Equity Market Drivers: Sentiment, Spending and Politics; Peruzzi’s Perch
March 24, 2017   //   by Mischler MarCom   //   Equities Market Commentary  

What’s Next for Stocks? Equity Market Drivers-It’s all about Sentiment, Spending and Politics…

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Larry Peruzzi

U.S and global markets experienced a classic risk reversal trade on Tuesday as investors re-priced the probability of a reduction in taxes. Investors took profits and reduced their risk exposure by knocking the Dow down 1.14% and the S&P 500 by 1.24% on Tuesday.  The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials ended their historic streak of 110 sessions without a 1% decline. Crude oil continued its decline with WTI crude down 3.1% over the first 4 days of the week. Energy, the worst-performing sector this year, has fallen by about 8% year to date. The economic front was largely void of any market moving numbers.

The housing sector did release some contradictory numbers as Wednesday’s existing home sales in February registered a 3.7% decline, but Thursday new home sales surged 6.1%. Who wants used when you can have new?  As the week came to an end, more uncertainty was created as the House GOP leaders looked to vote on Friday on their health-care bill, while not knowing for sure they have enough votes to pass it. As we have learned time and time again, markets greatly despise uncertainty.

Further evidence of the risk reversal trade can be seen in Gold’s trading action, as the precious metal is up 3.25% over the last 2 weeks. The week will also be remembered for what might have been the beginning stages of an end to an era when Sears Holdings had its worst decline in 2 years. Sears said there was “substantial doubt” about its future. Sears was once the world’s largest retailer over its 131 year history. With the Fed’s rate hike behind us and the next meeting not until May 3rd and 1Q earnings still a few weeks’ away, investors will continue to ponder their risk tolerance in these highly partisan political times.  Friday was an active day for Fed governors with Bullard, Dudley, Williams and Evans speaking.

Next week will be equally active for the Fed, with 12 speeches by governors, culminating with Chair Yellen speaking on Tuesday.  With the market drivers changing over the last couple of weeks, I think what the market and investors will be concentrating on is sentiment, spending and politics. Tuesday’s March Conference Board consumer confidence and Friday’s March Michigan sentiment readings should give us a good idea how the public views the economy, while Wednesday’s February pending home sales and Thursday 4Q personal consumption, followed by Friday’s February Personal Spending will be a good indication of how much the recent market rally has buoyed the consumption and spending.

The political front remains divided by party lines and reforms in taxes, healthcare, immigration and a Supreme Court nominee are at risk. As we watch a few key economic numbers and Fed speeches, we will be closely monitoring the shenanigans out of Washington. Quarter-end on Friday is normally “meet with portfolio managers” who will be making some last minute adjustments to portfolio holding and cash levels. I would expect trading volumes to increase as the week progresses.

There is a lot to digest for a market that looks like it is being stymied by a fork in the road.

Larry Peruzzi

Managing Director International Trading

Mischler Financial Group

Investment Banking | Institutional Brokerage

Ph:   1-617-420-8472

Larry Peruzzi is a 20 yr global trading markets veteran and brings a unique perspective to global equities market commentary via Mischler Financial Group, the securities industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned and operated by service-disabled veterans.  Larry’s experience  and best execution perspective stems from his sitting on ‘both sides of the aisle.’  For more than half of Larry’s career, he ran buy-side trading desks for Standish Mellon and thereafter, The Boston Company. In both of those roles, Larry was responsible for implementing and managing international equities trade execution. Larry’s perspectives are frequently cited by the leading financial news publishers, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg LP and Reuters

Mischler End of Week Equities Market Commentary via Peruzzi’s Perch March 09 2017 end-of-week edition is distributed via email to institutional investment managers and Fortune Treasury clients of veteran-owned broker-dealer Mischler Financial Group, the investment industry’s oldest  minority broker-dealer owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans.

Peruzzi’s Perch is a weekly synopsis of Everything Equities as seen from the perch of Mischler Financial Group’s International Equities Desk. Cited by Wall Street Letter in each of 2014, 2015 and 2016 for “Best Research / Broker-Dealer”, Peruzzi’s Perch is one of four distinctive content pieces produced by Mischler Financial Group.

Equity Market Drivers: Sentiment, Spending and Politics; Peruzzi’s Perch