This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.
Two weeks into December and there’s still no sign of a Santa rally. Instead the stock market has been on the back foot most of the week, under a cloud of taper worries.
Buying into dips has been a common behaviour for investors in 2013, but it’s only today that we’re starting to see the first signs of that this week, as slightly cheaper prices have attracted some bargain hunters. By early afternoon in New York, the Dow Jones was up 0.24% or 37 points, while the S&P 500 index was up just 0.15% at 1778.1.
The magnitude of these rises aren’t significant enough to suggest that any of the wariness regarding next week’s FOMC meeting has waned, and the dollar’s performance today suggests that market expectations regarding a December taper could still be strengthening. The euro lost 0.25% against the dollar, while cable slipped 0.40%.
A report released earlier form the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the Producer Price Index declined by 0.1% in November, in line with expectations. Following the 0.2% drop seen in October, the report suggests inflation remains very cool, with core prices climbing just 0.1%. The core rate is up 1.3% from a year ago, while the overall level has increased just 0.7% year-on-year.
At the producer level, there is pretty much no inflation, which agrees with yesterday’s soft import and export prices report. Inflation will be the key data point for the doves to use in their arguments at the FOMC meeting next week, while the hawks will point to advances in employment and rising retails sales.
While positive data of late has certainly increased the chances of a December taper, such an outcome would still be a surprise decision.