© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell leaves after a Senate Banking Committee hearing on The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
A look at the day ahead from Sujata Rao.
The world’s largest economy is predicted to record GDP growth at a 37-year high of 5.5%, with data due later on Thursday. Some such as JPMorgan (NYSE:) reckon the figure could be as high as 7.5%. We will also likely see weekly jobless benefits claims dropping further.
That, in a nutshell, is why the U.S. Federal Reserve feels there is “quite a bit of room to raise interest rates”.
Could there be more than four rate rises this year? Powell did not deny that possibility, so markets have started to price a fifth move.
Accordingly, Treasury two-year borrowing costs hit 23-month highs, shrinking the gap with 10-year yields. And on t-bills, the shortest-dated debt segment, Tradeweb notes a sharp steepening, with the gap between the three- and six-month yields at the steepest since 2015, and more than double from a month-ago period.
Similar steepening is notable between other bill maturities in a sign more tightening is being priced.
So the stock market selloff that had abated pre-Fed is back in full swing, with world stocks down 0.6%; European and Wall Street looking set for another tumble.
But if buyers are running scared, there are bargain hunters of a different sort — billionaire William Ackman said he had snapped up $1 billion worth of Netflix (NASDAQ:) shares since last Thursday’s market tumble.
Companies, meanwhile, continue to deliver good news; Tesla (NASDAQ:) for instance predicted 50%-plus growth this year, while Deutsche Bank (DE:) posted its biggest profit since 2011. But with buyers still in hiding, Tesla shares tanked in after-hours trade.
Graphic: Fed policy trails inflation by historic margin, https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-FED/gdpzynrmnvw/chart.png Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Thursday:
-China’s industrial firms saw December profits grow at slowest pace in 1-1/2 years
-German consumer morale improves slightly
-New Zealand inflation at three-decade high
-South Africa expected to raise rates by 25 bps
-U.S. durable goods/advance Q4 GDP reading/initial jobless claims
-U.S. 7-year note auction
-U.S earnings: Blackstone (NYSE:), Dow chemicals, Southwest airlines, McDonalds T Rowe Price (NASDAQ:), Mastercard (NYSE:), JetBlue, Apple (NASDAQ:), Visa (NYSE:), Mondelez (NASDAQ:),
-European earnings: LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Dr Martens, UniCredit Britvic, St. James’s Place STMicroelectronics, SAP, Deutsche Bank, IG Group, Diageo (LON:), Sabadell, SEB, Polymetal