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Weekly Market Update · 02.06.24

Global Stocks Gain on U.S. Rise, China May Report Deflation

U.S. stocks rise as jobs report tops expectations and earnings show momentum. Following a difficult January for Chinese stocks, China expected to report deflation.
  • Markets & Economy
  • Economic Insights & Trends
  • Federal Reserve
  • Market Views
Key Points
What it is
We review how key events from last week affected markets and highlight what could impact markets this week.
Why it matters
The strong jobs market in the U.S. may reduce urgency for the Federal Reserve to cut its policy rate in March.
Where it's going
Caterpillar, Eli Lilly, Disney and Pepsico are scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings this week.

Last Week Review

 

Global equities rose 0.9% last week on the back of a 1.2% gain for the U.S. while non-U.S. stocks were flat. After declining for most of the last week, Treasury yields charged upward last Friday on the heels of a strong U.S. jobs report. The two-year yield rose 0.01% and 10-year yield fell 0.12%. Investment grade bonds returned 0.6%.
 

Fed Casts Doubt on Rate Cut in March

The Federal Reserved maintained its policy rate at last week’s meeting, but the Fed’s Federal Open Markets Committee removed from its statement following the meeting indications of a bias toward increasing rates. Nonetheless, Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted that the Fed wants more confidence that inflation is falling sustainably before cutting rates and he does not think policymakers will reach that level of confidence by March. The Bank of England also kept its policy rate unchanged. The decision included one member voting for a rate cut and two voting for a rate hike. Like the Fed, the Bank of England said they wants to see more progress on inflation before cutting rates.
 

January Jobs Report Tops Expectations

In January, the U.S. added 353,000 jobs, with strong upward prior-month revisions. Wages rose 4.5% year-over-year from a 4.1% increase in December and the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. The strong jobs market argues favorably for continued economic growth, likely reduces the urgency of Fed rate cuts and poses some risk to continued inflation progress. Other economic data was also firm last week, including higher-than-expected manufacturing and eurozone inflation.   
 

Big Tech Earnings Support Sentiment

Five of the so-called companies reported last week. Overall, earnings amongst this group grew at a solid pace, and weekly gains for most of the companies supported broader index returns. Outside of big tech earnings, regional banks garnered a lot of attention. Fears of systemic risk in the commercial property sector rekindled after New York Community Bancorp reported significant losses from its commercial real estate portfolio. The Regional Banking Index suffered the largest single-day decline since Signature Bank (which New York Community Bancorp acquired) collapsed last March.
 

January Results Flat

In January, global stocks gained 0.6% and investment grade fixed income lost 0.3%. Oil stocks (+6%), the U.S. dollar (+2%), and U.S. equities (+1%) produced gains while most other major asset classes were flat-to-down. China equities fell 11%, weighing on the broader emerging markets loss of 4%.

This Week Preview

 

Deflation Expected in China

Estimates show potential deflation of 0.5% year-over-year in China, based on the Consumer Price Index scheduled for release will be released this week. The Producer Price Index also is expected to fall 2.6%. China’s mainland markets will be closed on Friday and the following week for the Lunar New Year.

 

Caterpillar, Disney and Pepsico to Report Fourth Quarter Earnings

Earnings reports scheduled this week include Caterpillar (CAT) on Monday, Eli Lily (LLY) on Tuesday, Disney (DIS) on Wednesday and PepsiCo (PEP) on Friday. For S&P 500 Index companies in the fourth quarter, investors expect sales to rise 3.5% and to gain 1.5%.
 

Source: Bloomberg for data, news developments and schedule of economic releases. Data as of February 4, 2023.

Main Point

Earnings Momentum from So-Called 'Magnificent Seven'

While markets finished flat for January, global stocks gained last week with strong earnings from the so-called “Magnificent Seven” and a U.S. jobs report that topped expectations. The Fed kept rates steady and appeared unlikely to cut its policy rate in March. This week, China is expected to report deflation.

Point of View

Why High Yield Bonds Could Benefit Portfolios in 2024

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