Weekly market Recap – January 11th

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Not sure who the bigger baby is!

  • Wall Street fears recession and markets cannot move higher until the Fed gets more dovish. Until then, expect more temper tantrums.

  • Washington Republicans took 15 rounds of voting to elect a speaker, the first time in a century this has happened.

The Rally Explained:

  • Markets were soft all week except for Friday’s massive rally. This was primarily due to hawkish Fed minutes on Wednesday combined with solid employment data (good employment data = more Fed tightening for longer).

  • However, Friday average hourly earnings came in softer (showing lower wage growth), and ISM services PMI (a leading indicator) fell sharply below 50.

  • This implied a rapid softening in the economy that has not quite caught up to employment (a lagging indicator).

This Week on the Economic Calendar:

  • CPI will potentially be the largest market-moving event. For the past several months, this has been the one data point that the market is extremely focused on.
  • When Powell speaks on Tuesday, there is a good chance he will either know the number or have a good idea of what it will be. His language may prove to be a precursor.
  • The Industrial sector is potentially looking at a multi-year breakout after it pulled back in 2002.

  • We may look to these long-forgotten names to replace tech as the leader of 2023 should this move continue

The Case for Real Global Diversification:

  • Although markets are often corelated during major downturns, investing in other regions combined can offer some protection in normal circumstances. This 4-month snapshot illustrates this well.

  • Global markets (ex US and Canada) and China have significantly outperformed the US and Brazil since the last quarter of 2022.

Investment Grade Euro Bonds Off to a Record Start:

  • As fears in Europe slowly begin to subside, European corporate debt, (particularly Investment grade), have posted its best start to the year ever.

  • A drop in government bond yields has spurred the early rally, after the lower-than- expected euro-area inflation figures and cooling of US economic activity suggested central banks will pare back their fight against rising consumer prices.

Becoming Less Dependent and More Balanced with China, hopefully not temporarily.

  • The US merchandise trade deficit with China narrowed to a two-year low as American imports of Chinese goods plunged.

  • Covid lockdowns and protesting in China, combined with elevated inflation in the US limiting spending on imports, both contributed to an $8 billion decease in imports.

Regarding the Narrowing Trade Gap, We Shouldn’t Count on It:

  •  China’s government has significantly reduced their “zero covid” stance, and the markets reacted extremely favorably.
  • As lockdowns ease, we can expect further strength in global Chinese companies and a widening of the US trade gap between the two largest economies.

Americans are spending way too much on their new cars

  • The amount of money people are spending on monthly care payments has increased by 50% since 2010.

  • Almost 16% of consumers who financed a new vehicle in the past three months agreed to at least $1,000 per month.

  • Although consumer credit card debt is increasing, their investments remain solid for now.

  • If consumers manage their debt and employment remains robust, corporate profits could have a better first half of the year than expected, despite the Fed’s target unemployment of 4.30% from the current 3.50%.