Short Term

It’s getting to look a lot like September–for the Fed’s first interest rate cut

It’s getting to look a lot like September–for the Fed’s first interest rate cut

The U.S. economy added 206,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, July 5. That was above the median forecast of 190,000 new jobs in a Bloomberg survey of economists. But even though the June number came in above expectations, the overall message in the data was that the labor market is slowing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised job growth in the prior two months down by 111,000. Average monthly job growth over the last three months slowed to the lowest rate since the start of 2021. And the unemployment rate rose to 4.1%

It’s getting to look a lot like September–for the Fed’s first interest rate cut

Saturday Night Quarterback (on a Monday) says, For the week ahead expect..

There won’t be any stock market reaction to the June jobs report due on Friday That’s because the market closes early on July 3 and stays closed for Friday’s Fourth of July holiday. And not because the report isn’t important as the Federal Reserve continues its search for evidence that the labor market is cooling enough to send inflammation down to the bank’s 2% target. The June report is expected to show that the economy added 188,000 jobs in June.

MU drop shows one market problem at these levels is beating guidance expectations

Micron Technology (MU) shares shares are down another 7.12% today, Thursday, June 27, as of the close in New York time. That’s after the stock fell 6.5% in after hours trading yesterday. The problem wasn’t the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the market close yesterday. For the period ended May 30, Micron earned an adjusted 62 cents a share. Analysts had expected the company to earn 53 cent a share. Revenue was up 82% year-over-year to $6.81 billion. Wall Street was looking for $6.67 billon in revenue. But the very solid beat for the quarter turned out not to matter as far as market reaction was concerned. The problem was guidance.

Is this the best the most bullish can do? A 3% upside for the S&P 500 by the end of the year?

Is this the best the most bullish can do? A 3% upside for the S&P 500 by the end of the year?

On Friday, June 14, Goldman Sachs upped its year-end target for the Standard & Poor’s 500 to 5,600 points from 5,200. The idea closed at 5473 on Monday, June 17, for the 30th record high of 2024. Goldman’s forecast puts the investment company at the same expected price level as UBS Investment Bank and BMO Capital Markets. They’r talking about a roughly 3% gain from here through the end of the year. Three points to consider about the forecast.

CPI inflation slows slightly keeping alive hopes for rate cut in 2024

CPI inflation slows slightly keeping alive hopes for rate cut in 2024

However, as all dedicated inflation watchers know, the Federal Reserve watches the core inflation rate and not the all-items rate. That index, which excludes more volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2% month over month in May, after rising 0.3% month over month in April. The core index rose at a 3.4% rate over the last 12 months. While the dip in core inflation is surely encouraging to the Federal Reserve as it fights to get stubborn inflation down to the central bank’s target 2% rate, today’s data show a continued problem the housing prices. The shelter index–the stand-n for housing prices in this index–increased at a 5.4% annual rate in May. That accounted for over two-thirds of the total 12-month increase in inflation.

It’s getting to look a lot like September–for the Fed’s first interest rate cut

So much for that job market slowdown in May

Employers added 272,000 jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning. That number was well above the 185,000n projected by economists and even higher above the 175,000 in the April report. The financial markets were disappointed with the news since it pushed out the schedule for an initial interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve.A cut a the July 31 Fed meting has now been priced out by the market. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.14% today and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 0.23%

Watch the long-end of the Treasury market–interest rates could be headed up no matter what the Fed does

Saturday Night Quarterback say (on a Memorial Day Sunday), For the week ahead expect…

I expect Wall Street’s last rate cut bulls to get gradually less bullish. With means, expect to see interest rates (and Treasury yields) continue to rise, and the consensus on when the first cut in rates from the Federal Reserve to continue to move later in 2024. This past week economists at Goldman Sachs threw in the towel on their projections for a July interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. The investment company moved its forecast for an initial cut to September.“Earlier this week, we noted that comments from Fed officials suggested that a July cut would likely require not just better inflation numbers but also meaningful signs of softness in the activity or labor market data,” the economists wrote in a note.Goldman Sachs had been one of the last banks on Wall Street betting the Fed would start lowering interest rates in July. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are among the few holdouts still forecasting a July move. Goldman is still predicting two interest rate cuts in 2024. The swaps market now fully prices in a December cut. The odds of a second reduction in 2024 stand at less than 30%, compared with about 70% last week. At the end of 2023, the first Fed cut was expected as early as March.

Odds weaken on a Fed interest rate cut in September

Powell says Slow–as market waits for Wednesday CPI inflation report

Granted that the remarks weren’t delivered at the most high profile venue–a panel discussion at the Foreign Bankers Association meeting in Amsterdam–but I read Federal Reserve chairmen Jerome Powell as saying that the U.S.central bank might hold interest rates steady for longer than now expected by WallStreet. Ahead of new inflation data from the Consumer Price Index for April due tomorrow, anyway. On the day before the meeting economists were expecting the annual inflation rate at both the all-time and core levels to have dropped by 10 or 20 basis in April

Saturday Night Quarterback (on a Sunday) says, For the week ahead expect…

Saturday Night Quarterback (on a Sunday) says, For the week ahead expect…

I expect more inflation news. What else? On Wednesday, May 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its report on Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for April. Even though the CPI isn’t the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure (that’s the Person Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which won’t be released (for April) until May 31), Wall Street is looking for a trend in the CPI report that will point to the inflation rate moving lower convincingly enough so that the U.S. central bank can begin to cut interest rates at its September meeting.