U.S. stock-index futures climbed as Japan pledged to buy 5 trillion yen ($60B) of assets and cut its benchmark interest rate to stimulate economic growth. The Bank of Japan pledged to expand its balance sheet in a bid to shore up the nation’s slowing economic recovery, and lowered the benchmark interest rate to a range of zero percent to 0.1% from the previous 0.1% target. The yen is losing a fraction on the news while the euro currency strengthens against the dollar. Japan is doing what the US is set to do, keep rates low and monetize some debt to keep the country from sliding. The move to lower its rates is the first since 2008.
Europe’s recovery is weakening as governments accelerate efforts to tackle their budget deficits and fix their banks just as the global economy weakens. Europe’s services and manufacturing industries grew at the slowest pace in seven months in September, adding to signs that the economy is weakening as governments implement austerity measures. The composite index of manufacturing and services fell to 54.1 in September from 56.2; like the US ISM data, a reading over 50 is considered expansion, under 50 contraction. Although the report was weak Europe's equity markets were better overnight.
The Johnson Redbook sales report showed an increase of 2.7% yr/yr. The ICSC-Goldman retail sales report showed an increase of 2.4% yr.yr and -0.8% week/week.
The data for the day hit at 10:00 with Sept ISM index expected at 51.8 frm 51.5; as reported the index jumped to 53.2. New orders component at 54.9 frm 52.4, employment index at 50.2 frm 48.2 and prices pd at 60.1 frm 60.3. A better report than expected sent the DJIA from +85 to +112 on the knee jerk, the 10 yr note frm +5/32 to unchanged and mortgage prices from +2/32 (.06 bp) with no initial change. Catch 22? If economic data improves what will the Fed do about easing? Likely it will take an unexpected big improvement in employment to shake the easing belief that is solidly embedded in markets.
Sept employment on Friday still has consensus with no change in total non-farm payroll jobs but +70K in private sector job growth. The government still cutting census jobs; the unemployment rate is expected up 0.1% to 9.7%. We expect the unemployment rate to increase in the months ahead if the economic recovery gains footing, millions have simply dropped out of the labor market, when they re-enter they will be considered unemployed. In the meantime many are living on 99 weeks of unemployment compensation.