Friday, January 6, 2023

Morning Note: Market "Misperception"

Pre-market action has stocks liking what amounts to a mixed December employment report... The headline jobs creation number came in a bit higher than expected and the unemployment rate declined -- 2 factors that one might think would spook a market that's hoping the Fed backs off its rate-hike ambitions sooner than later... On the other hand, hours worked and hourly earnings came in lower than expected, and of course when we're talking inflation, those items hold sway, and would indeed encourage the bulls... Which is clearly influencing at least the immediate reaction to this morning's report.

Thing is, per the minutes from the Fed's December policy meeting, like with the labor market, they have somewhat of a problem with financial markets, particularly with regard to their buoyancy during the 4th quarter of last year:
"Participants noted that, because monetary policy worked importantly through financial markets, an unwarranted easing in financial conditions, especially if driven by a misperception by the public of the Committee’s reaction function, would complicate the Committee’s effort to restore price stability."

I.e., The public, represented by financial markets in Q4, may be "misperceiving" the Fed's intentions going forward... In other words, a rising market was not at all welcomed by monetary policymakers.

Now, that said, if indeed the economy, and inflation along with it, continues to weaken, it's understandable that the market would begin to discount a softer Fed, despite the Fed's latest assertions.

And, of course keep in mind, per our recent videos, the short-term technicals have been, on balance, short-term bullish... It's beyond the very short-term where things still look pretty dicey.

Stay tuned.

Asian stocks leaned green yet again overnight, with 9 of the 16 markets we track closing higher.

Europe's nicely green so far this morning, with all but 2 of the bourses we follow trading up as I type.

US stocks are starting the session nicely higher: Dow up 232 points (0.72%), SP500 up 0.49%, SP500 Equal Weight up 0.83%, Nasdaq 100 up 0.11%, Nasdaq Comp up 0.12%, Russell 2000 up 0.67%.

The VIX sits at 22.04, down 0.42%.

Oil futures are up 1.30%, gold's up 0.84%, silver's up 1.39%, copper futures are up 0.62% and the ag complex (DBA) is down 0.03%.

The 10-year treasury is up (yield down) and the dollar is up 0.21%

Among our 36 core positions (excluding options hedges, cash and short-term bond ETF), 30 -- led by energy stocks, miners stocks, Brazil equities, consumer staples and materials stocks -- are in the green so far this morning. The losers are being led lower by AMD, Amazon, Albemarle, Vietnam equities and Dutch Bros.

"...we need to start thinking more deeply about how we think. We need methods of calibrating expert performance that transcend partisan bickering and check our species’ deep-rooted penchant for self-justification."

--Tetlock, Philip E.. Expert Political Judgment  

Have a great day!

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