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Latest newsletter: 6/9/2023


  • Market Close & Worth the Read

  • Earning(s) Reports Today

  • Market Prices in Probability of a rate hike to 90%...

Market Recap: The U.S. stock market shows resilience in the face of various challenges, defying fears of a recession, a banking crisis, and soaring Treasury yields.

From October lows, the S&P 500 has risen 20% - a performance that some define as entering a bull market. This recovery, which took 164 days, was the longest 20% climb from a bear market low in five decades. The rally was primarily driven by a handful of tech stocks: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Nvidia, and Tesla, which are seen as safe bets in uncertain times. However, recent trends suggest a broadening out to other stocks, a sign of overall market health​.

The market's performance has been supported by a more stable outlook on interest rates and an economy that has continued to show resilience. Volatility has decreased in stocks, Treasuries, and currencies, driven in part by the belief that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to implement many more of the rate hikes that disrupted asset prices last year. Economic data, particularly in employment and consumer spending, has exceeded market expectations, providing further reassurance for investors. It's worth noting that historically, a 20% gain from bear market lows has often led to further upside for stocks​​.

In 2023, employment data has regained its significance and has been a key driver of large swings in the U.S. stock market. The S&P 500 index has moved on average 1.7% in either direction in response to this data. This marks a shift from last year, when inflation data overshadowed employment data due to unprecedentedly high inflation levels. Investors should keep a close eye on the monthly labor-market updates from the U.S. Department of Labor, as they have a substantial impact on market movements

What We're Reading:

• Cuba Spy Station Brings China Rivalry to America’s Doorstep (WSJ)

• Trump faces federal charges in classified documents case, adding to legal woes (RT)

• Tech leaders are calling for an A.I. pause because they have no product ready, Palantir CEO says (CNBC)

Earnings Report(s) today:

NIO - EPS Estimate: $-2.74

Market Prices in Probability of a rate hike to 90%...

Based on the most recent data available, the U.S. economy added 978,000 jobs in May, which is higher than the 650,000 jobs expected. Inflation is also at 5.6% year-over-year, which is quite high. This data has impacted market expectations for future interest rate hikes. After this jobs report, the market's pricing for the probability of a rate hike in June rose from around 80% to up to 90% in July​.

If you are confused on how this gets "Priced In" -

Market expectations for future interest rate hikes are often priced into various financial instruments, most notably futures contracts on the Federal Funds Rate. These contracts allow investors to make bets on what the Federal Funds Rate will be at various points in the future. They're essentially agreements to buy or sell an asset (in this case, the right to borrow money overnight from other banks) at a specified future date for a price agreed upon today.

When investors believe that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates in the future, they will be willing to pay more for futures contracts that allow them to borrow money in the future at today's lower rates. This increases the price of these futures contracts. By looking at the prices of these contracts, one can infer the market's expectations for future interest rates.

To get a bit more technical, the price of a futures contract on the Federal Funds Rate can be interpreted as the average Federal Funds Rate expected by the market over the duration of the contract. The difference between the price of a futures contract for one month and the next month can then be interpreted as the market's expectation for the change in the Federal Funds Rate over that month. If this difference increases, it indicates that the market expects a larger increase in the Federal Funds Rate, and vice versa.

Investors place these bets based on their own analysis of economic conditions and their expectations for the Federal Reserve's actions. They consider factors such as inflation, economic growth, employment, and other macroeconomic indicators. They also pay close attention to statements from Federal Reserve officials and minutes from Federal Reserve meetings, which can provide hints about the future direction of monetary policy.

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