SNAPSHOT: US equity futures are tilting further to the downside, with concerns about inflation and growth at the forefront, ahead of a huge week of central bank events (YM -2.0%, ES -2.6%, RTY -2.7%, NQ -3.3%). Treasuries are bear-flattening, continuing the sell-off, with yields up by between 6-18bps across the curve, with most of this underperformance being felt in the short-end. The 2s10s part of the curve inverted again this morning, which many have argued is a signal of a future recession.
” … God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. Genesis 41:28-30
COMMENT: It has been a grim weekend of news on almost every front. While incremental updates have been minimal, reports in wake of the hot US CPI data for May note that prices pressures are prevalent almost everywhere (except lumber, which is being smashed by diminished housing demand), the housing market faces risks of a sharp downturn, US gasoline prices are picking up to new highs as the driving season gets underway. Geopolitics continues to remain tense, with China’s language around Taiwan becoming increasingly bellicose, Ukraine is potentially facing a shortage of ammunition amid fears that Russia could take control of the entire Luhansk region within a few weeks.
Let’s not forget COVID: while most of the world is moving on (and the demand recovery is stoking prices in travel and leisure sectors), China’s Beijing city is undergoing “ferocious” testing amid outbreaks – China has been trigger-happy with shutting regions down amid outbreaks, leaving downside risks to already lowered growth expectations for the country, which in turn has the potential to weigh on global activity too.
Domestically, these themes are taking their toll on the administration; the NYT says that dozens of frustrated Democrats are expressing doubts about President Biden’s ability to rescue his party and take the fight to Republicans, and The Hill reports that Democrats could be on track to experience a historic rout worse than 1994 or 2010 at the upcoming midterm elections in November.
EQUITY VALUATIONS: In terms of the knock-on for stocks, Morgan Stanley strategist Wilson, whose bearish S&P 500 PT of 3,400 has recently been garnering much attention, argues that growth risks are still not fully priced in.
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