Stocks and crypto wobble ahead of today’s weighty jobs report
Happy Friday, Bull Sheeters.
Stocks and futures have been up and down all morning ahead of today’s huge payrolls report. Investors will be closely watching the numbers to glean the Fed’s next move on interest rates. Remember: the Federal Reserve Bank, by its own words, is data-dependent, and there’s no bigger data point than the labor market.
Down below, I dig deeper into what Wall Street is expecting and what it could mean for the markets.
But first, let’s see what’s moving markets. We begin out East.
- Asia continues to be volatile. The major indexes are solidly lower in afternoon trading. The Shanghai Composite, the worst of the bunch, is down 1.9%.
- State-owned ChemChina is planning a blockbuster of an IPO for its agrochemical unit Syngenta. Judging by ChemChina‘s $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta back in 2017, this could be one mammoth IPO.
- Delta variant fears are fanning across the globe. Australia will cut in half the number of international arrivals to the country, it announced today.
- The European bourses were off to a strong start on Friday with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.5% 30 minutes into the trading session, before sliding. Banks were the lone sector in decline, and not off by all that much.
- The push to overhaul how multinationals are taxed is moving closer with 130 countries giving their approval to a global minimum rate. But it’s hardly assured as Ireland and Hungary are opposed to any such deal, setting up a potential veto in the euro zone.
- As Bull Sheet readers know, there’s a lot of IPO news lately. On that note, Hepsiburada, also known as the Amazon of Turkey, priced shares yesterday at $12, giving the online retailer a $3.9 billion valuation. Founder Doğan Boyner spoke to Fortune yesterday about the company’s future plans.
- U.S. futures are mixed ahead of today’s big jobs report. That’s after all three major exchanges closed higher yesterday. Barring a disastrous jobs “print”, they’re pretty much a lock to finish the week in the green.
- Robinhood filed its S-1 yesterday, revealing page upon page of risk factors, including all manner of Congressional and regulatory scrutiny, its reliance on volatile crypto trading, and meme stocks. When it begins trading, it will do so under the ticker HOOD… wink, wink.
- Shares in Johnson & Johnson were a touch higher in pre-market trading this morning after the pharma giant announced yesterday its single-jab COVID vaccine is an effective defense against the dreaded Delta variant.
- Gold is as flat as a penny, trading below $1,780.
- The dollar is having a good week, and a good month. It’s up again.
- Crude is lower with Brent trading around $75/barrel. There’s been a bit of drama at this week’s OPEC+ meeting on a production hike. They return to the negotiating table at 3 p.m. Vienna time, which should give them a full morning to enjoy the city’s lovely cafes.
- The crypto board is a blur of red this morning. Bitcoin is trading just under $33,000. The good news: volatility is subdued. The bad news: it’s settled into a bit of a rut, trading a good 10% below its 50-day moving average of $37,000. I hope your broker didn’t convince you to jump in at $40K.
By the numbers
At 8:30 a.m. ET this morning, we get the June payrolls report, and the consensus estimate is for an additional 720,000 jobs, which would knock the unemployment rate down a peg to 5.6% (from 5.8%, currently). That’s not the only number to watch. Wage data will also be closely scrutinized as it too gives the fuller picture of just how tight the labor market is, and whether the inflationary effect it’s causing is temporary or not. So a big print on jobs and wages will likely reignite the debate on when exactly the Fed will begin to slow its asset purchases and mull interest rate hikes. That, in turn, could mess with any stock portfolio overweighted with growth/momentum stocks. The IMF, for one, didn’t even wait for today’s report. Yesterday, it forecasted the Fed will likely raise rates by late 2022.
The dollar is climbing again this morning. That’s after the greenback scored its best month since November, 2016, climbing more than 3%. The catalyst, of course, is the Fed’s surprise move last month—if you can even call it a “move”—to rethink the rates outlook. Dollar bulls will be watching for a strong jobs number today. As Société Générale analysts wrote this week, “the challenge for the FX market is that with no [rate-move] on the cards for over 12 months, expectations about what the Fed will do are bound to move around with each and every major economic statistic. All eyes, then, are on payroll data and if they come in strong, the dollar bears are going to get squeezed.” HT to Market Ear for pointing that out.
Remember: a strong dollar is a head wind for multinationals and for dollar-denominated commodities. On the up side: it’s good news for Americans traveling abroad.
Here’s a little trivia about the markets that you can throw out this weekend at the neighborhood barbecue. In post-election years (like this one): July is the best month of the year for stocks. That’s according to LPL Research, who crunch S&P 500 data, going back to 1950.
The bad news: Q3 is the worst quarter of the year for stocks.
Me (to my wife): What are we doing for July 4th?
My wife: I don’t know. What did we do for April 25th?
Me: [cue cricket sounds as I try to remember the significance of April 25th]
Me: C’mon! Italian Independence Day is a junior holiday compared to the Fourth of July!
My wife: Not for a good communist family.
Me: How do the communists celebrate Independence Day?
My wife: It’s a big deal. They have a giant meal, and everyone sings, ‘Bella Ciao.’
Me: I’d be happy with burgers and Bella Ciao.
My wife: Okay.
Me. Okay. Burgers and Bella Ciao it is.
Dear reader: There will be no Bull Sheet on Monday. With the markets closed for the Independence Day break, so too will be Bull Sheet. I will see you back here on Tuesday morning. Have a nice weekend!
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Everybody, Hertz! The embattled rental car company emerged from bankruptcy on Wednesday and promptly began trading again yesterday in the anything-goes over-the-counter market. Trading soared from the open, but then plunged when the company got hit with a fresh lawsuit from bondholders.
To boldly go... where only billionaires can boldly go. Shares in Virgin Galactic took off in pre-market trading this morning, climbing 28% at one point, after the company announced Richard Branson will go into orbit on July 11—ahead of fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos.
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In the Robinhood filing we got some fascinating numbers worth repeating. The trading app lost $1.4 billion in Q1, the same period when meme stock trading took off. And, Dogecoin alone accounted for more than one-third of its crypto revenue in the same quarter. Woof!
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