Equities are back in the proverbial soup due to banking stability concerns, with futures sharply lower in the early going. Gold and silver continue to hang in just fine, though, while Treasuries are rallying sharply. Oil is down and the dollar is higher.
On the news front...
Another day, another bank getting taken to the woodshed! This time it’s Deutsche Bank (DB), the largest bank in Germany. Shares were recently off by 13%, while the cost to insure the bank’s debt in the credit default swap market surged.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attempted to undo some of the turmoil she caused on Wednesday (“Fed Day”) by delivering revised remarks in Congress. The updated comments on Thursday said, essentially: “Never mind what I said yesterday. We could consider additional steps to backstop troubled banks.”
Meanwhile, we’re starting to see more spillover impacts from the banking brouhaha. Investment grade and high-yield bond sales have dried up in the last several days, as have Initial Public Offerings of stock. The longer that goes on, the more it will have a dampening effect on the economy.
Layoffs appear to be spreading outside of the technology sector. The consulting giant Accenture Plc (ACN) just announced 19,000 job cuts, a number that equates to about 2.5% of its workforce. Other consulting companies like McKinsey & Co. and KPMG have cut thousands of jobs, too.
Finally, the short-term interest rate markets continue to make a mockery of Federal Reserve forecasts. While the Fed’s updated “Dot Plot” of policymaker projections showed that most expect to hold the funds rate steady throughout 2023, the markets are increasingly pricing in CUTS later this year.