The Overnight Report: Nothing To Worry About

Daily Market Reports | Dec 03 2021

This story features AGL ENERGY LIMITED, and other companies. For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: AGL

World Overnight
SPI Overnight 7270.00 + 52.00 0.72%
S&P ASX 200 7225.20 – 10.70 – 0.15%
S&P500 4577.10 + 64.06 1.42%
Nasdaq Comp 15381.32 + 127.27 0.83%
DJIA 34639.79 + 617.75 1.82%
S&P500 VIX 27.95 – 3.17 – 10.19%
US 10-year yield 1.45 + 0.01 0.98%
USD Index 96.12 + 0.04 0.04%
FTSE100 7129.21 – 39.47 – 0.55%
DAX30 15263.11 – 209.56 – 1.35%

By Greg Peel

Holding the Fort

For the second day in a row, the ASX200 belied a Wall Street sell-off to close only modestly lower. Wednesday saw the index as  low as -73, before closing at -20, with a little help from the GDP, and yesterday the index was down -67 in the first ten minutes before closing down -10.

The falls on Wall Street in each case were related to the Fed potentially speeding up its taper, with the initial shock coming on Tuesday night with no back-tracking from Jay Powell on Wednesday night. The first omicron case in the US is irrelevant – it was always going to happen.

Is faster Fed tapering an issue for Australia? Australia’s inflation rate has been running at half that of the US and the RBA put its own tapering plan on pause when delta caused lockdowns. The lockdowns may be over but it is unlikely the RBA will speed things up again until more is understood about omicron.

The RBA meets next week, and then the next meeting is not until February.

And now we have Wall Street bouncing back very hard last night after Wednesday night’s early attempt at a comeback failed. Our futures are up 52 points this morning. So holding fast this week was the right call.

That said, investors seem not too sure exactly what to invest in. Sector moves have been a mixed bag each day, with a lot of back and forth between growth/value and defensive/cyclical.

The banks finally caught a bid yesterday after a rough week, rising 0.6% to provide the shoulders for the all-day comeback.

Utilities bounced back 1.5% thanks to a 4% jump in AGL Energy ((AGL)), which for an energy utility has become very volatile this year.

Industrials gained 0.8% with Transurban ((TCL)) rising 2.0% in spite of omicron threats.

Consumer discretionary gained 0.6% after a bad week to date.

Everything else closed in the red, with healthcare (-0.9%) and materials (-0.8%) the main drag.

Technology posted the biggest percentage fall (-3.2%) on general Nasdaq weakness and a -6.1% fall in Afterpay ((APT)), after Square postponed the shareholder vote on the takeover.

Energy was down -0.6% despite Worley ((WOR)) rising 6.1% to top the index, following positive analyst reactions to its update on Wednesday.

While this morning’s session may begin with some level of relief, until more is understood about omicron, such volatility is likely to be the norm in the short term. Santa needs to know if it’s safe.

So What?

After failing on Wednesday night, last night Wall Street managed to bounce as many assumed it should have from oversold conditions – even more oversold from Tuesday night. The Dow posted its biggest gain of the year.

Having shaken out the trigger-happy nervous nellies, the way was clear.

Investors gave omicron the finger – even the bubonic plague would not result in US lockdowns that would only slow the economy and exacerbate supply chain issues, and thus inflation.

And so what if the Fed speeds up the taper? The Fed has been staunchly criticised by many in the market for months for not winding up QE in a strong economy. Even if the Fed were to hike its rate this month, a 0.25-0.50% range is hardly going to upset TINA. 

And Wall Street doesn’t mind going on the punt – the best performers last night were all your travel-related names, from airlines to cruise lines, hotels and booking services.

Early signs from omicron are encouraging. The second US case was detected last night in Minnesota, and that person has already recovered. The prior case in California is suffering only mild symptoms. If this is the trend, and omicron muscles out delta, it’s actually very good news.

But, still early days.

Dow outperformance was basically thanks to Boeing last night, which rose 7.5% after China took a step towards clearing the 737 Max for operation.

In a case of something-you-don’t-see-every-day, grocery chain Kroger – basically a 'Colesworth' – jumped 11% on its earnings result.

The news was also encouraging on the economic front, with weekly new jobless claims coming in at 222,000 when 240,000 was forecast. That’s up from 199,000 a week before; that number was the lowest since 1969.

November jobs numbers tonight.

Commodities

Spot Metals,Minerals & Energy Futures
Gold (oz) 1767.60 – 13.20 – 0.74%
Silver (oz) 22.37 + 0.15 0.68%
Copper (lb) 4.34 + 0.02 0.56%
Aluminium (lb) 1.19 – 0.01 – 0.48%
Lead (lb) 1.04 – 0.02 – 1.87%
Nickel (lb) 9.20 + 0.03 0.28%
Zinc (lb) 1.50 – 0.02 – 1.63%
West Texas Crude 67.18 + 2.05 3.15%
Brent Crude 70.34 + 1.94 2.84%
Iron Ore (t) 98.35 – 3.05 – 3.01%

OPEC-Plus is not afraid of omicron either, last night deciding to stick with plans to increase production quotas from January. This should have been bad news for the oils, except that having been trashed on omicron, last night prices bounced up on a buy-the-fact.

Elsewhere price moves are mixed but relatively stable for now, other than gold, which is slipping away again.

The Aussie is down a tad, but below 71 at US$0.7096.

Today

The SPI Overnight closed up 52 points or 0.7%.

The US will see factory orders along with jobs numbers tonight.

November service PMIs are due across the globe today, except in Japan, which is closed today.

Chalice Mining ((CHN)) holds an EGM.

Cimic Group ((CIM)) goes ex.

The Australian share market over the past thirty days…

BROKER RECOMMENDATION CHANGES PAST THREE TRADING DAYS
DHG Domain Australia Upgrade to Buy from Neutral UBS
FMG Fortescue Metals Downgrade to Neutral from Buy Citi
PGH Pact Group Downgrade to Neutral from Outperform Macquarie
REA REA Group Upgrade to Neutral from Sell UBS
SLC Superloop Upgrade to Overweight from Equal-weight Morgan Stanley
TRJ Trajan Group Upgrade to Accumulate from Hold Ord Minnett
WOR Worley Upgrade to Overweight from Equal-weight Morgan Stanley

For more detail go to FNArena's Australian Broker Call Report, which is updated each morning, Mon-Fri.

All overnight and intraday prices, average prices, currency conversions and charts for stock indices, currencies, commodities, bonds, VIX and more available on the FNArena website.  Click here. (Subscribers can access prices on the website.)

(Readers should note that all commentary, observations, names and calculations are provided for informative and educational purposes only. Investors should always consult with their licensed investment advisor first, before making any decisions. All views expressed are the author's and not by association FNArena's – see disclaimer on the website)

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CHARTS

AGL APT CHN CIM TCL WOR

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: AGL - AGL ENERGY LIMITED

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: APT - AFTERPAY LIMITED

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: CHN - CHALICE MINING LIMITED

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: CIM - CIMIC GROUP LIMITED

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: TCL - TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED

For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: WOR - WORLEY LIMITED