Inflation cools, stocks post best day in two years, bye-bye king dollar, FTX debacle, cryptos rally on soft CPI

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This inflation report was a nice surprise. ​ Inflation has been very slow to come down, but this report gives up hope that this deceleration with pricing pressures might bring back hopes of a soft landing. The headline reading came in lower-than-expected, but most traders were focused with the month-over-month decline with core prices. ​ If this downward trajectory for inflation holds, then you can make a strong case that the bottom is in place for US equities.

US stocks are rallying as Wall Street finally sees light at the end of the Fed’s tightening cycle tunnel. ​ This cool inflation report helped stocks post their best trading day in two years. ​ Treasury yields are in freefall, the dollar is tanking, and practically every risky asset is rejoicing over this inflation report. ​ ​

Inflation ​ ​ ​ 

Inflation has peaked but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to get to target. Inflation is cooling after the core reading only posted a 0.3% monthly increase. ​ The headline reading dropped more than expected to 7.7% from a year ago, which is noticeably better than the peak reading from June of 9.1%.

Inflation almost always proves to be stickier, so traders should not be surprised if the descent in pricing pressures takes a little while longer.

Good prices have been coming down and that was supported by lower readings from cars, apparel, and energy services. ​ Wall Street is closely watching shelter prices, which rose 0.8%, the most since 1990. ​ There was some optimism with housing affordability as the monthly gains slowed for rents. ​ Shelter prices always take the longest to come down, so investors will expect this key contributor to core PCE to remain hot for another quarter. ​

This inflation was a good sign that the Fed is on the right path to winning this war with inflation, but there will still be a lot of variables thrown its way over the next couple of quarters. ​ The Fed could easily bring rates to 5.00% and if inflation proves to be stickier, it could be as high as 5.50%. ​

FX

King dollar has left the building after a soft inflation report cemented the Fed’s downshift to a slower pace of tightening and revived hopes of a soft landing. The price reaction to this inflation report was a bit excessive but could be justified if the next couple of inflation reports are just as cool. ​ ​ ​ ​

Cryptos

A dark crypto period was supposed to begin following the FTX debacle, but a cooler-than-expected inflation report gave every risky asset a massive boost. ​ FTX contagion risks remain elevated and while today’s broad-based crypto rally is rather impressive with bitcoin rising over 10% and ethereum surging by 16%, investment into cryptocurrencies will likely struggle here as too many key institutional investors and crypto companies have money tied up with the bankruptcy bound exchange. ​

Until we see which players were impacted by FTX and if we see other exchanges vulnerable to a liquidity crunch, any crypto rebound might be faded. More details about the actions of FTX will lead to harsher regulatory guidelines for all crypto exchanges. ​ Reportedly FTX used customer assets for risky trades, which means it seems unlikely anyone will want to rescue this company. ​ ​ ​


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