Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Nonfarm Payrolls in Focus: Global Week Ahead

Read MoreHide Full Article

In the Global Week Ahead, the focus will — once again — be on macro data.

Key May 2023 nonfarm jobs data in the United States, Mainland China manufacturing activity data, and Euro Area inflation readings should give stock traders more evidence on the pull-and-push factors impacting the world's top economies.

A deal on the U.S. debt ceiling, struck on Sunday, will move to Congress for a vote.

In Turkey, voters gave President Tayyip Erdogan a mandate for another five years.

Meanwhile, info tech investors are on the hunt for undervalued opportunities — in an over-valued space.

Next: Reuters’ 5 World Market Themes, Reordered for Equity Traders—

(1) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Mania Picks Up

Artificial Intelligence is having a moment. Shares in AI chipmaker Nvidia soared some 25% in a single day after issuing bullish revenue forecasts.

The technology took center stage when Microsoft-backed Open AI unleashed its essay-writing bot ChatGPT last November. Industry insiders forecast huge progress in the competence of this so-called generative AI, while regulators and politicians fret about AI stealing jobs, or spreading misinformation.

For investors, it raises a whole other sort of questions: Will AI cause long-term deflation? Will it create new jobs and new industries? And how will it make money?

Stocks linked to AI are surging but all the tech's ramifications are far from certain yet. Remember the dotcom bubble?

(2) On Friday, the Preliminary May U.S. Nonfarm Payroll Count Arrives

Will U.S. jobs data out on June 2nd show that the world's top economy is strong enough to avoid a recession but not so hot that it forces another hawkish move by the Federal Reserve?

Non-farm payrolls for May are expected to record job growth of 180,000, according a Reuters poll. In April, U.S. job growth accelerated to add 253,000 with wage gains increasing solidly.

The jobs report will be one of the last pieces of data before the June Fed meeting, where the central bank is expected to hit pause on its aggressive 14-month-old rate hiking cycle to tamp down inflation.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday finalized a budget agreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling until Jan. 1st, 2025, and said the deal was ready to move to Congress for a vote.

(3) Lots of Mainland China Macro Data Comes Out

It's China's turn for PMI report cards — and there's little reason to expect any turnaround in the ailing economy.

From inflation figures to retail sales, recent data has without fail painted a dreary picture of lackluster domestic demand.

It seems the only thing the Chinese consumer wants is lottery tickets, with sales soaring to a decade high, staking their fortunes on luck rather than policy makers.

There is optimism in the interbank repo market, though, where record activity is a sure sign that traders expect central bank stimulus soon.

Of course, burst hopes of a post-COVID boom aren't the only reason for caution: the tit-for-tat tech export spat with the U.S. continues to ramp up, while the Asian giant keeps sidling closer to Russia, provoking much discomfort in the West.

(4) Lots of Euro Area Macro Data Comes Out, Too

At its meeting three weeks ago, the ECB reiterated that it was very much in rate-hiking mode to tame inflation. Markets, not convinced, dialed back bets for further increases and focused on weakening growth. Germany just entered recession.

Yet, it is traders that — for now — have had to rethink their view. Thursday's flash May Eurozone inflation number and a slew of national data in the days ahead will likely stoke the peak rate debate. Eurozone business activity remains resilient, core inflation is sticky above 5% and wage pressures are picking up.

HSBC expects the ECB's key rate to peak at 4% from a current 3.25%. Data on Wednesday meanwhile showed UK inflation eased by less than in April, sending gilt yields rocketing. Traders know that they, like central bankers and economists, don't always get it right.

(5) Turkey’s Erdogan Wins a New Term in Power

President Tayyip Erdogan extended his two decades in power in elections on Sunday, winning a mandate to pursue increasingly authoritarian policies that have polarized Turkey and strengthened its position as a regional military power.

Erdogan prevailed despite years of economic turmoil which critics blame on unorthodox economic policies.

While analysts expected that Erdogan would have to adjust some of his heterodox policies to ensure the country's economy, marked by boom-and-bust cycles, would find some smoother waters ahead, they were cautious over just how much change a new government would herald.

Turkey's lira wobbled near record lows against the dollar on Monday, just shy of the 20.06 low hit on Friday.

Zacks #1 Rank (STRONG BUY) Stocks

Next are three large-cap stocks that look interesting.

(1) DR Horton (DHI - Free Report) : This is a $107 stock. It is found in the Building Products – Home Builders industry.

This company’s stock has a market cap of $36.4B. I see a Zacks Value score of C, a Zacks Growth score of D and a Zacks Momentum score of A.

D.R. Horton, Inc., based in Texas, is one of the leading national homebuilders, primarily engaged in the construction and sale of single-family houses both in the entry-level and move-up markets.

D.R. Horton’s operations are spread across 110 markets in 33 states in the East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest and West regions of the United States.

Its houses are sold under the brand names D.R. Horton - America’s Builder, Emerald Homes, Express Homes and Freedom Homes.

(2) W.W. Grainger (GWW - Free Report) : This is a $664 stock in the Industrial Services industry.

This company’s stock has a market cap of $33.3B. I see a Zacks Value score of D, a Zacks Growth score of A and a Zacks Momentum score of B.

Incorporated in 1928, IL-based W.W. Grainger Inc. is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products and services.

Its operations are primarily in North America, Japan and the U.K. Its customers represent a wide array of industries including government, manufacturing, transportation, commercial and contractors.

Its products include material-handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, and metalworking tools.

(3) Li Auto (LI - Free Report) : This is a $28 stock in the Foreign Auto industry.

This company’s stock has a market cap of $8.1B. I see a Zacks Value score of D, a Zacks Growth score of A and a Zacks Momentum score of A.

Li Auto Inc. is an innovator in the energy vehicle market.

The company designs, develops, manufactures, and sells premium smart electric SUVs.
Li Auto Inc. is based in Beijing, China.

Review them in more detail on

Key Global Macro

The U.S. nonfarm payroll data out on Friday appears all-important.

On Monday, there was a U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

On Tuesday, the Case-Shiller home price index (HPI) for March wound up -1.1% y/y, after a +0.4% y/y print the month prior.

The RBA’s Lowe gives a speech.

On Wednesday, Mainland China’s NBS manufacturing PMI should be 49.4 in May, after a 49.2 print in April.

U.S. JOLTS for April should be 9.35M after a 9.59M print the month prior.

The Fed’s Beige Book comes out.

On Thursday, China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI comes out for May. I see a 49.5 print is the consensus, after a 49.5 was posted the month prior.

The U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI for May should be 47, after a 47.1 the month prior.

On Friday, U.S. nonfarm payrolls should be up +195K in May, after a +253K print in April.

The U.S. household unemployment rate should be 3.5%, after a 3.4% print last month.


Let’s wrap with Zacks Research Director Sheraz Mian’s May 26th earnings points:

Including all the quarterly reports that came out through Friday, May 26th, we now have Q1 earnings from 486 S&P500 members, or 97.2% of the index’s total membership.

(1) Total earnings for these companies are down -3.7% from the same period last year on +4.5% higher revenues, with 78.2% beating EPS estimates and 75.1% beating revenue estimates.

The proportion of these companies beating both EPS and revenue estimates is 63.2%.

(2) Regular readers of our earnings commentary know that we have been referring to the overall picture emerging from the Q1 earnings season as good enough; not great, but not bad, either.

With this reporting cycle now largely behind us, we can confidently say that corporate earnings aren’t headed towards the ‘cliff’ that market bears warned us of.

(3) The way we see it, the ‘better-than-feared’ view of the Q1 earnings season at this stage may be a bit unfair, given how resilient corporate profitability has turned out to be.

But the view isn’t entirely off the mark either.

(4) We have about 100 companies on deck to report results, including 9 S&P500 members.

This week’s docket includes, Macy’s, Broadcom, Lululemon, Dollar General, and others.

Warm Regards and Happy Trading!

John Blank
Zacks Chief Equity Strategist and Economist

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW) - free report >>

D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI) - free report >>

Li Auto Inc. Sponsored ADR (LI) - free report >>

Published in