Mirror Mirror On The Wall Street, Who's The Fearest Of Them All?

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Includes: AMGN, BIIB, CAT, DIA, FB, GM, GOOG, GOOGL, MCD, QQQ, SPY, STT, T, TROW, VOO, X, XHB, XLRE
by: Markos Kaminis

Summary

A day ahead of the Fed policy decision and the congressional interviews of Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, look for stocks to tread water.

Consumer Confidence data is due today, and is expected to reflect full employment, and that's a good thing.

Alphabet reported results and was down in the premarket. The stock's post earnings reaction should matter for equities, along with a slew of other high profile reports.

Mirror mirror on the Wall Street who's the fearest of them all? That may be what stock investors are asking their prognostication devices this morning. Futures were indicating a fractionally higher open at roughly 7:00 AM EDT, but I'm not sure we won't turn slightly red soon. There's a lot to worry about still this week, so I think stocks are most likely to tread water today.

We are sort of in limbo today, waiting for Wednesday's Federal Open Monetary Policy (FOMC) decision and statement and the Congressional panel interview of Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort. The Fed is not expected to make waves, and the congressional drama will occur in a closed door session. Still, the risk that some surprise might result should drag on stocks today, despite pent-up demand I see in equities on improving economic data flow.

Today's data includes the final July reading of Consumer Confidence. Economists see the data point marking down to 117.0, from June's 118.9. Despite the expected drop, the index would still be marking in very positive territory indicative of the sort of situation that should exist under full employment.

State Street's (NYSE: STT) Investor Confidence Index reached lower to a still positive 101.0 in June, likely due to the decline in energy prices and concern around the Fed meeting, not to mention Oval Office disappointments. The index measures the actual risk taking of institutional investors and is worth noting.

We'll get real estate (NYSE: XLRE) pricing data from both S&P Case Shiller and FHFA today. The seasonally adjusted pace of home (NYSE: XHB) price increase at the Case Shiller data has been decelerating, but is still rising on the inventory shortage. Economists expect a 0.3% increase for June's 20-city seasonally adjusted index and a 5.8% yearly increase (versus 5.7% last month).

Earnings reports matter today, with Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) reporting last evening. GOOG is lower by 2.6% in the premarket after publishing its report, as investors initially were ignoring the earnings beat and considering a clouded revenue outlook. If the widely held stock continues lower through the open, it will weigh against the broader market some. Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) was down in sympathy. Other earnings reports due today emanate from AT&T (NYSE: T), Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN), Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), General Motors (NYSE: GM), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), United States Steel (NYSE: X) and T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW).

Despite the data and S&P futures' initial slight positivity, look for limbo today, one day ahead of the D.C. drama and the Fed decision. For more of my work on the markets, readers are welcome to follow the column here at Seeking Alpha.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.