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This week will set the table for the fourth quarter in what's been a wild and highly unusual year. The stock market has risen more than 20% in 2019, but that's largely been because of a recovery from December's selloff in the first quarter.
The big picture: "Everybody’s squared up" in anticipation, says Ellis Phifer, market strategist at Raymond James. But this week has the potential for "all hell to break loose."
What's happening: In addition to Friday's all-important U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, investors will digest a massive chunk of earnings reports and hear from three major central banks.
Between the lines: If the Fed doesn't cut interest rates or deliver hawkish forward guidance on Wednesday, it will weigh heavily on the market, which sees a 90% likelihood of a cut this month and expects more in 2020.
The intrigue: Investors have a lot of dry powder — data from the Investment Company Institute shows more than $160 billion has been pulled from equity mutual funds and ETFs this year while money market funds, which are effectively savings accounts, have swelled to the highest level since 2009.
By the numbers: Companies reporting this week are coming in with low expectations.
The bottom line: The stock market has risen on just about any form of good news this year and has rallied after bad news. But, with little faith in the U.S.-China phase 1 trade deal, a new catalyst is needed.
Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have been on another wild ride.
What's happening: They've been dragged on television by opportunistic members of Congress and are fielding multiple anti-trust inquiries, while attempting to push forward with the Libra digital currency, which is facing mounting resistance from regulators and legislators around the globe.
Reality check: Despite all the bad publicity, the one thing Facebook has been able to do quarter after quarter is deliver solid earnings.
By the numbers: Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.90 per share and Q3 revenue of $17.3 billion, 26.3% higher than last year, when the company reports after the bell on Oct. 30.
Alberto Fernandez was declared Argentina's next president on Sunday night, leading to a likely showdown with creditors on Argentina's bonds.
What's happening: Fernandez has repeatedly called for a "reprofiling" of Argentina's $100 billion debt load — much of it taken on by current President Mauricio Macri — often invoking a default in Uruguay from 2003 as an example.
The intrigue: New IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva has indicated she is amenable to continuing Argentina's bailout program — a record $57 billion package signed by Macri.
The big picture: There also appears to be appetite by Fernandez and Vice President-elect Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's president from 2007-2015, for maintaining the program.
What's next: Investors have driven the price of the bonds to below 40 cents on the dollar, below the recovery value of Uruguay's bonds. This has some emerging market fund managers calling the bonds cheap and looking to buy.
A survey released this morning from the National Association for Business Economists suggests hiring by U.S. companies may slow further with wages curbed as well.
What's happening: The survey of member business owners showed hiring was far less prevalent in the third quarter, and its reading of employment fell to a five-year low.
What they're saying: “More panelists report falling sales and anemic profit margins at their firms over the past three months than in the previous survey,” said NABE Business Conditions Survey chair Sam Kyei, chief economist at SAK Economics.
The U.S. jobs report will be the most watched piece of data this week, but Friday will also bring the October reading of the ISM's manufacturing data. The index fell to the lowest level since June 2009 in September.
Why it matters: The U.S. manufacturing industry has seen a consistent decline all year, falling into recession earlier in the year and showing outright contraction for the second month in a row last month.
Yes, but: The IHS Markit manufacturing survey showed much better readings for September, including the second straight monthly increase and the highest reading in five months.
The big picture: Manufacturing is a small portion of the U.S. economy, but is considered a leading indicator.