Morning Reads

Morning reads

Todays Open Interest Change



The U.S. economy is expected to add fewer jobs in August vs. July, but still stay in the sweet spot seen for a soft landing. Economists are expecting to see a print of 170K at 8:30 AM ET, down slightly from the 187K climb the prior month, with the unemployment rate staying near 50-year lows at 3.5%. The labor force participation rate, or the percentage of the population that is either working or actively looking for work, is also expected to be unchanged at 62.6%, with average hourly earnings growth forecast to stay at 4.4% Y/Y.

Snapshot: In its effort to squash inflation by jacking up interest rates, the Fed has wanted to see more slack in the jobs market. Indeed, an overall imbalance between labor demand and supply is causing wages to remain elevated, but a batch of data this week has pointed to just what the Fed wants to see: moderating labor demand. Wednesday's ADP jobs report, for example, showed companies in August added the least number of jobs in five months.

The BLS’ JOLTS, short for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, also revealed the number of job openings in July unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since early 2021. Elsewhere, job cuts announced by employers more than tripled in August vs. July. One outlier this week was initial jobless claims, a leading indicator, slipping below the consensus estimate. Also in the Fed's favor, the dual strikes in Hollywood are expected to impact today's jobs data as many companies support the movie and television industry.

SA commentary: Analyst Christopher Robb is confident that August's jobs report will show "something in line with a soft-landing narrative that continues the trend from the last three reports," citing a steady decline in worker quits. He also points out some risks that could, in turn, counter his hypothesis, including the potential for workforce increases from immigration. "This could lead to a level of job growth that pushes wage pressure outside of the Goldilocks zone needed for inflation to keep coming down without Old Testament labor market carnage." (18 comments)

By the numbers

U.S. personal spending in July came in stronger than expected, while personal income rose less than anticipated, according to the latest figures that will be closely watched by the Federal Reserve. Household spending is the biggest driver of economic growth and has already raised projections for third-quarter gross domestic product. Moreover, the headline and core personal consumption expenditures PCE price index - the central bank's preferred inflation gauge - held steady in July on a M/M basis and came in line with estimates. That indicates the central bank isn't considering cutting interest rates soon, with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic saying on Thursday that the Fed's policy is "appropriately restrictive." (36 comments)

Strike goes on

Warning of "an absolute collapse of an entire industry," media mogul Barry Diller continues to speak out about the devastating double strike plaguing Hollywood. The "old majors" like Disney (NYSE:DIS), NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) "should certainly get out of the room with their deepest, fiercest and almost conclusive enemy, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and probably Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)," Diller declared, stating the streamers should be cut out of the negotiations with the unions. "When they have to gear up to make more programming to get back subscribers, they won’t have the revenue base to be able to produce," he added. "So that is kinda catastrophic."

Fresh stimulus

Stimulus measures continue to be rolled out as real estate headwinds weigh on China's economy. The government will now allow the country's largest cities to cut down payment percentages for home buyers and will persuade lenders to lower rates on existing mortgages. However, the question remains whether these steps will be able to revive the property market and an economy that President Biden has referred to as a "ticking time bomb." Other new stimulus actions unveiled by China include lowering bank reserve requirement ratios for foreign currency deposits, as well as expanding tax breaks for child and parental care and education.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.4%. Hong Kong closed. China +0.4%. India +0.9%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.6%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +1.1% to $84.55. Gold +0.2% to $1970.50. Bitcoin -4.3% to $26,027.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 4.11%

Today's Economic Calendar

Auto Sales
6:00 Fed's Bostic Speech
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index
9:45 Fed's Mester: “Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics 2023 Conference”
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

SEC delays decisions on Invesco, Fidelity spot bitcoin ETFs.

Broadcom (AVGO) slips despite in-line guidance in Q3 results.

Lululemon (LULU) gets mixed reception as sales stay strong.

World Wrestling (WWE) slammed by Saudi investment in UFC competitor.

Biden administration says it 'has not blocked' chip sales to Middle East.

Reclassifying cannabis as Schedule III not preferred outcome - Bernstein.

Discounter pain: Dollar General (DG) tumbles following guidance cut.

FDA gives 23andMe (ME) clearance to report more genetic variants.

Dell (DELL) takes off as artificial intelligence shows continued potential.

Hawaiian Electric's (HE) role in Maui fire said to be target of GOP probe

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

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