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Quiet Start Before a Big End to the Week

Quiet Start Before a Big End to the Week

Posted June 24, 2024 at 11:15 am
Steve Sosnick
Interactive Brokers

It is always difficult to plan too far ahead when trading.  All too often we expect few catalysts before one comes from out of the blue to surprise us.  So far today, there hasn’t been one, though several are anticipated for later in the week.

Summer officially started last week, a day ahead of Friday’s quarterly expiration.  It’s possible that we may have already morphed into summer mode. We thought that the rebalance of XLK offered the potential for some extra volatility around the market’s close.   That proved not to be the case, and while we see Apple (AAPL) rising and Nvidia (NVDA) falling after the latter replaced the overweighted position in the former, the rise in AAPL is a bit surprising amidst news about the potential for an EU antitrust action.  

Yet there are several potentially market moving events that converge around the end of this week.  While the economic calendar is relatively light today through Wednesday, with only tomorrow’s Conference Board Consumer Confidence likely to have any significant influence on markets, the last two days of the week could bring some fireworks ahead of next week’s Independence Day holiday. 

On Thursday we get a revision to Q1 GDP, along with the GDP Price Index.  The former is expected to be revised to 1.4% from the prior 1.3% release.  Neither reflects a particularly scintillating US economy, but a divergence up or down could affect investors’ views about the timing of potential rate cuts.  The GDP Price Index is a minor number, but a core reading that diverges from the prior 3.6% could change expectations for the more important reading that arrives the following morning.

The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the Core PCE Deflator, is scheduled for release on Friday morning.  The month-over-month increase is expected to be 0.1%, up from last month’s 0.2%, which would result in a year-over-year bump of 2.6%.  That remains a bit above the Fed’s 2% inflation target but would indeed show progress toward that goal.  This will clearly have an influence on expectations for the FOMC’s rate path. 

Also on Friday, we receive the University of Michigan Sentiment and Inflation Expectations reports.  These have indeed shown a recent propensity to influence the stock market after their 10AM EDT release.  Sentiment is expected to rise modestly to 66 from 65.6, which is still rather anemic, while 1-year inflation expectations are expected to fall to 3.2% from 3.3%.  Considering the propensity of those expectations to follow the pump price of gasoline, a drop would not be shocking.

But I’ve kind of buried the lead here.  Friday is also the last trading day of the quarter.  Today’s activity, where we see a bit of a rotation out of the former leading sector – semiconductors – into a broad range of others may be presaging the type of portfolio management that could continue into the quarter-end.  A broadening stock market would of course be welcome news for those of us who have been concerned about the narrowing market leadership that we have seen in recent weeks, but one day – or even one week – does not make a trend.  If this rotation is occurring because investors see value in less appreciated sectors, that’s terrific.  If it is simply window dressing, that is relatively unsustainable.  We’ll know more as the week goes on.

And I’ve so far left out the biggest news item of the week – the Presidential debate that will occur on Thursday night.  Frankly, I have no idea what to expect, and I’m wary of anyone who claims to have a definitive view of the outcome.  The most likely market outcome is that investors do their usual best to push geopolitical, or in this case simply political, events.  But the potential for some real fireworks exists.  I’ll certainly be watching, and I’m not likely to be short volatility expiring on Friday.

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2 thoughts on “Quiet Start Before a Big End to the Week”

  • Chris

    Thanks for the concise review.

    • Interactive Brokers

      We hope that you continue to enjoy Traders’ Insight!

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