We have a somewhat quiet morning ahead of several pieces of housing data and the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs holding a hearing later this morning on recent bank failures and the federal regulatory response.
Equity futures are little changed and even though we made some moves yesterday with the shares of Bank of America (BAC) , Marvell (MRVL) and Clear Secure (YOU) , we are closely watching one or two others as well.
This morning at 9 am ET, we will get twin looks at housing prices in January through the FHFA Housing Price Index and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. At 10 am ET, the March Consumer Confidence report will be published, and the consensus forecast sees a step down to 101 from 102.9 the prior month.
Also, at 10 am ET today, the Fed's Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr will testify before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on recent bank failures and the federal regulatory response. In his prepared remarks Barr shared that in his opinion, "SVB failed because the bank's management did not effectively manage its interest rate and liquidity risk" and calls SVB's (SIVB) failure "a textbook case of mismanagement."
As we indicated yesterday, odds are the hearing will have more bark than bite and we continue to see investors wading back into well capitalized and risk managed banks as more distance is put between recent bank failures.
As we take this morning's data and events in we, along with the market, will be waiting for several Federal Reserve speeches this week as well as Friday's inflation data. In those speeches and data, the market will be looking to see which scenario is more likely - the Fed's fresh economic projections that show a 5.1% fed funds rate by the end of this year or several rate cuts in the back half of 2023 currently priced in by Fed Funds futures traders as depicted by the CME FedWatch Tool.
With some time and a fair amount of data updates ahead of the Fed's May policy meeting, the likely reality is that this bit of cognitive dissonance won't be resolved in the near term. We continue to think upcoming bank earnings for the March quarter and the credit tightening insight it provides will provide another and useful piece of the fed fund futures puzzle. And the February PCE Price Index data out last this week has the potential to throw some cold water on the CME FedWatch Tool, especially if the market's optimism about the banking sector continues.
In terms of our portfolio holdings, Alphabet (GOOGL) has formally asked for dismissal of the Justice Department's. antitrust lawsuit accusing the company of illegally using its market power in online advertising. In January, the Justice Department and eight states accused the company of violating the antitrust Sherman Act and called for a breakup of the ad-tech business.
Lockheed Martin (LMT) bagged another win with a $210.9 million contract in support of delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Air Systems for the UK government. While not the largest contract, continued wins like this one that spans until the end of 2027 flesh out Lockheed's multi-year backlog, adding to visibility and predictability for its business.