Politics, earnings and other issues heating up for markets next week

10-10-2016

Politics, earnings and other issues heating up for markets next week

Investors will have a lot to digest in the week ahead, ranging from politics to earnings to events in Europe. "Given the elections, that will obviously take a lot of the headlines in the next few weeks. … The election will put a lot of volatility in the market," said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer, equities, at Charles Schwab Investment Management. Right at the start to the week, traders will watch Sunday night's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This second debate between the two candidates is scheduled for 9 p.m., ET, at Washington University in St. Louis and will take the form of a town meeting. "I don't believe a Clinton win is completely priced into the markets," said Brian Muench, vice president of investment management at Allianz Investment Management. He expects a pullback in stocks by the end of the year, and polls showing a tighter race between the two candidates could contribute to the decline. The potential number of market-moving events only heats up as the week progresses. Earnings season unofficially kicks off Tuesday with Alcoa's quarterly results, and the meeting minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting are due Wednesday. New York Fed President Bill Dudley is also scheduled to speak that day. The climax comes Friday with earnings from major banks Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. "For me, the real driver for markets the end of this year should really be third-quarter earnings," said Chris Wright, ultra high net worth investment strategist at UBS Wealth Management. "We'd be looking for quite strong earnings growth in the third quarter given we've got a fairly benign third quarter." Retail sales are due for release on the same day, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak that afternoon on "Macroeconomic research after the crisis." "We'll be watching consumer data next week just to confirm we think the consumer is in a good position here," said Sean Lynch, co-head of global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. "Earnings and the retail sales and any Fed speakers will be closely watched as to how they digest (Friday's jobs) release," he said. The September nonfarm payrolls report showed creation of 156,000 for the month, below expectations, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent. Average hourly wages rose 6 cents to an annualized rate of 2.6 percent. U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Friday after the jobs report and snapped a three-week win streak. The S&P 500 ended the week at 2,153.74, weighed by a 5.3 percent decline in the REITs sector. "While we're still two jobs reports away from the Fed meeting, there probably could have been some political implications for this," said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management. But the data "wasn't strong enough to crow about if you're a Democrat, and it wasn't weak enough to bad mouth if you're a Republican. It won't have a lot of effect on Fed expectations." The data reduced already low expectations for a November rate hike and added to general expectations the Fed will raise rates in December. The U.S. dollar index rose 1.1 percent for the week amid increased anticipation of a rate hike later this year and the plunge in the pound. Gold futures for December delivery fell nearly 5 percent for its worst week in three years and settled Friday at $1,251.90 an ounce. Treasury yields were lower after the jobs report, with the U.S. two-year Treasury note yield around 0.83 percent and the 10-year yield near 1.72 percent. Bond markets are closed Monday for Columbus Day. "Yields have spent the month of October moving upward [on] fears of payrolls, the Fed, the European Central Bank," said Robert Tipp, chief investment strategist, Prudential Fixed Income. "One by one, the various concerns are getting aired." U.S. crude oil futures will also be in focus next week on whether oil can hold recent gains. Crude topped the psychologically key $50 level this week before ending the week at $49.81 a barrel after Baker Hughes data showed U.S. drillers added rigs in 14 of the past 15 weeks. Meanwhile, investors will keep a close eye for news on a settlement between Deutsche Bank and the U.S. Department of Justice. Traders will also watch British pound sterling after it plunged to fresh 31-year lows against the U.S. dollar. The decline came amid comments from European leaders that indicated a stricter than anticipated break between the U.K. and the European Union would come with an official trigger of Brexit.