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1. Affordability. "The mortgage payment needed to buy the median priced home for sale in the US has moved up to $2,555, a new all-time high."
2. US trucking. "U.S. trucking rates have ticked up slightly of late, but west coast has not participated in move higher...most regions now seeing a sideways move after falling swiftly from peak."
3. US public debt ownership. The Fed holds nearly 1/5 of US debt.
4. Bank lending. "In the past 50 years of data, only after Lehman collapsed in 2008 and following the Sept. 11 attacks on the US did banks cut lending as sharply as they did in the four weeks through April 12."
5. Credit spreads. "If confidence were lost in the banks, then spreads would be expected to widen. But as it stands, the bond market, a very important mechanism for funding companies in the US, is showing minimal concern."
6. Bank deposits. "Since the early years of the Great Depression, when the US banking system collapsed, broadly defined bank deposits have never fallen anything like as fast as they are at present."
7. PCE (I). "The headline PCE index rose 0.1% in March, with 12-month inflation falling to 4.2%, the lowest reading since May 2021."
8. PCE (II). "The PCE Price Index moved down to 4.2% [YoY], its lowest level since June 2021. Peak was 7% in June 2022."
9. Core PCE (I). "The core PCE index rose 0.3% in March, with monthly gains for January and February revised up."
10. Core PCE (II). Core PCE rose 4.6% YoY (vs. 4.5% expected) while core PCE services excluding housing increased by 4.5%.
11. Employment cost. "Employment Cost Index (ECI) up 1.2% q/q in Q1 is undeniably too hot for comfort...The all-important private sector wages & salaries gauge advanced 1.2% q/q (largest since Q2 2022) essentially the same gain as in the prior 2 quarters."
12. Personal income & spending. "March personal income (blue) +0.3% m/m vs. +0.2% est. & +0.3% prior … spending (orange) 0.0% vs. -0.1% est. & -0.2% prior (rev down from -0.1%)."
13. Personal savings. "Households continue to save more ahead of recession: personal savings rate rises to 5.1% from 4.8%, highest since 2021."
14. Wage growth. "Growth in aggregate US labor income is definitely slowing, a good sign for easing inflation, but it still remains well above pre-pandemic norms."
15. Inflation expectations. "This morning's final UMich report confirms the flash inflation expectations have jumped dramatically with longer-term inflation expectations actually increasing inter-month to +3.0%."
16. Money market funds. "Another week of MMF inflows, after last week’s outflow."
17. Bull & Bear Indicator. BofA's indicator rose "to 2.9, up from 2.8 on stronger stock inflows that more than offset weaker credit technicals and bearish shift from hedge funds."
18. Retail net purchases. "Retail investors remain cautious, particularly with single-stock purchases."
19. Tech flows. "Tech has gone from big outflows to big inflows."
20. Hedge funds vs. tech. "Goldman´s prime book shows a rather big uptick in tech buying."
21. Active managers. The NAAIM Exposure Index dropped sharply last week, falling to 50.8 from 78.2.
22. Unusual bear market. "Bear market rallies in general do not go more than 3% above their 200dma for more than 3 weeks. We are 4.4% above the 200dma and have been above for 26 trading days."
23. Limited upside. "We stay bearish as economic ambiguity of 2023 set to end with crack in labor market and EPS recession."
24. Semis vs. SPX. "There's only been eight other months in the last 20 years that semis have underperformed the S&P 500 by more than 7.5 percentage points in a month."
25. Q1 earnings (I). "53% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported...79% have reported actual EPS above estimates, which is above the 5-year average of 77% and above the 10-year average of 73%."
26. Q1 earnings (II). "The blended earnings decline for the first quarter is -3.7% today, compared to an earnings decline of -6.3% last week and an earnings decline of -6.7% at the end of the first quarter (March 31)."
27. Q1 earnings (III). "74% of S&P 500 companies have reported actual revenues above estimates, which is above the 5-year average of 69% and above the 10-year average of 63%."
28. Q1 earnings (IV). "The blended revenue growth rate for the first quarter is 2.9% today, compared to a revenue growth rate of 2.1% last week and a revenue growth rate of 1.9% at the end of the first quarter (March 31)."
29. EPS forecast. "Consensus sees just -4% peak-to-trough EPS decline."
30. EPS estimates. And finally, bottom-up EPS estimates are now on the rise…$221 for 2023 and $247 for 2024.
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