Last Week Last week was the case of Powell strikes back. Once again, many market participants seemed to hear what they wanted to hear from the prior week’s FOMC meeting and priced in, yet another “Fed...
Another week of thrills and spills! Throughout the week, rather grim economic data came in, showing a definite slowdown in the economy, and the talk of a hard landing and a 2023 Fed pivot dominated.
On Wednesday, the closely watched JOLT report showed a declining ratio of job openings to unemployed persons seeking employment. This ratio stayed stubbornly near 1.9 for months until Wednesday’s report which showed a lower-than-expected job openings figure. The ratio, using 5.8 million unemployed but seeking work, fell to about 1.7 which in turn set off fantasies of a 2023 Fed pivot, triggering a rally in the front end of the Treasury curve.
The only problem is, prior to this post-Covid period, the ratio has averaged about 0.95. The job market is still extremely strong. Naturally, this point was driven home by another very strong Non-Farm-Payroll report, released Friday.
The economy added approximately 236,000 jobs, higher than the consensus estimate. Unemployment dropped from 3.6% to 3.5%, which was amplified by an increase in the Labor Participation Rate. Normally, when that figure increases, the U.E. increases as well as job seekers enter the market. Employment is still red hot.
- The S&P 500 was nearly unchanged for the week. The average daily move was 0.39%.
- The NASDAQ declined 1.1% for the week. The average daily move for the week was 0.66%.
- The 2-year Treasury yield declined 5 basis points, closing at 3.98% on Friday. High year-over-year 5.07%, low yield 2.35%.
- The 10-year Treasury yield dropped 7 basis points for the week, closing at 3.4% on Friday. Year-over-year high yield 4.24%, low yield 2.40%.
- The VIX Index dropped 1.6% for the week, closing at 18.4 on Friday. Year-over-year high 34.45 and low 17.87.
- The MOVE Index rose 8.7% for the week, closing at 147.73 on Friday. Year-over-year high 198.71 and low 97.33.
- 5-year Investment Grade Corporates (as measured by Markit CDX) spreads widened 3 basis points for the week closing at 79 basis points Friday. High spread Year-over-year high of 111 and low of 67.
- High Yield corporate debt (as measured by Markit CDX) spreads increased 27 basis points, closing at 490 basis points on Friday. Year-over-year high 627, and low 403.
- U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.39% to 102.09 on Friday. Year-over-year high 114.11 and low 99.88.
- WTI Crude advanced 6.65% for the week, using the May WTI Futures contract, closing at 80.7 Friday. Year-over-year high 122.11, and low 66.74.
- Gold, as measured by the May futures contract, rose 2.02% for the week closing at 2,012 on Friday. On Tuesday a new year-over-year high was set at 2,022. High price for the front contract year-over-year 2,022 and low 1,623.
- Bitcoin declined 1.78% for the week closing at 27,890 on Friday. High price year-over-year 46,312 and low 15,632.
The Week Ahead
We come in this morning with a rally in the front end of the yield curve with the 2-year note in about 4 basis points from Friday’s close. Stocks are up small.
The big data event this week will be the March CPI report on Wednesday. Economist consensus is a core CPI increase of 0.4% month over month, down from February’s 0.5%. A miss in either direction will be explosive.
For stocks, we have the beginning of Q1 2023 earnings season. Be lucky!
An index is unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Definitions sourced from Bloomberg. The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Negative Yielding Debt Market Value Index represents the portion of the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index that measures the aggregate value of global debt with a negative yield.• The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities and serves as the foundation for a wide range of investment products. The index includes 500 leading companies and captures approximately 80% coverage of available market capitalization.• The NASDAQ Composite Index is a broad-based capitalization-weighted index of stocks in all three NASDAQ tiers: Global Select, Global Market and Capital Market. The index was developed with a base level of 100 as of February 5, 1971.• The Cboe Volatility Index® (VIX) is a calculation designed to produce a measure of constant, 30-day expected volatility of the US stock market, derived from real-time, mid-quote prices of weekly S&P 500® Index (SPX) call and put options with a range of 23 to 37 days to expiration.• The ICE BofA MOVE Index is a yield curve weighted index of the normalized implied volatility on 1-month Treasury options. It is the weighted average of implied volatilities on the CT2 (Current 2 Year Government Note), CT5 (Current 5 Year Government Note), CT10 (Current 10 Year Government Note), and CT30 (Current 30 Year Government Note), with weights 0.2/0.2/0.4/0.2 respectively.• The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index is composed of 125 equally weighted credit default swaps on investment grade entities, distributed among 6 sub-indices: High Volatility, Consumer, Energy, Financial, Industrial, and Technology, Media & Tele-communications. Markit CDX indices roll every 6 months in March & September.• The Markit CDX North America High Yield Index is composed of 100 non-investment grade entities, distributed among 2 sub-indices: B, BB. All entities are domiciled in North America. Markit CDX indices roll every 6 months in March & September.• The U.S. Dollar Index (USDX) indicates the general international value of the USD. The USDX does this by averaging the exchange rates between the USD and major world currencies. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) US computes this by using the rates supplied by some 500 banks.
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