Daily Market Color

Equities Decline While Treasuries Rally as Markets Eye Central Banks and Data

Global stock markets plunged while Treasuries rallied across the curve amid growing concern over the health of the global economy.  Central banks continue to dominate the headlines and influence market sentiment as investors attempt to interpret their actions (or lack thereof).  This morning the central banks of both Taiwan and Norway cut rates in an attempt to support economic growth.  Taiwan’s 12.5 basis point cut was the first in six years, but Norway’s 25 basis point cut was the bigger surprise, reducing its key rate to a record-low 0.75%.  This comes less than a week after the Federal Reserve opted to leave rates unchanged, failing to demonstrate confidence in the US economy.  Several Fed officials have since suggested they still expect a rate hike before year end, while both Japan and the Eurozone appear to be inching closer to taking the opposite approach by expanding their stimulus programs.  Fed Chair Yellen speaks tonight at the University of Massachusetts at 5pm ET where traders will be watching for clues into the Fed’s thinking.  The speech is titled “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy”.

The calendar for US data today was heavy, headlined by the release of the August durable goods report.  The Commerce Department’s report showed orders for durable goods fell 2.0% in August, down from a revised 1.9% climb in July.  This is the first decline since May and follows two consecutive months of large increases.  A key measure of business investment also softened for the first time in three months, but core capital spending increased during the same period.  Separate reports showed weekly jobless claims rose less than expected to 267,000, while new home sales surged 5.7%, beating economist estimates.

Aside from the data, markets will be watching headlines, the $29 billion 7-year auction at 1pm ET, and Yellen’s speech this evening.

 

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