Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The stock market is NOT ready for the first Fed rate hike...

Janet Yellen and the members of the Federal Open Market Committee read the financial news, watch CNBC and Bloomberg and note how the investment community and other economists position their portfolios and their prognostications based on the words issued in Fed meeting minutes, post-meeting announcements and press conferences. Ms. Yellen and crew absolutely knew that the removal of the word "patient" from today's announcement could roil the financial markets. That's been all the chatter in the days leading up to this week's meeting. I even blogged about it myself and discussed it in my weekly television spot this morning.

Many "experts" would have us believe that the hint from the Fed (that they're ready to move on rates), if not even the first rate hike itself, is already factored into stock prices. As I've been reporting, I completely disagree!

Now I don't pretend to be a good market timer (or a market timer at all), but seeing how stocks have been trading on fed-speak tells me virtually unequivocally that the market has not discounted the inevitable. And today's action proved it.

Yes, the Fed removed "patient", but they decided to test our semantic aptitude. Ms Yellen said:
"Just because we removed the word patient from the statement doesn't mean we are going to be impatient," 

Oh okay, so they're not impatient.... Hmmm.... What does that mean??

Basically folks, the Fed remains patient, and a June rate hike is, for the moment, off the table.

The Dow was down triple-digits just before the announcement, then rallied 300 points on "doesn't mean we are going to be impatient." That, I assure you, is not the action of a market that has discounted the inevitable...


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