Rail Strike Looms • PPI Cools • REIT Dividend Hike
U.S. equity markets rebounded Wednesday following their post-CPI plunge on Tuesday as PPI data painted a brighter inflation picture, showing a decline in producer prices for a second-straight month.
Following its steepest single-day decline since June 2020, the S&P 500 rebounded by 0.3% today while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 advanced 0.8% following its 5.5% dip on Tuesday.
After outperforming during yesterday's carnage, real estate equities lagged today as the Equity REIT Index declined by 1.1% with 16-of-19 property sectors in negative territory while Mortgage REIT Index advanced 0.6%.
The 10-Year Treasury Yield remained near its highest levels in fifteen years as concerns over a looming freight railroad strike - and its potentially devastating effects on still-fragile U.S. supply chains - negated a cooler-than-expected PPI report.
Realty Income (O) - the largest net lease REIT - was among the better-performing REITs after raising raised its monthly dividend by 0.2% - one of 105 REITs that has raised its dividend this year.
Real Estate Daily Recap
U.S. equity markets rebounded Wednesday following their post-CPI plunge on Tuesday as PPI data painted a brighter inflation picture, showing a decline in producer prices for a second-straight month. Following its steepest single-day decline since June 2020, the S&P 500 rebounded by 0.3% today while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 advanced 0.8% following its 5.5% dip on Tuesday. After outperforming during yesterday's carnage, real estate equities lagged today as the Equity REIT Index declined by 1.1% with 16-of-19 property sectors in negative-territory while Mortgage REIT Index advanced 0.6%.
Following a bond market rout in the wake of the hotter-than-expected CPI report, the 2-Year Treasury Yield and the 10-Year Treasury Yield each remained near their highest levels in fifteen years as concerns over a looming freight railroad strike - and its potentially devastating effects on still-fragile U.S. supply chains - negated a cooler-than-expected PPI report. The US Dollar Index pulled back slightly from its two-decade high set yesterday while Crude Oil prices advanced 1%. Six of the eleven GICS equity sectors finished higher on the day, led to the upside by the Energy (XLE) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY) sectors.
Following the hotter-than-expected CPI report on Tuesday, investors received some better news on the inflation front as the wholesale prices fell in August for a second-straight month as plunging commodities prices resulting from slowing global economic growth cooled the pace of inflation. The headline Producer Price Index fell 0.1% in August - roughly matching consensus estimates - which followed a 0.4% decline in July. On a year-over-year basis, the headline PPI index is higher by 8.7% - the lowest rate since August 2021. Core PPI, meanwhile, moderated to a 7.3% year-over-year increase, matching the lowest rate since June 2021. Yesterday, data showed that consumer prices unexpectedly accelerated in August across both the headline CPI and Core CPI metrics driven by increases in shelter costs.
Real Estate Daily Recap
Best & Worst Performance Today Across the REIT Sector
Net Lease: Realty Income (O) - the largest net lease REIT - was among the better-performing REITs after raising raised its monthly dividend by 0.2% to $0.248/share monthly. Today we published Net Lease REITs: Inflation Risk Persists which noted that net lease REITs have surprisingly been among the best-performing property sectors this year despite the challenging rising-rate environment. Even with rent growth significantly lagging inflation, net lease REITs are still on-pace for double-digit earnings growth as robust accretive external growth has more than offset the drag from muted property-level growth. Net lease REIT investors aren't buying the "new normal" of permanently elevated inflation and while our base case is that inflation will return to the 2-3% level by the end of next year as pandemic-era fiscal policy normalizes, there appears to be some complacency reflected in valuations of REITs more exposed to upside inflation risks.
Hotel: Sunstone Hotels (SHO) rallied 1.5% today after it provided a business update which noted that it achieved an Average Daily Rate in Q3 that was 16.9% higher than the same period in 2019, which offset a 14.5-percentage-point drop in occupancy compared to the 2019-level, resulting in total Revenue Per Available Room that was 2.7% below 2019-levels. Leisure and hospitality-focused REITs have been among the better-performing sectors over the past month amid encouraging high-frequency data with TSA Checkpoint data showing a strong end-of-summer swell in travel demand that saw throughput exceed 100% of pre-pandemic levels for the first time since March 2020. Meanwhile, STR reported that U.S. hotel Revenue Per Available Room ("RevPAR") was 24.6% above 2019-levels in the Labor Day week as Occupancy Rates improved to 103% of 2019-levels while Average Daily Rates were 20.9% above the pre-pandemic average.
Mortgage REIT Daily Recap
Per the REIT Rankings Tracker available to Income Builder subscribers, mortgage REITs were mostly-higher today as residential mREITs climbed 0.8% while commercial mREITs advanced by 0.5%. After the close yesterday, six mREITs declared dividends that were in line with their current rate - Dynex Capital (DX), KKR Real Estate (KREF), TPG Real Estate (TRTX), Redwood Trust (RWT), MFA Financial (MFA), and Apollo Commercial (ARI). We've seen 13 mREITs increase their dividend this year and 4 dividend cuts.
Economic Data This Week
We'll get a break from inflation data on Thursday but will get a look at Retail Sales data for August as well as Jobless Claims data. The busy week of inflation data concludes on Friday with Michigan Consumer Sentiment for September. The Fed is particularly interested in the 5-Year Inflation Expectations survey, looking for signs of a potential "wage-price inflation spiral" through elevated consumer wage expectations.
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