Stocks | June 29, 2022

Schwab Market Update

Stocks Trying to Stabilize After Yesterday's Rout

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U.S. stocks are oscillating around the flatline in early action on the heels of yesterday's sharp drawdown. The markets remain hampered by rising inflation pressures that have the Fed and other key central banks aggressively tightening monetary policies, which has caused recession concerns to ramp up. Earnings news is mixed, with General Mills topping expectations and raising its dividend, while McCormick & Company missed noticeably and lowered its profit forecast. In economic news, mortgage applications rose for a third-straight week, and Q1 GDP was unexpectedly revised to a larger contraction than previously estimated. Treasuries are moving higher to apply some downside pressure on yields and the U.S. dollar is little changed. Crude oil and gold prices are higher. Asia finished lower following the negative tone set in the U.S. yesterday, and Europe is mostly to the downside despite some relatively favorable German inflation data.   

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, the September S&P 500 Index future is 2 points above fair value, the DJIA future is 18 points below fair value, and the Nasdaq Index future is 1 point south of fair value. WTI crude oil is rising $1.82 to $113.58 per barrel and Brent crude oil is increasing $1.96 to $115.76 per barrel. The gold spot price is up $11.90 to $1,833.10 per ounce. Elsewhere, the Dollar Index is little changed at 104.48.

General Mills Inc. (GIS $70) reported adjusted fiscal Q4 earnings-per-share (EPS) of $1.12, compared to the $1.01 FactSet estimate, as revenues rose 8.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $4.9 billion, north of the Street's forecast of $4.8 billion. The company said it saw organic net sales—excluding acquisitions, divestitures, and foreign exchange—rise 13.0% y/y, aided by price realization and mix, while its overall sales were negatively impacted by divestiture and acquisition activity, and foreign exchange headwinds. GIS said its gross margin expanded even amid significant input cost inflation. GIS raised its quarterly dividend by 6.0% to $0.54 per share. 

McCormick & Company Inc. (MKC $87) posted Q2 EPS of $0.48, well below estimates of $0.65, with revenues declining 1.0% y/y to $1.5 billion, south of the expected $1.6 billion. The seasonings company said it is currently navigating a challenging global environment including persistently high cost inflation and supply chain challenges, significant disruption in China from COVID-related lockdowns and the conflict in Ukraine. MKC lowered its full-year earnings guidance and reaffirmed its revenue forecast. 

The equity markets have remained choppy as they wrestle with an aggressive Fed, which has signaled that restoring price stability is its number one goal and conceding that the path to a soft landing has become "more challenging."

Amid this market backdrop, Schwab's Chief Investment Strategist, Liz Ann notes in her article, Panic Is Not a Strategy—Nor Is Greed, how disciplined investing helps investors navigate through volatile environments. You can follow Liz Ann on Twitter: @LizAnnSonders.

Read all our market commentary on our Insights & Education page, and you can follow us on Twitter at @SchwabResearch.

Mortgage applications rise for a third week, Q1 GDP revised negatively

The MBA Mortgage Application Index gained 0.7% last week, following the prior week's increase of 4.2%. The index rose for a third-straight week as a 1.9% increase in the Refinance Index was accompanied by a 0.1% rise for the Purchase Index. The rise came as the average 30-year mortgage rate declined 14 bps to 5.84%, but is up 264 bps versus a year ago.

Schwab's Liz Ann Sonders discusses the housing market in her latest article, Can't Find My Way Home, noting how a spike in prices and interest rates has dealt a significant blow to housing affordability, elevating the potential for the housing market's weakness to dampen economic growth.

The final look (of three) at Q1 Gross Domestic Product (chart), the broadest measure of economic output, showed a quarter-over-quarter (q/q) annualized rate of contraction of 1.6%, versus estimates to be unrevised at the 1.5% decline posted in the second release. Q4's figure was unadjusted at a 6.9% increase. Personal consumption was revised noticeably lower to a 1.8% rise for Q1 from the previous estimate of a 3.1% gain and versus expectations to be unrevised. Q4 consumption was unadjusted at a 2.5% rise.

On inflation, the GDP Price Index was revised higher to an 8.2% gain, versus estimates the be unrevised at an 8.1% increase, and the core PCE Index, which excludes food and energy, was adjusted higher to a 5.2% advance compared to expectations of an unadjusted 5.1% gain.

Treasuries are moving higher with yields losing ground as action in the bond markets remains choppy with the Fed aggressively tightening policy amid the backdrop of a slowing economy.

For more on the Fed's actions check out our WashingtonWISE podcast, Fed Gets Aggressive: What's It Mean for Investors?, featuring Schwab's Chief Fixed Income Strategist Kathy Jones. Also, be sure to follow Kathy on Twitter: @KathyJones.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury note is down 2 bps to 3.11%, the yield on the 10-year note is decreasing 4 bps to 3.17%, and the 30-year bond is declining 2 bps to 3.28%.

Europe mostly lower despite relatively favorable German inflation data

European equities are mostly lower in afternoon trading, with the markets continuing to contend with headwinds in terms of tightening monetary policies on both sides of the pond that has caused global recession concerns to flare up. Inflation has been a main driver of monetary policy aggressiveness, but today Germany reported that its preliminary June consumer price inflation data came in cooler than expected. However, Spain's preliminary consumer price inflation estimate came in much hotter than expected for this month. With recession concerns rising, Schwab's Chief Global Investment Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop's, CFA, offers his latest article, Recession: The Risk Is in the Reversal, where he discusses how investors often notice the overall direction of markets and how missed changes in asset classes under the surface could see a shark attack take a big bite out of unprepared portfolios. You can follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffreyKleintop. In other economic news, Eurozone economic confidence declined by a smaller amount than expected for this month. The euro is little changed versus the U.S. dollar, and the British pound is seeing pressure, while bond yields across Europe and in the U.K. are lower.

The U.K. FTSE 100 Index is little changed, France's CAC-40 Index is declining 0.9%, Germany's DAX Index is falling 1.4%, Spain's IBEX 35 Index is dropping 1.4%, Italy's FTSE MIB Index is decreasing 0.9%, and Switzerland's Swiss Market Index is trading 0.6% lower.  

Asia gives back some of the week's gains

Stocks in Asia pared its weekly advance with the sharp drop in the U.S. yesterday setting a negative tone. The markets remained skittish amid rising concerns regarding a global recession as monetary policies in North America and Europe tighten in response to festering inflation pressures. However, China and Japan have continued to keep monetary policy accommodative, with the former deploying further stimulus to try to meet its economic goals which have been threatened by COVID-induced lockdowns. China has eased some restrictions and its stock markets have outperformed in Q2, which has only a few days left. Economic activity in China has slowed and Schwab's Jeffrey Kleintop discusses in his article, Recession in China?, how China's economy and consumer market has likely slipped into a recession, at least by China's standards. Jeff takes a look at the short-term and long-term impacts of any extended disruption of the lockdowns on consumer spending and business output. In economic news, Japan's retail sales rose by a smaller amount than expected in May, while South Korea's consumer confidence deteriorated in June.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index declined 0.9%, with the yen softening versus the U.S. dollar. The yen has fallen sharply since March to lows not seen in 24 years as the Bank of Japan holds onto its ultra-loose monetary policy amid tightening in the U.S. and Europe. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index dropped 1.9%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.9%, India's S&P BSE Sensex 30 Index dipped 0.3%, and South Korea's Kospi Index decreased 1.8%.

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