Economists surveyed by Bloomberg are expecting the economy to have added 500,000 jobs in September. Anything way above or way below the number will move expectations on when the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed assets from the current level of $120 billion a month. That taper is being widely watched as an indicator of when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates themselves.
Need anymore evidence than the stock market action yesterday and today? Yesterday, October 13, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 down for three straight sessions and the index lower by 4.1% from its September 2 high, the market reversed. Suddenly everyone wanted to buy risk again. The most momentum-y of momentum stocks tacked on 4% or more. CrowdStrike gained 7% on the day. Veeva Systems (VEEV) added 4.55%. SentinelOne (S) moved up 7.5%. Even China’s internet giants showed big gains with Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) up 3.62% and Meituan (MPNGF) gaining 4.43%. Today, October 14, investors and traders piled in to pick up the momentum favorites that had been left behind, relatively, in yesterday’s risk-on move. As of 3 p.m. New York time Nvidia (NVDA) up “only” 1.30% yesterday was ahead 3.32% today. Applied Materials (AMAT) u only 1.14% yesterday was up 2.78% today. PayPal (PYPL), which gained just 0.20% yesterday, higher by 4.13% today
You can see yesterday’s stock rally and its continuation today as a return of the Goldilocks market. Yesterday, for example, inflation, if you look just at core inflation–that is without food and energy prices–looked strong enough to make the Federal Reserve very cautious about removing monetary stimulus from the economy, but core inflation wasn’t so strong that it sent up warning flares. And today, the drop in initial claims for unemployment to 293,000 (for the week ended October 9) for a new Pandemic low argues that the economy continues to improve but that the economy in general and the job market in particular are neither too hot nor too cold In other words a Goldilocks scenario.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), the dominant independent chip manufacturer in the world, reported earnings today, October 14, of $1.08 per share for the September quarter. Wall Street analysts hd expected earnings of $1.04 a share. The stock closed up 2.35% today on the news.
If you look only at the major indexes, today was a mildly positive day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed up 0.30%, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat. The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.73% at the close and the NASDAQ 100 added 0.77%. The small cap Russell 2000 ended ahead 0.34%. But take a look at some of the frankly outlandish gains in the market’s hottest sectors. It’s not difficult to find gains of 5% or more today
Inflation wasn’t so bad in September–as long as you didn’t eat or use any energy. Headline inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% from August and climbed at a 5.4% year over year rate. Core inflation, which excludes increases in the prices of food and energy on the grounds that they’re “volatile” rose by 0.2% from August.
Yesterday Bloomberg reported, based on conversations with unnamed sources, that Apple (AAPL) is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by as many as 10 million units because of prolonged shortages of the chips used in its newest smartphone model.