Looking Ahead to FOMC Meeting Next Week
Take a glance at the schedule and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a holiday. No data from the US is will hit markets all day, nor are there Treasury auctions or officials speaking from the Federal Reserve. But don’t think markets will be quiet. Investors have next week’s monetary policy meeting to think of, and the lack of fresh data this morning gives a chance to reflect on whether stocks are accurately priced.
The S&P 500 is up 2.3% this week despite the modest drawback yesterday. Equity futures are flat but tilted upwards this morning, and if markets can recover from yesterday indexes will have the chance to hit new 11-month highs.
The US session follows a weak day of trading from Asia. China’s Shanghai Index dropped 3.19%, spurred by nothing more than profit-taking after the index jumped 16% in the month. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.70% and shares in Hong Kong fell 0.67%.
European equities are mixed but modestly positive. The FTSE 100 is currently up 0.09%, while the CAC-40 is up 0.06% and the DAX is flat.
In currencies, the US$ is stronger this morning after touching 2009 lows earlier in the week. The eurodollar is weaker following a producer price index in Germany that showed the first rise in 11 months due to energy costs.
In media headlines this morning: The Fed may begin reviewing salary and bonus packages from as many as 5,000 banks. The central bank said it would not require congressional approval to do so, which means the initiative, if approved, would begin soon.
Bloomberg News reports that US household wealth increased by $2 trillion in the second quarter as equity markets made rapid gains. “Net worth for households and non-profit groups climbed to $53.1 trillion from $51.1 trillion in the prior three months, marking the first gain in seven quarters,” the news agency said, citing the Fed’s Flow of Funds report. Wealth remains $11.1 trillion below the peak reached in Q3 2007.
Lastly, the New York Times writes that China is experiencing the kind of V-shaped recovery so wanted by the US. “The image of laid-off workers here returning to jobs stands in sharp contrast to the United States, where even as the economy shows signs of improvement, the unemployment rate continues to march toward double digits. In China, even the hardest-hit factories — those depending on exports to the United States and Europe — are starting to rehire workers. No one here is talking about a jobless recovery.”
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