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US Close: Infrastructure Spending, Hawkish Bostic, Another JOLTS record, Dollar stronger

US stocks are mixed as investors widely anticipate the passage of a $550 billion infrastructure package, while concerns grow the slowdown in Asia could feed into greater pricing pressures.  Following a gangbuster nonfarm payroll report that closed out last week, the focus has shifted to Fed speak and pricing pressures.  Overnight, inflation readings from Beijing led to worries that growth forecasts might have been too optimistic for the second half of the year.  Risk appetite may struggle to extend this latest stock market rally since China’s manufacturing sector is barely hovering in expansion territory, delta variant shutdowns remain the biggest short-term risk, and on investor hesitancy to touch Chinese stocks.  On Wednesday, US CPI could show pricing pressures are persisting as bottleneck issues remain.  The selloff in commodities are driving growth concerns as  some investors are turning cautious.

Fed

Fed’s Bostic comments on a potential September taper helped send Treasury yields to fresh session highs.  Bostic stayed true to his hawkish self and voiced his favor of going relatively fast with on tapering and that he could see rate hike late in 2022 if the economy continues to improve.  He mentioned he would not be surprised if yields returned to earlier summer levels.

Fed’s Barkin provided optimistic comments on the economy, noting that demand has not yet been impacted by the delta variant.  He was not as hawkish as Bostic, adding that inflation expectations have been impressively stable.  Barkin said pressure on wages are intense among lower-income levels, which suggests he’s not worried about runaway inflation.

Stocks

The S&P 500 has made 44 record high closes this year, without a significant pullback since November.  If the delta variant continues to lead to more restrictive measures globally, supply chain issues might not go away anytime soon.  The Nasdaq might become the go-to trade this month as Wall Street debates when the Fed will signal tapering and more importantly why the Fed won’t be able to raise interest rates so much.

Jolts

Job openings surged to another fresh record high, a sign that workers hold the cards and will be able to demand higher wages and greater flexibility when it comes to working in the office.  The June JOLTS job openings rose to a series high of 10.1 million, much better than the 9.27 million consensus estimate, and upwardly revised 9.483 million prior reading.  Wage pressures seem more likely and that may help the Fed pull the taper trigger a little sooner.

FX/Treasuries

Treasury yields will likely end the year much higher, but rates may lower on seasonality factors, global growth concerns, and as the Fed remains in ultra-accommodative mode with their elevated QE program and as they drawdown in the Treasury’s cash balance.

The dollar was ripe for a rally given how bearish currency trades were positioned.  While the greenback will have strong support given the rise in Treasury yields, as the market gets closer to the Jackson Hole Symposium it will likely become a choppy trade this month as currency traders refrain from adding massive bets until a clearer picture emerges of how the economy will look beyond peak macro and stimulus.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Ed Moya

Ed Moya [4]

Senior Market Analyst, The Americas at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a senior market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute intermarket analysis, coverage of geopolitical events, central bank policies and market reaction to corporate news. His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business and Sky TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most renowned global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Breitbart, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Ed Moya