Futures Slide For Second Day Amid Renewed Virus Worries
S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 stock futures extend declines for a second day, with both down about 0.5% as of 7:00 am in New York as travel and leisure stocks led the move, indicating fresh concerns over reopenings. US futures tracked Europe’s Stoxx 600 index which was 1.1% lower, its biggest drop in a month as a growing tally of virus cases primarily in emerging markets tempered enthusiasm for a global growth rebound. Bond yields fell.
Some notable premarket moves:
- United Airlines dropped 2.1% after the carrier booked a bigger-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
- IBM gained 2.8% as it reported its biggest revenue gain in 11 quarters boosted by its bets on the high-margin cloud computing business.
- Johnson & Johnson, whose COVID-19 vaccine was put on pause last week to review reports of rare blood clots, tightened its forecast for profits this year. Its shares slipped 0.2%.
- Altria extended Monday’s declines, British American Tobacco shares tumbled as much as 7.3% in London, while Imperial Brands also drops as much as 7.3%, after Dow Jones reported the Biden administration is considering only allowing cigarettes with non-addictive nicotine levels, as well as a possible ban on menthol cigarettes. Analysts noted regulatory pressures in the past, and said any new policies may take years to implement. Altria extended Monday’s declines spurred by a Wall Street Journal report saying the U.S. government may only allow cigarettes with non-addictive nicotine levels.
After blockbuster earnings from major U.S. banks last week, analysts expect first-quarter profit for overall S&P 500 firms to jump 30.9% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Investors are now turning to results from Netflix which reports after the close and other major technology-related companies this week to sustain the positive start to the earnings season. The streaming giant which thrived during last year’s lockdowns will be the first among the FAANG group to report quarterly numbers. NFLX shares slipped about 0.5% in pre-market trading, ahead of its results after markets close. Chipmaker Intel Corp is slated to report results on Thursday.
“Optimism is running very high and the earnings outlook has likely been priced to perfection at these levels, so anything less than absolutely stellar results might be seen as a negative surprise,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at online broker XM in Cyprus, echoing what we said last week.
Even with this week’s pullback, global stocks are just inches away far from record highs. That’s prompting concern markets may be overplaying bets on economic reopenings as countries in the developing world – India and Brazil in particular – struggle to contain a rising tide of infection.
“We do think the market is a little overextended here,” Dave Sekera, chief U.S. market strategist at Morningstar Investment Services, told Bloomberg TV, adding that broad U.S. equities look about 5% overvalued.
European shares extend declines to session-low as all industry groups within the regional equities benchmark drop; tobacco stocks were among the hardest hit by a report that the U.S. government is considering a rule to strip cigarettes of addictive levels of nicotine. British American Tobacco Plc plunged 6.6%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index falls 1.2%, the sharpest intraday drop since March 19. Travel and leisure and banking stocks are worst perfomers. Here are some of the region’s biggest movers today:
- Elementis shares rise as much as 22% after Sky reported that the company had received takeover interest from Innospec.
- Nordic Semiconductor gains as much as 8.1% after 1Q earnings, with DNB saying 2Q sales guidance was “massively ahead” of consensus and the bank’s estimate
- Jenoptik climbs as much as 7.9%, the most since Jan. 25, after HSBC upgraded the optical systems and lasers company to buy from hold, saying risks look limited and opportunities are underappreciated.
- EQT falls as much as 12%, the most in eight months, after TA Associates exited its remaining stake in the private equity firm.
- AMS slides as much as 12% in Zurich following Manager Magazin report that Apple has begun including Face ID sensors from rival companies in the iPhone 12. This is one of the reasons AMS division head Ulrich Huewels lost his job, the German magazine says.
- Juventus declines as much as 9.3% while Borussia Dortmund falls as much as 5.3% after both soccer clubs rallied in the previous session on plans for a European Super League.
Asian stocks also fell, set to end a five-day winning streak. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.6%, poised to snap its longest winning streak in more than two months. Industrials and health care shares led losses on the gauge. Japanese shares were the worst performers in the region. The blue chip-heavy Nikkei 225 fell 2% as Tokyo and Osaka moved closer to declaring states of emergency amid rising Covid-19 infections. A strengthening yen hurt demand for Japan’s exporters. In Hong Kong, Meituan was the biggest contributor to the Hang Seng Index’s advance, which closed up 0.1%. The Chinese delivery giant’s shares rose 1.5% after it raised $9.98 billion from a record top-up placement and a convertible bond sale. Other tech stocks slipped, with Alibaba down 1.6% while Baidu fell by 2.6%.
Chinese stocks erased an earlier gain to close slightly weaker, snapping a two-day gain as foreign investors trimmed holdings. The benchmark CSI 300 index edged down less than 0.1% to 5,083.37 points, joining broad declines among Asia equities after U.S. stocks fell from a record overnight. Telecommunication services led the drop in the index, with a sector subgauge losing 1.2%. The key equities gauge has traded mostly sideways in recent weeks following its tumble into a technical correction last month, with analysts citing that investors are waiting for a catalyst for the next big move. The main investment theme in China’s stocks is mixed currently “as it lacks additional money flows,” Li Lifeng, an analyst at Huaxi Securities, wrote in a note. Foreign investors net sold almost 500 million yuan worth of A shares via the mainland-Hong Kong stock link, after buying in the previous two sessions. Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said Monday that the watchdog is paying “high attention” to hedge fund inflows through the Stock Connect program. Sentiment in the broader market held up, with the turnover in Shanghai and Shenzhen coming in at 803 billion yuan, just 2.4% less than Monday’s figure that was a one-month high.
India’s benchmark equity index fell, after swinging between gains and losses, led by software exporters and lenders. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.5% to 47,705.80, its lowest since end-January, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.4%. Both measures had risen as much as 1% earlier in the session as the government said it will allow citizens over the age of 18 years to be vaccinated against coronavirus from next month, a step toward controlling a spread that’s led to more lockdown-like curbs in the country. Twelve of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. climbed, led by a gauge of healthcare companies. “Market sentiment depends on the success of the move, which can only be determined after some time,” said Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research Ltd. “We expect the Indian market to continue trading in a small range.”
In rates, Treasuries rose after spending much of the London morning lower and were last trading near session highs after erasing earlier Asian session declines, gaining as U.S. stock futures followed European bourses lower. 10Y Treasury yields traded around 1.59%, richer by 1bp vs Monday’s close after peaking at 1.631% in early European session; 2s10s and 5s30s curves are flatter by ~1bp; bunds and gilts lag Treasuries slightly. Weakness during Asia session was guided by USD/JPY and Australian bond market.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell a seventh consecutive day and the greenback fell against most of its Group-of-10 peers as commodity currencies lead gains; the euro advanced to $1.2080, the highest level since March 3, and breaching the 100-DMA. The pound traded in a narrow range despite an unexpected weakening of the jobs market. The yen reversed a gain against the dollar as Japan’s coronavirus infections climbed and consolidation set in. Australia’s yield curve bear steepened further after the release of minutes from the latest central bank meeting while the Aussie touched a one-month high amid broad greenback weakness and a rally in commodities. The Reserve Bank of Australia said its policy settings were helping hold down the currency, while surging property prices meant it needed to monitor trends in home borrowing, according to minutes of its April meeting. China’s yuan advanced past 6.5 per dollar for the first time since March 18 amid broad weakness in the greenback.
In commodities, oil traded near $64 a barrel, a year to the day after futures for the U.S. benchmark collapsed below zero, with the world’s most important commodity extending a powerful rally on bets for better demand.
After a slide in early overnight trading, bitcoin rebounded and was last trading just shy of $56,000.
Looking at the day ahead now, and there are a number of further earnings releases including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Abbott Laboratories, Philip Morris International and Lockheed Martin. Otherwise, data releases include UK unemployment for February and German PPI for March, while the ECB’s Hernandez de Cos will be speaking. There is no economic data in the US.
- S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,158.25
- Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.8% to 438.78
- Brent Futures up 1.2% to $67.84/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,767.70
- U.S. Dollar Index down 0.14% to 90.94
- MXAP down 0.4% to 208.24
- MXAPJ up 0.3% to 698.69
- Nikkei down 2.0% to 29,100.38
- Topix down 1.5% to 1,926.25
- Hang Seng Index up 0.1% to 29,135.73
- Shanghai Composite down 0.1% to 3,472.94
- Sensex little changed at 47,971.27
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.7% to 7,017.77
- Kospi up 0.7% to 3,220.70
- German 10Y yield rose 1.3 bps to -0.232%
- Euro up 0.3% to $1.2069
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- Dollar bears are making a comeback as falling Treasury yields shackle the reserve currency. Technical indicators suggest the decline may extend. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is on track for its longest losing streak since June after Treasury 10-year yields dropped almost 15 basis points since the end of March. Leveraged traders have slashed bullish positions, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- The U.K. labor market weakened unexpectedly, with company payrolls falling for the first time in four months and more people dropping out of the workforce
- The aggressive rebound in global economic growth still isn’t enough for most of the world’s central banks to pull back on their emergency stimulus. In Bloomberg’s quarterly review of monetary policy covering 90% of the world economy, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan are among the 16 institutions set to hold interest rates this year
- The Reserve Bank of Australia said its policy settings were helping hold down the currency, while surging property prices meant it needed to monitor trends in home borrowing, according to minutes of its April meeting
- Justin Trudeau’s government released a budget that promises big spending on new social programs and a return to small deficits by 2025, setting the stage for a possible election in Canada this year
- Oil edged higher toward $64 a barrel as traders monitored a patchwork recovery in demand from the coronavirus pandemic a year to the day since futures for the U.S. benchmark went negative OPEC and its allies are discussing downgrading next week’s full-scale ministerial meeting, delegates said, a signal the coalition may stick with plans to gradually revive oil production
A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
Asian equity markets traded mixed with risk appetite dampened following the losses on Wall Street where most majors retreated from their recent record highs with the declines led by tech and growth amid a rise in yields and bond selling. ASX 200 (-0.7%) was subdued with nearly all sectors in the red following the headwinds from US peers and as participants digested quarterly updates including Rio Tinto which posted lower iron ore production although its shipments increased Y/Y. Nikkei 225 (-2.0%) underperformed as the recent detrimental currency flows reverberated across Japanese stocks in which exporters took the brunt after USD/JPY briefly gave up the 108.00 handle. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were indecisive after a lack of surprises from the PBoC which maintained the status quo on rates for a 12th consecutive month as expected with the 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates kept at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively. Focus was also on Chinese President Xi’s keynote speech at the Boao Forum where he stated that China has continued deepening reform and opening up, as well as called for countries to join hands in dealing with the pandemic but also reiterated the view for countries to not meddle in the internal affairs of others. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lacklustre after the recent weakness in USTs and slightly lower demand at the 20yr JGB auction, while 10yr yields in Australia and New Zealand were higher by around 4-5bps as they tracked the upside in global counterparts.
Top Asian News
- Goldman Names Sean Fan Co-Head of China Investment Banking
- Japanese Stocks Slide After Gain in Yen as Virus Concerns Grow
- RBA Sees Policy Helping Stem Aussie, Monitors Home Borrowing
- Bank Indonesia Holds Key Rate Steady While Lowering GDP Outlook
Major bourses in Europe saw another lacklustre cash open before a downside bias solidified (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%) within the first hour of trade, as sentiment sullied following a mixed APAC handover and amid a lack of fresh catalysts. US equity futures, meanwhile, have extended losses with the RTY underperforming vs peers with no particular trigger for the move lower. Back to Europe, sectors are primarily in the red with shallower losses seen for the Energy and Materials sectors on the back of firmer price action for oil and copper prices. The downside meanwhile sees Personal and Household Goods as the laggard amid disappointing metrics from AB Foods (-2.0%) coupled with hefty losses in tobacco names Imperial Brands (-6.2%) and British American Tobacco (-6.7%) following reports that the US is seeking to lower the nicotine level in cigarettes sold in the US. Travel & Leisure also resides towards the foot of the Stoxx 600 amid the rising COVID cases across some significant economies, whilst Air France-KLM (-3.8%) adds to the glum tone in the sector after a capital increase and as the French government raised its stake in the Co. to tighten its control. The IT sector has failed to gain upside impetus from IBM’s (+3% pre-mkt) numbers. In terms of individual movers, BMW (+0.7%) trades firmer after its prelim Q1 figures exceeded market expectations, with growth reported in all significant regions and in particular China. ASM (-10.8%) plumbed the depths amid reports from German press that the Co. is “massively” losing Apple business.
Top European News
- Credit Suisse Prime-Brokerage Heads to Leave After Archegos
- AMS Falls After Report Apple Has Started Using Rival Sensors
- DWS, CDPQ Said Near 3 Billion-Euro Deal for France’s Ermewa
- U.K. Reaches $2 Billion Deal to Buy Boeing’s Chinook Helicopters
In FX, the Antipodean Dollars are taking full advantage of their US counterpart’s ongoing demise, with Aud/Usd and Nzd/Usd both extending rebounds to top round numbers at 0.7800 and 0.7200 respectively. The Aussie has not really been hampered by RBA minutes reaffirming dovish policy guidance overnight given some external impetus from a firmer PBoC Cny fixing, but has lost a bit of momentum in Aud/Nzd cross terms from 1.0820+ towards and through 1.0800 as the Kiwi eyes NZ Q1 CPI tonight for some independent direction. Moreover, Aud/Usd could still be drawn to hefty expiry options sitting below 0.7800 between 0.7795-65 in 1.2 bn for the NY cut.
- CAD/EUR/DXY – 1.2500 is still proving to be a sticking point for the Loonie vs its US peer, but Usd/Cad has pulled back from circa 1.2535 against the backdrop of firmer crude prices and the Canadian budget that was mixed in terms of 2020/21 and 2021/22 fy deficit forecasts vs prior projections, though pretty neutral on balance, awaiting CPI and the BoC on Wednesday. Conversely, the Euro has breached 1.2050 that held on Monday and key technical resistance in the form of the 100 DMA that comes in at 1.2058 today on the way up to 1.2080 before stalling, as the Greenback tries to regroup or contain further losses to keep the index within sight of 91.000 between 91.101-90.856 parameters.
- GBP/CHF – Both narrowly mixed vs the Buck having probed more psychological levels, but not sustaining sufficient thrust or garnering enough follow-through buying to clear 1.4000 and 0.9150 convincingly. However, Cable could get another fillip from UK inflation data tomorrow following somewhat mixed labour and earnings given the consensus for a rise in headline CPI.
- JPY – Almost all change for the Yen that seemed set to overcome 108.00 against the Dollar after scaling the 50 DMA, but Usd/Jpy has bounced firmly to 108.50+ alongside Jpy crosses, such as Eur/Jpy beyond 130.50 and almost reaching 131.00 in what appears to be a technical correction rather than something fundamental, aside from a resumption of US Treasury bear-steepening.
In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are on the rise amid supply disruptions in Libya, whereby the NOC declared a force majeure on crude exports from its Hariga port, whilst Agoco was forced to reduce output amid a lack of funding. These developments would see Libya’s output drop below 1mln BPD for the first time since October vs the 1.3mln BPD production Libyan press reported in early April. This, alongside the Dollar softness, have taken WTI back above USD 64/bbl (vs low 63.38/bbl) and Brent to around USD 68/bbl (vs low 67/bbl). Elsewhere, reports suggest that next week would only see a JMMC meeting with no OPEC+ confab to follow. This indicates that the policy agreed upon last month will not be tweaked as the JMMC does not carry out policy decisions but instead offers recommendations. Energy journalists have noted that the Islamic period of Ramadan could be a reason not to hold two meetings in a short time frame. Turning to metals, spot gold and silver have remained around recent ranges and have been mainly moving in tandem with the Buck in early European hours amidst a distinct lack of catalysts – with spot gold hovering around in a tight range around USD 1,770/oz and spot silver visiting levels on either side of USD 26/oz. Over to base metals, LME copper continues to climb to near 10-year highs as a function of the Dollar, whilst overnight Dalian iron ore futures were bolstered amid improved Chinese steel margins and lower output from the mining giant Rio Tinto. On the recent commodity rise, Chinese Industry Ministry said China will actively take measures to stabilise raw material prices. The Ministry added that the current round of commodity price increases will impact manufacturing, but is overall controllable.
US Event Calendar
- Nothing major scheduled
DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Henry and Apurv are finishing off this morning as I’m having a rare lie-in to coincide with my vaccine appointment yesterday. To be honest I was really bunged up with hay fever before I had the jab and on passing this over late on Monday night after watching another demoralising football display from Liverpool I feel the same as I did earlier. Virtually everyone I know has had some kind of noticeable 12-72 hour cold/flu type reaction to the AZ vaccine so I await that. Maybe the next injection I get will be the hay fever one as this season has been near intolerable. If anyone has had that I’d love to hear about its success.
Global equities saw the mildest of side effects to Friday’s fresh record highs as sovereign bond yields shifted higher and investors struggled to find a catalyst that could justify further gains, particularly amidst a global rise in Covid cases that is one of the fastest since the pandemic began. By the close of trade, the S&P 500 (-0.53%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.07%) had both lost ground, and the VIX index of volatility ticked up +1.04pts in its biggest daily increase in 3 weeks. That said, this pullback still leaves the S&P and the STOXX at their 3rd and 2nd highest ever levels respectively, so let’s not get too carried away.
Looking at the sectoral moves, tech stocks underperformed on both sides of the Atlantic, with the NASDAQ (-0.98%) and FANG+ (-1.33%) both struggling, though it was a fairly broad-based decline with 334 in the S&P 500 ending the day lower, the largest so far this month. 20 of the 24 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell back yesterday with only Real Estate (+0.29%), Technology hardware (+0.27%), Biotech (+0.11%) and Telecoms (+0.01%) seeing marginal gains. As well as that, small-cap stocks were another underperformer, with the Russell 2000 index falling -1.36% with c.80% of the index falling back.
Earnings could be a catalyst to give the overall market a sense of direction. After the close, IBM reported its first revenue gain since mid-2018 as cloud-service demand, which has been a key focus for the new CEO, exceeded expectations. The stock rose +3.06% in after-market trading as three of the five business segments showed sales growth, led by Cloud and Cognitive Software – the biggest unit. United Airlines (-2.16% post-market) also reported after the close last night, indicating that quarterly losses would continue until air travel returns to 65% of 2019 levels. In terms of 2021 Q1, the airline posted a larger-than-expected loss (-$7.50/share loss vs. -$7.02/share expected) and expects yet another loss this upcoming quarter. This came after reports earlier in the day that the airline was going to add three new US-Europe flights this July to Croatia, Greece and Iceland, all of which have reopened to vaccinated travelers. Meanwhile of some note was Tesla (-3.40%) which fell after two passengers died in a Tesla car that local authorities in Texas said that no-one appeared to be driving. Nevertheless, Elon Musk has tweeted overnight that data logs recovered so far indicated the car didn’t have its Autopilot driver-assistance technology enabled. Separately Bitcoin (-0.14%) lost ground for a 4th day running, and this morning is down a further -3.02% to take the cryptocurrency to $54,511, more than $10,000 beneath its all-time intraday high last week.
Elsewhere, sovereign bonds had a pretty eventful day, and at one point yields on 10yr bunds traded just above -0.22%, on track to close at their highest level in over a year. Though they pared back some of those losses towards the end of the session, yields on bunds (+2.7bps to -0.24%), OATs (+2.2bps) and BTPs (+4.3bps) all closed higher, and 10yr OATs were back in positive territory once again. Over in the US, 10yr UST yields were up +2.5bps to 1.605%. The driver was a pickup in real yields (+4.1bps), while inflation expectations (as approximated by the 10yr breakeven) are still within 2bps of 8-year highs. The dollar index fell -0.53%, for the index’s sixth straight decline and now sits at its lowest levels since March 3. Likewise, the euro traded above $1.20 for the first time since then as well.
Overnight in Asia, markets are trading mixed with the Nikkei (-1.80%) down, Hang Seng (-0.01%) stable, and the Shanghai Comp (+0.29%) and Kospi (+0.59%) moving higher. We also received the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest policy minutes which highlighted members agreed on monitoring surging house prices as a potential risk and added that “it would be important to watch carefully for increased risk-taking by lenders.”The Australian dollar is up +0.53% this morning, although part of that strength is down to the dollar’s general weakness (-0.18%). Outside of Asia, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.23% and European ones are somewhat more subdued with Stoxx 50 futures down -0.13% as those on the DAX and FTSE 100 point to little change.
Though equities more broadly fell back from their all-time highs, one of the few winners yesterday were publicly-traded elite football clubs, as the prospect of participating in a European super league sent their share prices substantially higher. The Italian club Juventus (+17.85%) had its best day since 2013, while Manchester United (+8.81%) had its best day since November, back when we got the initial results from the Pfizer vaccine trial. However, the proposals have come under sustained criticism since their release, and even politicians have stepped in, with UK PM Johnson tweeting that the plans “would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action.” A fascinating period awaits as we see how this develops.
In Germany, there were further developments ahead of September’s federal election as the Green party selected co-leader Annalena Baerbock as their chancellor candidate. In past elections this wouldn’t have got a mention in the EMR, but the German Greens have surged in the polls lately, and are currently set to beat the centre-left Social Democrats into second place. Indeed, it’s no longer implausible to suggest that there could even be a Green chancellor, particularly given the recent decline of the CDU/CSU in the polls, albeit with them still in first place. Baerbock is from the more moderate, so called “realo-wing” of the Greens, and the pretty smooth process of nominating her as the candidate contrasts with the current infighting within the CDU/CSU bloc. Speaking of which, late last night the CDU’s Armin Laschet overcame the CSU’s Markus Soeder in a vote among the CDU leadership, with a 31-9 vote with 6 abstentions. Though Laschet lost support since the committee unanimously backed him a week ago, Soeder has previously said he would accept a clear CDU vote for his opponent. Nevertheless, Laschet still requires the CSU’s support in order to confirm his nomination as the joint chancellor candidate.
Turning to the pandemic, the global case count is continuing to increase rapidly, with a record number of weekly cases recorded around the world. A number of countries including India, Japan and Argentina have seen a sharp increases in cases of late. In the US, the numbers continue to be fairly stable in terms of the overall growth, but this masks some noticeable divergences between states. On the one hand, Michigan in particular has seen a very rapid increase, as have others including Pennsylvania and Maine. On the other hand, New York City’s positivity rate fell beneath 5% for the first time in months yesterday, according to Mayor de Blasio. New York State continues to reopen the economy with indoor capacity increased to 50% at museums and 33% at theatres. Meanwhile in Europe, UK PM Johnson cancelled his planned visit to India next week, and India was added to the UK’s travel ban list in light of the surging growth in cases there. Elsewhere France has started to refocus efforts on educating the country about the AstraZeneca vaccine with a government spokesman saying that confidence “must be rebuilt”, while citing studies that show that for those over 55 “there aren’t any risks and the vaccine is safe and effective”. Finally, the EU yesterday exercised an option for a further 100mn doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – the option was built into the original purchase agreement from February. The plan is for all doses to be delivered this year.
To the day ahead now, and there are a number of further earnings releases including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Abbott Laboratories, Philip Morris International and Lockheed Martin. Otherwise, data releases include UK unemployment for February and German PPI for March, while the ECB’s Hernandez de Cos will be speaking.
Tue, 04/20/2021 – 07:52