Peruzzi’s Perch 09.01.17- Equities Markets Action Defy Experts – “Houston, we don’t see a problem”?

The U.S markets finished August with the NASDAQ comp at all-time highs, the S&P 500 on a 5 day and DOW on a 4 day winning streak.  In fact, both the DOW and S&P 500 were within ½ of 1 % of their all times highs set on August 8th.  We find this to be somewhat remarkable given the headwinds the market has had to face recently.

Larry Peruzzi, Managing Director

We have seen the market repeatedly recover from events such as North Korea missile launches, Presidential cabinet turnover, failed heath care bills, and Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and near shut down of Houston’s oil refining capacity.  This market may be overvalued, it may be “long in the tooth” and it may even be a thorn in the FED’s side. All true, but it also proving to be very resilient.

Another surprising aspect is the lack of surprise in the economic releases. Perhaps it’s a function of better forecasting, but we rarely see surprises in the numbers. This week Wholesales inventories, Dallas Fed, jobless claims, income, spending, Q2 GDP adjustment all came in as expected. July pending sales however did pull back a bit. We closed out the week with August employment report and while the headline number of 156K versus 180K estimates looked light, the bulk of that was in lower government hiring. The participation rate remained at a healthy 62.9%.  The biggest story of the week was the massive flooding caused by hurricane Harvey. The storm looks like it will be the costliest in U.S history, and the human and personal toll is difficult to comprehend. Gasoline has spiked to multi year highs, but with oil maintaining a $47.25 a barrel price, we expect gasoline prices to ease on refining capacity and pipelines return to service. The one silver lining from this storm was the drastic improvement in response time that we experienced during the Katrina Hurricane 12 years ago.

With markets closed for Monday’s Labor Day holiday we expect to see volumes slowly return more toward normal as the week progresses. Economically, we get July factory and durable goods orders on Tuesday, July trade balance and Fed Beige book on Wednesday, productivity, jobless claims and labor cost on Thursday, followed by July’s final read of wholesale inventories.

The most closely watched items will be the beige book as well as damage cost out of Houston ($70 to $90B estimate). While escalating numbers will continue to put pressure on the insurers, eventually an economic boom will be realized in construction, material and transportation stocks as the Houston area begins the rebuild process. Hurricane Irma is making its way across the Atlantic and we will be watching the storms progress.

The North Korea threat will most likely not go away, but the government and market has recently been better at handling the situation. The pending debt ceiling and tax reform debate in Washington could have some market moving effect. The EU and UK will continue to negotiate Brexit terms. Friday GM reported nice sale gains. We will be watching auto sales going forward to see if the industry has turned a corner.

While many are touting the regulatory reform as being the prime market driver the earning growth, modest job growth, and non-inflationary pressures (next FED hike now pushed out to December) are all helping to diminish investors’ concerns of a September correction. Historically, September has not been kind to equity markets. But as we know, this is a totally different market. Enjoy the ride and enjoy the long weekend. It’s back to work on Tuesday.


Larry Peruzzi

Managing Director International Trading

Mischler Financial Group

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 September 01, 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.