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Markets Buying Ahead of Friday's CPI Print

·2 min read

Market indices closed at or near session highs this Tuesday, with a big turnaround on the Dow from this morning providing yet another 500-point swing from session lows. The blue-chip index closed +0.80% (+264 points), while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished regular trading +0.95% and +0.94%, respectively.

Again, the big winner today is the small-cap Russell 2000, +1.57% on the day and +3% over the past five trading days. It’s still got a ways to go to catch the Dow and S&P year to date, but is now ahead of the tech-heavy Nasdaq among major indices so far this year: -15.5% versus -23.1%. The S&P is still down -13.3% from the beginning of 2022 and the Dow is -9.3%. Only the Nasdaq remains in correction territory.

So far this week, which has been relatively data-deprived, we did see an increase on the May Caixin Services PMI out of China, though not quite as high as predicted. Still, a turnaround in China — at least in the services space — is headed in the right direction. Japan’s Q1 GDP came in predictably at -0.2% earlier today. Tomorrow brings us Q1 GDP for the Eurozone.

And we’re not done with Chinese economic reads this week, with Imports and Exports for April out Thursday, along with domestic weekly and continuing jobless claims. Long-term claims keep setting new half-century-plus lows week after week. We’ll see if that continues this week.

The big event this week on the data side remains Friday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers for May, which is now a shorthand for inflation in the U.S. Year over year, we’re following a +8.3% print in April and +8.5% for March. We know energy price increases will likely stay very high (+30.3% in last month’s report), but can the year-over-year headline breach 8% to the downside? And if it does, does that trigger more buying, or are market participants already leading off the base ahead of the release?

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