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“I am not a politician… I only suffer the consequences.” – Peter Tosh
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With complete dysfunction in Washington, we’re all suffering the consequences of politicians. The continuing resolution keeping the government open expires on 11/17, and besides the geo-political turmoil around the world that needs to be addressed, the longer Republicans in the House go without reaching an agreement on who to elect as speaker, the more likely it is that we reach that mid-November deadline without a budget agreement. As easy as it is to complain about the incompetence in DC, though, Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”
After a disheartening session on Wednesday, things aren’t looking all that positive this morning. Nasdaq futures are the lone bright spot following a positive reaction to Netflix (NFLX) earnings as the stock is poised to gap up over 13%. Tesla (TSLA), however, is moving in the opposite direction as the stock is trading down over 7% following a weak report that showed compressed margins and some downright somber commentary from Elon Musk. S&P 500 futures are essentially flat, and Dow futures are low.
Outside of equities, crude oil is trading down by about 1%, gold is slightly lower, the dollar is mixed, and bitcoin is modestly higher. The real action this morning, however, is in the Treasury market, where yields are higher across the curve with the biggest upside moves coming the further out you go as the 10-year yield is up over 7 basis points to just under 5% (4.98%). 5%!
On the economic calendar, jobless claims will be released at 8 AM, and are expected to remain right around the same levels as last week. Along with those numbers, the Philly Fed Manufacturing report will also be released at 8:30 (expectations are for a modest increase) and Existing Home Sales will hit the tap at 10:00. On the jobless claims front, initial claims were lower than expected while continuing claims came in modestly ahead of forecasts but at the highest level since June. Philly Fed was modestly weaker than expected and came in negative at the headline level for the 13th time in the last 14 months. Besides those numbers, Fed Chair Powell will speak at noon along with five other Fed officials throughout the day. Depending on their messages, it could be a pivotal day.
Admittedly, there’s not a lot of positives out there this morning, but we’ll give you two. First, while today’s date is October 19th, it’s not October 19th, 1987. Second, despite oil prices hovering near $90 per barrel, gas prices have been falling hard. As shown in the chart below, the national average price of a gallon currently sits at $3.565, according to AAA, and that’s the lowest price since July. You know what that means? More money to go inside and grab a bag of Doritos, a Big Gulp, and if you’re really adventurous, one of those things on the hot rollers!
Over the last month, national average gas prices are down just over 8% which is the largest 30-day decline of the year and ranks in in the lowest decile of 30-day returns dating back to 2005.
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