- Global stocks shake off Italy vote; oil moves higher. U.S. indexes are moving higher in early trading, boosted by resilience in European equities after Italians voted down the country’s constitutional referendum on Sunday; rising WTI crude oil prices are also lending support. This comes after the S&P 500 failed to hold early gains in Friday’s session, as strength in defensive stocks was not enough to overcome weakness in the heavily weighted financials and consumer discretionary sectors. Overseas, Asian markets finished mostly lower; the Shanghai Composite (-1.2%) and the Hang Seng (-0.2%) both declined, whereas Japan’s Nikkei (-0.8%) took a breather after reaching 11-month highs last week. Stocks in Europe recovered from early selling pressure following Sunday’s vote in Italy; the STOXX 600 is up 0.4% mid-afternoon. Elsewhere, oil ($51.88/barrel) is tracking near 12-month highs on optimism around last week’s Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal, COMEX gold ($1163/oz.) is off 1.24%, and Treasuries are falling as the yield on the 10-year note trades at 2.44%.
- Quiet week ahead for data as investors mull election results in Europe. As is typically the case in the week after the release of the U.S. monthly jobs report, released last Friday, December 2, 2016, this week’s U.S. economic calendar is relatively quiet, with today’s key release being the service sector Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reading for November. After a flurry of Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) speakers today, December 5, the unofficial “quiet period” for the Fed begins, ahead of the December 13-14, 2016 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Overseas, China will begin to report its November data set this week, and the central banks of Canada, Australia, and India all meet. With the Italian referendum and the Austrian election in the rear-view mirror, the key event in Europe this week is the European Central Bank‘s policy meeting on Thursday, December 8.
- European equity markets, and the euro itself, are positive after yesterday’s voting. As widely expected, the Italian people voted against a referendum that would restructure how the country’s Senate would be elected, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. His resignation opens the door for the anti-European Five Star party to gain political strength, and perhaps even lead the next Italian government. Although this is potentially destabilizing, the markets had well priced in the outcome of this vote. At the same time, Austrian voters rejected an anti-European candidate from the far right as their president. Though the presidency in Austria is relatively weak, the election of a far-right candidate would have been seen as another threat to European political integration and the euro itself. This positive surprise has helped the markets (outside of Italian stocks) remain buoyant.
- Beige Book recap. The themes in the November 2016 Beige Book are consistent with our view that the Fed will raise rates later this month. At +64, the November Beige Book 2016 reading is now back in the middle of the range it has been in since early 2012. Despite the elevated level of uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidential election and the outlook for the global economy, optimism on Main Street still reigns.
- Irrational Exuberance Part 2? Twenty years ago today, Fed President Alan Greenspan gave his now famous Irrational Exuberance speech regarding over-valuations in the equity markets. Today, we examine if we are in another state of irrational exuberance. One concern is valuations are indeed higher than historical norms, although they are by no means near the euphoric levels of the late 1990s. On the fundamental front, the economy continues to show growth consistent with mid cycle, not late cycle. Last, overall market sentiment is showing many more bulls than we saw a month ago, but it still isn’t near the levels of excitement seen at previous market peaks.
- Santa tends to come late. We all know that December is historically a strong month or equities, with the S&P 500 up 1.6% on average since 1950. Here’s the catch: nearly all the gains tend to happen the second half of the month. Since 1950 on average, the S&P 500 has been flat as of December 15, rallying strongly during the second half of the month. The past 20 years, the S&P 500 has actually been down 0.4% as of mid month, before finishing 1.3% higher on average.
 Please note: The modern design of the S&P 500 stock index was first launched in 1957. Performance back to 1950 incorporates the performance of predecessor index, the S&P 90.
- ISM Non Mfg. (Nov)
- Dudley (Dove)
- Evans (Dove)
- Bullard (Hawk)
- FOMC Quiet Period Begins
- India: Reserve Bank of India Meeting (No Change Expected)
- China: Imports and Exports (Nov)
- Flow of Funds (Q3)
- Eurozone: European Central Bank Meeting (No Change Expected)
- China: CPI (Nov)
- Japan: Economy Watchers Survey (Nov)
- Consumer Sentiment and Inflation Expectations (Dec)
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