, was the laggard with an advance of only 0.03% (or less than 4 points) to 14,840.71. The indices reached new highs last Friday, which means these modest advances were enough to keep the record-setting pace alive. Stocks are coming off a week that saw the NASDAQ soar 2.8%, while the S&P and Dow increased 2% and 1%, respectively. Despite its winning run over the past several days, the market has experienced a few disappointments lately. For example, the jobless claims number flew back above 400K last Thursday, while several inflation indicators are on the rise. And just today we saw another decline in new home sales. However, this earnings season started strong and investors seem very excited about the big tech releases. It got started today with Tesla (TSLA), which beat on both the top and bottom lines in its second quarter. In fact, earnings eclipsed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 61%. Best of all though, shares of the electric vehicle trailblazer are up 2.5% afterhours as of this writing. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this week. Tomorrow, we’ll be getting reports from Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), along with dozens of others. And if that wasn’t enough, Tuesday also begins the Fed’s two-day policy meeting. So be ready, because things are about to get a whole lot busier. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Surprise Trader: Last earnings season, Dave picked up department store chain Dillard’s (DDS), which became the best performer in the portfolio. But this is a new season, and the editor needs to make room for fresh entries. So he cashed out the rest of DDS on Monday and secured a more than 77% return in less than three months. The first half was sold on May 18 for a double-digit profit. The new buy is Terex (TEX), which makes aerial work platforms, materials processing machinery and cranes. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) has topped earnings expectations for three straight quarters (including by 154% last time), and now has a positive Earnings ESP of 15.41% for the quarter coming after the bell on Thursday, July 29. The stock has the declining price/rising estimates divergence that Dave likes to see. He added TEX today with a 12.5% allocation. Read the full write-up for more. Black Box Trader: Only two positions were replaced in this week's adjustment. The portfolio sold Textron (TXT, +7.05%) and The Chemours Company (CC), and then filled these open spots by buying L Brands (LB) and Nike (NKE). Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service. Headline Trader: "We are reaching the precipice of what is well on its way to being the highest growth earnings season in over a decade, with mega-cap tech reporting their quarterly results over the next few days. "We have a piping hot lineup of quarterly results from market movers tomorrow after the bell, most notably the mega-cap tech giants Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOGL). These three tech giants make up over 16% of the S&P 500 and nearly 30% of the Nasdaq 100. These incomprehensively massive technology conglomerates have accounted for a significant portion of the broader public equity recovery since the lows, bringing in a combined $3.4 trillion in market value since March 23rd, 2020. "Anything short of a top & bottom line beat will almost certainly result in profit-pulling. An enormous amount of optimism is priced into every one of these names, and forward-looking guidance will be the primary catalyzer of these stocks' post-earnings price action." -- Dan Laboe Until Tomorrow, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Omicron: We Warned You The COVID Farce Would Never End

Omicron: We Warned You The COVID Farce Would Never End Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.us, Remember when Anthony Fauci and other government paid medical “professionals” said that American’s needed to mask up and stay home for two weeks to “flatten the curve” on the covid pandemic? Remember when they came back two weeks later and said they needed another couple of weeks? Remember how they backed off of the lockdowns a little and then came right back with demands for more? Remember in 2019 when people weren’t cowering in their homes and behind masks over a virus with an average IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) of only 0.27%? Remember that? At the very beginning of the pandemic response I and many others in the alternative media warned that the mandates and lockdowns were never going to end; they are meant to go on forever. I predicted this based on statements made by the very globalists and institutions scripting covid response policy for national governments. In my article ‘Waves Of Mutilation: Medical Tyranny And The Cashless Society’ published in April of 2020, I outlined comments by globalist Gideon Lichfield from MIT built on white papers published by the Imperial College of London. In the article titled ‘We’re Not Going Back To Normal’ he describes the future of the world under covid medical tyranny: “To stop coronavirus we will need to radically change almost everything we do: how we work, exercise, socialize, shop, manage our health, educate our kids, take care of family members. We all want things to go back to normal quickly. But what most of us have probably not yet realized—yet will soon—is that things won’t go back to normal after a few weeks, or even a few months. Some things never will.” He continues: “As long as someone in the world has the virus, breakouts can and will keep recurring without stringent controls to contain them. In a report yesterday researchers at Imperial College London proposed a way of doing this: impose more extreme social distancing measures every time admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) start to spike, and relax them each time admissions fall…” Lichfield argues: “Ultimately, however, I predict that we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing more sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who isn’t, and discriminating—legally—against those who are. …one can imagine a world in which, to get on a flight, perhaps you’ll have to be signed up to a service that tracks your movements via your phone. The airline wouldn’t be able to see where you’d gone, but it would get an alert if you’d been close to known infected people or disease hot spots. There’d be similar requirements at the entrance to large venues, government buildings, or public transport hubs. There would be temperature scanners everywhere, and your workplace might demand you wear a monitor that tracks your temperature or other vital signs. Where nightclubs ask for proof of age, in future they might ask for proof of immunity—an identity card or some kind of digital verification via your phone, showing you’ve already recovered from or been vaccinated against the latest virus strains.” Two years later (instead of two weeks), the covid farce continues. By farce I mean that the virus is not a health threat to the vast majority of the public, but governments and the media continue to fear monger over it’s existence while trying to force people to accept experimental vaccines with no long term testing to prove they are safe. In almost any country where people have been mostly disarmed or any country with minimal chance of a riot, the covid totalitarians are racing to grab every ounce of power they can before the population realizes what is happening. I could go on and on outlining the mountain of scientific facts and evidence that completely debunk the panic over covid, but I have already done this in several articles. I could talk about the fact that 99.7% or more of people are in no danger from covid death and only a tiny percentage of those hospitalized by covid have longer term health side effects. I could mention the fact that countries with high vaccination rates like Israel or Ireland also have the highest infection rates and numerous deaths of fully vaccinated people. I could also mention that natural immunity has been proven in studies in majority vaxxed countries to be superior in every way to vaccination. The authoritarians do not want to hear it. In New Zealand and Australia, once supposed bastions of western democracy and freedom, citizens are now locked down on the whims of bureaucrats at the first sign of a positive PCR test. I have been saying for months that if you want to see the future that the establishment intends for Americans, just take a look at countries like Australia where they are actually building covid prison camps operated by the military. People have even been arrested trying to escape these compounds. No, this is not conspiracy theory, this is fact. In these camps you are under the complete control of the government. Much like any prison, they feed you when they want to feed you, they restrict your movements, they isolate you from friends and family, etc. Your time in the camps can even be “extended” by the administrators without oversight if they determine you have “misbehaved.” That’s right, it’s not about how infectious you are, it’s not about science, it’s about how submissive you are. And really, that is all that the covid pandemic response has ever been about. Look at a nation like Austria, which has 65% vaccination and ever increasing infection rates. They decided that unvaxxed people are to blame, so they ordered anyone without proof of vaccination to submit to lockdowns. After that, their infections and deaths spiked even more. So, instead of admitting the obvious and logical conclusion (that the vaccines don’t work, or at the very least, that lockdowns don’t work), they ordered a lockdown for EVERYONE. Why? To hide the fact that the unvaxxed are not the problem. To be clear, the initial spike that prompted the lockdowns in Austria amounted to around 300 deaths, the vast majority of them among the elderly. In Austria, nursing home patients make up around 36% of all covid deaths. To be clear, they are eliminating the freedoms of 9 million people and strangling their economy over a spike of 300 deaths. People die every day in large numbers from a host of transmissible diseases. This is a fact of life, it is not something to be used as a political and social weapon. To take things a step further, Austria is also now threatening a compulsory vaccination bill that allows fines and prison for the unvaxxed. Vaccination status will be determined by the government and booster shots could be required at any time. Just because you are fully vaccinated now does not mean you will be considered fully vaccinated tomorrow. It will never end. The data shows that vaccination does little to nothing to slow actual infection rates or deaths; there were more covid deaths in 2021 than in 2020 despite the proliferation of the vaccines this year. That is to say, vaccinations were introduced this year and yet there were more covid deaths than last year. Isn’t that strange? The mainstream media claims this is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” I guess they should tell that to the many thousands of fully vaccinated people infected and hundreds dying in states like Massachusetts where they actually track breakthrough cases. Of course, the media still sings the praises of the vaccines despite these little hiccups. If the vaccines actually worked, then there would be no need for compulsory vaccinations. The people who are vaxxed would be protected and the people who are unvaxxed assume the individual risks. The covid cult doesn’t seem to grasp the logic here – Either the vaccines are effective and there is no need to make them mandatory, or they are not effective, which means making them mandatory is pointless. But again, logic and science are not the point – Control is the point. It’s an endless rationale for infinite control. It will never end. The reality is that the covid agenda has not been all that effective if we look at the big picture. If the goal is 100% vaccination and perpetual vax passport controls using regular boosters as a dominance mechanism for the long term (medical tyranny), then so far the plan has failed. Some countries have fallen into the long covid winter, but many others have not. Nearly every conservative state in the US is in full defiance of the mandates and federal courts have blocked Joe Biden’s attempts to circumvent the constitution. If red states in America hold out, this gives hope to others. So, what’s left for the establishment power mongers to do? That’s easy…they just do more of the same. Enter the Omicron variant of covid, something we “conspiracy theorists” have been warning about for the past two years. This is the beauty of the pandemic narrative when it comes to building a global authoritarian regime; viruses are always changing and new viruses can even be engineered if needed. Therefore, there is always a new threat to frighten the public and always a new reason to lock them up in their homes or demand they give up more of their freedoms. It is an endless vampiric cycle that slowly drains the liberty from a population. Set aside the fact that the doctors that discovered Omicron in South Africa have labeled it a mild variation of covid and not a significant threat to the public. This makes perfect sense. In the vast majority of pandemic scenarios viruses tend to evolve into slightly more infectious but much less deadly versions of the original. But that’s not stopping the media and government scientists from screeching bloody murder about Omicron and even suggesting that this time covid “might” evolve to become more deadly rather than less. This must be done. They have nothing left and if they lose out on covid they lose out on one of the best opportunities they have ever had for centralized control of nearly every individual on Earth. The fear over covid is waning. Hundreds of millions of people are not willing to give up their freedoms over a hyped and farcical pandemic with a 0.27% IFR. Many people who are vaccinated are fighting the mandates alongside the unvaxxed. Most of us aren’t obese. Most of us aren’t 80 years old and in a nursing home. Most of us don’t have preexisting conditions. These are all factors that make up the majority of covid deaths. Many of us already had covid and easily survived it, which means we have natural immunity that is 13-27 times more effective at stopping future infections than the vaccines. Without more hype and more variants the party for the globalists stops, and they don’t like that idea at all. If the public is allowed to pull their heads out of the haze of propaganda for a moment and regain their bearings, they might realize they have been made the target of a massive terror campaign. They might get angry. They might demand investigations. They might even demand that some globalist heads roll. So, get ready for Omicron to remain in the headlines for months to come, and then the next mutation and the next mutation and the mutation after that. The globalists and political opportunists will keep going with the theater until they get what they want, or until they are removed from the equation entirely. It will never end, unless they end. *  *  * If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE. Tyler Durden Sun, 12/05/2021 - 19:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt10 hr. 36 min. ago

Futures Flat Ahead Of Taper Accelerating Payrolls

Futures Flat Ahead Of Taper Accelerating Payrolls U.S. equity futures are flat, rebounding from an overnight slide following news that 5 "mild" Omicron cases were found in New York, and European stocks wavered at the end of a volatile week as traders waited for the latest jobs data to assess the likely pace of Federal Reserve tightening and accelerated tapering. Emini S&P futures traded in a narrow range, and were up 2 points or 0.04%, Nasdaq futures were flat,while Dow Jones futures were up 8 points. The dollar edged higher, along with the euro after ECB President Christine Lagarde said inflation will decline in 2022. Crude advanced after OPEC+ left the door open to changing the plan to raise output at short notice. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts fluctuated after dip-buyers Thursday fueled the S&P 500’s best climb since mid-October, a sign that some of the worst fears about the omicron virus strain are dissipating. That said, concerns about omicron are overshadowing economic news for now with “a lot of noise and very little meaningful information,” said Geir Lode, head of global equities at Federated Hermes in London. “The prospect of a faster monetary policy tightening could -- and should probably -- lead to a clear market reaction,” he said. “It is also another argument for why we assume value stocks outperform growth stocks. At the moment, however, investors’ attention is elsewhere.” In the latest U.S. data, jobless claims remained low, suggesting additional progress in the labor market. Traders are awaiting today's big event - the November payrolls numbers, which could shape expectations for the pace of Fed policy tightening (full preview here). Bloomberg Economics expects a strong report, while the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists predicts an increase of 550,000. “Assuming the omicron news remains less end-of-the-world, a print above 550,000 jobs should see the faster Fed-taper trade reassert itself,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. “That may nip the equity rally in the bud, while the dollar and U.S. yields could resume rising.” In premarket trading, Didi Global Inc. jumped more than 14% in U.S. premarket trading before reversing all gains, after the Chinese ride-hailing giant said it began preparations to withdraw from U.S. stock exchanges. U.S. antitrust officials sued to block chipmaker Nvidia’s proposed $40 billion takeover of Arm, saying the deal would hobble innovation and competition. Elon Musk’s offloading of Tesla Inc. shares surpassed the $10 billion mark as he sold stock in the electric-car maker for the fourth consecutive week. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: DocuSign (DOCU US) plunges 32% in premarket trading as the e-signature company’s quarterly revenue forecast missed analysts’ estimates. JPMorgan and Piper Sandler cut ratings. Marvell Technology (MRVL US) shares rise 18% in premarket after the semiconductor company’s fourth-quarter forecast beat analyst estimates; Morgan Stanley notes “an exceptional quarter” with surprising outperformance from enterprise networking, strength in 5G and in cloud. Asana (ASAN US) shares slump 14% in premarket trading after results, with KeyBanc cutting the software firm’s price target on a reset in the stock’s valuation. Piper Sandler said that slight deceleration in revenue and billings growth could disappoint some investors. Zillow Group (ZG US) shares rise 8.8% in premarket after the online real-estate company announced a $750 million share repurchase program and said it has made “significant progress” on Zillow Offers inventory wind- down. Stitch Fix (SFIX US) jumped in premarket after Morgan Stanley raised its rating to equal-weight from underweight. Smartsheet (SMAR US) rose in postmarket trading after the software company boosted its revenue forecast for the full year; the guidance beat the average analyst estimate. National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ US) gained in postmarket trading after the drinks company announced a special dividend of $3 a share. Ollie’s Bargain (OLLI US) plunged 21% in U.S. premarket trading on Friday, after the company’s quarterly results and forecast disappointed, hurt by supply-chain troubles. Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI US) stock fell 15% in postmarket trading after adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter missed the average analyst estimate. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped as much as 0.2% before turning green with mining companies and carmakers underperforming and energy and utility stocks rising. Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB fell as much as 26% after private-equity firm Advent International and Singapore wealth fund GIC abandoned their $7.6 billion bid to buy the drugmaker. Volatility across assets remains elevated, reflecting the Fed’s shift toward tighter monetary settings and uncertainty about how the omicron outbreak will affect global reopening. The hope is that vaccines will remain effective or can be adjusted to cope. New York state identified at least five cases of omicron, which is continuing its worldwide spread, while the latest research shows the risk of reinfection with the new variant is three times higher than for others. “The environment in markets is changing,” Steven Wieting, chief investment strategist at Citigroup Private Bank, said on Bloomberg Television. “Monetary policy, fiscal policy are all losing steam. It doesn’t mean a down market. But it’s not going to be like the rebound, the sharp recovery that we had for almost every asset in the past year.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks held gains from the past two days as travel and consumer shares rallied after their U.S. peers rebounded and a report said Merck & Co. is seeking to obtain approval of its Covid-19 pill in Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed after climbing as much as 0.3%, with Japan among the region’s best performers. South Korea’s benchmark had its biggest three-day advance since February, boosted by financial shares. Still, Asian stocks headed for a weekly loss as U.S. regulators moved a step closer to boot Chinese firms off American stock exchanges. The Hang Seng Tech Index slid as much as 2.7% to a new all time low, as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding fell after Didi Global Inc. began preparations to withdraw its U.S. listing.  “While the risks of delisting have already been brought up previously, a step closer towards a final mandate seems to serve as a reminder for the regulatory risks in Chinese stocks,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. Asian stocks remain stuck near a one-year low, as the delisting issue damped sentiment already hurt by omicron and the Fed’s hawkish pivot. A U.S. payrolls report later today could give further clues on the pace of tightening Japanese equities rose, paring their weekly loss, helped by gains in economically sensitive names. Electronics makers reversed an early loss to become the biggest boost to the Topix, which gained 1.6%. Automakers and banks also gained, while reopening plays tracked a rebound in U.S. peers. Daikin and Recruit were the largest contributors to a 1% gain in the Nikkei 225, which erased a morning decline of as much as 0.6%. The Topix still dropped 1.4% on the week, extending the previous week’s 2.9% slide, amid concerns over the omicron coronavirus variant. Despite some profit-taking in tech stocks in the morning session, “the medium and long-term outlooks for these names continue to be really good,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. “The spread of the omicron variant doesn’t mean an across-the-board selloff for Japanese stocks.” India’s benchmark equity index recorded a weekly advance, partly recovering from a sharp sell-off triggered by uncertainty around the new Covid variant, with investors focusing on the central bank’s monetary policy meeting from Monday.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.3% to 57,696.46, but gained 1% for the week after declining for two weeks. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 1.2%, the biggest one-day decline since Nov. 26. All but three of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of energy companies. “The focus seems to be shifting from premium Indian equities to relatively cheaper markets,” Shrikant Chouhan, head of retail equity search at Kotak Securities said in a note. The cautious mood in India was heightened by the “unenthusiastic” response to the IPO of Paytm, which was also the biggest public share sale in the country, and a resurgence of Covid concerns across Europe, he added.  Investors also focused on the country’s economic outlook, which is showing signs of improvement. Major data releases this week -- from economic expansion to tax collection -- showed robust growth. “Strong domestic indicators are playing a key role in driving the market amid negative global cues,” said Mohit Nigam, a fund manager with Hem Securities. But any further spread of the omicron strain in India may cap local equity gains, he said. Two cases of the new variant have been detected so far in the country. The market’s attention will shift to the Reserve Bank of India’s policy announcement on Dec. 8, after a three-day meeting from Monday. The panel is expected to leave record low interest rates unchanged as inflation remains within its target range. The economy faces new risks from the omicron variant after expanding 8.4% in the three months through September. Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, falling 3%. Out of 30 shares in the index, 26 fell and 4 gained. Australia stocks posted a fourth week of losses amid the Omicron threat even as the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to close at 7,241.20, boosted by banks and miners. That trimmed the benchmark’s loss for the week to 0.5%, its fourth-straight weekly decline.  Corporate Travel was among the top performers, rising for a second session. TPG Telecom led the laggards, tumbling after media reports that founder David Teoh entered into an agreement to sell about 53.1 million shares in a block trade.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 12,676.50. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced and the greenback was higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers, with risk-sensitive Scandinavian and Antipodean currencies the worst performers. Turkish lira swings back to gain against the USD after central bank intervention for the 2nd time in 3 days. The pound weakened and gilt yields fell after Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders urged caution on monetary tightening due to the potential effects of the omicron variant on the economy. The euro fell below $1.13 and some traders are starting to use option plays to express the view that the currency may extend its drop in coming month, yet recover in the latter part of 2022. The Aussie dropped for a fourth day amid concern U.S. payroll data due Friday may add to divergence between RBA and Fed monetary policy. Australia’s sale of 2024 bonds saw yields drop below those in the secondary market by the most on record. The yen weakened for a second day as the prospects for a faster pace of Fed tapering fans speculation of portfolio outflows from Japan. In rates, Treasury yields ticked lower, erasing some of Tuesday jump after Fed officials laid out the case for a faster removal of policy support amid high inflation.  Treasurys followed gilts during European morning, when Bank of England’s Saunders said the omicron variant is a key consideration for the December MPC decision which in turn lowered odds of a December BOE rate hike. Treasury yields are richer by up to 1.5bp across 10-year sector which trades around 1.43%; gilts outperform by ~1bp as BOE rate- hike premium for the December meeting was pared following Saunders comments. Shorter-term Treasury yields inched up, and the 2-year yield touched the highest in a week Friday’s U.S. session features a raft of data headed by the November jobs report due 8:30am ET where the median estimate is 550k while Bloomberg whisper number is 564k; October NFP change was 531k Crude futures extend Asia’s modest gains advanced after OPEC+ proceeded with an output hike but left room for quick adjustments due to a cloudy outlook, making shorting difficult. WTI added on ~2.5% to trade near $68.20, roughly near the middle of the week’s range. Brent recovers near $71.50. Spot gold fades a small push higher to trade near $1,770/oz. Most base metals are well supported with LME aluminum and zinc outperforming.  Looking at the day ahead, and the aforementioned US jobs report for November will be the highlight. Other data releases include the services and composite PMIs for November from around the world, Euro Area retail sales for October, and in addition from the US, there’s October’s factory orders and the November ISM services index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde and chief economist Lane, the Fed’s Bullard and the BoE’s Saunders. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,574.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 466.43 MXAP little changed at 192.06 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 625.64 Nikkei up 1.0% to 28,029.57 Topix up 1.6% to 1,957.86 Hang Seng Index little changed at 23,766.69 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,607.43 Sensex down 1.3% to 57,692.90 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,241.17 Kospi up 0.8% to 2,968.33 Brent Futures up 3.3% to $71.97/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,767.28 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.14% to 96.29 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.37% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1286 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg “I see an inflation profile which looks like a hump” and “we know how painful it is,” ECB President Christine Lagarde says at event Friday. She also said that “when the conditions of our forward guidance are satisfied, we won’t be hesitant to act” and that an interest rate increase in 2022 is very unlikely The betting window is open in the fixed-income market as hedge funds and other traders hunt for mispriced risk heading into 2022 -- whether it’s predictions for accelerating inflation or rising interest rates The U.K. Municipal Bonds Agency aims to sell the first ethical bonds on behalf of local governments early next year. The body, set up to help U.K. councils access capital markets, is looking to issue a couple of sustainable bonds in the first quarter of 2022, according to officials advising on the sales. It expects to follow that with a pooled ethical bond to raise money for a group of different local authorities Low- income countries indebted to Chinese commercial and policy banks could buy specially-created Chinese government bonds and then use these as collateral to support the sale of new yuan debt, Zhou Chengjun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s finance research institute, wrote in an article published in the ChinaBond Magazine Chinese tech shares briefly touched their record lows in Hong Kong, as Didi Global Inc.’s announcement to start U.S. delisting and rising scrutiny on mainland firms traded there dealt a further blow to already soured sentiment The yuan is set to weaken for the first time in three years in 2022, as capital inflows are expected to slow amid a shrinking yield gap between China and the U.S., a Bloomberg survey shows Turkish inflation accelerated for a sixth month in November to the highest level in three years, driven by a slump in the lira that continues to cloud consumer price outlook A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities eventually traded mostly higher following the cyclical-led rebound in the US, but with the mood in the region tentative as Omicron uncertainty lingered after further cases of the new variant were reported stateside and with the latest NFP data drawing near. ASX 200 (+0.2%) lacked direction as resilience in cyclicals was offset by underperformance in defensives and amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns which prompted the Western Australian government to widen its state border closure to include South Australia. Nikkei 225 (+1.0%) was initially subdued amid recent currency inflows and with SoftBank among the worst performers amid several negative headlines including the FTC suing to block the Nvidia acquisition of Arm from SoftBank, while the Japanese conglomerate also suffered from its exposure in “super app” Grab which tumbled 20% in its New York debut and with Didi to start delisting from the NYSE in favour of a Hong Kong listing, although the index eventually recovered losses in latter half of trade. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.9%) were varied with US-listed Chinese companies pressured as the US SEC moved closer to delisting Chinese ADRs for failing to comply with disclosure requirements, while the mood across developers was also glum with Kaisa shares at a record low after its bond exchange offer to avert a default was rejected by bondholders and China Aoyuan Property Group slumped by double-digit percentages following its warning of an inability to repay USD 651.2mln of debt due to a liquidity crunch. Furthermore, participants digested the latest Caixin Services and Composite PMI data which slowed from the prior month, but both remained in expansion territory and with reports that advisors are to recommend lowering China’s economic growth target to 5.0%-5.5% or above 5%, fanning hopes for looser policy. Finally, 10yr JGBs gained and made another incursion above 152.00 with prices supported amid the cautious mood in Japan and with the BoJ also present in the market today for a total of JPY 1.05tln of JGBs heavily concentrated in 1yr-5yr maturities. Top Asian News Astra Said to Sink Advent’s $7.6 Billion Buyout of Biotech Sobi BOJ Is Said to See Omicron as Potential Reason to Keep Covid Aid Kaisa Swap Rejected, Developer Bonds Slide: Evergrande Update Permira Is Said to Near Deal for U.K. Blood Plasma Lab BPL The positivity seen heading into the European open dissipated as the session went underway, with the region seeing more of a mixed configuration in cash markets (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%; Stoxx 600 Unch) – with no clear drivers in the run-up to the US jobs report. The release will be carefully watching measures of labour market slack to gauge the progress towards the Fed's 'three tests' for rate hikes, whilst the Fed appears almost certain to announce a quickening in the pace of asset purchase tapering at its December meeting (Full NFP preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). The recent downside in Europe also seeps into the US futures, with the RTY (-0.2%), NQ (-0.2%) and ES (-0.3%) posting broad-based losses as things stand. Sectors have shifted from the earlier firm cyclical layout to one of a more defensive nature, with Healthcare, Food & Beverages, and Personal & Household Goods making their way up the ranks. Travel & Leisure still sits in the green but largely owed to sector heavyweight Evolution (+6.3%) as the group is to acquire its own shares in Nasdaq Stockholm. Oil & Gas sits as the current winner as crude markets claw back a bulk of this week's losses. On the flip side, Basic Resources are hit as iron ore tumbled overnight. In terms of individual movers, Dassault Aviation (+8.0%) shares soared after France signed a deal with the UAE worth some EUR 17bln. Allianz (+1.0%) stays in the green after entering a reinsurance agreement with Resolution Life and affiliates of Sixth Street for its US fixed index annuity portfolio, with the transaction to unlock USD 4.1bln in value. Top European News U.K. Nov. Composite PMI 57.6 vs Flash Reading 57.7 The Chance of a BOE Rate Hike This Month Has Fallen: BofA’s Wood AP Moller Holding Agrees to Buy Diagnostics Company Unilabs Permira Is Said to Near Deal for U.K. Blood Plasma Lab BPL In FX, it’s debatable whether this month’s US jobs data will carry as much weight as normal given that Fed rhetoric in the run up to the pre-FOMC blackout period has effectively signalled a faster pace of tapering and the likelihood of more hawkishly aligned dot plots. However, the latest BLS report could be influential in terms of shaping the tightening path once QE has been withdrawn, as markets continue to monitor unfolding COVID-19 developments with the main focus on vaccine efficacy against the new Omicron variant. In the meantime, Buck bulls have resurfaced to lift the index more firmly back above 96.000 and towards loftier levels seen earlier this week within a 96.075-324 range, eyeing Monday’s 96.448 peak ahead of the semi-psychological 96.500 mark and then the w-t-d best at 96.647 set the day after. Back to Friday’s agenda, Fed’s Bullard is due to speak and the services ISM rounds off the week. AUD/NZD - The high betas are bearing the brunt of Greenback gains, but also bearish technical forces as the Aussie and Kiwi both lose sight of key chart and simple round number levels that were keeping them afloat or declines relatively contained at least. Aud/Usd is now probing 0.7050 and a Fib retracement just above, while Nzd/Usd is hovering around 0.6775 as the Aud/Nzd cross holds in the low 1.0400 zone. JPY/CAD/CHF/GBP/EUR - All softer vs their US counterpart, with the Yen looking towards 113.50 for support with added protection from option expiry interest up to 113.60 in 1.1 bn, while the Loonie is relying on WTI to maintain recovery momentum before Canada and the US go head-to-head in the employment stakes. Usd/Cad is meandering in the low 1.2800 area as the crude benchmark regains Usd 68+/brl status from a sub-Usd 66.50 base and even deeper trough below Usd 62.50 in knee-jerk response to OPEC+ sticking to its output plan yesterday. Elsewhere, the Franc continues to straddle 0.9200, Sterling has retreated from 1.3300+ terrain again post-fractionally softer than forecast final UK services and composite PMIs, whilst a less hawkish speech from BoE hawk Saunders took Cable to a session low of 1.3255 and a 15bps Dec hike pricing fell from 51% to 26%. The Euro has also reversed from recent highs beyond 1.1300 amidst rather mixed Eurozone readings and pretty routine ECB rhetoric from President Lagarde plus GC members Knot, de Cos and de Guindos. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures continue to nurse losses seen earlier this week, with the post-OPEC downside completely erased alongside some more. To recap, oil contracts were under pressure from compounding COVID headlines at the start of the week and in the run-up to OPEC+ whereby ministers opted to keep production plans despite the Omicron variant and the recent SPR releases. Delving deeper into these themes, desks suggest that a dominant Omicron variant could actually be positive if the strain turns out to be milder than some of its predecessors – with the jury still out but initial reports from India and South Africa suggesting so. Regarding OPEC+, some oil traders suggest the move to maintain plans was more of a political strategy as opposed to an attempt to balance markets, with journalists also suggesting that tensions with the US have simmered down and the prospect of further SPR releases have significantly declined. Further, it's also worth bearing in mind that due to maintenance and underinvestment, the real output hike from OPEC+ producers will likely be under the 400k BPD. In terms of Iranian developments, updates have been less constructive, with sources suggesting that Iran is holding a tougher stance than during the June talks. Negotiations will break today and resume next week. Crude contracts are modestly lower on the week and well-off worst levels, with Brent Feb now back around USD 71.50/bbl (65.72-77.02 weekly range), while WTI Jan resides around USD north of USD 68/bbl (62.43-72.93/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold and silver vary, with the former finding some overnight support around USD 1,766/oz as risk sentiment erred lower, whilst the cluster of DMAs remain around the USD 1,790-91/oz region. In terms of base metals, LME copper is flat on either side of USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Dalian iron ore futures fell amid a decline in mill demand, whilst China's steel hub Tangshan city is to launch a second-level pollution alert from December 3-10th, the local government said – providing further headwinds for iron demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Nov. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 550,000, prior 531,000 Nov. Change in Private Payrolls, est. 525,000, prior 604,000 Nov. Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 45,000, prior 60,000 8:30am: Nov. Unemployment Rate, est. 4.5%, prior 4.6% Nov. Underemployment Rate, prior 8.3% Nov. Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 61.7%, prior 61.6% 8:30am: Nov. Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 5.0%, prior 4.9% Nov. Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4% Nov. Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.7, prior 34.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 56.5 Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 57.0, prior 57.0 10am: Oct. Factory Orders, est. 0.5%, prior 0.2% Oct. Factory Orders Ex Trans, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7% Oct. Durable Goods Orders, est. -0.5%, prior -0.5% Oct. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.3% Oct. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.6% 10am: Nov. ISM Services Index, est. 65.0, prior 66.7 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I got great news yesterday. It was the school Xmas Fayre last weekend and at one stall we had to guess the weight of the school duck that lives in their pond. I spent a long time analysing it outside and was trying to mentally compare it to the weights of my various dumbbells at home. I learnt yesterday that I’d won. My prize? A rubber duck for the bath. In more trivial news I also learnt I was voted no.1 analyst in four categories of the Global Institutional Investor Fixed Income Analyst awards for 2021. So many thanks for all who voted. It is very much appreciated. However in terms of physical mementoes of my achievements yesterday, all I actually have to show for it is a brown rubber duck. Guessing the weight of a duck is a walk in the park at the moment compared to predicting markets. Indeed it’s been a wild week. If you’ve managed to time all the various swings you can surely only have done it via a time machine. If you have done so without one though I will happily hand over my prized rubber duck. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 (+1.42%) had begun to recover following its worst 2-day performance in over a year. The VIX index of volatility ticked back down beneath the 30 mark again, but finished above 25 for the fourth day in five for the first time since December of last year. Meanwhile Oil plunged and then soared on OPEC+ news and curves continued to flatten as 2yr yields got back close to their pre-Omicron levels after a near 20bps round journey over the last week. I’m glad I’m a research analyst not a day trader, and that’s before we get to today’s payrolls print. We’ll start with Omicron, where yesterday predictably saw a number of new countries report confirmed cases for the first time, as well as a second case in the United States during market hours, this one with roots in New York City, which reported more than 11,300 new cases yesterday, the highest daily count since January. After the market closed, an additional five cases were identified in New York, which sent futures over -0.5% lower at the time. They are back to flat as we type possibly helped by a late deal and vote in Congress to fund the US government through to February 18th and avert a shutdown at midnight tonight. Back to the virus and governments continued to ramp up their defence measures, with Germany yesterday announcing a range of fresh restrictions as they grapple with the latest wave, including a requirement that you must either be vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in order to get into restaurants or non-essential stores. There’s also set to be a parliamentary vote on mandatory vaccinations, and incoming Chancellor Scholz said that he expected it to pass. In the US, President Biden announced new measures to fight the impending winter wave and spreading Omicron variant, including tighter testing guidelines for international visitors, wider availability of at home tests, whilst accelerating efforts to get the rest of the world vaccinated. Over in South Africa, the daily case count rose further yesterday, with 11,535 reported, up from 8,561 the previous day and 4,373 the day before that. So definitely one to keep an eye on as we look for clues about what this could mean for the world more broadly. That said, we’re still yet to get the all-important information on how much less or more deadly this might be, as well as how effective vaccines still are and the extent to which it is more transmissible relative to other variants. Back to markets, and the revival in risk appetite led to a fresh selloff in US Treasuries, with the 2yr yield up +6.7bps, and the 10yr yield up +3.7bps. Nevertheless, as mentioned at the top, the latest round of curve flattening has sent the 2s10s slope to its flattest since before the Georgia Senate seat runoff gave Democrats control of Congress. It’s now at just +82.0bps, whilst the 5s30s slope is now at flattest since March 2020, at +55.0bps. So a warning sign for those who believe in the yield curve as a recessionary indicator, albeit with some way to go before that flashes red. In Europe there was also a modest curve flattening, but yields moved lower across the board, with those on 10yr bunds (-2.6bps), OATs (-3.2bps) and BTPs (-5.6bps) all down by the close. Over in equities, there was a decent rebound in the US following the recent selloff, with the S&P 500 (+1.42%) posting a solid gain. It was a very broad-based advance, with over 90% of the index’s members moving higher for the first time since mid-October. Every S&P sector increased, which was enough to compensate for the noticeable lag in mega-cap shares, with the FANG index gaining just +0.15%. The STOXX 600 decreased -1.15%, though that reflected the fact Europe closed ahead of the big reversal in sentiment the previous session. Aside from Omicron, one of the other biggest stories yesterday was the decision by the OPEC+ group to continue with their production hike, which will add a further +400k barrels/day to global supply in January. The news initially sent oil prices sharply lower, with Brent crude falling to an intraday low beneath $66/bbl, before recovering to end the day back at $69.67/bl in light of the group saying that they could adjust their plans “pending further developments of the pandemic”, with the ability to “make immediate adjustments if required”. Even with the bounceback yesterday however, oil has been one of the worst-performing assets over recent weeks, with Brent hitting an intraday high of $86.7/bbl in late-October, followed by a November that marked its worst monthly performance since the pandemic began. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher with the KOSPI (+0.86%), Shanghai Composite (+0.58%), CSI (+0.35%) and the Nikkei (+0.29%) up but with the Hang Seng (-0.74%) under pressure amid the ongoing regulatory clampdown in technology from China as Didi prepares to delist on US markets. Looking forward now, the main highlight on today’s calendar is the US jobs report for November, which comes less than two weeks’ away from the Fed’s meeting where they’ll decide on the pace of tapering. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for nonfarm payrolls to grow by +600k, which would be the fastest pace of job growth since July, and that in turn would take the unemployment rate down to a post-pandemic low of 4.4%. Ahead of that, we had another decent weekly claims report (albeit that took place after the jobs report survey period), with the number for the week through November 26 coming in at a stronger-than-expected 222k (vs. 240k expected). The previous week’s number was also revised down -5k, sending the 4-week moving average down to its own post-pandemic low of 238.75k. Looking at yesterday’s other data releases, the Euro Area unemployment rate fell to a post-pandemic low of 7.3% in October, in line with expectations. However producer price inflation shot up even faster than anticipated to +21.9% (vs. 19.0% expected). To the day ahead now, and the aforementioned US jobs report for November will be the highlight. Other data releases include the services and composite PMIs for November from around the world, Euro Area retail sales for October, and in addition from the US, there’s October’s factory orders and the November ISM services index. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde and chief economist Lane, the Fed’s Bullard and the BoE’s Saunders. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

5 Stocks to Reap Solid Gains This Thanksgiving Week

Papa John's (PZZA), Vipshop (VIPS), Copa Holdings (CPA), Echo Global (ECHO) and Ambev (ABEV) could reap solid gains this Thanksgiving week and could be compelling picks for investors. With the start of Thanksgiving week, investors are bullish on U.S. stocks, given the history of strong market performance. Although Americans are expected to spend less this year with holiday meals becoming expensive, U.S. stocks should get a boost from improving consumer confidence and upbeat traveling.These five stocks — Papa John's International PZZA, Vipshop Holdings Ltd VIPS, Copa Holdings CPA, Echo Global Logistics ECHO and Ambev ABEV — could reap solid gains this Thanksgiving week and could be compelling picks for investors.Solid Historical TrendsHistory shows that the holiday-shortened week is a feast for stock investors –– even those with low volumes. According to Bespoke Investment Group, the Thanksgiving week has returned modest gains for stocks since 1945. The researchers say that since then, the entire week of Thanksgiving has averaged a 60-basis-point advance for the S&P 500, with the best returns coming on the Wednesday before the holiday and Black Friday, and the only decline on average on Monday at the start of the week.Sam Stovall, the chief investment strategist at CFRA, also said the last five trading days of November have been traditionally positive since 1950. There is a two-third likelihood that the market will be up the day before Thanksgiving, a 57% likelihood for an increase the day after Thanksgiving, and a 71% likelihood that it will be up on the following Monday.Current TrendsConsumer confidence is stronger than expected, hiring has been picking up and wages are rising. While inflation is rising at the fastest pace in 30 years, retail sales remain robust. U.S. retail sales in October surged for the third consecutive month and jumped the maximum since March. Americans started to shop early to avoid the shortage of goods due to the ongoing pandemic. A wider reach of vaccinations has also accelerated economic reopening and encouraged traveling. However, rising inflation fears as well as the prospect of rate hikes continue to keep stock returns in check.As food prices have risen, a report from LendingTree showed that Americans would spend $391.60, down 18% from 2020. About 47% of Americans plan to host Thanksgiving dinner this year — the highest percentage in three years. Inflation and supply chain interruptions have made holiday meals expensive this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The average cost of serving 10 people for Thanksgiving is expected to be $53.31 (or more than $5.00 per person), up 14% from the last year and marking the priciest meal in the survey's 36 years.Bright SpotsAccording to travel service provider American Automobile Association (AAA), Thanksgiving holiday travel is expected to rebound nearly to the pre-pandemic levels. More than 53.4 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 24-Nov 28), up 13% from the last year and the highest single-year increase since 2005. Of them, 48.3 million (up 8% from the last year) will go on road trips, 4.2 million (up 80%) will fly, and the remaining 1 million (up 262%) will travel by train, bus or cruise. With the lifting of pandemic restrictions and increasing consumer confidence, travelers remain upbeat while making their travel plans this holiday season.Notably, a report from the U.S. airlines group, Airlines for America (A4A), shows that 28.5 million passengers will travel during the 12-day Thanksgiving air-travel period, up 3% from 2016. The 2.38 million passengers per day expected to take to the skies represent an increase of 69,000 from the 2016 Thanksgiving travel period. Airlines are accommodating this increase in demand by adding 86,000 more seats in the marketplace each day, up 3.2% from 2016.According to the Transportation Security Administration, about 2 million people a day are projected to fly from Nov 19 through Nov 28 and there are chances that the numbers for some days would exceed that average dramatically. Passenger traffic for the last five days of the period is expected to be just 9% below 2019.Stocks to Shower GainsInvestors could take advantage of this week’s historically bullish feast with the stocks in the above-mentioned industries. These stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold), a Growth Score of B or better, and have witnessed positive earnings estimate revision for the holiday quarter over the past month. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Papa John's InternationalPapa John's operates and franchises pizza delivery and carryout restaurants in the United States and other specific international markets. The company’s dine-in and delivery restaurants operate under the brand name Papa John’s. Papa John's International has a market cap of $4.8 billion.Papa John's saw solid earnings estimates revision of 10 cents over the past month for the holiday quarter. Papa John's carries a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.Vipshop HoldingsVipshop Holdings is an online discount retailer for brands. The company offers branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its vipshop.com website. Vipshop Holdings offers a wide selection of various famous branded discount products including apparel for women, men and children, fashion goods, cosmetics, home goods and other lifestyle products, through its website.Vipshop Holdings has witnessed positive earnings estimate revision of a couple of cents for the current quarter in a month. With a market cap of $6.9 billion, VIPS has a Zacks Rank #3 and a Growth Score of A.Copa HoldingsCopa Holdings, through its main subsidiaries — Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia — offers airline passenger and cargo services. Copa Airlines currently operates approximately 104 scheduled flights, which fly to 54 destinations, covering 25 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean from its Panama City hub.Copa Holdings saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 23 cents over the past 30 days for the holiday quarter. CPA has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.Echo Global LogisticsEcho Global is a leading provider of technology enabled transportation and supply chain management services, delivered on a proprietary technology platform, serving the transportation and logistics needs of its clients. Echo Global’s web-based technology platform compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 22,000 transportation providers to serve its clients' shipping and freight management needs.Echo Global saw positive earnings estimates revision of a penny over the past month for the holiday quarter. Echo Global carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Growth Score of B.AmbevAmbev is engaged in producing, distributing and selling beer, carbonated soft drinks and other non-alcoholic and non-carbonated products in many countries across the Americas. Ambev maintains an agreement with PepsiCo International, Inc. to bottle, sell and distribute Pepsi products in Brazil and other Latin American countries, including Lipton Ice Tea, Gatorade, H2OH!, Propel and Frutzzz.Ambev has seen positive earnings estimate revision of a penny over the past 30 days for the holiday quarter. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 and a Growth Score of B. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA): Free Stock Analysis Report Copa Holdings, S.A. (CPA): Free Stock Analysis Report Vipshop Holdings Limited (VIPS): Free Stock Analysis Report Ambev S.A. (ABEV): Free Stock Analysis Report Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (ECHO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes US equity futures continued their selloff for the second day as Treasury yields spiked to 1.66%, up almost 4bps on the day, and as the selloff in tech shares spread as traders trimmed bets for a dovish-for-longer Federal Reserve after the renomination of Jerome Powell as its chair. At 8:00am ET, S&P futures were down 2.75 points or -0.05%, with Dow futures flat and Nasdaq futures extended their selloff but were off worst levels, down 41.25 points or 0.25%, after Monday’s last-hour furious rout in technology stocks. As repeatedly covered here in recent weeks, the Turkish currency crisis deepened with the lira weakening past 13 per USD, a drop of more than 10% in one day.  Oil rebounded - as expected - after a panicking Joe Biden, terrified about what soaring gas prices mean for Dems midterm changes, announced that the US, together with several other countries such as China, India and Japan, would tap up to 50 million barrels in strategic reserves, a move which was fully priced in and will now serve to bottom tick the price of oil. In premarket trading, Zoom lost 9% in premarket trading on slowing growth. For some unknown reason, investors have been reducing expectations for a deeper dovish stance by the Fed after Powell was selected for a second term (as if Powell - the man who started purchases of corporate bonds - is somehow hawkish). The chair himself sought to strike a balance in his policy approach saying the central bank would use tools at its disposal to support the economy as well as to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. “While investors no longer have to wonder about who will be leading the Federal Reserve for the next few years, the next big dilemma the central bank faces is how to normalize monetary policy without upsetting markets,” wrote Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management. Following Powell’s renomination, “the market has unwound hedges against a more ‘dovish’ personnel shift,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Not helping was Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic who said Monday that the Fed may need to speed up the removal of monetary stimulus and allow for an earlier-than-planned increase in interest rates European stocks dropped with market focusing on potential Covid lockdowns and policy tightening over solid PMI data. Euro Stoxx 50 shed as much as 1.7% with tech, financial services and industrial names the hardest hit. Better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. As Goldman notes, the Euro area composite flash PMI increased by 1.6pt to 55.8 in November — strongly ahead of consensus expectations — in a first gain since the post-July moderation. The area-wide gain was broad-based across countries, and sectors. Supply-side issues continued to be widely reported, with input and output price pressures climbing to all-time highs. In the UK, the November flash composite PMI came in broadly as expected, and while input costs rose to a new all-time high, pass-through into output prices appears lower than usual. Forward-looking expectations remain comfortably above historical averages across Europe, although today's data are unlikely to fully reflect the covid containment measures taken in a number of European countries over recent days. Key numbers (the responses were collected between 10 and 19 November (except in the UK, where the survey response window spanned 12-19 November). Euro Area Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 55.8, GS 53.6, consensus 53.0, last 54.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (Nov, Flash): 58.6, GS 57.7, consensus 57.4, last 58.3. Euro Area Services PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.6, GS 53.9, consensus 53.5, last 54.6. Germany Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 52.8, GS 52.1, consensus 51.0, last 52.0. France Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.3, GS 54.4, consensus 53.9, last 54.7. UK Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 57.7, GS 57.7, consensus 57.5, last 57.8. And visually: Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell toward a three-week low as Jerome Powell’s renomination to head the Federal Reserve boosted U.S. yields, putting downward pressure on the region’s technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.5%, as the reappointment sent Treasury yields higher and buoyed the dollar amid concerns monetary stimulus will be withdrawn faster. Consumer discretionary and communication shares were the biggest drags on Asia’s benchmark, with Tencent and Alibaba slipping on worries over tighter regulations in China. “Powell’s renomination was generally expected by the market,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Nomura. The market’s reaction may be short-lived as traders turn their attention to the Fed’s meeting in December and Covid’s resurgence in Europe, he added. Asia shares have struggled to break higher as the jump in yields weighed on sentiment already damped by a lackluster earnings season and the risk of accelerating inflation. The region’s stock benchmark is down about 1% this year compared with a 16% advance in the MSCI AC World Index. Hong Kong and Taiwan were among the biggest decliners, while Australian and Indian shares bucked the downtrend, helped by miners and energy stocks. India’s benchmark stock index rose, snapping four sessions of declines, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd.   The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to close at 58,664.33 in Mumbai, recovering after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.5%. Of the 30 shares on the Sensex, 21 rose and 9 fell. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal stocks.  Reliance Industries Ltd. gained 0.9%, after dropping the most in nearly 10 months on Monday following its decision to scrap a plan to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Shares of One 97 Communications Ltd., the parent company for digital payments firm Paytm, climbed 9.9% after two days of relentless selling since its trading debut. In rates, Treasuries dropped, with the two-year rate jumping five basis points, helping to flatten the yield curve. Bunds and Treasuries bear steepened with German 10y yields ~5bps cheaper. Gilts bear flatten, cheapening 1.5bps across the short end. 10Y TSY yields rose as high as 1.67% before reversing some of the move. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing to the highest level since September 2020 as markets moved to price in a full quarter-point rate hike by the June Fed meeting, with a good chance of two more by year-end; Treasury yields inched up across the curve apart from the front end. The Japanese yen briefly fell past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017. The euro advanced after better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. Sterling declined versus the dollar and the euro; traders are taking an increasingly negative view on the pound, betting that the decline that’s already left the currency near its lowest this year has further to run New Zealand’s dollar under-performed all G-10 peers as leveraged longs backing a 50 basis-point hike from the central bank were flushed out of the market; sales were mainly seen against the greenback and Aussie. The yuan approached its strongest level against trade partners’ currencies in a sign that traders see a low likelihood of aggressive official intervention. The Turkish lira (see above) crashed to a record low on Tuesday, soaring more than 10% and just shy of 14 vs the USD, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation. In commodities, crude futures rebounded sharply after Biden announced a coordinated, global SPR release which would see the US exchange up to 32mm barrels, or a negligible amount. Brent spiked back over $80 on the news after trading in the mid-$78s. Spot gold drops ~$8, pushing back below $1,800/oz. Base metals are well supported with LME nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,667.75 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $78.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,796.86 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.39     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The volatility term structures in the major currencies show that next month’s meetings by monetary policy authorities are what matters most. Data galore out of the U.S. by Wednesday’s New York cut off means demand for one-day structures remains intact, yet it’s not enough to bring about term structure inversion as one-week implieds stay below recent cycle highs Lael Brainard, picked to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is expected to be a critical defender of its commitment to maximum employment across demographic groups at a time when other U.S. central bankers are more worried by inflation ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said there’s an increasing threat of inflation taking hold, as she played down the danger that resurgent coronavirus infections might impede the euro zone’s recovery Regarding latest pandemic restrictions, “when it comes to the impact, I would say that while it will surely have a moderating impact on economic activity, the impact on inflation will actually be more ambiguous because it might also reinforce some of the concerns we have around supply bottlenecks,” ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot says in Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua European Union countries are pushing for an agreement on how long Covid-19 vaccinations protect people and how to manage booster shots as they try to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave and safeguard free travel Germany’s top health official reiterated a warning that the government can’t exclude any measures, including another lockdown, as it tries to check the latest wave of Covid-19 infections The State Council, China’s cabinet, released three documents in the past several days, outlining measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the downturn: from encouraging local governments to roll out discounts for power usage to organizing internet companies to provide cloud and digital services to SMEs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following a similar performance in the US where participants digested President Biden’s decision to nominate Fed Chair Powell for a second term and Fed’s Brainard for the Vice Chair role. This resulted in bear flattening for the US curve and underpinned the greenback, while the major indices were choppy but with late selling heading into the close in which the S&P 500 slipped beneath the 4,700 level and the Nasdaq underperformed as tech suffered the brunt of the higher yields. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive with sentiment encouraged after stronger PMI data and M&A developments including BHP’s signing of a binding agreement to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum to create a global top 10 independent energy company and the largest listed energy company in Australia, which spurred outperformance for the mining and energy related sectors. KOSPI (-0.5%) was lacklustre and retreated below the 3k level amid broad weakness in tech which was not helped by concerns that South Korea could take another aim at large tech through a platform bill and with the government said to be mulling strengthening social distancing measures. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) continued to diverge amid a neutral liquidity effort by the PBoC and with the Hong Kong benchmark conforming to the tech woes, while the mainland was kept afloat after the State Council pledged to strengthen assistance to smaller firms and with Global Times noting that China will likely adopt another RRR cut before year-end to cope with an economic slowdown. Finally, Japanese participants were absent from the market as they observed Labor Thanksgiving Day, while yields in Australia were higher as they tracked global counterparts and following a Treasury Indexed bond offering in the long-end. Top Asian News Tiger Global Leads $210 Million Round by India Proptech Unicorn China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing Kuaishou Defies China Crackdown as Revenue Climbs 33% Evergrande Shares Jump in Afternoon Trading as Group Units Rally Major bourses in Europe are lower across the board, but off worst levels (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -1.3%) following on from the mixed APAC performance, but with pandemic restrictions casting a shower over the region. US equity futures are mostly lower but to a lesser extent than European peers, with the YM (+0.1%) the relative outperformer vs the ES (-0.1%), NQ (-0.3%) and RTY (-0.8%). Back to Europe, the morning saw the release of Flash PMIs which failed to spur much action across market given the somewhat stale nature against the backdrop of a worsening COVID situation in Europe. Losses in the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.1%) are more cushioned vs European counterparts, with heavyweight miners doing the heavy lifting, and as the basic resources sector outpaces and resides as the only sector in the green at the time of writing amid a surge in iron ore prices overnight. Sticking with sectors, there is no clear or overarching theme/bias. Tech resides at the foot of the pile, unaided by the intraday rise in yields. Travel and Leisure also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, but more a function of the “leisure” sub-sector as opposed to the “travel” component, with Evolution Gaming (-3.7%) and Flutter (-3.5%) on the back foot. In terms of individual movers, Thyssenkrupp (-7.0%) tumbles after the Co. announced a secondary offer by Cevian of 43mln shares. Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (-3%) is softer following yesterday’s run, whilst Vivendi (-0.5%) said the current KKR (KKR) offer does not reflect Telecom Italia's value and it has no intention of offloading its 24% stake. Top European News U.K. PMIs Show Record Inflation and ‘Green Light’ for BOE Hike Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Are ‘Illegal’ ECB’s Knot Says New Lockdowns Won’t Delay Wind-Down of Stimulus Telefonica Drops, Berenberg Cuts on Spain Margin Problems In FX, the Buck had already eased off best levels to relieve some pressure from its rivals, but the Euro also derived encouragement from the fact that a key long term Fib held (just) at 1.1225 before getting a rather unexpected fundamental fillip in the form of stronger than forecast flash Eurozone PMIs plus hawkish-sounding comments from ECB’s Schnabel. Eur/Usd duly rebounded to 1.1275 and the Dollar index retreated to 96.308 from a fresh y-t-d peak of 96.603, while the Yen and Franc also took advantage to varying degrees against the backdrop of deteriorating risk sentiment and in thinner trading volumes for the former due to Japan’s Labor Day Thanksgiving holiday. Usd/Jpy recoiled from 115.15 to 114.49 at one stage and Usd/Chf to 0.9301 from 0.9335 before both pairs bounced with the Greenback and a rebound in US Treasury yields ahead of Markit’s preliminary PMIs and Usd 59 bn 7 year note supply. TRY - Simply no respite for the Lira via another marked pull-back in oil prices on heightened prospects of SPR taps, the aforementioned Buck breather or even a decent correction as Usd/Try extended its meteoric rise beyond 11.5000 and 12.0000 towards 12.5000 irrespective of an ally of Turkish President Erdogan urging a debate on CBRT independence. Instead, the run and capital flight continues as talks with the IMF make no progress and an EU court condemns the country for detaining 400+ judges after the coup, while the President rules out a snap election after recent calls for an earlier vote than the scheduled one in 2023 by the main opposition party. NZD/CAD/GBP/AUD - It remains to be seen whether the RBNZ maintains a 25 bp pace of OCR normalisation overnight, but weak NZ retail activity in Q3 may be a telling factor and is applying more downside pressure on the Kiwi across the board, as Nzd/Usd hovers under 0.6950 and the Aud/Nzd cross tests 1.0425 on relative Aussie strength or resilience gleaned from another spike in iron ore that is helping to keep Aud/Usd above 0.7200. Conversely, the latest downturn in crude is undermining the Loonie and the Pound hardly derived any traction from better than anticipated UK PMIs even though they should provide the BoE more justification to hike rates next month. Usd/Cad has now breached 1.2700 and only stopped a few pips short of 1.2750 before fading ahead of comments from BoC’s Beaudry, while Cable topped out just over 1.3400 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey, whilst Haskel reaffirmed his stance in the transitory inflation camp, although suggested that if the labour market remains tight the Bank Rate will have to rise. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a shock that Brent’s reversal has hit the Nok alongside broader risk-aversion that is also keeping the Sek defensive in advance of the Riksbank, but the Zar is coping well considering Gold’s loss of Usd 1800+/oz status and test of chart support at the 100 DMA only a couple of Bucks off the 200. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny are still resisting general Usd strength and other negatives, with help from China’s State Council pledging to strengthen assistance to smaller firms perhaps. In commodities, WTI and Brent Jan'22 futures remain under pressure with the former back under USD 76/bbl (vs USD 76.59/bbl high) and the latter around USD 79/bbl (vs USD 79.63/bbl high). The WTI contract is also narrowly lagging Brent by some USD 0.30/bbl at the time of writing. Participants are keeping their eyes peeled for reserve releases from the US, potentially in coordination with other nations including China, Japan, and India – with inflation concerns being the common denominator. The move also comes in reaction to OPEC+ flouting calls by large oil consumers, particularly the US, to further open the taps beyond the group’s planned 400k BPD/m hikes. A source cited by Politico caveated that a final decision is yet to be made, and US officials are hoping that the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC+ to double their quotas at the Dec 2nd meeting. As it stands, Energy Intel journalist Bakr noted that she has not heard anything from OPEC+ officials about changing production plans, but delegates yesterday suggested that plans may be tweaked. Click here for the full Newsquawk analysis piece. Aside from this, US President Biden is also poised to give a speech on the economy, whilst the weekly Private Inventories will also be released today. Elsewhere, spot gold and have been drifting lower in what is seemingly a function of technical, with the yellow metal dipping under USD 1,800/oz from a USD 1,812/oz current high, with a cluster of DMAs present to the downside including the 100 DMA (around USD 1,793/oz), 200 DMA (around USD 1,791/oz) and 50 DMA (around USD 1,789/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper holds a positive bias with prices on either side of USD 9,750/t, whilst Dalian iron ore surged overnight - with reports suggesting that steel de-stockpiling accelerated last week, and analysts suggesting that the market is betting on steelmakers in December. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.6 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 59.0, prior 58.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 58.4 10am: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 11, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that yesterday we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detail IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. We also published the results of our ESG issuer and investor survey where around 530 responded. Please see the results here. Today is the start of a new adventure as I’m doing my first overseas business trip in 20 months. It took me a stressful 2 hours last night to find and fill in various forms, download various apps and figure out how on earth I travel in this new world. Hopefully I’ve got it all correct or I’ll be turned back at the Eurostar gates! The interesting thing about not travelling is that I’ve filled the time doing other work stuff so productivity will suffer. So if I can do a CoTD today it’ll be done on an iPhone whilst racing through the French countryside. Actually finishing this off very early in a long taxi ride on the way to the train reminds me of how car sick I get working on my iPhone! The delights of travel are all coming flooding back. After much anticipation over recent weeks, we finally heard yesterday that President Biden would be nominating Fed Chair Powell for another four-year term at the helm of the central bank. In some ways the decision had been widely expected, and Powell was the favourite in prediction markets all along over recent months. But the Fed’s staff trading issues and reports that Governor Brainard was also being considered had led many to downgrade Powell’s chances, so there was an element of uncertainty going into the decision, even if any policy differences between the two were fairly marginal. In the end however, Biden opted for continuity at the top, with Brainard tapped to become Vice Chair instead. Powell’s nomination will require senate confirmation once again, but this isn’t expected to be an issue, not least with Powell having been confirmed in an 84-13 vote last time around. Further, Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown, viewed as a progressive himself, noted last week there should be no issue confirming Powell despite rumblings from progressive lawmakers. More important to watch out for will be who Biden selects for the remaining positions on the Fed Board of Governors, where there are still 3 vacant seats left to fill, including the position of Vice Chair for Supervision. In a statement released by the White House, it said that Biden intended to make those “beginning in early December”, so even with Powell staying on, there’s actually a reasonable amount of scope for Biden to re-shape the Fed’s leadership. A potential hint about who may be considered, President Biden noted his next appointments will “bring new diversity to the Fed.” President Biden, flanked by Powell and Brainard, held a press conference following the announcement. He noted maintaining the Fed’s independence and leadership stability informed his decision, and that Chair Powell assured the President he would focus on fighting inflation. He was apparently also assured that the Chair would work to combat climate change, perhaps an olive branch to those in his party that wanted a more progressive nominee. Powell and Brainard both followed up with remarks of their own, but didn’t stray from the recent Fed party line. In response to the decision, investors moved to bring forward their timing of the initial rate hike from the Fed, with one now just about priced by the time of their June 2022 meeting, whilst the dollar index (+0.54%) strengthened to a fresh one-year high. This reflects the perception among many investors that Brainard was someone who’d have taken the Fed on a more dovish trajectory. Inflation breakevens fell across the curve as well in response. Indeed the 4-year breakeven, which roughly coincides with the term of the next Fed chair, was down -3.8bps after yesterday’s session, with the bulk of that dive coming immediately after the confirmation of Powell’s nomination. Nevertheless, that decline in breakevens was more than outweighed by a shift higher in real rates that sent nominal yields noticeably higher. By the close, yields on 2yr (+7.8bps) and 5yr (+9.5bps) Treasuries were at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and those on 10yr Treasuries were also up +7.7bps, ending the session at 1.62%. 2yr yields were a full 14.1bps higher than the intra-day lows on Friday after the Austria lockdown news. We had similar bond moves in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds (+4.0bps) moving higher throughout the session thanks to a shift in real rates. Another noticeable feature in the US was the latest round of curve flattening, with the 5s30s (-4.4bps) reaching its flattest level (+64.1bps) since the initial market panic over Covid-19 back in March 2020. The S&P 500 took a sharp turn heading into the New York close after trading in positive territory for most of the day, ultimately closing down -0.32%. Sector performance was mixed, energy (+1.81%) and financials (+1.43%) were notable outperformers on climbing oil prices and yields, while big tech companies across different sectors were hit by higher discount rates. The NASDAQ (-1.26%) ended the day lower, having pared back its initial gains that earlier put it on track to reach a record of its own. The other main piece of news yesterday came on the energy front, where it’s been reported that we could have an announcement as soon as today about a release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially as part of a joint announcement with other nations. Oil prices were fairly resilient to the news, with Brent crude (+1.03%) and WTI (+0.85%) still moving higher, although both are down from their recent peaks as speculation of such a move has mounted. This could help put some downward pressure on inflation, but as recent releases have shown, price gains have been broadening out over the last couple of months to a wider swathe of categories, so it remains to be seen how helpful this will prove, and will obviously depend on how much is released along with how the OPEC+ group react. For their part, OPEC+ members noted that the moves from the US and its allies would force them to reconsider their production plans at their meeting next week. Looking ahead now, one of the main highlights today will come from the release of the flash PMIs for November, which will give us an initial indication of how the global economy has fared into the month. As mentioned yesterday, the Euro Area PMIs have been decelerating since the summer, so keep an eye out for how they’re being affected by the latest Covid wave. It’ll also be worth noting what’s happening to price pressures, particularly with inflation running at more than double the ECB’s target right now. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mixed with Shanghai Composite (+0.43%), CSI (+0.20%), KOSPI (-0.44%) and Hang Seng (-1.01%) diverging, while the Nikkei is closed for Labor Thanksgiving. The flash manufacturing PMI release from Australia (58.5 vs 58.2 previous) came in close to last month while both the composite (55 vs 52.1 previous) and services (55 vs 51.8 previous) accelerated. In Japan the Yen slid past an important level of 115 against the Dollar for the first time in four years after Powell was confirmed. This marks an overall slide of 10% this year making it the worst performer amongst advanced economy currencies. S&P 500 (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.31%) are flat to down with Europe seemingly catching up with the weak U.S. close. Before this, in Europe yesterday, equities continued to be subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.13% after trading in a tight range, as the continent reacted to another surge in Covid-19 cases. The move by Austria back into lockdown has raised questions as to where might be next, and Bloomberg reported that Chancellor Merkel told CDU officials yesterday that the recent surge was worse than anything seen so far, and that additional restrictions would be required. So the direction of travel all appears to be one way for the time being in terms of European restrictions, and even a number of less-affected countries are still seeing cases move in an upward direction, including France, Italy and the UK. So a key one to watch that’ll have big implications for economies and markets too. Staying on Germany, there was some interesting news on a potential coalition yesterday, with Bloomberg obtaining a preliminary list of cabinet positions that said that FDP leader Christian Lindner would become finance minister, and Green co-leader Robert Habeck would become a “super minister” with responsibility for the economy, climate protection and the energy transition. The report also said that both would become Vice Chancellors, whilst the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock would become foreign minister. It’s worth noting that’s still a preliminary list, and the coalition agreement is yet to be finalised, but it has been widely suggested that the parties are looking to reach a conclusion to the talks this week, so we could hear some more info on this relatively soon. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the European Commission’s advance November consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area fell back by more than expected to -6.8 (vs. -5.5 expected), which is the lowest it’s been since April. Over in the US, there was October data that was somewhat more positive however, with existing home sales rising to an annualised rate of 6.34m (vs. 6.20m expected), their highest level in 9 months. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index was up to 0.76 (vs. 0.10 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. d Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 08:31.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Goldman: Another Fiscal Package Next Year Appears Likely

Goldman: Another Fiscal Package Next Year Appears Likely Commenting on Friday's passage of Biden's BBB bill, Goldman's Alec Phillips writes that the Biden fiscal agenda took two steps forward over the last week, as the President signed the “hard” infrastructure bill into law and the House passed its version of the “Build Back Better” (BBB) legislation. That said, those were arguably the easier parts of the legislative process and the hard part now begins, and according to Goldman, "Democratic leaders are likely to face a more difficult task in getting the BBB legislation through the Senate, and changes there look likely." For one, Senate rules look likely to preclude some policies in the House bill. Some policies in the House-passed legislation are likely to violate Senate rules regarding what may be included in reconciliation legislation. Immigration policy changes, in particular, are likely run afoul of the “Byrd Rule” in the Senate, which prohibits provisions whose fiscal effect is “incidental to” the primary purpose of the provision. If these provisions are removed in the Senate, as seems likely, this would reduce net spending in the bill by around $115bn over 10 years. The political realities in the Senate are likely to lead to other changes. As Phillips explains, there are several items in this category, and there will probably be additional issues that arise over the next few weeks as the Senate debates the bill. Among the new benefits the bill provides, the most obvious areas where one or more Senate Democrats might object include: Paid leave. After negotiations with centrist Democrats in the Senate, the White House omitted from its framework its prior proposal to provide a new federal benefit for paid leave. However, the House added the program back into its version, raising the cost of the bill by around $200bn. Sen. Manchin (D-W. Va) has indicated that he opposes a benefit program like the House proposes, and the Senate will likely scale back paid-leave benefits or remove them entirely from the bill. Infrastructure and climate spending. The House-passed BBB legislation has around $28bn in “hard” infrastructure spending and tens of billions in funding for electric vehicles, on top of the amounts in the recently enacted infrastructure bill. There will be likely be some centrist Democratic opposition to including provisions that were supposed to have been dealt with only in the earlier infrastructure bill. State and Local Taxes (SALT). The House-passed bill would allow taxpayers to deduct $80k in state and local taxes, up from $10k today, a tax holiday for the rich. The Senate looks likely to change the provision, potentially by fully reinstating the deduction for individuals with income under $400k or $500k and leaving the $10k cap in place for those with higher incomes. At this point, something along the lines of the potential Senate policy looks like the most likely outcome, though some combination of the two ideas also seems possible. The chart below shows Goldman's comparison of fiscal proposals with new estimates of the House-passed legislation Goldman then argues that how the legislation offsets the cost of new spending could also change. Some revisions to the policies Democrats would use to pay for the legislation also seem likely, though it is less clear how these might change. Among the possibilities are: Minimum tax on book income. The House-passed legislation includes a 15% minimum tax on book income, which President Biden proposed earlier in the year but had been put aside until recently. Taxing companies based on their financial statement income would represent a major step away from the current system that relies only on tax returns, and it could face some resistance in the Senate. While some version of this tax will likely make it into the final version of the bill, there is a greater chance that it will be changed or removed from the bill in the Senate than most of the other corporate tax increases. If the Senate did opt to drop the minimum tax proposal, it could reopen the debate on a modest corporate tax rate increase, though this does not appear very likely at the moment. Surtax on upper incomes. The House proposal to impose a 5% surtax income over $10mn and another 3% on income over $25mn (for a total of 8%) will likely also change in the Senate, though it looks very likely that something similar will be in the final package. It is conceivable that another smaller surtax could be applied at a lower level of income in order to offset a broader SALT deduction, for example. Drug pricing. Further changes to the Medicare drug pricing changes in the Senate are possible, as the affected industries are likely to continue to seek modifications in the 50-50 Senate. Again, the final bill is expected to follow the general contours of the House bill in this area, but incremental changes seem possible. A major complaint many have lodged against Biden's BBB is that it uses a lot of timing gimmicks to reduce its true cost. To wit, with much of the bill spending likely to be front-loaded, some centrist Democrats will likely oppose the extent to which the House bill front-loads new spending, primarily by setting some policies to expire after 1 year (e.g. expanded child tax credit and earned income tax credit extension), 3 years (e.g. health insurance subsidies), or 6 years (e.g. child care and pre-kindergarten benefits). As shown in Exhibits 4, 5, and 6, the spending in the House bill is indeed more front-loaded than the tax increases and other means of offsetting the cost, which are slightly back-loaded over the 2022-2031 period.   The Senate version of the bill will likely be a "little less" front-loaded than the House version.  Sen. Manchin has described some of the strategies the House bill uses as “shell games and gimmicks” and is expected push to reduce them in the Senate. That said, even if there are changes along these lines, expect only a modest effect on spending over the next few years. Some of the policies that the Senate might drop from the bill, like paid leave and immigration changes, have little impact over the next couple of years but removing them would make room to extend other policies for longer than they last under the House bill. Goldman also argues that it could be tough for lawmakers to set a hard limit on the top line amount of spending in the bill. Specifically, Sen. Manchin along with Sen. Sinema (D-Ariz.) have also suggested that new spending in the bill should be kept below a certain level—somewhere between $1.5 trillion and $1.75 trillion. However, the “size” of the bill is somewhat subjective. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate shows $1.64 trillion in new spending, similar to the range that centrist Democrats in the Senate have implied they might support. But that spending number omits more than $200bn in climate-oriented tax credits and nets $260bn in drug pricing changes (i.e., spending reductions) against the new spending. Taking those items into account, the new spending and tax benefits in the House-passed bill totals slightly more than $2 trillion over 10 years. If the Senate removes the House provisions on paid leave and immigration, the adjusted total would drop to around $1.75 trillion/10 years. Since the Senate might redirect some of these funds to other purposes, Goldman estimates that a total of $1.75 to $2 trillion over 10 years seems likely. Of course, the official CBO estimate of spending will probably be at least a few hundred billion below the actual amount of new spending and tax benefits because that's what the CBO does. Another touchy topic is that the White House has made assurances that the legislation will not add to the deficit, but that is also subject to interpretation. CBO estimates the House-passed bill would raise the deficit by $367bn over 10 years, but this omits $207bn in increased revenues from increased funding for tax enforcement, suggesting that the bill would raise the deficit by only $160bn over 10 years (less than 0.1% of GDP over that period). The White House contends that tax enforcement would raise revenues by $400bn or more, which would mean that the bill would actually reduce the deficit slightly over ten years if true. Then there is the issue of bill passage and timing, and here a big wildcard is the debt ceiling, which will have to be addressed some time in late December. According to Goldman, the debt limit could delay Senate action on the BBB bill, or accelerate it, depending on how Democrats choose to address it. The two parties have taken the same positions ahead of the next debt limit deadline as they did ahead of the last one—Democrats believe Republicans should support a debt limit increase under “regular order” while Republicans believe Democrats should raise it alone via the reconciliation process. While their positions are the same, comments from Democratic lawmakers suggest somewhat greater openness to addressing the issue via reconciliation than the last time around, and we think this is the more likely approach. To use the reconciliation process, Democrats would need to first revise their budget resolution for fiscal year 2022, which already includes instructions for the BBB bill but does not instruct the relevant committees to raise the debt limit. Once Congress has revised the budget resolution, Democrats would then need to decide whether to pass a standalone debt limit increase or to combine it with the broader BBB bill. A standalone reconciliation bill could take several days to pass unless Republicans agree to an expedited process. Combining the debt limit with the BBB bill would be more efficient—it could even create a deadline for BBB passage in the Senate—but would have the disadvantage of directly linking the debt limit to the major fiscal legislation. At this point, separate bills seem more likely but either scenario is possible One final point: as Phillips concludes, another fiscal package next year appears likely:  According to the Goldman strategist, "as the final version of the BBB takes shape, discussion of another fiscal package has already begun." The one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit (CTC) and earned income tax credit (EITC), through 2022, is likely to lead congressional Democrats to prepare legislation to extend it further. Goldman thinks that it is more likely than not that Congress extends the expanded child tax credit past 2022, though there is clearly some risk that it expires at that point. Congressional Democrats might also try to pass legislation to address some of the policies that do not make it into the BBB legislation, like a federal paid leave benefit or Medicare expansion. And while it is hard to rule out another (much more modest) fiscal package next year, Goldman would be surprised "if Congress manages to do much more than extend expiring policies at that point." We, on the other hand, would be surprised if Congress does not manage to pass another substantial fiscal package, especially if we see a "surge" in covid cases into the winter with Democrats claiming that hardships will require another round of stimmies. Not surprisingly, the pieces are all starting to fall into place, with this headline hitting late on Monday: 7-DAY DAILY CASE COVID CASE AVERAGE ROSE 18% FROM WEEK EARLIER This looming deflationary threat is also why anyone who really thinks the Fed will hike rates not once but twice in 2022 - an election year - may want to consider taking it easy on the booze and/or hard drugs. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 20:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

5 ETFs to Binge on This Thanksgiving Week for Solid Gains

According to Bespoke Investment Group, Thanksgiving week has returned modest gains for stocks dating back to 1945. The Thanksgiving week is historically a bullish feast for the U.S. stock market even with low volumes and a holiday-shortened week. Although Americans are expected to spend less this year with expensive holiday meals, U.S. stocks should get a boost from upbeat traveling.The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Index have been hitting record highs ahead of the Thanksgiving week on earnings optimism despite concerns over further increases in price pressure and uncertainty over the Fed's tapering plans (read: 5 Growth ETFs to Tap on an Incredible S&P 500 Rally).Based on the history and strong holiday travel trends, investors could binge on five ETFs such as Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF PBJ, U.S. Global Jets ETF JETS, iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Fund IYT, ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF JRNY and SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF TRYP.Thanksgiving Week Bulls Are Here!According to Bespoke Investment Group, Thanksgiving week has returned modest gains for stocks dating back to 1945. The researchers say that since that point, the entire week of Thanksgiving has averaged a 60-basis-point advance for the S&P 500, with the best returns coming on Wednesday before the holiday and Black Friday, and the only decline on average on Monday at the start of the week.Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, also said the last five trading days of November have been traditionally positive since 1950. There is a two-third likelihood that the market is up the day before Thanksgiving, a 57% likelihood for an increase the day after Thanksgiving, and a 71% likelihood that it’s up on Monday.Consumer confidence is stronger than expected, hiring has been picking up and wages are rising. While inflation is rising at the fastest pace in 30 years, retail sales remain robust. U.S. retail sales in October surged for the third consecutive months and jumped the maximum since March. Americans started to shop early to avoid the shortage of goods due to the ongoing pandemic. A wider reach of vaccinations has also accelerated economic reopening and encouraged the traveling.Weak Spending and Higher CostsA report from LendingTree showed that Americans will spend $391.60, down 18% from 2020. About 47% of Americans plan to host Thanksgiving dinner this year – the highest percentage in three years. Inflation and supply chain interruptions have made holiday meal expensive this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey. The average cost of serving 10 people for Thanksgiving is expected to be $53.31 (or more than $5.00 per person), up 14% from the last year and priciest meal in the survey's 36 years.Upbeat TravelAccording to travel service provider American Automobile Association (AAA), Thanksgiving holiday travel is expected to rebound nearly to pre-pandemic levels. More than 53.4 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 24-Nov 28), up 13% from last year and the highest single-year increase since 2005. Of them, 48.3 million (up 8% from the last year) will go on road trips, 4.2 million (up 80%) will fly, and the remaining 1 million (up 262%) will travel by train, bus or cruise. With the lifting of pandemic restrictions and increasing consumer confidence, travelers remain upbeat when making their travel plans this holiday season (read: Rally in Travel and Tourism ETFs Set to Continue).Notably, a report from the U.S. airlines group, Airlines for America (A4A), shows that 28.5 million passengers will travel during the 12-day Thanksgiving air-travel period, up 3% from 2016. The 2.38 million passengers per day expected to take to the skies represent an increase of 69,000 from the 2016 Thanksgiving travel period. Airlines are accommodating this increase in demand by adding 86,000 more seats in the marketplace each day, up 3.2% over 2016.According to the Transportation Security Administration, about 2 million people a day are projected to fly from Nov 19 through Nov 28, with the potential for some days to exceed that average dramatically. Passenger traffic for the last five days of the period would be just 9% below 2019, before the pandemic hit.ETFs to Shower GainsInvesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF PBJInvesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF offers exposure to 31 stocks that are engaged in the manufacture, sale or distribution of food and beverage products, agricultural products and products related to the development of new food technologies by tracking the Dynamic Food & Beverage Intellidex Index.With AUM of $100.7 million, Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF charges 63 bps in annual fees from investors and sees a light average daily volume of 15,000 shares. PBJ has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read:Buy 5 High-Beta ETFs That Still Offer Value).U.S. Global Jets ETF JETSU.S. Global Jets ETF provides exposure to the global airline industry, including airline operators and manufacturers from all over the world by tracking the U.S. Global Jets Index. The product holds 51 securities and charges 60 bps in annual fees.U.S. Global Jets ETF has gathered $7.1 billion in its asset base while sees a heavy trading volume of nearly 7.1 million shares a day. JETS has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Fund IYTiShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Fund follows the Dow Jones Transportation Average Index and offers exposure to the broad transportation sector. The fund holds a small basket of 48 stocks with railroads, air freight & logistics, trucking and airlines taking the top four spots.iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Fund has accumulated $1.8 billion in its asset base while seeing a good trading volume of around 165,000 shares a day. IYT charges 41 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a High risk outlook (read: Transport ETFs Riding High Post Q3 Earnings).ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF JRNYALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF, which was launched on Sep 7, provides diversified exposure to the global travel industry by tracking the S-Network Global Travel Index. The fund invests in 76 companies engaged in booking and rental agencies, airlines and airport services, hotels, casinos, and cruise lines, along with travel-related companies identified through machine learning algorithms, such as luxury retail, entertainment, leisure, food and beverage, and payment processing vendors.ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF has accumulated $8.4 million in its asset base and charges 65 bps in annual fees. JRNY trades in an average daily volume of 3,000 shares.SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF TRYPSonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF provides exposure to a global portfolio of companies that are focused on what many investors consider to be the “core” of business and leisure travel: the airline, hotel and cruise line industries. It tracks the Solactive Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines Index, holding 60 stocks in its basket.SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF was launched in the space in May and has accumulated $7.6 million in its asset base so far. TRYP trades in an average daily volume of 48,000 shares and charges 75 bps in annual fees. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report iShares U.S. Transportation ETF (IYT): ETF Research Reports U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS): ETF Research Reports Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF (PBJ): ETF Research Reports SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF (TRYP): ETF Research Reports ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF (JRNY): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 22nd, 2021

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Down 0.3% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Shares have lost about 0.3% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Johnson & Johnson due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts. J&J Beats on Q3 Earnings, Misses on Sales, Ups EPS ViewJ&J’s third-quarter 2021 earnings came in at $2.60 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.37. Earnings increased 18.2% from the year-ago period.Adjusted earnings exclude intangible amortization and some other special items. Including these items, J&J reported third-quarter earnings of $1.37 per share, up 3% from the year-ago quarter.Sales came in at $23.3 billion, which slightly missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $23.6 billion. Sales rose 10.7% from the year-ago quarter, reflecting an operational increase of 9.9% and a positive currency impact of 0.8%.Organically, excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, sales rose 10.6% on an operational basis compared with 23.8% increase seen in the previous quarter. Its Pharmaceuticals unit continued to perform above market levels. The Medical Devices segment benefited from an ongoing recovery after its sales were hurt significantly in the early stages of the pandemic. However, the Delta variant impacted procedure volumes and sales in the Medical Devices segment. Sales of the Consumer segment continued to improve.Third-quarter sales in the domestic market rose 7.9% to $11.96 billion. International sales rose 13.8% on a reported basis to $11.38 billion, reflecting an operational increase of 12.1% and a currency impact of 1.7%. Excluding the impact of all acquisitions and divestitures, on an adjusted operational basis, international sales rose 13.5% in the quarter.Segment DetailsPharmaceutical segment sales rose 13.8% year over year to $12.99 billion, reflecting 13.2% operational growth and 0.6% positive currency impact. Excluding the impact of all acquisitions and divestitures, on an operational basis, worldwide sales rose 13.8%.Sales in the domestic market rose 12.2% to $7.2 billion. International sales rose 15.9% to $5.77 billion (operational increase of 14.6%).The sales increase was led by higher penetration and new indications across key products, such as Darzalex and Stelara. Other core products like Invega Sustenna, higher pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) revenues and new drugs, Erleada and Tremfya contributed significantly to sales growth. J&J’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine also contributed to sales growth. However, the sales growth was dampened by generic/biosimilar competition to drugs like Zytiga and Remicade.Imbruvica sales rose 3.5% to $1.07 billion driven by volume growth due to leading market share, which was partially offset by temporary COVID-19 impacts on new patient starts and modest share loss in the United States to new oral competition. Imbruvica’s growth was also negatively impacted by a prior period adjustment in the United States.Darzalex sales rose 43.7% year over year to $1.58 billion in the quarter driven by share gains across all lines of therapy. The company also witnessed increased adoption of the subcutaneous formulation in Europe and United States while global launches continued.Stelara sales grew 22.2% to $2.38 billion in the quarter driven by increased market growth and share gains.PAH revenues of $868 million rose 15.9% year over year, driven by market penetration and share gains for Uptravi and Opsumit.Invega Sustenna/Xeplion/Invega Trinza/Trevicta sales rose 8.5% to $1.0 billion in the quarter due to market and share growth. Simponi/Simponi Aria sales declined 3.3% to $571 million while Prezista sales decreased 1.7% to $517 million.  Xarelto sales rose 0.8% in the quarter to $636 million. Sales of Invokana/Invokamet declined 40.3% to $133 million due to competitive pressure.Among the newer medicines, Erleada generated sales of $344 million in the quarter, up 66.7% year over year driven by global market share gains, especially in the metastatic indication. Tremfya recorded sales of $537 million in the quarter, up 64.1% year over year due to share gains in the psoriasis market and continued penetration into the psoriatic arthritis indication for which approval was received in 2020.Zytiga sales declined 7.2% to $548 million in the quarter due to generic competition. Sales of Procrit/Eprex declined 14.6% to $112 million in the quarter due to biosimilar competition. Sales of Remicade were down 17.4% in the quarter to $761 million. While U.S. sales declined 24.3%, sales in international markets rose 12.2%. U.S. exports declined 40.2%.J&J’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine generated sales of $502 million in the third quarter compared with $164 million in the second quarterJ&J continues to expect its Pharmaceutical business to deliver above-market growth in 2021.Medical Devices segment sales came in at $6.64 billion, up 8% from the year-ago period, reflecting an operational increase of 7% and a positive currency movement of 1%.Excluding the impact of all acquisitions and divestitures, on an operational basis, worldwide sales rose 7.6% driven by continued market recovery from COVID-19 impact. However, J&J saw a sequential step down in procedure volume trends in the third quarter hurt by the Delta variant impact and healthcare staff shortage.Electrophysiology products in Interventional Solutions, wound closure products in General Surgery, surgical vision products and contact lenses in Vision, trauma, hips, and knees in Orthopaedics, and energy, endocutters, and biosurgicals in Advanced Surgery did well in the quarter. However, sales of certain procedures such as spine and knees within Orthopedics were slow to recover as they are more elective in nature.Management noted that despite the declines in global Delta variant cases, there continues to be some hot spots across geographies in the United States, UK, Eastern Europe and Asia. This coupled with medical staffing shortages are constraining procedure volumes.Domestic market sales rose 0.8% year over year to $3.12 billion. International market sales rose 15.4% year over year to $3.53 billion. On an operational basis, international rose 13.3%.In the Medical Devices segment, J&J expects elective procedures to recover in the fourth quarter though the pace of recovery is uncertain.The Consumer segment recorded revenues of $3.7 billion in the reported quarter, up 5.3% year over year, reflecting a 4.1% operational increase and 1.2% positive currency impact.Excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, adjusted operational sales rose 5.7% worldwide, helped by strong growth of OTC products. The sales increase was led by skin health/beauty products like Aveeno and Neutrogena, digestive health products in OTC, upper respiratory products, and Tylenol and Motrin in analgesics. However, external supply constraints and lost sales from the sun aerosol recall hurt sales of the skin health beauty franchise. Oral Care sales declined due to the impact of divestitures and external supply constraints for Listerine in the United States. Baby Care franchise also declined in the quarter due to Asia-Pacific COVID-19 lockdowns and competitive pressure. Wound Care declined due to unfavorable comparisons to prior-year stocking in the United States and competitive pressure in Asia-Pacific.Sales in the domestic market rose 4.5% from the year-ago period to $1.63 billion. The international segment rose 5.9% to $2.08 billion, which included an operational increase of 3.7% and a positive currency impact of 2.2%.In the Consumer segment, J&J expects the strong momentum to continue in the fourth quarter.2021 OutlookJ&J significantly raised its previously issued guidance range for earnings while slightly increasing the lower end of the sales range for 2021. However, the company kept its COVID-19 vaccine sales outlook of $2.5 billion intact.The lower end of the sales range was upped from $93.8 billion-$94.6 billion to $94.1 billion - $94.6 billion. The guidance includes $2.5 billion in revenues from the COVID-19 vaccine. The new range indicates a year-over-year increase of 13.9%-14.5% compared with 13.5%-14.5% expected previously.Excluding revenues from the COVID-19 vaccine, the base business is expected to generate revenues in the range of $91.6 billion to $92.1 billion compared with the previous expectation of $91.3 billion to $92.1 billion.Operational constant-currency sales are expected to increase in the range of 12.4 (including COVID vaccine) compared with 12 previously. Excluding the COVID-19 vaccine, operational constant-currency sales are expected to increase in the range of 9.4.Adjusted operational sales (excluding currency impact, acquisitions/divestitures) are expected to be up 12.9%-13.5% compared with 12.5%-13.5% guided previously. Excluding the COVID-19 vaccine, adjusted operational sales are expected to increase in the range of 9.9%-10.5%.Adjusted earnings per share are expected in the range of $9.77-$9.82 compared with $9.60-$9.70 expected previously. The new range indicates an increase of 21.7%-22.3% compared with the previously expected increase of 19.6%-20.8%. On an operational, constant-currency basis, adjusted earnings per share are expected to increase 20.2%-120.8% (previously 18.4%-19.6%). Currency is expected to benefit EPS by 12 cents per share.Operating margins are expected to improve 200 basis points year over year in 2021.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision.VGM ScoresAt this time, Johnson & Johnson has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Johnson & Johnson has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. 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Category: topSource: zacksNov 18th, 2021