Coffee With Greta: All Eyes On Powell


DJIA Futures: -464, (-1.5%)

SPX Futures: -64 (-1.7%)

NASDAQ Futures: -208 (-1.8%)

Good morning friends!

Futures are lower as traders turn their focus back to the Fed and the looming possibility of a recession. 

A quick note that I will be out of the office tomorrow through Tuesday, June 28 so there will be no Coffee With Greta during that time.

Let’s get right to it!

Jerome Powell Prepares for Senate Testimony

Focus is back on the Fed as Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver his report on monetary policy to the Senate Banking Committee today. 

Powell’s testimony begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.

This is a routine hearing but comes at a time when the Fed is working to tackle sky-high inflation. 

Analysts expect the questioning to focus on what the Central Bank got wrong about inflation, what the rate hike schedule looks like moving forward, and whether Powell sees a recession on the horizon. 

President Biden Set to Call on Congress for Gas Tax Holiday

White House officials say President Biden will call on Congress today to suspend federal taxes on gas and diesel for 3 months.

He’s also expected to call on states to suspend their own taxes. 

The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon while the diesel tax is 24.4  cents a gallon.

The suspension would save Americans roughly 3.6% on gas. 

But the move has been viewed in the past as a bad idea as it would impact funding for infrastructure projects. 

White House officials say the $10 billion cost of the tax suspension would be paid for without impacting the Highway Trust Fund, but did not detail new sources of revenue for it. 

The plan requires approval from both the House and the Senate. 

Biden is expected to make the announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET today.

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

U.S. gas prices are continuing to fall after peaking last week. 

AAA shows the national average for regular gas fell to $4.955/gal today from $4.968/gal yesterday.

Diesel prices are unchanged at $5.812/gal.

The recent drop comes as gasoline demand dipped but more Americans are expected to drive over the July 4 holiday weekend. 

Oil Slumps 

Oil prices are falling amid Biden’s push to suspend federal taxes on fuel. 

West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 5.3% at under $104 bbl while Brent crude futures are down 4.7% at just above $109 bbl.

The Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday that U.S. oil refining capacity fell in 2021 for the second year in a row.

That capacity declined by 125,790 barrels per day last year on top of the 800,000 bpd drop in 2020. 

Capacity is down 5.4% from its peak in 2019. 

The American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly report on oil and gasoline inventories later today.

Mortgage Demand Rises Despite Biggest Rate Jump in 13 Years

Mortgage demand rose last week even as rates continued to soar. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported purchase applications rose 8% weekly but were still down 10% year-over-year.

That increase was boosted by higher demand for adjustable-rate mortgages. 

ARM applications made up more than 10% of all purchase applications. 

The average 30-year contract rate soared to 5.98% from 5.65% the prior week. 

Refinance applications fell 3% last week and tumbled 77% compared to a year ago. 

In Case You Missed It

  • The National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales fell 3.4% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million units. That was the lowest reading since June 2020. Supply rose 12.6% from April to 1.16 million units but the median price still hit a new record-high at $407,600. 
  • Twitter’s (TWTR) board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend shareholders approve Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover. The $54.20 per share offer requires shareholder approval. Musk meantime said debt financing is still needed and he is awaiting a resolution on the dispute over fake users. 


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