Market Recon Thursday

Good Morning,
 .
ECB / Mario Draghi.
                    Though last night’s presidential debate will headline mainstream news this morning, the dominant story for financial market participants will come from the European Central Bank. The policy announcement will come at 07:45 ET, with the Mario Draghi press conference in tow at 08:30. Quickly scanning consensus opinion, it appear to me that any policy move today would come as a surprise, at least right now. Most market pros do expect a six month extension of the ECB QE program to be announced prior to the end of the year. Nobody expects a rate cut. With economic growth, and consumer level inflation still hovering well below expectations and targets, there are few calls for any tapering of purchases, and those that are looking for such a reduction of purchases would like it to coincide with an overall extension of the program. What will likely be impacted today will be exchange rates, and sovereign debt yields. Even that arena seems to be more of a Fed story right now than it does an ECb story, but never, never discount Mario Draghi’s ability as a speaker.
.
Crude / Energy.
                    The Energy sector has been hot all month, heck all year in a sneaky, skittish, very inconsistent way. The sector led yesterday, as the underlying commodity ran up to $52 a barrel on that larger than life inventory draw. WTI is now trading around 51, which had been fairly stiff resistance for several sessions up until yesterday’s move. if this level is not held as support, there could be a retreat in the short-term to just below 50, or to better support way down around 48.25. As Crude, and subsequently reliant  equity market names have found, headlines are what move prices in this arena. Usually, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but in this space, between non binding news out of OPEC producers, non-OPEC producers, and wildly differing numbers from different sources on inventory, all you need is smoke. This is a speculative play right now, and it has been for some time. When oil does well, it does benefit the overall market though. Can’t complain about that. If Mario Draghi manages to soften the Euro with his words today, the morning move here would be lower.
.
Macro
.
08:30 – Initial Jobless Claims (Weekly): Expecting 250k, Last Week 246k. Incredibly, the four week moving average for this item is now down to 249,250. We’re all aware that last week, the number of consecutive weeks of less than 300k persons filing for Unemployment benefits hit 84. The new streak is two. That’s the number of consecutive weeks below 250k. Though the success of this run is largely due to the amount of people working less than full-time, it remains a remarkable streak. This item will not likely impact trading this morning.
.
08:30 – Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (October): Expecting 5.8, September 12.8. The Philly Fed will be in some focus today, as  earlier in the week, the Empire State printed in surprise contraction. On top of that, in September, Philly’s headline print hit the tape deceptively high, as the only real strength was in pricing. New Orders are the one sub-component that truly matters here, and that needs to improve from the 1.4 that we saw last month coming off of a very low level.
.
10:00 – Existing Home Sales (September): Expecting 5.35M, August 5.33M SAAR. The largest slice of the housing pie will be the highlight of the domestic economic day, especially now that September Housing Starts printed at the lowest level for any month in this series since March of 2015. Strength here would reassure.
.
10:00 – Leading Indicators (September): Expecting 0.2%, August -0.2% m/m. From a trader’s perspective, this may be the single least important domestic macro-economic data-point. Nobody will make a decision based on, nor react to this number today. Next.
.
10:30 – Natural Gas Inventories (Weekly): Expecting 71B cf, Last Week 79B cf. Look for a 26th build in this space in the last 27 weeks. This one will also pass quietly unless one is directly active in the space.
.
Fed Speaker: Actually just one speaker, who will make three separate speeches. New York Fed Pres. William Dudley will speak from a financial services workshop in New York City at 08:30, at 9am, and again at 16:45. Dudley, who is a permanent voting member of the FOMC stated just last night that he expects to see a rate hike before the year is out. He also thinks that it will be no big deal. Maybe he hasn’t seen the DXY. That has consistently been his message for quite some time now.
.
Thursday’s Earnings Highlights
.
Before the Open: AAL (1.69), BK (.81), PHM (.44), TRV (2.34), UNP (1.40), VZ (.99)
After the Close: ETFC (.39), MSFT (.68), SLB (.22)