Futures Slide To Session Lows Amid Growing Concerns Rally Is Over


US equity futures and European stocks both fell for a second day amid signs the November rally in equities is overstretched with even such bullish Goldman luminaries (and flow gurus) as Scott Rubner calling an end to the meltup this week.   As of 8:15am ET, S&P and Nasdaq futures are down 0.3%, dropping to session lows amid rising speculation that the rally is over. Treasuries edge lower, with US 10-year yields rising 2bp to 4.40%, while the USD is flat while commodities are higher, led by Ags and Energy (ex-natgas) with energy reacting to a Bloomberg report that Saudi Arabia will ask for supply cuts at this week’s OPEC+ meeting. With month-end, we could see Equities underperform Bonds by as much as 50bps – 75bps given performance differentials. Today’s macro data focus is on housing price indices, consumer confidence, activity updates from Dallas/Richmond Feds, two Fed speakers, and the 7Y auction. 

In premarket trading, Zscaler shares fell 6.1% after the security software company affirmed a forecast for 2024 calculated billings that fell slightly short of estimates at the midpoint. ADRs of Chinese e-commerce firm PDD Holdings soared 17% in US premarket trading after posting earnings and revenue well above estimates. Here are some other notable premarket movers:

  • Affirm shares rose 3.1% after Jefferies upgraded the buy-now-pay-later company to hold from underperform, citing stabilizing credit performance and ongoing momentum in adoption of BNPL services.
  • Boeing gained 2.1% as RBC Capital Markets upgraded the planemaker’s stock to outperform from sector perform. The broker said shares in the company are in the early stages of “a significant shift in sentiment” amid strong demand.
  • Cool Co. dropped 9.1% as Pareto described the liquefied natural gas shipping company’s results as “soft.”
  • Shopify shares dropped 2.7% in New York after the e-commerce company was downgraded to underweight from neutral at Piper Sandler, which said the current shares hold an “untenable valuation.”
  • SpringWorks Therapeutics shares rose 10% after the FDA approved nirogacestat, the biotech’s oral treatment for desmoid tumors.
  • Crocs gains 2.4% after Raymond James upgraded the footwear brand to strong buy and placed the company on its current favorites list, replacing Lululemon.
  • Edwards Lifesciences slips about 2% after Wolfe downgraded its rating, citing risk to the firm’s unit growth.

Expectations that rates have peaked and the economy will avoid recession have spurred stocks and government bonds this month. Now, Citigroup strategists – always several weeks behind the curve following the massive layoffs over there – say one of the best November rallies for the S&P 500 in a century is running out of steam and net positioning in the benchmark index is looking “slightly bearish” echoing what both Michael Hartnett and Scott Rubner already said previously.

Meanwhile, central bankers from Australia, England and Thailand warned that the monetary policy outlook remains uncertain. The ECB isn’t yet at a point where it should consider reducing borrowing costs, Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said.

“It’s not surprising to see some money being taken off the table, particularly when the expectation is that the ECB will not cut interest rates until mid-2024 in spite of better than expected inflation data,” said Kumar Pandit, a money manager at Somerset Capital Management in London. The rally “may well be” over in the short term, he said.

Traders will be watching a series of speeches by Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday and another batch of economic data are due this week, including the Fed’s preferred measure of underlying inflation.

European stocks are on course to log back-to-back losses for the first time in three weeks. The Stoxx 600 is down 0.6% with consumer product, real estate and health care shares leading declines; energy and utilities are the best-performing sectors and some of the only risers. LVMH led a retreat in European luxury stocks as HSBC Holdings Plc cut its price targets across the sector. Dutch biotech Argenx sank as much as 17% after preliminary results suggested its only medicine failed in a trial.  Here are some of the biggest European movers on Tuesday:

  • Rolls-Royce shares gain as much as 7.4%, rising to the highest levels since November 2019, after the British aero engine manufacturer presented fresh financial targets that analysts lauded as “strong,” particularly on free cash flow.
  • EasyJet shares rise as much as 4.8%, before paring the gain to trade little changed, after the low-cost airline said it has a positive outlook for full-year 2024 despite some impact from war in the Middle East. Morgan Stanley says the outlook remains strong, while Bernstein noted some caution due to the conflict.
  • Smurfit Kappa shares gain as much as 3.8% as Jefferies says readacross from Packaging Corp.’s price hike last night is positive for European containerboard and box makers, who could make an attempt of their own in 2024.
  • Ebusco shares jump as much as 11% after the Dutch electric automobile firm said it has been selected as a supplier by Italian central purchasing organization Consip.
  • Boozt shares gain as much as 6.8%, in a fifth day of gains, after the Swedish online retailer narrows its full-year guidance range toward the higher end based on strong sales during the Black Friday week.
  • Julius Baer shares drop as much as 3.6%, declining for a seventh day, as Vontobel estimates the wealth manager will probably have to take an impairment charge amounting to 50% of its around CHF600m exposure to troubled real estate company Signa. Vontobel cut its price target on the stock to CHF50 from CHF55.
  • LVMH shares decline as much as 3% as HSBC cuts its price targets across the luxury sector, saying that the industry isn’t recession-proof and stock momentum could remain “subdued” for another five to six months as investors focus on a “lackluster” first half of 2024.
  • ABN Amro shares slip as much as 1.9% after Deutsche Bank on Monday cut the recommendation on the Dutch bank to hold, from buy, saying its net interest income (NII) and costs are deteriorating.
  • Marlowe shares slump as much as 18.2% after the investment company delivers first-half results which Berenberg describes as “disappointing” because of a delay in cash improvement.
  • Argenx shares tumble as much as 17%, the most on record, after the Belgian biotech firm said a study evaluating Vyvgart Hytrulo in adults with a rare bleeding disorder didn’t meet its primary endpoint.
  • Ubisoft shares fall as much as 10% after the French video game maker announced placement of convertible bonds due 2031 for a nominal amount of €494.5 million. The reference share price of €27.35 is a 7% discount to the last close.
  • Atos shares fall as much as 9.7% after the French tech firm said that it’s studying further initiatives — including raising funds via debt and equity capital markets — to address a capital increase plan and debt maturities in 2025.

Asian stocks gained as tech-heavy South Korean and Taiwanese markets rallied on the back of lower Treasury yields, with traders bracing for a key US inflation report later this week. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3%, with tech giants TSMC and Samsung Electronics among the biggest contributors to the benchmark’s gains. The dollar fell for a fourth day while two-year Treasuries extended a rally that began Monday, boding well for rate-sensitive tech shares. Japanese stocks declined as the yen extended gains. Key gauges fell in Hong Kong while Chinese equities extend declines in afternoon trading despite recent support pledges by the PBoC as a report also suggested that China’s property lifeline exposes banks to large losses and job reductions. Meituan was the biggest drag on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index as investors stayed cautious ahead of its quarterly results later in the day. The gauge dropped as much as 1.5% to its lowest since Nov. 13; it is on course for its third session of declines. China’s largest food delivery platform operator Meituan is the biggest loser on the index, falling as much as 7.3% to the lowest since May 2020. Japan’s Nikkei 225 failed to hold on to opening gains and was pressured as a firmer currency paved the way for profit-taking. ASX 200 was higher with early outperformance on softer yields and following a break above the 7,000 level although the index finished off intraday highs following a surprise contraction in Retail Sales data.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 0.2% to 1,235.03, its lowest since late August, and on track for its steepest monthly drop in a year.  The euro is flat, with little reaction to remarks by the ECB’s Nagel, who said it’s premature to even talk about rate cuts. USD/JPY dropped as much as 0.5% to 147.98 to take losses into a third day, pressured by month-end demand to sell dollars.

In rates, treasuries are slightly cheaper across the curve with yields 1bp-3bp higher on the day, unwinding a portion of Monday’s rally. 10-year TSY yields are around 2bps cheaper on the day at 4.41%, with futures price just below Monday’s highs; bunds and gilts outperform by 1bp and 0.5bp in the sector while Italian bonds lag by 3bp. Auction cycle concludes with $39b 7-year note sale at 1pm, follows mixed 2- and 5-year auctions Monday. WI 7-year yield at ~4.5% is 46bp richer than result of October’s, which stopped 0.2bp through. In Europe, Italian bonds underperform core euro-zone after ECB’s Nagel said the central bank’s balance sheet must shrink significantly.

In commodities, oil prices advanced snapping three days of declines as the market weighed the possibility of deeper output cuts from OPEC+. WTI rose 1.2% to trade near $75.70. Elsewhere, gold was little changed, hovering near the highest level since May.

Bitcoin has been contained throughout the session thus far, in-fitting with the general tone; currently, pivoting USD 37k. Interactive Brokers (IBKR) expanded its cryptocurrency trading to retail investors in Hong Kong.

US session has a busy Fed speaker slate and 7-year note auction at 1pm New York time, as well as house-price and consumer confidence gauges.  

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for November, the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for November, and the FHFA’s house price index for September. In Europe, there’s also the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Goolsbee and Waller, the ECB’s Nagel and Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Finally, there’s a 7yr US Treasury auction taking place.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,558.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 455.98
  • MXAP up 0.2% to 161.47
  • MXAPJ up 0.4% to 503.88
  • Nikkei down 0.1% to 33,408.39
  • Topix down 0.2% to 2,376.71
  • Hang Seng Index down 1.0% to 17,354.14
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,038.55
  • Sensex up 0.2% to 66,096.01
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,015.22
  • Kospi up 1.0% to 2,521.76
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 2.54%
  • Euro little changed at $1.0951
  • Brent Futures up 1.1% to $80.84/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $2,015.63
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.21

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • China’s central bank warns that credit growth will cool as the country transitions away from a model dependent on infrastructure and real estate investment. BBG
  • BOJ sees pressure to tighten climb further after the Japanese weighted median inflation rate accelerated to +2.2% in Oct (up from +2% in Sept). RTRS
  • Hawkish ECB commentary weighs on sentiment with Lagarde warning that the timeline for ending PEPP reinvestments could be accelerated while Nagel said rate hikes might not be over. FT
  • BOE official pushes back against rising expectations for rate cuts, warning that policy will need to be restrictive for an extended period. RTRS
  • Barclays considers a restructuring plan that would see it drop thousands of investment banking clients as the firm rushes to bolster profitability (Barclays considered an acquisition in asset mgmt. or wealth mgmt. but ultimately decided against it). FT
  • AMZN officially surpasses UPS and FedEx as the biggest delivery business in the US, and the gap will only grow larger in the years ahead. WSJ
  • The fed will not return to positive net income until 2025 and will not resume remitting profits to the Treasury until mid-2027. St. Louis Fed
  • American shoppers spent $8.3 billion through 6 p.m. for Cyber Monday, according to Adobe, which expects as much as $12.4 billion in total. Despite the splash, US consumer confidence data, due later, is set to dip again this month. BBG
  • Carlyle Group  is set to join the S&P MidCap 400 index, S&P Dow Jones Indices said late Monday. The change will force funds that track the index to buy Carlyle shares. The stock rose about 6% in offhours trading. WSJ

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

APAC stocks traded mixed amid the lower yield environment and after the lacklustre performance of US counterparts. ASX 200 was higher with early outperformance on softer yields and following a break above the 7,000 level although the index finished off intraday highs following a surprise contraction in Retail Sales data. Nikkei 225 fa led to hold on to opening gains and was pressured as a firmer currency paved the way for profit-taking. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp diverged despite recent support pledges by the PBoC as a report also suggested that China’s property lifeline exposes banks to large losses and job reductions.

Top Asian News

  • PBoC Governor Pan said China’s economy continued to gain momentum in recovery and reiterated that China’s economy is expected to achieve its GDP growth target for 2023, while he added that China’s CPI is gradually bottoming out and consumption’s contribution to the domestic economy is on the rise. Furthermore, Pan said they will continue to keep monetary policy accommodative and will make it easier for foreign financial institutions to do business in China, according to Reuters.
  • Chinese Premier Li Qiang said China is willing to build closer supply chain linkages with all countries, while it opposes any form of decoupling and cutting off of supply chains. Li added that China will continue to create an international and rule-of-law-based business environment, according to Reuters.
  • China’s property lifeline reportedly exposes banks to large losses and job reductions, according to Bloomberg.

European bourses, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.3%, continue to slip with modest underperformance in the CAC 40 -0.4%, hampered by Luxury names after LVMH price target reductions. European sectors are mostly in the red, with Consumer Products and Services at the foot of the sectors weighed by Luxury names. Energy in the green, with crude prices lifting off lows throughout the European session; Utilities helped by RWE plans to increase dividends by 5-10% each year until 2030. US Futures are all teetering around the unchanged mark with specifics light thus far ahead of several Fed members.

Top European News

  • BoE Deputy Governor Ramsden said UK inflation is more homegrown and monetary policy is likely to need to be restrictive for an extended period of time to get inflation back to the 2% target, while he doesn’t see financial stability grounds for adjusting quantitative easing or the setting of the level of interest rates.
  • ECB’s Nagel says rate hikes are not necessarily over, would have to hike again if inflation outlook worsened. Inflation outlook encouraging, but core shows dynamics continue to be strong. Premature to discuss rate cuts, prefer to err on the side of caution.
  • German Chancellor Scholz says they will be able to end the energy price break at year-end given lower prices and gas storage levels. Working to make all decisions required for the 2024 budget as soon as possible. German States have the greatest interest in securing investments in the chip industry, climate-friendly steel and battery plants.
  • In December, Greece will repay EUR 5.3bln of EZ bailout funds ahead of schedule, via Reuters citing Finance Ministry Officials; in 2024, considering another early repayment

FX

  • DXY clings to 103.00 handle in the face of negative rebalancing signals on spot month end, but barely within a 103.07-32 range.
  • Loonie underpinned by rebound in oil and straddling 1.3600 vs Greenback
  • Euro continues to stall around 1.0960 Fib resistance against Dollar as hawkish ECB vibes vie with weak Eurozone M3 metrics.
  • Yen extends recovery gains vs Buck to probe 148.00 before fading.
  • Sterling retains 1.2600+ status ahead of comments from BoE hawk Haskel and Aussie extends beyond 0.6600 as RBA’s Bullock underlines upside inflation risks to outweigh retail sales miss.
  • Kiwi cautious pre-RBNZ as NZD/USD retreats through 0.6100.
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1132 vs exp. 7.1432 (prev. 7.1159).

Fixed Income

  • Debt futures fade after extending recovery gains.
  • Bunds down in sympathy with BTPs within 131.65-20 and 114.68-00 respective ranges.
  • Gilts undermined by hefty tail on 30 year DMO sale between 96.47-95.89 parameters.
  • T-note nearer 108-27 trough than 109-03+ peak ahead of 7 year auction and a slew of Fed speakers.
  • UK sells GBP 2.75bln 3.75% 2053 Gilt: b/c 2.34x (prev. 2.60x), average yield 4.664% (prev. 4.926%) & tail 1.5bps (prev. 0.8bps)

Commodities

  • Crude continues to extend gains, despite a lack of catalysts whilst geopolitics & OPEC remains in focus.
  • Metals are flat/mixed in the absence of major catalysts, with Gold still holding onto yesterday’s gains and comfortably above the USD 2000/oz level.
  • Energy Intel noted there is still no resolution regarding new OPEC+ production baselines and cuts, while it added that the meeting is still scheduled to take place virtually on Thursday but it understands that a further delay cannot be ruled out.
  • OPEC to hold an online meeting at 10:00GMT/05:00EST on Thursday; 13:00GMT/08:00EST the JMMC will meet; 14:00GMT/09:00EST the full OPEC+ meeting will occur, via Reuters citing sources.

Geopolitics: Israel- Hamas

  • Israel released 30 Palestinian children and three women under the truce agreement and it received a list of ten hostages to be released by Hamas on Tuesday, while it was separately reported that Israel approved a list of 50 female Palestinian prisoners for possible release if additional Israeli hostages are freed, according to Reuters.
  • Israeli Defence Minister said when they return to fighting after the truce, the fighting will be stronger and will include all parts of the Gaza Strip, according to Sky News Arabia.
  • Hamas Leader Khalil Al-Hayya told Al Jazeera they hope they can extend the truce for a longer period, according to Al Jazeera.
  • Al Jazeera reported via social media platform X that Israeli occupation forces raided Beitunia which is west of Ramallah.
  • “Palestinian media: Israeli forces fire heavily east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip”, according to Al Arabiya.
  • US Secretary of State Blinken is to visit Israel, the West Bank and UAE later this week and will stress in meetings the need to sustain increased flow of humanitarian assistance to Gaza and secure the release of all hostages, according to a US official
  • “Israeli forces fired a shell at a house in Tubas in the West Bank”, according to Al Arabiya; Subsequently, “Lebanese news agency: An Israeli shell landed near a border town in southern Lebanon“, according to AshaqNews
  • Qatar Foreign Ministry says there have been “minimal breaches” of the Gaza truce, but they have not threatened the overall agreement
  • CIA director Burns is to meet today in Doha with the Mossad director Barnea & Qatar’s PM to discuss a possible second extension of the pause in Gaza, via Axios; contingent on Hamas releasing more hostages.

Geopolitics: North-Korea

  • North Korea said its spy satellite took photos of the White House, the Pentagon and a key US naval base, according to Yonhap.

US Event Calendar

  • 09:00: Sept. S&P/Case Shiller 20 City MoM SA, est. 0.80%, prior 1.01%
  • 09:00: Sept. S&P/Case-Shiller US HPI YoY, prior 2.57%
  • 09:00: Sept. S&P CS Composite-20 YoY, est. 3.90%, prior 2.16%
  • 10:00: Nov. Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, est. 101.0, prior 102.6
  • 10:00: Nov. Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 143.1
  • 10:00: Nov. Conf. Board Expectations, prior 75.6
  • 10:00: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 1, prior 3
  • 10:30: Nov. Dallas Fed Services Activity, prior -18.2

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

After a very strong month so far, markets saw a slight risk-off tone over the last 24 hours, with the S&P 500 (-0.20%) losing ground after a run of four consecutive weekly gains. That was echoed across several asset classes, but with sovereign bonds rallying across the board as investors moved more into safe havens as the data was on the softer side, plus Treasury supply was digested successfully. This all helped push gold prices (+0.67%) up to a 6-month high as well .

There wasn’t an obvious catalyst for the softness in risk and the decent fall in yields, but some weak US data didn’t exactly help sentiment yesterday. For instance, new home sales were down to an annualised rate of 679k in October (vs. 721k expected), which came as high mortgage rates continued to dampen demand. That was beneath all 50 economist’s estimates in the Bloomberg survey, so it added to the narrative that the recent US data has shown signs of beginning to turn lower. Note that this data corresponded to peak mortgage rates. They have rallied a fair bit since so some caution is required. Half an hour later, we then got the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing index, which fell to a 4-month low of -19.9 (vs. -16.0 expected) .

With that in mind, investors stuck to their view that the Fed and the ECB were both likely to cut in Q2, and sovereign bonds witnessed a decent rally on both sides of the Atlantic. For US Treasuries, that saw the 10yr yield fall -8.0bps to 4.387% (4.40% as I type this morning). There was a pair of US Treasury auctions yesterday with 5-year and 2-year notes being issued. The $54bn of 2-year notes saw softer demand than was expected, but yields still finished -6.0bps lower at 4.888%. The $55bn 5yr auction saw good demand with 5yr UST yields falling an additional -2bps around the auction, before continue to fall through the US afternoon to close -7.4bps lower overall. We have a 7yr auction today as the next stop for the (constant) UST supply train .

In Europe there were even larger yield declines for those on 10yr bunds (-9.5bps), OATs (-9.3bps) and BTPs (-11.4bps). As we discussed in the World Outlook our economists have downgraded German GDP to -0.2% in 2024. This would have likely been +0.3% without the Constitutional Court ruling a little less than two weeks ago. So this at the margin does mean that perhaps we will need looser policy sooner than we would have done.

On this theme, we did hear pushback from ECB President Lagarde, who was speaking before lawmakers at the European Parliament. She reiterated they weren’t thinking about cutting rates, saying that it was “not the time to start declaring victory”, and that they expected “that maintaining interest rates at current levels for a sufficiently long duration will make a substantial contribution to restoring price stability”. She also said that the question of PEPP reinvestments “will come probably for discussion and consideration within the Governing Council in the not-too-distant future”. The higher yields of October likely stopped this conversation then but with yields now lower the ECB might feel more comfortable to start thinking of an early exit to these PEPP reinvestments.

When it came to equities, the story was one of modest losses for the most part, with both the S&P 500 (-0.20%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.34%) losing ground. Energy stocks saw large declines as oil prices declined for a 4th consecutive day, with Brent crude down -0.74% to $79.98/bbl. Oil had initially been on track for larger losses, although there was a recovery after Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia was asking others in the OPEC+ group to reduce their quotas, although some others were resisting. Tech stocks also took a step back with the NASDAQ (-0.07%) unable to hold on to its initial modest gains.

Asian equity markets are mixed this morning with the Hang Seng (-0.60%) extending yesterday’s losses, and with the Nikkei also slipping (-0.36%) so far. Elsewhere, the KOSPI (+0.69%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.10%) and the CSI (+0.03%) have held on to their gains. US futures are fairly flat so far in the session.

Early morning data showed that Australia’s retail sales unexpectedly declined -0.2% m/m in October (v/s +0.1% expected) as against an increase of +0.9% in the previous month hinting that RBA’s hikes are taking their toll on consumers.

In other data yesterday, there was some more positive data out of the UK, with the CBI’s latest distributive trades survey showing that a net -11% saw sales volumes decline in the year to November. Although still negative, that’s actually the best number since June, and follows the better-than-expected flash PMIs last week, as well as the rise in the GfK’s consumer confidence indicator. Incidentally, our World Outlook does not expect a recession in the UK, unlike in the Euro Area and the US .

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for November, the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for November, and the FHFA’s house price index for September. In Europe, there’s also the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Goolsbee and Waller, the ECB’s Nagel and Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Finally, there’s a 7yr US Treasury auction taking place.

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