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.
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