Site icon JoshWho News – Replace Drudge

Futures Rise On Expectations For A Post-Midterm Rally

US equity futures rose as bond yields dipped as Americans headed to the polls on Tuesday for midterm elections where Republicans are expected to gain as many as 75 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate, while traders were also bracing for a key CPI print later this week. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.5% by 7:30 a.m. in New York, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% to trade at 3,820 and above a key CTA threshold level (as Goldman notes overnight “CTA short term momentum flipped from negative to positive w/ the close north of 3804”). The US Dollar was little changed as was the yield on the 10-year Treasury after rising for the past four days.

Among notable movers in premarket trading, NVidia climbed in early New York trading as it began producing a processor for China. Bitcoin tumbled as part of a crypto selloff trigged by the growing Binance-FTX feud. Lyft plunged 20%, on track to hit their lowest level on record. The ride-sharing company’s 3Q results appear to confirm it is losing market share to rival Uber and raise questions on its outlook in 4Q and beyond, analysts say. TripAdvisor shares also cratered after the online travel agency issued a disappointing fourth-quarter forecast. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. fell 18% and was set for its biggest drop in 13 years after the video-game developer’s results showed weakness in its mobile business, which drove a cut to its bookings guidance. Lordstown Motors, on the other hand, surged after the EV maker struck a deal to sell a $170 million stake to Foxconn and give two board seats to its manufacturing partner, boosting investor confidence over its prospects.

Investors will be closely monitoring the outcome of the midterm vote while the CPI reading will be significant in assessing the impact of Fed hikes on inflation. President Joe Biden acknowledged that Democrats face a “tougher” challenge holding the House than the US Senate. Polls pointing to Republicans winning at least one chamber of Congress provide a potential catalyst for lower bond yields and higher equity prices, according to Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson, who said that a “clean sweep” by the Republicans could greatly increase the chance of fiscal spending being frozen and historically high budget deficits being reduced, fueling a rally in 10-year Treasuries that can keep the equity market rising.

“The US debt burden could stop the Democrats from putting in place many economic reforms that they would’ve otherwise, if Republicans are sufficiently crowded to block them moving forward,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, wrote in a note. “Hence, slowing debt under GOP could slow growth.”

That said, sentiment has improved in recent days, and major equity markets aren’t likely to see “another big leg down” as a lot of the bad news seems to be priced in, according to Altaf Kassam, head of EMEA investment strategy and research at State Street Global Advisors.  The Fed is likely to shift away from rate increases after the effects of hikes start showing up, especially in the second half of next year, he said. “Equity markets have already kind of started to anticipate that, so if you are patient you might miss out on the beginning of a rally, but that’s when we think it’s going to happen,” he told Bloomberg TV.

Tuesday’s two-way moves in Treasuries, however, underscored the fragile sentiment in markets where the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening remains the biggest headwind. Thursday’s consumer-price-index data will offer the next cue for traders even as money markets are raising their peak-rate wagers.  The inflation reading is coming after the core consumer price index rose more than forecast to a 40-year high in September. Even if prices begin to moderate, the CPI is far above the Fed’s comfort zone.

“Inflation is going up. It may be coming down periodically. But it’s going up,” Richard Harris, chief executive of Port Shelter Investment Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “The market is kind of uncertain — it’s hoping for the best but really should be preparing for the worst.”

In Europe, tech, telecoms and utilities are the strongest performing sectors while energy and miners lag. Euro Stoxx 50 is little changed. FTSE 100 lags peers, dropping 0.2%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

Asian stocks also rose amid investor optimism that the potential outcome of the US midterm elections could be good for equities. Chinese shares, meanwhile, pulled back after a two-day rally as pandemic concerns flared once again.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.8%, poised for a third day of gains, driven by technology stocks. Benchmarks in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan led gains, while Indian markets were closed for a holiday.

China’s Covid cases surged by the most since April, halting a recent rally in the Hong Kong and mainland markets. Chinese shares had been rising on growing hopes for an eventual reopening even as health officials reiterated a strict adherence to Covid Zero policy. The market is also wagering that a US Congress split between Democrats and Republicans could be good for stocks. A post-election rally will provide some respite for investors amid concerns over the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy tightening. “Gridlock cross-checks each party’s ‘worst impulses,’ and less activist fiscal policy is conducive to lower market volatility,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, wrote in a note. “That could be particularly helpful in 2022 and 2023 to the extent it calms rates volatility.”

Japanese equities climbed for a second day, following US peers higher as investors awaited the outcome of US midterm elections and further direction on Federal Reserve policy. The Topix rose 1.2% to close at 1,957.56, while the Nikkei advanced 1.3% to 27,872.11. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 3.3%. Out of 2,165 stocks in the index, 1,662 rose and 410 fell, while 93 were unchanged. “Japanese stocks followed the gain in overseas stocks,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “There seems to be more buybacks after the release of employment statistics that investors were originally cautious about.”

In FX, the dollar consolidates and is marginally firmer against most majors; the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index swung between gains and losses after touching a seven-week low. The greenback advanced against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen.

In rates, fixed income trading was fairly muted; Treasury yields are flip to slightly cheaper on the day, follow wider drop in bunds after Germany plans to more than double the 2023 net debt to €45 billion. US 10-year yields back up to around 4.22%, cheaper by less than 1bp on the day while bunds underperform by 2bp in the sector as bund futures test session lows

In commodities, WTI falls 1.2% to near $90.73. Spot gold falls roughly $5 to trade near $1,671/oz.  Oil futures are softer intraday as DXY picked up overnight and in early European trade, whilst China’s COVID woes remain a grey cloud for the complex, with daily new cases in China rising to a six-month high for Sunday. Spot gold moves in tandem with the Buck and oscillates on either side of its 50 DMA at USD 1,672/oz today in the run-up to the midterms. Base metals are mixed with LME copper trading with mild gains just under the USD 8,000/t mark.

To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the US midterm elections. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Nagel and Wunsch, as well as BoE chief economist Pill. Otherwise, data releases include Euro Area retail sales for September, and earnings releases include Disney.

Market Snapshot

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

APAC stocks were mixed as the region only partially sustained the early momentum seen following the positive handover from Wall St with Chinese stocks pressured overnight as infections continued to rise. ASX 200 traded marginally higher with the index kept afloat by strength in the top-weighted financial industry and gains in consumer-related sectors. Nikkei 225 was firmer and edged closer to the 28,000 level as participants digested earnings releases and shrugged off mixed household spending data although Average Cash Earnings accelerated. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were subdued despite the reopening rumours which officials pushed back against, while the number of daily new infections continued to climb from 6-month highs.

Top Asian News

Major bourses in Europe portray a mixed picture with no clear conviction seen heading into the US mid-term elections. Sectors are mostly firmer (vs a mostly lower open) with Tech leading the charge with additional help from declining bond yields. Energy and Basic Resources sit as the sectoral laggards amid declines in underlying commodity prices. US equity futures post mild gains but with price action contained; ES +0.1%.

Top European News


Fixed Income



US Event Calendar

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It’s been a long two years, but today we’ve finally arrived at the US midterm elections, which is clearly the most important political milestone between the presidential elections. I have my own electoral success story to report as my 7-year old daughter Maisie was voted onto her school council on Friday. I asked her what platform she stood on. She said that she campaigned on having more homework and that the school should have a pet fish. In case you think she’s a swot, nothing can be further from the truth. Getting her to do homework is the most stressful part of every weekend and often brings floods of tears. Maisie cries too. How she got elected on that mandate is beyond me. Maybe the others stood on bringing back corporal punishment!

On to weightier matters, as a reminder for our non-US readers, today will see every seat in the US House of Representatives (the lower chamber) up for grabs, along with a third of the seats in the Senate (the upper chamber), on top of the governorships in 36 of the 50 US states. And when it comes to markets, it’s no exaggeration to say that midterm elections are one of the best historic buy signals for equities we have. In fact, in the 19 midterm elections since WWII, the S&P 500 has always been higher one year after the vote. Whether any of those cycles had to contend with the macro tsunami that’s coming in the next 12 months is a moot point but it shows the underlying technicals.

Currently the Democrats control both chambers in Congress, but by the narrowest of margins. The Senate is currently split 50-50 their way thanks to the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Harris, so the Republicans only need a net gain of one to win the majority there. Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, it was split 222-213 to the Democrats in the 2020 election, meaning the Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to take control.

In terms of what’s expected to happen, most forecasters think that the Republicans are likely to win control of the House of Representatives. For instance, FiveThirtyEight’s model gives them an 83% chance of the majority, and Politico’s forecast puts it as “Likely Republican”. In the Senate however, the Republicans are generally seen as having a weaker chance, with FiveThirtyEight’s model giving them a smaller 55% chance of the majority, and Politico’s forecast leaving it as a “Toss-Up”. Part of the reason why the Republicans have a much weaker chance in the Senate relative to the House is because only a third of the Senate is up for election, and most of the seats up for grabs are ones already held by the Republicans, which limits their scope to make net gains from the Democrats.

If the Republicans do end up retaking control of either chamber in Congress (or both), the result will likely be legislative gridlock for the next two years, and our US economists do not see any major legislation on economic policy ahead of the 2024 election in this circumstance. Remember that President Biden will still have a veto on legislation, and the Republicans will not have the two-thirds majority in both houses required to override a veto (it’s mathematically impossible in the Senate where only a third of seats are up for grabs). If there is divided government however, one area we might see more action again is the debt ceiling, since there’s a chance that a Republican-controlled Congress use the need to raise the ceiling as leverage to get some of their policy priorities through. See Henry’s piece (here) from yesterday for more on that.

When it comes to the results, it could be some time before we know the full picture. In fact, for the Georgia Senate race, state law requires the candidate to win over 50% of the vote to win, so if nobody does today then the top two will go to a runoff on December 6, meaning it could theoretically be another month before we find out who controls the Senate if it does hinge on that race like last time. Even absent any runoffs, it’s also possible that it takes some days anyway. Last time at the presidential election, it wasn’t until the Saturday after the Tuesday that we had final confirmation of Biden’s victory.

Whatever ends up happening today, there’ll be plenty of extrapolation onto the 2024 presidential election from the results. However, it’s important to remember that 2 years is also a very long time in politics and a number of presidents have come back from very bad midterm results to win re-election. Indeed, the last two Democrats in the White House (Presidents Obama and Clinton) both suffered major midterm losses before coming back to win re-election. So be cautious in saying anything is inevitable!

Ahead of the midterms there were some familiar themes in markets, with yields on 2yr US Treasuries up +6.3bps to a post-2007 high of 4.72%, whilst the 10yr yield was up +5.5bps to 4.21% (4.23% in Asia). Those moves were driven pretty much entirely by higher inflation breakevens rather than real rates, and came as Brent crude oil prices traded closer to $100/bbl than at any point since August, intraday, before falling into the close to finish the day slightly lower at -0.66%. The trend towards higher sovereign bond yields was evident in Europe too, where yields on 10yr bunds (+4.9bps), OATs (+3.3bps) and gilts (+7.6bps) all rose on the day.

Whilst there was a clear trend in rates, for equities it was a pretty choppy session, with the S&P 500 fluctuating between gains and losses to eventually post a very healthy gain of +0.97%. Cyclical stocks led the way while defensives like Utilities were stark underperformers, falling -1.94%. The Nasdaq advanced for the second straight day for the first time in November, climbing +0.85%. Meanwhile in Europe, the major indices mostly rose, with the STOXX 600 (+0.33%) hitting a 7-week high, but the FTSE 100 (-0.48%) lagged behind amidst a +1.19% rebound in sterling.

Asian stock markets are mixed this morning with the Nikkei (+1.42%) sharply higher, notching an 8-week high. The KOSPI (+0.98%) is also trading in positive territory. In China, the Shanghai Composite (-0.52%) and the CSI (-0.75%) are losing ground with the Hang Seng (-0.04%) struggling to gain traction as the speculation about China’s reopening continues to add market volatility. US stock futures tied to the S&P 500 (-0.09%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.09%) remain rangebound at the time of writing.

We have data from Japan showing that household spending rose +2.3% y/y in September coming in slightly lower than market expectations of a +2.6% increase (v/s a +5.1% gain in August). However, household consumption faces increasing inflationary pressures because of a weaker yen with real wages (adjusted for inflation) falling -1.3% y/y in September (v/s -1.8% expected), its sixth-consecutive decline. This was less than August’s -1.7% drop.

From the Bank of Japan, the Summary of Opinions released overnight showed that policymakers debated the future exit from ultra-low interest rates and its impact on financial markets amid rising prices. According to the summary, some board members argued that the cost-driven inflationary pressures are broadening with one member stressing that a “big overshoot of inflation cannot be ruled out”.

There wasn’t much data of note yesterday, with German industrial production rising by a faster-than-expected +0.6% in September (vs. +0.1% expected). However, the previous month’s contraction was revised to show a worse performance than before.

To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the US midterm elections. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Nagel and Wunsch, as well as BoE chief economist Pill. Otherwise, data releases include Euro Area retail sales for September, and earnings releases include Disney.

Exit mobile version