Global stocks were offered hope as the European Central Bank (ECB) hints at December stimulus, and US markets rebounded after new data showed jobless claims dropped as the US the economy grew at a faster pace than expected.
But the market is still in search of that elusive stimulus lifeline in this mishmash of pre-election de-risking.
This is a market that is entirely tunnel-visioned on reflationary stimulus rotation, which has turned “tech off” as much as “risk-off.”
And since Tech stocks are the most extensive momentum constituents within indices, concentration risk remains a significant worry as pre-election dyspepsia further aggravates that sell-off.
Adding to the tech woes, Apple’s shares fell more than 5% in extended trading after the tech behemoth reported a significant decline in iPhone sales but also and failed to offer investors any guidance for the quarter ahead, leaving shareholders in the dark.
Bond and gold offer zero comforts these days. Given the soaring cost to hedge the election event risk, some investors are just finding it is more comfortable and probably cheaper to cut and run than tack upwind in the pre-election stormy sea.
On the brighter side of the equation, after the latest Covid-19-induced pullback, markets should now be in a more balanced position going into the big event next week. And should clear the runway for asset prices to now react more asymmetrically to the Democratic sweep scenario. So, it could be time to dip toes back into those stormy seas.
Oil hits another rough patch
Oil hit yet another rough patch overnight in a perfect storm fashion. Increasing supply from Libya coincided with the second wave of Covid-19 in Europe saw WTI touching a low of $34.92 before rebounding on heavy hints by the ECB of new stimulus in December combined with stronger-than-expected US economic growth.
The OPEC+ decision branches for extending quotas at the November meeting might not be the slam dunk traders had expected. Some of OPEC’s most ardent supporters of Riyadh’s past compliance position feel the economic pressure at home to generate more petrodollars as some members are on the brink of financial collapse.
In turn, the gasoline crack plummeted below $7.00, which will negatively affect refining margins and provides the “poor eye candy” of demand destruction as the struggling global effort to contain the advance of the virus does not go unnoticed by energy spread players.
Whether this is merely posturing in light of Libyaâ€™s ramp-up to pressure wealthier nations to carry more of the load or not, these fissures in OPEC are coming at the most unwelcome time as the last thing the market needs are more and more barrel coming to call as we veer for the crux of the matter, which is winter is coming to the northern hemisphere where crowding and social- behavioural patterns could be a frightening source of a seasonality bounce in the Covid-19 curve.
While it is highly improbable that we will have a catastrophic sell-off in oil similar to when prices went negative earlier in the year, what is most worrisome for the oil complex is that several of those fundamental remnants from that fateful rollover day remain in play and could pressure oil for weeks ahead.
Equity and Oil markets analysis and insights from Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi