MORNING BID AMERICAS-Rate cut bets outweigh caution in risk-laden week
Reuters · 01/29 11:01
MORNING BID AMERICAS-Rate cut bets outweigh caution in risk-laden week

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Naomi Rovnick.

It's a week laden with market risk events as traders ready for the Federal Reserve's first interest decision of the year and hostilities in the Middle East escalate. And there is profit taking in sight.

Futures trading indicates Wall Street's S&P 500, which is record highs, will open steady later in the day.

Europe's Stoxx 600 share index is flat, Hong Kong stocks are 0.8% higher with the liquidation of Chinese property giant Evergrande in the spotlight, and the dollar index is little changed.

The mood is sanguine despite Sunday's deadly drone assault on U.S. troops in Jordan by Iran-backed militants, and as earnings reports by market heavyweights loom.

Five of the massive "Magnificent Seven" tech stocks that have dominated the S&P's gains report earnings this week, starting with Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft on Tuesday.

Traders, in markets almost entirely driven by monetary policy bets, may have decided against taking decisions - at least until the Fed signals its interest rate outlook on Wednesday.

Market consensus is for the Fed to hold rates at their highest since 2001 but cement expectations that it is readying to lower them. Money markets currently price a first full quarter-point rate cut by May.

The Bank of England is also expected to keep borrowing costs steady on Thursday but soften its tone on inflation, echoing similar commentary by the European Central Bank last week.

The final risk event this week is monthly U.S. jobs data on Friday. Still, even cautious government bond traders seem unconcerned about a strong labor market delaying rate cuts. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury is down 5 basis points to 4.10% on Monday.

The U.S. Treasury quarterly borrowing estimate later on Monday is in focus for bond markets.

Events that could influence U.S. markets on Monday:

Dallas Fed manufacturing business index

Three and six month Treasury bill auctions

US earnings: Whirlpool, Nucor

(Reporting by Naomi Rovnick; Editing by Hugh Lawson)