This week we’ll get the June jobs report, which everyone expects to reflect a healthy labour market.
For now, the eyes of the world fall on Greece, where uncertainty has exploded in the past few days.
Here’s your Monday Scouting Report:
Greece. The financial crisis in Greece has come to a head. The country is days away from a major debt payment that it cannot pay. Meanwhile, panicked Greeks have drained ATMs of whatever cash they can get.
On Sunday, news broke that Greek banks and the Athens Stock Exchange would be closed on Monday. Greek Banks are expected to remain closed through July 5, when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a referendum to vote on the latest terms of a bailout agreement set forth by Greece’s creditors.
“We don’t see any good outcome from the referendum,” Morgan Stanley’s Daniele Antonucci and Elga Bartsch said of the referendum. “Even if it’s a ‘yes’, the current government could be in jeopardy and a period of political limbo might follow, while its credibility with the creditor institutions remains at rock-bottom. The decision to hold this referendum seems to imply Greece sliding towards Grexit, even though there are no legal provisions for a country to leave.”
- Pending Home Sales (Mon): Economists estimate the pace of sales climbed 1.4% in May. Here’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch: “This measure of home sales has been rising steadily since January despite the harsh winter weather. This therefore set up for a solid selling season. The improvement in pending home sales has been supported by a gain in mortgage applications and new home sales.”
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity (Mon): Economists estimate this regional manufacturing activity index improved to -15.5 in June from -20.8 in May. “Manufacturing measures have diverged in June,” UBS’s Kevin Cummins said.
- S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (Tues): Economists estimate home prices increased by 0.9% month-over-month in April, or 5.5% year-over-year. Here’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch: “Given the challenges seasonally adjusting the data, we think there was an upward bias in the winter months and downward bias in the spring and summer. This suggests we might see a string of weak monthly growth rates. We therefore advise caution when analysing the monthly changes and advise focusing on the yoy growth rate.”
- Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (Tues): Economists estimate this regional activity index jumped to 50.4 in June from 46.2 in May. From Deutsche Bank: “In principle, the auto industry’s proximity to Chicago should be a source of strength. In May, motor vehicle sales totaled 17.8 million units, the best showing since July 2005 (20.7 million).”
- Consumer Confidence Index (Tues): Economists estimate the Conference Board’s index of sentiment climbed to 97.0 in June from 95.4 in May. From BNP Paribas: “The pace of payrolls growth continues to impress. While equities and gasoline prices have been relatively flat, the employment boost is expected to continue to buoy confidence in June.”
- Vehicle Sales (Wed): Analysts estimate US automakers sold vehicles at an annualized rate of 17.2 million units in June. From Nomura: “Vehicle sales surged at their highest pace in almost 10 years in May on low gasoline prices fuelling sales of SUVs and pickup trucks, and more favourable financing options lowering the barrier to entry for households.”
- ADP Employment Change (Wed): Economists estimate US companies added 215,000 private payrolls in June.
- Markit US Manufacturing PMI (Wed): Economists estimate this manufacturing PMI registered at 53.4 in June, down from 54.0 in May. “While the survey data points to the economy rebounding in the second quarter, the weak PMI number for June raises the possibility that we are seeing a loss of momentum heading into the third quarter,” Markit’s Chris Williamson said.
- Construction Spending (Wed): Economists estimate spending climbed by 0.5% in May. Here’s HSBC: “Growth in public sector construction is likely to remain subdued this year. Growth in private non- residential construction should pick up in Q2, supported by strong increases in March and April. Trends in residential construction have been mixed. Growth in single-family construction has been fairly slow, but home improvement activity may pick up over the next several months due to a pick-up in home sales since the start of the year.”
- ISM Manufacturing (Wed): Economists estimate the ISM index climbed to 53.1 in June from 52.8 in May. Here’s Credit Suisse: “With global growth momentum currently rebounding, we anticipate ISM to continue to accelerate going into the summer. The new orders index, which tends to lead the headline number, printed a robust 55.8 last month. And although regional surveys have been mixed the general trend is clearly positive. Auto production schedules are also pointing to a strong pickup in June.”
- Initial Jobless Claims (Thurs): Economists estimate initial claims increased to 270,000 from 271,000 a week ago.
- The Jobs Report (Thurs): Economists estimate US companies added 230,000 nonfarm payrolls in June, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4%. Average hourly earnings are estimated to have increased by 0.2% month-over-month in June, or 2.3% year-over-year.
- Factory Orders (Thurs): Economists estimate order fell 0.5% in May. From Barclays: “The advance report on durable goods revealed that orders for durables fell 1.8% m/m, as a 35.3% m/m drop in nondefense aircraft orders outweighed modest 0.5% m/m growth non-transportation equipment. Prices, historically the best indicator for orders of nondurable goods, rose solidly in June on a seasonally-adjusted basis. As a result, we look for 1.6% m/m growth in nondurable goods to offset the decline in durables and leave total factory orders flat on the month.”
The consensus among market experts is that the latest developments in Greece are one-sidedly negative. And this is largely so as the sentiment as of Friday was that Greek and other European leaders would be able to cobble together a last minute deal.
Here’s Nomura’s Jens Nordvig: “Against this background, we clearly have a negative outcome on our hands. The risk of a bad outcome, involving breakdown in currency convertibility (i.e., the route to Greek exit from the Eurozone) has clearly risen, perhaps to above 50%. We note, however, that even what happens after a YES and a NO is highly uncertain; hence, it is all about probabilities and uncertainty, rather than something truly binary. While the likely direction of risk assets, and peripheral bonds is fairly clear (down). The impact on the euro is less clear cut. We have observed in recent weeks, that the correlation between the euro and Greek news has become unstable. This in itself is important, as many will be reluctant to trade in the open.”
Here’s Allianz’s Mohamed El-Erian: “Investors in Greek securities need to brace for a sharp selloff in the stock market, with bank shares particularly hard hit. Fixed income will not be spared. Yields on Greek government bonds are likely to soar as investors price in higher default risk. The extent to which this spills over and disrupts other markets is function of what European officials do to strengthen the firewalls that limit financial and technical contagion. Should nothing new be announced by the time markets open on Monday, yields on peripheral European bonds (including Italy and Portugal) would widen, the prices of corporate and emerging market bonds would also fall, and equities would decline around the world. This would be accompanied by a flight to quality, compressing yields on German and US government bonds.”