Stocks didn’t do much yesterday, and they aren’t doing much in the early going today. Treasuries, the dollar, and gold were all slightly lower recently, while crude oil was a bit higher.
On the news front...
Apres the debt ceiling deal, the debt deluge! No, it’s not as famous a saying as what King Louis XV of France purportedly exclaimed in 1757. But a deluge of government debt is precisely what many on Wall Street are worried about.
The Treasury Department was forced to roll back sales of US securities to avoid breaching the debt ceiling while negotiations were underway. Now, more than $1 trillion of Treasury bills could flood the market as Treasury looks to boost the balance in its “checking account” at the Federal Reserve back above $600 billion from less than $50 billion last month. Along with the Fed’s current policy of shrinking the balance sheet, some worry that could drain liquidity from capital markets and hurt stocks.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to tighten the screws on the crypto industry. It filed suit yesterday against Coinbase Global (COIN), the largest crypto trading platform in the US, following up on a previous lawsuit against Binance, the largest global exchange.
The suits include a range of charges, including alleged mishandling of customer funds and allowing trading in digital assets that should have been registered as securities. Coinbase fired back, saying that the SEC’s “enforcement-only approach” is hurting the US’ competitiveness in the crypto industry. Binance said it tried to cooperate with the SEC and reach a negotiated settlement, while calling the filing “unjustified by the facts [and] by the law.”
Finally, there’s one oddball economic indicator that might be signaling a US downturn: The “Cardboard Box Indicator.” Data from the Fibre Box Association shows that demand is dropping for cardboard boxes. Since that could signal slowing consumer and business spending, investors might want to keep an eye on it. Or so said Charles Schwab chief global investment strategist Jeffrey Kleintop recently.