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Investors on guard as surging stocks fade ahead of data deluge

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(Bloomberg) — It’s hard to blame any stock market investor for being confused right now.

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The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 are coming off their best weeks in a month. But with the way Friday ended, it’s hard to be optimistic. Where the market goes from here likely lies in a batch of economic data coming in over the next couple of days.

Traders are closely watching the consumer price numbers due out on Thursday as they will be key to determining whether the Federal Reserve moves forward with another 75 basis point rate hike at its next meeting in early November. Indeed, further acceleration in prices could increase the urgency to extend huge interest rate hikes beyond this year.

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“It’s a very confusing time right now for investors, even more so than this entire year,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Global Investments. “Sentiments are the worst ever, so we were ready to pop. But we still have a very tight labor market and strong wage growth complicating investors’ hopes of a Fed pivot. It’s a huge week with earnings season kicking off and inflation data will be crucial again.”

Read: US jobs rise while unemployment falls, keeping pressure on the Fed

The consumer price index is expected to rise 8.1% in September from a year earlier, versus 8.3% in August, according to economists polled by Bloomberg. Core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy components, is expected to rise 6.5% y/y and fall to 0.4% m/m.

Moreover, the minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting arrive on Wednesday and may provide further insight into the central bank’s aggressive efforts to fight inflation. A key gauge of US producer prices is due on Wednesday, followed by the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer inflation forecast on Friday.

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flip flop

It’s no secret that the market is very sensitive to high inflation at the moment. The trading sessions this year when consumer inflation reports came out were brutal, with the S&P 500 down seven times from nine. Many investors, however, have fresh memories of the last inflation figure on September 13, which came in more than expected, sending the S&P 500 down 4.3%. It was the worst CPI session since March 2020, and the worst since 2011.

“This year we’ve had this absolute obsession with the inflation number,” said Matt Malley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “The biggest worry is – regardless of the inflation report next week, investors are still worried about higher inflation. Most people on Wall Street are pretty sure we’re going to have a recession, and if inflation stays flat, it won’t be good enough anymore.”

technology wreck

Semiconductor stocks, in particular, may face more pressure after being battered on Friday after disappointing earnings results from Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker reported its first profit decline since 2019, raising further concerns. On the strength of corporate earnings in America and margin-slashing inflation. pressures.

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The Philadelphia Stock Exchange’s semiconductor index fell 6.1% after Samsung’s results came in and Advanced Micro Devices Inc’s preliminary third-quarter sales beat expectations by more than $1 billion. The index, which includes chip giants such as Nvidia Corp., fell. and Micron Technology Inc. and AMD, up 40% in 2022.

Flow width

Investors are rushing out of US stocks, and most other risky assets, in search of safety with the prospect of a recession on the horizon. Equity funds have posted sporadic outflows this year with the emergence of a bear market. Since the start of 2022, US stocks have recorded inflows in 21 of 39 weeks, or 54%. That’s down from 58% of the weeks in 2021, and 48% of the weeks in 2020, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data.

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The dollar is falling as investors increased bets on a slowdown in the Fed’s interest rate hike

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The dollar was sold off on Thursday after a closely watched measure of inflation came in lower than expected and Jay Powell’s speech sparked hopes that the Federal Reserve will soon slow rate hikes.

And the dollar scale fell against six of its peers by 0.7 percent in afternoon trading in New York. The pound jumped 1.5 percent to $1.224, with the euro up 0.8 percent and the Japanese yen up 1.7 percent.

The dollar’s decline on Thursday is the latest sign of a shift in market expectations for the path of higher Fed interest rates – an issue that has gripped global markets this year.

A report in mid-November showed that U.S. inflation fell in October to its lowest rate since January, boosting hopes that the central bank will slow its increases in borrowing costs after raising them from essentially zero at the start of 2022 to a range of 3.75 to 3.75 to. 4 percent.

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“The market has taken the view that inflation is already a thing of the past, that the Fed will turn into a pivot very soon and that rate hikes will decrease from December onwards,” said Didier Rabato, head of equities at Lombard-Odier Investment Management.

Powell reinforced speculation that the Fed will take a more dovish approach with a speech late Wednesday in which he said, “The time to adjust the pace of interest rate increases may come as soon as we meet in December.” Thursday’s bilateral reports reinforced the view that inflation in the US may finally slow.

US core personal consumption expenditures, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, rose 0.2 percent in October from the previous month, according to data from the Commerce Department. Wall Street had expected an increase of 0.3 percent.

A separate survey from the Institute for Supply Management showed that cost pressures in the US manufacturing industry are falling at the fastest pace since 2020.

“What we’re seeing in the US are some serious drivers of inflation disappearing, and food, gas and property prices seem to have peaked,” Rabato said.

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Trading in the futures market shows that investors now expect the Fed to raise its key interest rate to about 4.9 percent in June next year, from an expectation of 5 percent at the start of this week and a high of 5.14 percent in early November. .

US government bonds rose strongly on Thursday as Powell’s more dovish messages leaked into the fixed income markets. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes decreased 0.13 percentage point to 3.57 percent.

In stocks, the US Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.3 percent after recording its first consecutive monthly gains since 2021. The Nasdaq Composite fell by almost the same margin, while the pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.9 percent.

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Coca-Cola is ‘fully’ compliant with SEC supplier emissions regulations — after controversy with some details

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One of the most controversial issues in corporate environmental impact reporting is called environmental impact reporting required by federal law Scope 3 emissions: those of third parties in the company’s supply chain.

For a company like Coca-Cola — the world’s largest polluter of plastic, according to A 2020 Report – This will include the carbon emissions from the suppliers you use to make their plastic soda bottles.

It is a hotly contested topic because companies feel they should not be held accountable for the decisions of others, while climate activists and regulators say that without assessing the entire supply chain, it is difficult Reducing global emissions by 45% by 2030.

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On Wednesday, o’clock luckImpact Initiative Conference in Atlanta, luck Executive Editor Peter Vanham spoke to The Coca-Cola Company’s President of Communications, Sustainability and Strategic Partnership Pia Perez, and Christina White, Deputy General Counsel at carbon accounting firm Persephone. Prior to her current role, Wyatt was a senior counsel with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where she helped craft its proposal Climate reporting regulations.

The reason for these proposed federal rules, White says, is that investors wanted “consistent and comparable information” about the company’s climate initiatives — or lack thereof. They wanted it to be in a format that allowed comparisons between companies to better gauge climate-related investment risks or opportunities. She added that the companies themselves welcomed the regulations as well because they did For a long time Clear guidance on what to disclose and how.

However, in June’s The Business Roundtable, a pressure group made up of CEOs – to which Coca-Cola belongs – sent message to the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting that it review the Scope Measurement Requirements 3.

Perez explained that when Coca Cola signed the letter, he wasn’t against including Scope 3 emissions per se, just against the all-supplier requirements. She says some of the company’s suppliers are small, family-owned businesses that would not be able to make the investments needed to comply and risk going out of business.

(Disclosure: I used to be a PepsiCo employee, one of Coca-Cola’s largest competitors).

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“It’s about making sure that we look at fairness and consistency, as well as the lead time,” Perez says. “So we are fully in favor of disclosure.”

However, White countered that under the SEC’s proposed regulations, it would be “entirely acceptable” for smaller suppliers to use industry standard emissions standards as they develop the capabilities to measure them themselves. It was a sentiment echoed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said the plan would include a “phase period for Band 3 emissions,” according to one of the agencies. statement.

Coca-Cola’s current climate targets

The Coca-Cola Company already makes voluntary disclosures about its climate impact based on Science-based goals The initiative, which independently checks the company’s progress against its goals. that it current target is to cut total greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030, according to the 2015 standard. The company also has an “ambition” of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which Perez was quick to define as “not a goal”.

Perez expressed that in her ideal world, the SEC’s guidelines for environmental reporting requirements for companies would be based on one of the reporting methods currently developed and used by companies. “If I could wave a magic wand, I’d like the SEC to adopt one of these existing frameworks that many companies already fill out,” she says.

White was more lukewarm about the possibility of adopting a set of guidelines from corporate actors rather than a regulatory agency. Her prediction: “The SEC will move to adopt the rules you proposed.”

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Wyatt hopes climate reporting guidelines will be adopted and become part of the normal reporting process that public companies already go through.

“Eventually this will become like financial reporting,” White says. “Just a standard.”

The new Impact Report weekly newsletter will examine how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s CEOs – and how they can better overcome these challenges. Subscribe here.

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Core PCE prices in the US rose less than expected; spending gains

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(Bloomberg) — A key measure of U.S. consumer prices posted its second-smallest increase this year while spending accelerated, offering hope that the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes will curb inflation without sparking a recession.

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Commerce Department data on Thursday showed that the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, which Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stressed this week is a more accurate measure of inflationary sentiment, rose less than expected by 0.2% in October from the previous month.

Compared to a year earlier, the gauge rose 5%, which is down from an upwardly revised 5.2% increase in September.

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The overall personal consumption expenditures price index rose 0.3% for the third month and was up 6% from a year ago, still well above the central bank’s target of 2%.

Personal spending, adjusted for changes in prices, rose 0.5% in October, the most since the start of the year and largely reflecting a rise in spending on goods.

Similar to last month’s CPI data, the report shows that while inflation has begun to ease, it is still very high. While a slowdown is certainly welcome, Powell stressed on Wednesday that the US is far from price stability and that it will take “significantly more evidence” to provide comfort that inflation is in fact declining.

Policymakers are expected to continue raising interest rates next year, albeit at a slower pace, and remain on hold for some time.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a 0.3% monthly increase in the core PCE price index and a 0.4% advance in the overall measure. The S&P 500 rose, the dollar fell, and 10-year Treasury yields fluctuated.

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What Bloomberg tells the economy…

The larger-than-expected slowdown in PCE prices in October adds to the case for a gradual increase in the pace of rate hikes at the upcoming FOMC meetings. However, there was strength elsewhere: Consumer spending started the fourth quarter at a strong clip, gains in wage income remained strong, and government distributions of refundable tax credits — which boosted income — likely just aren’t a one-off.”

Andrew Hesby and Eliza Winger, economists

For the full note, click here.

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Supported by a flexible labor market and continued wage increases, the pick-up in household spending points to a strong start for GDP in the fourth quarter.

Inflation-adjusted expenditures for goods jumped 1.1% in October, driven by new vehicle purchases. Spending on services rose 0.2%, supported by expenditures on health care, food services, accommodation, housing and utilities.

However, it is unclear whether consumers will be able to maintain this momentum in 2023.

With inflation continuing to outpace wage gains, many families are relying on savings, stimulus checks from some state governments, and credit cards to keep spending. There is growing concern that tight monetary policy will push the US economy into recession.

Low savings rate

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The Commerce Department report showed that the savings rate fell to 2.3% in October, the lowest level since 2005.

Inflation-adjusted disposable income rose 0.4%, the largest rise in three months. Non-price wages and salaries increased by 0.5%. The report also noted that one-time payments issued by countries boosted income in October.

Continued wage gains, particularly in the service sectors, could keep inflation consistently above the Fed’s target for a long time, underscoring the importance of the labor market to the Fed’s decision-making in the months ahead.

A measure of core services inflation that excludes housing and energy, Powell said on Wednesday “may be the most important category for understanding the future development of core inflation,” which was revised in October from the previous month.

Data released on Friday is expected to show that employers added another 200,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate remained at a historically low level of 3.7%.

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— with assistance from Matthew Boesler and Kristy Scheuble.

(Adds Market Open, comment from Bloomberg Economics)

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