Sign In
July 26, 20212:38 AM PDTLast Updated 2 months ago
Take Five
Take Five: The great Fed conundrum

4 minute read
Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
July 23 (Reuters) - 1/TALKING TAPER
The U.S. Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and looks set to debate when and how to kick off a bond taper, even as a surging Delta variant caseload revives economic risks from a pandemic many policymakers had hoped was drawing to a close.
In June, officials launched the discussion over when to start cutting monthly purchases of $120 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities - it's unlikely they will put that on ice even though the rate of new daily U.S. infections has doubled since.
The Delta surge is too new to show up in data, but figures reflect a growing conundrum: inflation running much hotter than expected and job growth still well short of the "maximum employment" goal.
Meanwhile a partisan fight over raising the debt ceiling has erupted in Congress, with the Treasury Department on July 31 technically bumping up against its statutory debt limit.
Fed's Powell keeps to script on jobs recovery, feels heat on inflation front
U.S. earnings are into full swing and investors will now watch tech heavyweights to gauge whether a recent shift away from reflation trade and into big growth stocks that led markets for the last decade will continue.
FAANG stocks - Facebook (FB.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O), and Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL.O) - are usually known for delivering stellar stock market returns. But only Facebook and Alphabet have beaten the S&P 500 in 2021 as investors piled into financials, energy firms and other companies that should benefit from a powerful U.S. economic rebound.
Worries over "peak growth" and a resurgence of COVID-19 recently stalled that rotation. Earnings from Apple and Alphabet on Tuesday, Facebook on Wednesday and Amazon on Thursday could accelerate a shift back into growth. Netflix shares tumbling after it forecast third-quarter paid subscriber additions below estimates provides a cautionary tale.
Netflix's gaming foray will cost time and money -Wall St
A year late, at empty stadiums in the world's biggest city, the Olympic Games have begun mid-pandemic. Athletes are to compete without mingling, to dine alone and to take their free condoms home. read more
A spectacle that cost some $15.5 billion will bring no tourism, next to no ticket revenue and no economic boon. Intended to showcase Japan's recovery from the devastating 2011 earthquake, the Tokyo Olympics has instead become so toxic that even sponsors such as Toyota (7203.T)have decided to give airwaves and the opening ceremony a wide berth.
Some have found a silver lining in a pre-Games pickup in vaccination rates for Japan, where only 20% of the population is fully inoculated. But for the more than two-thirds who said they don't believe the event can be held safely, it will be a nervous fortnight of hoping the virus is kept behind the sidelines.
Olympic sponsor Toyota passes on Games TV commercials in Japan amid lacklustre support there
Summertime and the living is easy. Not for markets swinging wildly from one direction to another as investors try to decide what the future holds for world growth.
Recent days saw the S&P 500 (.SPX) record its steepest one-day drop in months on concerns that COVID-variants could derail the recovery, only to post the biggest one-day jump since March a day later. Bond market volatility is no less significant -- 10-year Treasury yields tumbled then posted their biggest one-day jump in a month days later.
Data could soothe or exacerbate growth angst. An advanced estimate of U.S. economic growth and a Fed-tracked measure of inflation are out Thursday. On Friday, flash July euro zone inflation and Q2 GDP numbers are released.
Europe's banking sector is one of the few industries yet to reclaim pre-pandemic highs. The euro zone bank index (.SX7E) is currently down some 10% from February 2020 and even at the peak of the reflation trade last June it was still 2% away.
By comparison, the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) is 5% above the levels reached prior to the pre-COVID-19 crash. Despite being the darlings of the reopening trade, European lenders are dragged down by bottom-low interest rates biting into margins.
There is a strong link between their performance and benchmark German 10-year Bund yields . With Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI) reporting in days to come, it might be a good time to break with Bunds.
-GRAPHIC-​Deutsche Bank market share shrinks in some areas
Reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Dhara Ranasinghe and Julien Ponthus in London, Dan Burns and Saqib Ahmed in New York; Compiled by Karin Strohecker; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page

M&S to close 11 stores in France, blaming Brexit
Four former VW execs go on trial over Dieselgate
Ryanair 'couldn't care less' about Boeing order
U.S. retail sales show surprise August jump
Ford to nearly double F150 Lightning production
Billions blown as Macau flags casino crackdown
Ailing Evergrande seen edging closer to brink
EU plans 'Chips Act' to promote self-sufficiency
Pepsi to slash plastic use in sustainability push
Ford vehicles will autonomously deliver Walmart orders
Read Next
Take Five
Take Five: Bring out the central bank heavies
1:51 AM PDT
Take Five
Take Five: Big in Japan
September 12, 2021
Take Five
Take Five: Take it away, Christine
September 5, 2021
Take Five
Take Five: Take it away, Christine
September 6, 2021

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Take Five
Take Five · 1:51 AM PDT
Take Five: Bring out the central bank heavies
Take Five
Take Five: Big in Japan
September 12, 2021
Take Five
Take Five: Take it away, Christine
September 6, 2021
Take Five
Take Five: Adios summer
August 29, 2021
Take Five
Take Five: The Jackson Hole Jamboree
August 23, 2021

About Reuters
About Reuters
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Terms of Use
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved