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A fatigue factor

Posted June 14, 2024 at 9:30 am
Patrick J. O’Hare

There is some modest pressure on the equity futures market this morning, which is frankly what one might expect after the run the market — and the mega-cap stocks in particular — has been on this month. We can call it a consolidation trade.

Currently, the S&P 500 futures are down 24 points and are trading 0.3% below fair value, the Nasdaq 100 futures are down 43 points and are trading fractionally below fair value, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 278 points and are trading 0.5% below fair value.

The weakness has taken root in spite of yet another technology company delivering earnings results and guidance that have ignited its stock. That would be Adobe, Inc. (ADBE), which is up 15%; however, its good fortune has not spilled over to the broader market.

The broader market is experiencing some buyer fatigue in the mega-cap space. Some pullback action there has been a key drag on the equity futures market, but not the only drag.

Arguably, the weakness seen in European markets has created an excuse to do some selling. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.2% amid some election uncertainty that has been heightened by a report that France’s left-wing parties are aligning as a “Popular Front” to challenge the far-right National Rally Party in the upcoming snap election. France’s finance minister has warned that a left-wing win could mean an EU exit. 

The nervousness building in France has set the tone for other markets and has been a drag on European bank stocks. Germany’s DAX is down 1.1% and Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.7%.

The market’s international attention has also reached to Asia with China reporting much lower-than-expected new loan data for May and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) putting out a new policy directive.

The BOJ left its overnight uncollateralized call rate unchanged at about 0.0% to 0.1%, as expected, and voted 8-1 to reduce its bond purchases over the next one to two years or so. It didn’t say by how much, though. That will reportedly be detailed at the next policy meeting in July; however, Nikkei reported that Governor Ueda said at his press conference that the reduction would likely be sizable.

Speaking of sizable, Tesla (TSLA) shareholders approved Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay package and moving the company’s incorporation from Delaware to Texas; Roaring Kitty increased his stake in GameStop (GME) to nine million shares, according to CNBC; and high-end furniture retailer RH, Inc. (RH) is down 14% after delivering some disappointing earnings results and guidance.

Finally, the May Import-Export Price Index had its share of negative numbers. Import prices declined 0.4%, nonfuel import prices declined 0.3%, export prices declined 0.6%, and non-agricultural export prices declined 0.8%, wrapping up a week of inflation reports that went the market’s way (and the Fed’s way).

The 2-yr note yield is down one basis point to 4.68% and the 10-yr note yield is down two basis points to 4.22%.

Originally Posted June 14, 2024 – A fatigue factor

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