Treasury Bonds fell sharply following stronger-than-expected jobs data Friday. The dip comes after several months of gains. The table is now set for volatility this week as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers commentary to Congress Wednesday and Thursday. Inflation data is also worth watching.
The Dollar is giving back some ground against the Euro and the British Pound after several weeks of gains. The trend reversal comes as global Central Banks adopt a more dovish tilt, while Brexit uncertainty clouds the U.K., and as President Trump steps into the currency debate.
Stocks and bonds have been rallying, while yields fall and the Dollar slips, as weak economic data fuels expectations that the Federal Reserve will aggressively cut rates later in the year. That theory will be tested when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets later this week.
Treasury bonds surged during the month of May while the 10-year rallied to its best levels since September 2017. Concerns about the global economic outlook are driving the gains, and those worries are also fueling some speculation that the Federal Reserve will cut rates later in the year. That theory will likely be tested when key jobs numbers and inflation data are released in early June.
The Euro fell to fresh one-year lows against the Dollar as key support levels gave way Wednesday. Weak business confidence data from Germany added fuel to the latest drop in the Eurozone currency and now focus turns to Friday’s U.S. Gross Domestic Product report as the next potential catalyst for the greenback.
The dollar rally faces a test as the first week of April brings a flood of economic data. Take a look at some (certainly not all) of the key statistics due out Monday through Friday:
- Monday: Retail Sales, Manufacturing
- Tuesday: Durable Goods
- Wednesday: ADP jobs
- Thursday: Jobless Claims
- Friday: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
With the U.S. Dollar posting its best monthly gain of 2019 in March, surprises or disappointments in the data will help traders determine whether the rally has legs.
Market predictions are all over the map after the jaw-dropping fall and rebound in the S&P 500 over the past six months. Some believe the market’s 14% swoon in the fourth quarter 2018 was unjustified given that the U.S. economy remains strong.
Others worry that, after a 13.3% year-to-date rebound, the market has rallied too fast given recent signs that the economy and earnings growth are slowing. The net result is an environment where price action remains headline-driven, with several key levels to watch heading into Q2.
Friday’s payroll data could shake up a Treasury market that has already been reeling lately. Expectations are for another strong report, but nowhere near the 304,000 jobs added in January. Treasury prices are trending lower ahead of the report — a sign, perhaps, that some expect another upside surprise in the headline number.
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We wrote earlier this week about how large government crises, like the ongoing government shutdown, rarely correlate with increased volatility, encouraging traders to remain disciplined and stick to their strategy. We stand by that.
But as we mentioned in that post, just because these events don’t always correlate with increased volatility doesn’t mean they don’t impact the economy or the way we interact with the markets. There are a whole lot of people out there who missed a paycheck Friday as a result of Washington’s stalemate, and while that’s tragic in and of itself, it could have broader implications for the economy.