Volatile session, US service PMIs plunge, housing keeps on cooling, bitcoin rises

US stocks edged lower after a wrath of weakening economic data and after Macy’s wasn’t that pessimistic about the consumer. Financial markets will remain in choppy waters until Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech on Friday. He may struggle to convince markets that he is comfortable with tightening policy and triggering a recession. The economy is clearly slowing but it is still too early for the Fed to signal that they will be less aggressive with tightening policy.

US data

The August flash PMI readings came in well below market expectations, which has revived US growth concerns. Manufacturing activity weekend more than expected, while the services PMI plunged. The US economy is clearly slowing, but today’s PMI data suggests it could be weakening a lot faster than anyone was expecting. The services measure fell to 44.1, the worst reading since May 2020. The employment component also weakened but still remains an expansion territory. The labor market still looks strong but Corporate America seems positioned for layoffs early next year.

New home sales data plunged in July, confirming the cooling of the housing market. ​ A surge in supply will keep the downward trajectory for all housing data going forward. ​ The housing market will continue to cool as the consumer will continue to weaken, borrowing costs will remain elevated, and after inventories reached the highest levels since April 2009.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s correlation to US equities remains elevated and that probably won’t change for a while. ​ Bitcoin is rebounding slightly alongside US equities after US data raises the chances Fed Chair Powell may deliver a dovish surprise. Big Wall Street money was targeting a major move lower for stocks and that has been weighing on bitcoin.

Given the ugly economic data that has been dropping, there is a chance that if we get a dovish Powell, the crypto winter could be over. The base case for Jackson Hole still leans towards the hawkish side, as Powell will signal the Fed can continue to tighten even as the economy weakens.

If bitcoin holds the $20,000 level this week, that would be very constructive and could open the door to test the $25,000 region. ​

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

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