Report (Premium Edition) 10-18-2021

Tip: Use this as a quick guide on the short-term direction (1-2 weeks) of key markets. It is not a signal to buy or sell, just to show the trend. This is a quick cheat sheet to know the trend and help understand what is happening with the markets in the short term. I started making this section years ago because once had a client that would call me nearly every day asking the direction of the markets.

Dow35294.771.09%382.235320.9735023.63Strong Bull
S&P 5004471.380.75%33.134475.824447.69Strong Bull
Crude (WTI)83.5451.31%1.07783.85182.468Bull
10 Year160.10%1.72%0.0271.621.577Bull
US Dollar Index94.0540.11%0.194.17193.915Bull

Tip: Use this section to know the performance of various sectors, weight portfolios, or look for trades. Modern portfolio theory stresses the importance of diversification, but recently several sectors like technology have outperformed others like utilities. This is also a way to narrow the sectors to find investment opportunities.

REIT Alert: Due to Covid-19, there is a large percentage of people that have not paid rent or mortgages. Following the Supreme Court ruling stopping the eviction moratorium, we are very worried about the effect it could have on real estate investment trusts (REITS) value. Even though the sectors may trending bullish, we believe that REITs could have a significant drop in value.

Sector Name5-Day Return1-Month Return3-Month ReturnYTD ReturnYTD Return vs S&P 5003-Year Return5-Year ReturnTrend
 Basic Materials3.70%0.70%2.50%18.50%-1.70%61.40%94.90%Bull
 Communication Services-0.10%-3.40%0.20%19.20%-1.00%78.40%68.80%Neutral
 Consumer Cyclical3.00%1.50%3.20%18.20%-2.00%103.30%180.40%Strong Bull
 Consumer Defensive0.90%-0.80%0.30%7.50%-12.70%45.30%55.10%Strong Bull
 Financial Services1.20%5.10%9.00%35.90%15.70%58.70%118.80%Strong Bull
 Real Estate3.50%-0.20%1.60%27.70%7.50%55.20%56.90%Bull
 Technology2.90%-0.70%3.60%19.30%-0.90%132.50%272.50%Strong Bull

Key Drivers for the Week of Oct. 18, 2021

TIP – This is a 1-minute brief bullet-point summary. It is a tool that gives investors and financial a fast and simple list of what to watch for and talking points for the week.

  • Massive Goldman Sachs earnings beat boosts investor sentiment, lifts stocks
  • Bond yields cheapen on inflation fears, worries of reduced central bank stimulus
  • U.S. earnings include: Tesla, Netflix, P&G, J&J, American Airlines, Whirlpool
  • U.S. data on industrial production, Philly Fed, housing starts, existing home sales
  • Fedspeak from Powell, Williams, Quarles, Waller, Daly, Bostic, Evans, Bullard, Kashkari
  • Canada has BoC Business Outlook Survey, housing starts, CPI, and retail sales
  • China reports GDP, industrial output, retail sales, fixed investment; Japan trade, CPI
  • Eurozone data includes preliminary PMIs, final CPI, current account; German PPI  
  • UK calendar has CPI, manufacturing and services PMI, consumer confidence

Stocks & ETF Watch List

Tip: Use this section to find stocks and ETFs to add value to your portfolio by increasing the alpha (return) and decreasing beta (beta). Our list is updated monthly to help provide our readers with timely insights. Readers should do their own research before making any investment. In order to make our report easier to read, we are now including the stocks as lists for readers in separate posts.

  • Inflation Stock Picks: List of stocks that we think should perform better in a rising inflation environment. Click here
  • Auto Parts Stock Picks: Auto parts companies are likely to see their stocks rise as the average age of cars and light trucks increased from 11.9 years in January 2017 to 12.2 years in January 2021, according to new data from IHS Markit. Below are the top auto parts companies that investors should buy now before the profits roll in. Click here.
  • Solid Picks: This group of stock/ETF picks is likely to experience growth and perform well into the near future. Click here.
  • Dividend Stocks: List of stocks that have excellent dividends and business performance. Click here.
  • Dividend Growth Stocks: List of stocks that have a history of growing dividends. Click here.
  • Dividend ETFs Picks: This list of ETFs is selected for their ability to pay dividends. Click here.
  • Dogs of the Dow: This list of DOW stocks based on H. G. Schneider’s Article in the Journal of Finance in 1951 that used the price-earnings ratio. The general idea is that blue-chip companies that pay a dividend are more likely to withstand an economic downturn. Click here.

Week Ahead: Earnings to the Rescue

On October 18, 2021

Global equities were generally on the decline in September as a number of headwinds have cut global growth. But stellar Q3 earnings reports from the big U.S. banks, especially Goldman Sachs, and better than expected U.S. retail sales, helped boost investor sentiment.

The major stock index closed higher on the week, with the most firmer on the month. Concurrently, bonds lost ground on the pick up in risk appetite, fears over inflation, and worries over reduced central bank stimulus.

These factors will again be in play this week. The data slate includes key reports from around the world that should continue to evince the various impacts on activity and prices from supply chain disruptions and shortages of labor and materials. There is plenty of central banks speak as well, but we do not expect any to change their tune.

U.S. equities have surged in October, unwinding a lot of the downdraft from September. The Dow is now 4.3% higher for October, and not far from its all-time high, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ up 3.8% and 3.1% firmer. Meanwhile, Treasuries have lost a lot of ground on inflation fears as “transitory” looks like it will last longer than expected, as well as increasing angst over QE tapering that is morphing into rate hike concerns.

Indeed, the 2-year note tested 0.400% last week — a 0.4-handle has not been seen (closing basis) since March 19, 2020. The 10-year rate challenged 1.64%. The curve didn’t know whether to steepen or flatten and vacillated between 123 bps and 114 bps on the week, versus 129 bps from last Monday.

This week’s slate could leave Treasuries choppy, though the improvement in risk appetite from last last week should sustain the uptrend in stocks near term.

Earnings will feature this week with more banks, but also other key sectors of the economy. IMB leads off Monday, along with State Street, and Albertsons.

Headlining Tuesday are J&J, P&G, Netflix, Philip Morris, Canadian National Railway, Bank of New York Mellon, Ericsson, Travelers, Fifth Third Bancorp, Synchrony Financial, Kansas City Southern, Dover Corp., Halliburton, and Signature Bank.

On Wednesday, all eyes will be on Tesla, along with Verizon, Abbott Labs, Anthem, Lam Research, CSX, Crown Castle, Canadian Pacific Railway, Biogen, Kinder Morgan, Discover Financial Services, PPG, Nasdaq, Equifax, Las Vegas Sands, Baker Hughes, Citizens Financial, and Teledyne.

Thursday has Intel, Danaher Corp., AT&T, SAP, Union Pacific, Snap, Blackstone, Marsh & McLennan, Freeport-McMoran, Chipotle, Dow, Valero Energy, Southwest Airlines, Quest Diagnostics, American Airlines, Whirlpool, and Snap-On. Honeywell, American Express, HCA Healthcare, Roper Technologies, Schlumberger, Barclays, V.F. Corp., Regions Financial, and Seagate Technology are Wrapped up on Friday.

The data calendar includes industrial production, the Philly Fed manufacturing index, housing starts, and existing home sales. Other reports include the NAHB, jobless claims, and the Markit services and composite indexes. September industrial production (Monday) is projected rising 0.2% in September after climbing 0.4% in August. This would be a 7th straight monthly gain, and the 8th for the 9-months year-to-date.

We expect increases of 0.3% for manufacturing and 1.0% for mining, but a -1.5% drop for utilities. The vehicle assembly rate should tick down to a 9.4 mln pace from 9.5 mln in August, with big headwinds from ongoing semiconductor shortages.

Mining output should continue to rise, alongside the uptrend in the Baker-Hughes rig count. Capacity utilization should rise to 76.5% from 76.4% in August. The Philly Fed index (Thursday), is seen slipping -8.7 ticks to 22.0 in October, erasing much of the 11.3 point bounce to 30.7 in September, from 19.4 in August. The index has averaged 30.7 over the last six months and was at a 48-year high of 50.2 in April.

September housing starts are expected to climb to a 1.630 mln pace in September after bouncing 3.9% to 1.615 mln in August after falling -6.2% to 1.554 mln in July. Starts were at a 15-year high of 1.725 mln in March. Permits are expected to improve to 1.724 mln after surging 5.6% to from 1.721 mln in August, versus a 15-year high of 1.883 mln in January. Existing home sales (Thursday) are expected to jump 1.2% to a 5.950 mln pace in September following the -2.0% drop to 5.880 mln in August. Sales were at a 14-year high of 6.860 mln last October.

Fedspeak will be an interesting market dynamic. The New York Fed conducted a survey for consumer expectations that now shows expectations for the 1-year inflation rate to be 5.31%. The upper bound of this survey also indicates that at least 25% of respondents believe inflation will be at least 8.7% one year from now, while 3-year inflation expectations have increased to 4.19%, marking another high.

Money managers are also looking at the Treasury yield curve’s potential to continue to flatten, which historically means that investors are betting on recession. According to a Bloomberg article out this morning, Asset Management One’s Akira Takei warned that “There is a good chance that the U.S. will enter recession [over the next year]. The curve is still too steep.”

The Beige Book is also on the schedule (Wednesday). Chair Powell is on tap (Friday, 11ET). He will be on a panel discussing post-covid policy and financial stability challenges (sponsored by South Africa’s central bank). NY Fed’s Williams, one of the three key policymakers, is in a moderated discussion (Thursday) hosted by the China 40 Forum. Governor Quarles speaks on financial stability (Monday), but his position as VC of Supervision expired on Wednesday. He will also speak on the economic outlook (Wednesday).

The nonvoting dove Kashkari discusses financial inclusion (Monday). The dovish Daly, though she favors QE tapering soon, gives opening remarks (Tuesday) and speaks on the climate change (Friday). Governor Waller (Tuesday, Thursday) discusses the economic outlook. Bostic (Tuesday) discuses long term unemployment, and Barkin (Tuesday) speaks to the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Bostic, Kashkari, Evans, and Bullard (Wednesday) all take part in an event on racism and the economy.

US Politically – Congress has some movement to pass a smaller spending bill, but we think that the bill will be no more than $1.5 trillion. It will likely require Republican support on the House side, which is yet to be seen.

The Canadian calendar is lively this week, with a relatively busy schedule of data releases and events. Housing starts kick-off (Monday) and are seen edging up to 265k in September from the 260k pace in August.

Inflation expectations will be front and center in the BoC’s Business Outlook Survey for Q3 (Monday) as price pressure continues to escalate amid supply disruptions and strong consumer demand. On that note, we’ll get the latest on CPI with the release of the September report (Wednesday), expected to show an acceleration to a 4.4% pace (y/y, nsa) from the lofty 4.1% clip in August. CPI is seen rising 0.2% (m/m, nsa) in September after the matching 0.2% gain in August.

The week ends with retail sales (Friday), anticipated to rebound 1.0% in August after the -0.6% decline in July, while the ex-autos aggregate bounces 1.5%, more than reversing the -1.0% drop in July. BoC Deputy Governor Lane participates in a panel discussion (Monday) on “Harnessing innovation for the public interest.”


The markets will continue to contend with massive global supply chain disruptions which have directly or indirectly been driven by the pandemic. There are also ongoing worries over the downshift in Chinese activity both due to the global supply constraints and the regulatory crackdowns. However, strong earnings have helped boost investor sentiment. There were also some hopes China might ease some mortgage rules to help stabilize the beleaguered property market, though that may be more rumor than reality.

There is a fairly light regional docket this week, though China reports key data on growth, production, sales, and fixed investment. Japan has the September trade report, along with September national CPI. Elsewhere, prices, employment and trade data dot the calendar. The only central bank meeting comes from Bank Indonesia, which is expected to keep its 7-day reverse repo rate unchanged at 3.50%.

China will get its data out of the way with all of the releases on Monday. The focus will be on Q3 GDP with the data highlighting the various factors impacting the economy, covid lockdowns, regulatory constraints, shocks from the troubled real estate sector (Evergrande and others), energy shortages, and overall global slowing should combine to slice a big chunk off the growth pace.

We expect deceleration to a 5.3% y/y pace, sharply lower than the 7.9% rate seen in Q2. September industrial output is forecast to have fallen to a 4.5% y/y clip from 5.3% in August. The monthly y/y data have been deteriorating every month since February. September retail sales are penciled in at an improved 3.0% y/y pace, up from 2.5% in August. September fixed investment is estimated to have fallen to a 7.5% y/y clip from 8.9% previously, with the struggling real estate market likely to be the major drag.

Japan’s calendar features the September trade report (Wednesday), where the deficit is expected to narrow to JPY 250.0 bln from August’s JPY 637.2 bln. September national CPI (Friday) should warm slightly to -0.3% y/y from -0.4% overall, and to -0.4% y/y from -0.5% on a core basis. Taiwan September export orders (Wednesday) are seen slowing slightly to a 17.0% y/y pace from 17.6% in August. September unemployment (Friday) is forecast at 4.0% from 4.1%. South Korea September PPI (Thursday) is penciled in at a 7.5% y/y clip from 7.4%.

Bank Indonesia meets (Thursday) and is expected to keep its 7-day reverse repo rate unchanged at 3.50%. The rate was cut to a pandemic low of 3.50% in February, and the central bank governor has indicated the rate would stay put until at least year-end, despite signs of economic recovery. Hong Kong September unemployment rate (Thursday) should see a slight decline to 4.0% from 4.1%. September CPI (Friday) is forecast climbing to a 2.5% y/y rate from 1.6%. Malaysia September CPI (Friday) likely warmed to 2.2% y/y from 2.0%. Singapore September non-oil exports (Monday) are expected to rise 6.0% y/y from 2.7% in August.

Australia’s economic calendar is empty this week. The RBA will release the minutes from its October 5 policy meeting on Tuesday. New Zealand’s docket has Q3 CPI on Friday, expected at 1.4% q/q from 1.3% previously. There is nothing from the RBNZ this week.


Eurozone: while markets mull stagflation risks, ECB officials are mostly doing their best to keep tapering concerns under control. The central bank may be poised to phase out PEPP as planned in March next year, but the final confirmation on this won’t come before December and will likely be accompanied by assurances that the central bank will strengthen and/or expand the older asset purchase programs in order to step in should spreads widen unduly. There are plenty of ECB speakers this week, including chief economist Lane and French central bank head Villeroy to help strengthen that message this week.

The data calendar, meanwhile, focuses mainly on preliminary PMI reports at the end of the week, where we expect further weakness, especially in manufacturing, where supply chain disruptions continue to put a lid on output. In the meantime, orders continue to pile up which should at least help to boost business expectations, although the sharp uptick in energy prices will likely counterbalance that to some extent at least. Against that background we see a drop in the manufacturing PMI to 58.0 (median 57.0) from 58.6, while the services reading is seen falling back to 56.0 (median 55.4) from 56.2. Growth forecasts for this year are being revised down, but the outlook for next year remains very good, as supply chain disruptions are expected to ease gradually.

Consumers, meanwhile, are benefiting from ongoing improvements in labour markets and the easing of virus restrictions. Consequently we expect an improvement in preliminary confidence readings (Thursday), even if the headline remains negative due to concerns over growth as well as rising prices. Final CPI for September (Wednesday) is expected to confirm the headline at 3.0% y/y (median same), clearly above the ECB’s upper limit for price stability, but for now mainly boosted by base effects and one off factors, as stressed by central bankers. Eurozone current account data, as well as French business confidence readings and German PPI inflation are also due, with the latter likely to continue to climb, largely thanks to higher energy prices, which are feeding through the product chain.

U.K.: tightening speculation saw a sharp rise in money market rates, but at the same time boosted bonds as investors weighed stagflation risks amid concern that the BoE may move too early and thus add to the problems for an economy that is already struggling with the fallout from energy shortages, delivery problems and a shortage of staff in key sectors. A cold winter could potentially cause severe disruptions in a country that has much lower levels of storage than most Eurozone economies and at the same time, the impact of Brexit and covid on the labour market are adding to problems – at least in the short to medium term. A difficult situation, but one where the BoE’s best contribution may indeed be trying to keep inflation under control, as boosting demand would hardly help.

Data releases this week will add important pieces to the puzzle for the BoE, with preliminary PMI readings, inflation data and retail sales on tap. Last week’s labour market report didn’t yet capture the impact of the end of furlough schemes, but governor Bailey doesn’t seem to believe that that made much of a difference to a labour market that is reporting massive shortages in key areas, which are adding to delivery problems and a sharp rise in energy prices. These are curtailing supply rather than demand and thus add to inflation pressures.

Against that background we see CPI inflation (Wednesday) nudging up to 3.3% (median 3.2%) in September readings, which given that the BoE suggests the headline rate could reach 4% this year, will hardly be a surprise for central bankers. The uptick in prices and supply chain problems coupled with a shortage of staff is weighing on sentiment, however, and we expect PMI readings (Friday) to drop back sharply. The manufacturing PMI is seen at 55.4 (med 55.5) – down from 57.2 in September, while the services number is expected to drop to 54.0 (median 54.5) from 55.4 in the previous month.

Consumers are increasingly faced with rising prices and empty shelves, which coupled with the problems at petrol stations in recent weeks is likely to have weighed on consumer confidence and retail sales, although excluding fuel, the latter should have lifted slightly in September, after falling -1.2 m/m in August.

Switzerland: The calendar has is very quiet, with only trade data and money supply due to be released.

Data Week of Oct. 18, 2021

The middle week of October has a light calendar with a few of the September housing measures. Housing starts and permits are expected to climb for a second month after a mid-year lull attributable to capacity constraints. We expect a September bounce for existing home sales, while the median sales price oscillates just below the all-time high in June. We expect a small September gain for industrial production with some headwind from a utility sector pull-back. The leading economic index should post a diminished rate of climb in September.

Week of October 18

Today’s solid retail sales figures trimmed the downside risk to our GDP growth forecasts of 3.0% in Q3 and 5.4% in Q4, yet we left those estimates intact despite boosts to our Q3 and Q4 consumption estimates. Supply chain disruptions and port bottlenecks may translate to an undershoot of inventories relative to the usual pre-holiday seasonal pattern, even though our GDP estimates imply big inventory gains through the final four months of the year. We’ve looked for a moderation in imports alongside an inventory undershoot that would offset the GDP impact, but unfortunately the trade data have shown solid import growth through August. The firm path for the U.S. sales data may be overstating the growth path for domestic output, as inventories under-perform while import growth remains historically robust.

Thankfully, the supply-side measures are signalling some upside risks for GDP growth, which offsets some of the downside risks from the inventory and trade data. The good news from last week’s jobs report was that hours-worked in Q3 were solid, leaving growth of 5.5% in Q3 and an estimated 4.4% for Q4. These big hours-worked gains imply upside GDP growth risks relative to our estimates. And, industrial production will post a solid 7.0% growth pace in Q3 even with a lean September gain of 0.2% that will be held back by utilities. We currently assume industrial production growth of a solid 4.2%, with solid growth in the mining sector, a recovery in utilities, and gains in manufacturing.

As it stands, our “demand side” GDP estimate requires a solid 0.7% September business inventory rise and a big moderation in the Q3 inventory valuation adjustment, alongside a lean 0.3% September import rise but a 1.2% export bounce. Even with the firm retail sales data, the remaining inventory and trade data for Q3 are signalling downside risk, even as the labor market and factory sector indicators remain solid.

Industrial Production: 0.2%

Industrial production is projected to rise 0.2% in September after climbing 0.4% in August. We saw August increases of 0.2% for manufacturing and 3.3% for utilities, but a -0.6% decline for mining. In September, we expect increases of 0.3% for manufacturing and 1.0% for mining, but a -1.5% drop for utilities. We expect the vehicle assembly rate to tick down to a 9.4 mln pace in September from 9.5 mln in August, with big headwinds from ongoing semiconductor shortages. We saw a 0.1 mln trough pace in April last year, versus a 3.7 mln prior trough in January of 2009 that marked the start of the auto bankruptcies. Mining output should continue to rise, alongside the uptrend in the Baker-Hughes rig count. Capacity utilization should rise to 76.5% from 76.4% in August. Industrial production expanded at a 6.2% clip in Q2, and we expect growth rates of 7.0% in Q3 and 4.2% in Q4.

Housing Starts: 1.630 mln

Housing starts are expected to climb to a 1.630 mln pace in September from 1.615 mln in August and 1.554 mln in July, versus a 15-year high of 1.725 mln in March. Permits are expected to improve to 1.724 mln from 1.721 mln in August, versus a 15-year high of 1.883 mln in January. Pending home sales jumped 8.1% in August after falling -2.0% in both July and June. The MBA purchase index bounced by 9% in September, which breaks a 5-month string of declines. The new and existing home sales figures are likely also recovering into the end of Q3, as the impact of capacity constraints is likely diminishing with the reduction in NSA activity from peaks during the seasonally active spring season. Soaring home prices should provide a lift for the starts and permits figures, alongside the ongoing migration to the suburbs and support from low mortgage rates despite recent gains. We expect a 1.600 mln average for starts in Q3, following a new recent highs of 1.599 mln in Q1 and 1.586 mln in Q2. We expect a 1.692 mln average for permits in Q3 that falls short of the 1.670 mln average in Q2.

Initial Jobless Claims: 305k

Initial jobless claims are expected to edge higher to 305k, after a drop to a 293k new cycle-low from 329k on October 2, breaking below the 312k prior cycle-low at the start of September. The end of extended federal benefits on September 6 may have lifted initial claims in September. Claims are poised to average 307k in October from 341k in September, 352k in August, and 394k in July. The projected 305k figure in the BLS survey week would undershoot recent survey week readings of 351k in September, 349k in August and 424k in July. We assume a 380k October payroll rise, following gains of 194k in September and 366k August gain.

Continuing claims fell by -134k to a 2,593k new cycle-low in the week of October 2, following an upwardly revised 2,727k figure. We expect continuing claims to decline to 2,580k for the week ending October 9. Continuing claims have fallen sharply since late-July, though we saw a flattening in this steep downtrend in September before big declines into October. Continuing claims look poised to fall by about -250k between the September and October BLS survey weeks, after drops of -97k in September, -388k in August, and -116k in July.

Philly Fed Index: 22.0

The Philly Fed index is seen slipping to 22.0 in August after a rebound to 30.7 in September from a similar 19.4 in August, versus a 48-year high of 50.2 in April. The Empire State similarly fell to a still-solid 19.8 that reversed September’s pop to a robust 34.3 from a similar 18.3 in August. Beyond the September bounce for both the Philly Fed and Empire State that bucked the downtrend in most measures, we see all the surveys as generally adhering to a broad pullback in sentiment from March-May peaks. We expect all these measures to resume their down-tilt in October as sentiment trends back toward more historically typical levels into 2022. Yet, sentiment should remain elevated due to support from factory efforts to rebuild inventories, as supply chain disruptions with bottlenecks at U.S. ports and heightened coronavirus restrictions in Asia remain in play, and prices for a wide array of products remain high.

Existing Home Sales: 5.950 mln

We expect existing home sales to grow 1.2% to a 5.950 mln pace in September, up from 5.880 mln in August, versus a 14-year high of 6.860 mln last October. Pending home sales jumped 8.1% in August after falling -2.0% in both July and June. The MBA purchase index bounced by 9% in September, which breaks a 5-month string of declines. The recovery in all the housing measures stalled in Q2 as the sector encountered tightening capacity constraints with the seasonal strength in activity, as prices soared. The months’ supply of homes posted a 5-month string of new all-time lows through January to a particularly tight 1.9, before rising to a still-lean 2.6 through July and August. The median sales price is pegged at $355,700 in September, slightly below the all-time high of $362,800 in June. We expect a dip in the y/y median price gain to 14.6% from 14.9% in August, and a record-high 23.6% in May. In Q3, we expect an average sales pace of 5.943 mln, after a 5.833 mln rate in Q2.

Leading Indicators: 0.5%

The leading economic index likely rose 0.5% in September, with a moderation partly attributable to the slower, though still solid, September pace of improvement in claims. The projected September gain follows big stimulus-fueled gains of 0.9% in August, 0.8% in July, 0.6% in June, and 1.2% in May. The index continues to reverse the huge 2020 pandemic drops of -6.3% in April and -7.5% in March. We assume gains in nearly all of the components in September.

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