Market Recon Thursday

Good Morning,
                        Today, for the first time all week, there is actually a lot on your plate.  I don’t  care if you’re tired, we’re all tired (more on that in a bit).  Put on your helmet, buckle your chinstrap, make sure you’ve got enough water….and let’s do Thursday.  BTW, you (males) better not need a shave this morning.  I am checking.
.
The ECB
.
               I don’t think too many folks expect the ECB to change monetary policy at the conclusion of their bake sale today.  The announcement is expected for 07:45 ET, while “Super” Mario Draghi’s press conference is pegged for a 08:30 ET start.  I do think that at that press conference, Mr. Draghi, who is amongst the most influential speakers on the planet, will try to sound as dovish as possible.  He’s even better at this stuff than our gang.  There is definitely some talk of adding muscle to the ECB’s current QE program, and consumer level inflation is surely not where they want it.  That said, there is evidence that bank lending is improving in Europe, and ECB staffers are expected to come up with their new projections for inflation in December.  Meaning….. that there is no rush for change right now.
.
Macro Party USA
.
                       I know you love the macro, I mean who doesn’t?  For the first time all week, we stand before a ton of data.  Some decent stuff here, and some worthless nonsense…at least as far as traders are concerned…and that’s who we care about.  You, the trader.
.
08:30 ET
.
Initial Jobless Claims (Weekly):  This one in concept, at least is really important.  The number has stayed low for a great length of time, and the overall pressure still seems to the downside.  Simply put, folks just aren’t getting laid off in massive quantities anymore, and haven’t been for a long while.  That’s good news for everyone, but it is no longer a very trade-able event.  Last week’s print came in really low….at 255K.  Today, we’re looking for a small pop up to the 266K area.  Anything from 250K to 275K will be taken quietly by the market.
.
09:00 ET
.
FHFA HPI (August):  Traders simply don’t watch this one.  It’s focus, on prices of homes with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac is a bit too narrow for the crowd.  They’ll wait for Case-Shiller on Tuesday.  If you must watch this one, July showed 0.6% month over month growth, and consensus for August is 0.4%.
.
10:00 ET
.
Existing Home Sales (September):  This item is the largest slice of the housing pie, so clearly…it deserves some focus.  Exiting Home Sales peaked in July, and then took a step back in August.  The thought is that we hold our ground, and maybe see a small uptick for this print.  Projections are for 5.36 million units when measured in seasonally adjusted, annualized rate form.  FYI, seasonally adjusting data really ticks me off.  Just give it to us straight.  We’ll compare the number year over year, and decide for ourselves if there are circumstances deserving of outlier status.  Enough with the fudging of data.
.
Leading Indicators (September):  LOL
.
10:30 ET
.
Natural Gas Inventories (Weekly):  Kind of like having to answer the three questions before crossing the bridge in that Monty Python movie.  If you’re wrong, you don’t get a second chance.
.
11:00 ET
.
Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index (October):  Coming on the heels of more negative numbers from the Empire State, and Philadelphia, not much is expected here.  Dallas, and Richmond report next week.  All five printed in the hole for September.  Ugly trend.
.
Baseball
.
               The kid from Queens watched his baseball team win the National League Pennant last night.  There was much joy in the household as those lovable losers proved to be winners.  To the NY Mets…..Good Luck in the World Series.  To the fans of the Chicago Cubs….. This is an impressive line-up.  I expect that your team will be hanging around the playoffs for a number of years.  Just keep that kid out of left field.  To all of these ‘fellow” Mets fans that I see all over New York City…..  Welcome.  Really didn’t know you were all out there.
.
Thursday Earnings Highlights
.
Before the Open: MMM (2.01), CAT (.79), LLY (.76), MCD (1.26), RTN (1.43), R (1.73), LUV (.92), UNP (1.43), UAL (4.55)
After the close: AMZN (-.09), T (.69), MSFT (.58)
.
Sarge’s TRADING LEVELS
.
SPX: 2035, 2026, 2020, 2013, 2006, 1997
RUT: 1159, 1152, 1146, 1136, 1131, 1127