Should We Fear, Inflation Is Here
By Laura Cooper, Bloomberg reporter and Markets Live commentator
It’s becoming hard to ignore inflationary pressures, whether one is a central banker or not. Tech investors are taking notice with Monday’s Nasdaq 100 slump the largest since mid-March, while China’s producer prices accelerated overnight. VIX futures are higher with broad risk aversion setting up for European equities to catch up to the late downbeat U.S. session.
At least investor jitters that rising inflation could lift bond yields, and sap equities’ appeal could take comfort from real yields. The 10-year U.S. inflation-adjusted benchmark tumbled to three-month lows, keeping nominal yields in check as breakevens jumped to multi-year highs.
Financial conditions reached another record, while evidence of stocks’ rotation remains: S&P 500 energy and financials advanced over the past 5 sessions, value is outperforming growth –- particularly in Europe — and the RTY/NDX is well, steady –- much like 10-year nominal yields around 1.60%.
U.S. labor market frictions look to be adding to inflation fears, with JOLTs data, a leading indicator of hiring, likely to signal workers’ growing pricing power. And the NFIB small business optimism will be watched today for supply side constraints –- last month, job openings that were “hard to fill” reached at least a four-decade high. Of course, labor market dislocations remain and a handful of Fed speakers today will no doubt look to assuage inflation fears and discount near-term tapering risks. Not like Bill Dudley.
Whether the Fed falls too far behind the curve remains up for debate. Markets, on the other hand, aren’t as comfortable looking through transitory inflation as evidence builds and expectations climb — that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy after all.
Tue, 05/11/2021 – 09:09