Next week promises any debt deal relief may prove short-lived with jobs report, Fed decision looming
As signs in Washington point to an eventual agreement on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, the thinking on Wall Street is that any euphoria from such a deal may have already happened, or will prove short-lived over next week’s holiday-shortened, four trading days. Similarly, once the immediate euphoria surrounding Nvidia’s knockout second-quarter forecast and enthusiasm over all things artificial intelligence-related dies down, attention will turn to next Friday’s reading on nonfarm payrolls for the month of May (the estimate compiled by Dow Jones sees 188,000 new jobs), the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting on June 13-14 and the nagging fact that so many stocks are failing to launch. The latest fear in trading rooms is that the economy has proven so resilient lately, with inflation only slowly edging lower, that the Fed may lift rates another quarter point, if not at the June meeting, then at the following one on July 25-26. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model estimate for second-quarter real gross domestic product growth most recently stood at 1.9%, while the CME FedWatch Tool late on Friday showed almost a 67% chance the Fed will hike by another quarter point in June and lift the fed funds rate to 5.25% to 5.50%. There is even a 25% chance that the rate is 5.50% to 5.75% by the end of the July meeting, per the CME. Some of the move could be linked to sentiment related to debt ceiling discussions. Topping it all off, June is typically a lousy month for stocks in any case, no matter the machinations in Washington or the divining of Fed tea leaves. “The reason that June is usually a weak market is due to the fact that we are through first-quarter earnings season, which means companies are relatively quiet, which leaves investors dependent on mostly political news, which is usually a risk for the market,” said Jay Hatfield, CEO at Infrastructure Capital Management. “The overhangs on the market this year [are] the debt ceiling negotiation, hawkish Fed commentary and a banking crisis. It appears we are going to get a debt ceiling deal over the weekend, which should help the market to stabilize.” The problem for many on the Street is that the action in the S & P 500 Tech Index (up more than 5% this week), the Nasdaq Composite (ahead about 2.5%) and the S & P 500 (with a 0.3% gain) masks so much weakness beneath the surface. The S & P 500 consumer staples, materials, health care and utilities were all down between 2.4% and 3.2% this week, and the Dow Industrials were lower by 1%. Although the S & P 500 is higher by 9.5% so far in 2023, only a small number of stocks are doing well. ” The number of stocks trading above their 200-day moving average has been decreasing since mid-April,” Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi, wrote in a blog post Thursday. “Despite the market’s upside over the last month and change, the strength under the surface has actually deteriorated.” All that comes at what is a seasonally fraught time of year for stocks, regardless. “Historical performance [in June] has been tepid for [the] DJIA and S & P 500,” wrote Christopher Mistal of the Stock Trader’s Almanac this week, although he noted that the performance in years such as this one, before presidential election years, have tended to be stronger. Still, June is historically ranked only the 11th strongest month of the year for the Dow Industrials, the ninth strongest for the S & P 500 and the Russell 1000 and the 7th strongest for the Russell 2000 . “The ‘summer rally’ in most years is the weakest rally of all four seasons,” the almanac says. Unfortunately, the market’s backdrop “remains cautious and still sets up for further sideways action and a likely pullback or correction over the weak summer months, especially after mid-July into the worst two months of the year — August and September,” the almanac’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Hirsch wrote Thursday. Week ahead calendar Tuesday 9 a.m.: S & P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (March) 10: a.m.: Consumer confidence (May) Earnings : HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Wednesday 8:45 a.m.: Fed Governor Michelle Bowman speaks 9:45 a.m.: Chicago PMI (May) 10 a.m.: JOLTS (April) 1:30 p.m.: Fed Governor Philip Jefferson speaks 1:30 p.m.: Philadelphia Fed’s President Patrick Harker speaks Earnings : Advanced Auto Parts, Salesforce, NetApp, Raymond James, Donaldson, Capri Holdings, Nordstrom, PVH Corp., Crowdstrike, Okta Thursday 8:15 a.m.: ADP private payrolls report (May) 8:30 a.m.: Initial claims (week ended May 27) 9:45 a.m.: S & P Global manufacturing PMI (May) 10 a.m.: ISM Manufacturing (May) 1 p.m.: Fed’s Harker speaks Earnings: Dollar General, Broadcom, Cooper Cos., Paychex, Macy’s, Five Below, C3.ai, Lululemon, Zumiez Friday 8:30 a.m.: U.S. jobs report (May) — CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Fred Imbert and Michael Bloom contributed to this report.