Independent Investor News and Updates - Part 3

Week Ahead: US Banks to Kick off Earnings Season on Wall Street

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Corporate earnings pick up steam on both sides of the Atlantic, while in FX the main focus is the monthly CPI and retail sales data from the US. US Retail Sales & Inflation The US inflation conundrum rears its head once again with CPI data for December due on Friday alongside the monthly retail sales release. Figures for November showed a slowing in core inflation, putting the spotlight on whether the Federal Reserve ought to be hiking interest rates as often as it intends in 2018. Core CPI slowed to 1.7% from 1.8% in October and if this trend were to continue the market – which already doubts the Fed will hike 3 times this year – will carry through with its intended path of tightening. Wall Street Earnings On Wall Street, earnings season kicks off properly this week with the release of Q4 earnings from the big banks. Wells […]

Week Ahead: Nonfarm Payrolls, FOMC Meeting Minutes on Tap

Author: Phil Evans / In News

The New Year kicks off with a bang as traders return to their desks. US nonfarm payrolls and minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting are on tap, while a trading update from Next is the main event on the corporate front. Nonfarm Payrolls The major event is the monthly US labour market snapshot offered by the nonfarm employment change and average earnings data for December. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 228,000 in November as unemployment held steady at a 17-year low of 4.1%. Average earnings continued to climb at a rate of 2.5% annually. While the headline number grabs the most attention, arguably of greater importance in terms of the US dollar and expectations for future interest rate hikes is the unemployment rate and wages. In its latest economic projections, the FOMC revised its unemployment forecast down from 4.1% to 3.9% in 2018 while core inflation will not improve any […]

Week Ahead: Will There Be a Santa Claus Rally?

Author: Phil Evans / In News

A quiet period for some but the week between Christmas and New Year can often see a rally in equities. Heading for a Santa Claus Rally? Stocks usually rise in December, so the data tells us. But most of the gains are reserved for later in the month and the so-called Santa Claus Rally, which strictly speaking is the ramp up in equities in the final week of December and first two trading days of January. The FTSE 100 has risen in December in 25 of the last 30 years. On average, the blue chip has delivered returns of 2.35% in the final month of the year going back to 1987, according to our analysis of Bloomberg data. Last year, the index climbed 5.29%, snapping a run of two years in which the market had fallen in December. The four major US indices – the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 […]

Week Ahead: CME Bitcoin Futures Launch, US Inflation and GDP Prints

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Inflation data from the US and Eurozone are the last big economic releases of the year, while the Bitcoin craze continues with the launch of futures by CME. CME Bitcoin Futures The launch of Bitcoin futures by CBOE delivered the wild ride that most expected. Trading was halted twice in the first few hours as prices rocketed, although volumes were pretty thin. In a sign of just how fragile and fractured the market can be, the spread between the underlying spot market and prices on futures contracts was as wide as $2,000 at times. Following this, CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange, will launch its own futures contract on Monday, Dec 18th. CME Bitcoin futures will be based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which aggregates trading activity across major spot exchanges between 15:00 and 16:00 London time. Final GDP Readings On the data front, the third […]

Week Ahead: Fed to Outline Path for Rate Hikes in 2018

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Central banks are the focus this week with the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of England all in action. With the ECB and BoE expected to stand pat, the Fed is the star attraction as it is anticipated to raise rates again and release fresh forecasts for hikes in 2018 and beyond. Federal Reserve The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is all but certain to raise interest rates again on Wednesday, with markets pricing in a roughly 90% chance that the target federal funds rate will be increased by a further 25 basis points. The focus for market participants is therefore on the updated economic projections and the so-called dot plot, which sets out how policymakers see the likely path of interest rates. With tax reform now firmly on the agenda, it is anticipated that policymakers may raise their forecasts. This could see the median fed funds […]