US stocks go on rollercoaster ride
A busy morning on Wall Street delivered a rollercoaster ride that saw economic growth concerns tentatively send the 10-year Treasury yields to the lowest level since February. The deterioration to the short-term outlook was somewhat overdone given the ADP report has not been a consistent indicator of how well the private sector performs in the nonfarm payroll report. A record ISM Service index, with a robust improvement with the employment component and as prices paid surged to the highest level since 2005. Fed Vice Chair Clarida prepared statement on the economy shows he is nervous over inflation and that rate liftoff in 2023 is consistent with the Fed’s new framework. The Fed’s Bullard also delivered another round of hawkishness, noting that inflation may persist more than some expect and that they could finish tapering by the end of the first quarter.
The rally in Treasuries abruptly ended after a ‘one-two punch’ from a hawkish Fed Vice Chair Clarida and an impressive ISM services report. The dollar was boosted after the 10-year Treasury skyrocketed from the session low of 1.13% to 1.20%.
US stocks tumbled after Fed Vice Chair Clarida’s hawkish comments reopened the door for a possible taper announcement at the Jackson Hole Symposium at the end of the month.
The Treasury kept the refunding auction sizes the same as the prior quarter but signaled they could reduce government debt issuance as soon as November. Given the uncertainty over the debt limit, the Treasury stated, they are “not able to currently provide a specific estimate of how long extraordinary measures will last.”
The big miss with the ADP raised concerns that the delta variant is having a bigger impact on the economy. Private companies only added 330,000 jobs in July, a huge miss of the 683,000 estimate, and downwardly revised prior reading of 680,000. It is peak summer vacation time and leisure and hospitality only saw 139,000 jobs gained. The labor market recovery is extremely uneven and suggests the economy continues to struggle in matching individuals up with the current job vacancies.
A favorable seasonal factor could be in play for Friday’s report, so investors should not be stunned if the private payrolls portion of the NFP report does come near the 718,000 estimate.
The ISM Services Index report erased traders’ earlier memory of a disappointing ADP report. The service sector rallied to the highest level since 1997, employment surged, and prices paid rose to the highest level since 2005. This report supports a taper announcement at Jackson Hole, which makes Friday’s nonfarm payroll the most important economic data point of the month.
Robinhood investors are rejoicing as meme stock mania returns. A disappointing trading debut last week has been followed by big endorsements from Cathy Wood’s Ark Invest and massive retail bets that sent Robinhood shares as high as 81%. This fervor won’t last much longer, but did provide a special opportunity for Robinhood early investors as all the other meme stocks are not having a good day. We’ve seen this movie before and this pump and dump of Robinhood will not end well for many traders. Robinhood’s revenue streams will come into question once the government applies rules to payment of order flow.
Bitcoin is rallying after SEC Chair Gensler’s interview on CNBC outlined his logic in bringing regulation towards trading and lending platforms. Gensler is not looking to shut down bitcoin but provide a better environment for investors and the technology. Bitcoin was unfazed by the volatility in the bond market and that should prove to be supportive for prices long-term as the steepening of the curve accelerates.
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