U.S. stock markets exhibited a modest uptick on Monday, with investors poised for insights from upcoming speeches by Federal Reserve officials. The anticipation comes against the backdrop of a substantial bond issuance set to enter the market this week.
The previous week’s performance saw a significant rally in equities, marking the largest weekly percentage increase in approximately a year. This surge was primarily fueled by a U.S. payroll report that fell short of expectations, prompting a drop in Treasury yields as the market speculated on the Fed’s rate hike cessation and potential rate reductions in the forthcoming year.
Federal Reserve Policy Outlook:
Market consensus currently indicates a 90.4% likelihood that the Fed will maintain rates in the upcoming December meeting, a slight decrease from 95.2% last Friday. Moreover, the probability of a rate cut of at least 25 basis points by the May 2024 meeting has surpassed 50%, as per the CME’s FedWatch Tool. Investors are keenly awaiting further clarity from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other key officials, including John Williams of the New York Fed and Lorie Logan of the Dallas Fed.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq made significant strides last week, ascending 5.85% and 6.61%, respectively, marking their most substantial weekly gains since November of the previous year.
Treasury Yields and Auctions:
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield, after dipping to a five-week low last Friday, rebounded to approximately 4.67% on Monday. This shift comes ahead of a sizable Treasury auction slated for this week, which includes the issuance of three-year and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds totaling around $112 billion.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a modest increase of 34.54 points, or 0.10%, closing at 34,095.86. The S&P 500 edged up by 7.64 points, or 0.18%, to 4,365.98, while the Nasdaq Composite rose by 40.50 points, or 0.30%, to 13,518.78.
Economic Data and Currency Fluctuations:
The economic calendar remains light this week, with the spotlight on weekly jobless claims and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment report. The U.S. Dollar, after initially dipping to an eight-week low, recovered slightly, with market participants awaiting further direction on rate policy from Fed officials’ speeches.
Commodities and Digital Assets:
Gold prices retracted as the market’s risk appetite improved, with investors looking for direction from the Federal Reserve’s commentary. Meanwhile, crude oil prices experienced a slight increase following Saudi Arabia and Russia’s commitment to voluntary supply cuts. In the realm of digital assets, Bitcoin remained stable, trading just below the $35K threshold.
As the financial community anticipates a series of Federal Reserve speeches, the U.S. markets show cautious optimism. With a significant bond auction on the horizon and a sparse economic-data calendar, investors are advised to stay attuned to the Fed’s policy signals, which are likely to shape market dynamics in the near term.