We got a positive debt ceiling vote late yesterday. So the question in markets today is, NOW what?
So far, equities are mixed, while the dollar and Treasuries are flat. Crude oil, gold, and silver are also hovering around the unchanged line.
On the news front...
Well, so much for the debt ceiling “crisis.” Legislators in the House of Representatives voted to approve the bill that suspends the $31.4 trillion ceiling in exchange for spending cuts. It wasn’t even close, either – 314-117, with fairly widespread support on both sides of the proverbial political aisle.
I’ll repeat what I’ve said here and on Twitter (Side Note: You can follow me at @RealMikeLarson for additional market commentary there) for a while. Washington politicians tried to push the debt ceiling issue past the brink in 2011. Wall Street reacted by throwing a tantrum, and the market plunged more than 15% in a few days.
Ever since then, neither Republicans nor Democrats have been willing to accept the risk of a similar market meltdown. They own stocks too, you know. So, both sides have an incentive to fold in the end...which is why it keeps happening.
This is the week we get monthly jobs data out of the Labor Department, and investors will be watching Friday’s release closely. The stronger the data, the greater the chance the Federal Reserve may decide to hike interest rates again at its June 13-14 meeting. The private ADP report out this morning showed the economy created 278,000 jobs last month, a stronger-than-expected reading.
News out of the retail sector continues to be grim. Department store operator Macy’s (M) warned of weaker-than-expected earnings, margin pressure, and “challenged” consumer spending at its stores. That caused the shares to plunge 15% in the early going. Other retailers like Target (TGT) and Home Depot (HD) had previously warned spending wasn’t living up to expectations this spring.
Pretty much any stock remotely associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) has performed well this year. But shares of software developer C3.ai (AI) – whose ticker says it all – fell more than 17% this morning after forecasting slightly lower-than-expected revenue for the fiscal year. We’ll have to see if this is just a blip in a powerful trend, or the start of a more meaningful consolidation or pullback.