11:15am Fed minutes (from the March meeting) released this morning pretty much confirmed the message of “patience” delivered by Powell's post-meeting commentary. However, the media made strong note of the fact that some members of the committee stressed their concern with that characterization, in that should things heat up and they feel the need to hike rates, it potentially conflicts with their would-be actions in a way that could hamper the committee’s ability to affect conditions with their verbiage in the future.
The SP500 rallied a bit on the initial release, however, upon the reporting of some members’ concern with the “patience” characterization, the market sold off (a bit). As I type it appears to be stuck in a range between the day’s high and low (although the day is still young). Clearly, market participants are relying hugely on the Fed to keep the ship afloat amid the palpable global uncertainty over international trade. Thus, for now, economic data that is not too hot, not too cold, will be greeted warmly by the market.
How the market closes today will dictate how the smart money sees today’s events/announcements (tame CPI, easy, but openminded, Fed, easy ECB, positive trade rhetoric*, ongoing Brexit negotiations) in the aggregate impacting markets in the very near-term.
*With regard to trade, Mnuchin stated today that he had a “very productive” session with Chinese negotiators yesterday. He suggested that both sides agree on the enforcement mechanism; a previous sticking point. One might think that such news would spark a big rally in stocks; thing is, he didn’t mention existing tariffs. In my view, while news of a conclusion might see the market rally, if indeed tariffs remain, stocks will ultimately be sold, rather aggressively I suspect…