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New Trading Week Starts Slow, Markets Up

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Monday, December 6, 2021

We begin a new trading week quietly, following a mixed Jobs Report Friday which confused analysts with fewer than half the amount of new positions filled last month, on a lower Unemployment Rate than we’d seen since the Covid pandemic started more than a year and a half ago. No major news stories, earnings reports nor economic prints are out ahead of today’s opening bell.

This will change as the week progresses: a whole host of economic reads this week include Producer Price Index (PPI), Import/Export Prices, Empire State and Philly Fed productivity surveys, a Fed announcement and Fed Chair Powell presser, Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization, Housing Starts/Building Permits, and, as always, Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims. As Q3 earnings season wraps up, we’ll get a look at the mid-quarter economy on a wide horizon.

Of course, almost none of this data will be fresh enough to pick up results from the Omicron variant of Covid, which threatens to set back the global economy for a month or more, if it hasn’t already in some places. We’ve already seen how calendar Q3 was affected by the Delta variant, just as the domestic economy was getting hot it came on like a wet blanket. It would appear Q4 will be relatively unscathed from the next Omicron wave, but the questions are: When will it get here, and how bad can it be expected to be?

Those answers remain elusive, just one week from the first known case of Omicron reported in the U.S. While Delta remains the dominant variant in America right now, already nearly a third of States have already reported Omicron cases. Vaccinations and booster shots look to be providing some protection from the worst symptoms of Covid, even on the new variant. But already analysts are starting to give their Q2 projections something of a re-think.

Thus, pre-market indexes resemble where they wound up on Friday: the Dow is +250 points at this hour, the S&P 500 is +20 and the Nasdaq, fighting its way out of the red a half-hour prior to the opening bell, has crossed over to +10 points. Without much to chart a new path so far this morning, we hope the buying on current sold-off indexes continues throughout the trading day.

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