The world’s biggest bond market’s rally toward its best month since March lost steam on Monday, with traders gearing up for a $16 billion sale of 20-year Treasuries.
Wall Street continued to keep a close eye on government debt sales, especially after the US recently had to offer an unusually large premium to sell 30-year securities. A strong reception would be a powerful endorsement of the rally. And vice versa. Those auctions have also been exerting a growing sway over stocks, underscoring how the path of interest rates is gripping markets of late.
Benchmark 10-year yields rose, remaining below 4.5%. S&P 500 contracts were little changed after the market notched its third straight week of gains – the longest run since July. Microsoft Corp. is on pace to reach an all-time high after the software giant hired OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to lead its new in-house advanced artificial intelligence research team. The dollar fell toward the lowest since August.
“The 20-year Treasury supply today in a holiday shortened week is giving the market indigestion this morning,” said Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at NatAlliance Securities. “The key to the 10-year is to close below 4.50%. If we cannot break the bear trend line by the end of the month next week, then we go back to 4.70%.”
As the earnings season winds down, investors will also be on the lookout for results from a handful of retailers and tech companies.
Nvidia Corp.’s quarterly results could still exceed sky-high investor expectations thanks to strong demand for generative artificial intelligence. Best Buy Co., Nordstrom Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. are set to post slumping sales, reflecting the consumer pullback in discretionary sales that’s already been flagged by retail peers Walmart Inc. and Target Corp.
The S&P 500’s big advance in three weeks is looking increasingly unsustainable to some market watchers. Strategists tracked by Bloomberg predicted on average in mid-October that the gauge would end the year at 4,370, but then it’s already been trading above 4,500.
Investors who believe that “Santa has come early” to markets may want to consider put-option spreads through year-end on companies like Expedia Group Inc., Carnival Corp., Nvidia and Intel Corp., RBC Capital Markets derivatives strategist Amy Wu Silverman wrote.
Some of Wall Street’s top strategists are divided when it comes to Corporate America’s earnings outlook next year. While Citigroup Inc.’s Scott Chronert expects profits to hold up even if the economy slips into a recession, JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist Mislav Matejka says diminishing pricing power would crimp overall revenue and margins regardless of whether growth contracts.
A Citigroup index shows downgrades to US earnings estimates have outnumbered upgrades for nine weeks in a row – the longest streak since February. Chronert – an equity strategist at the bank – does expect analysts’ estimates for 2024 to drop in the coming quarter – but that would only lower the bar for companies, he said.
Around seven companies are looking to sell new U.S. investment-grade bonds on Monday, according to an informal survey of debt underwriters, who declined to name the firms.
This week’s volume will be lighter than the past two weeks, with around $10 billion in new bond sales estimated by most syndicate desks. The majority of volume is likely to come Monday, with perhaps some stragglers Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday slowdown sets in. No deals are expected Wednesday through Friday.
- Boeing Co. was upgraded by Deutsche Bank AG to buy as aircraft deliveries are beginning to accelerate.
- Bayer AG sank after major courtroom and drug-development setbacks that raise pressure on its new leader to outline a turnaround plan.
- Bristol Myers Squibb and 2seventy bio Inc. slumped after saying the Food and Drug Administration will convene an advisory committee meeting to review data around an application for a cancer drug, and that a decision on the application won’t be made by the target action date of Dec. 16.
- NRG Energy Inc. is overhauling its management after the independent power producer reached a deal with activist investor Elliott Investment Management LP.
Key events this week
- ECB President Christine Lagarde and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner speak, Tuesday
- US existing home sales, Tuesday
- FOMC issues minutes from the Nov. 1 policy meeting, Tuesday
- Nvidia’s earnings, Tuesday
- Canada’s update to the government’s fiscal and economic outlook, Tuesday
- Eurozone consumer confidence, Wednesday
- US initial jobless claims, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, durable goods, Wednesday
- Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem speaks, Wednesday
- Eurozone S&P Global Manufacturing & Services PMI, Thursday
- Thanksgiving holiday – US markets closed – Thursday
- ECB publishes account of October policy meeting, Thursday
- Germany IFO business climate, Friday
- US S&P Global Manufacturing PMI, Friday
- Black Friday, traditional kick-off for the US holiday shopping season
- ECB’s Christine Lagarde speaks, Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 9:24 a.m. New York time
- Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed
- The Stoxx Europe 600 was little changed
- The MSCI World index rose 0.1%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%
- The euro was little changed at $1.0921
- The British pound was little changed at $1.2467
- The Japanese yen rose 0.6% to 148.68 per dollar
- Bitcoin was little changed at $36,997.15
- Ether rose 1.6% to $2,015.17
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis points to 4.47%
- Germany’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 2.62%
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 4.14%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.8% to $77.23 a barrel
- Spot gold fell 0.7% to $1,965.98 an ounce
This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation and with assistance from Elizabeth Stanton and Alexandra Semenova.