If indeed stock market bulls are fretting (they indeed are) over the prospects for the Fed reducing its level of monetary accommodation during the months to come, one might think that two more reported studies suggesting that presently available vaccines are notably less effective against the Omicron variant would have them somewhat sanguine in the face of this week's Fed policy meeting.
Well, as it stands, the powers that appoint Fed policymakers are suffering some of the lowest approval ratings on record, and the polls suggest it has much to do with the populace's view of how they're handling inflation. Therefore, there's a growing cohort on capitol hill that dare demand that the Fed start getting serious about raising its benchmark rate and reining in inflation.
Not to mention the general heat the Fed's catching over the fact that they're operating what by historical standards would be crisis-policy amid all-time high asset prices, rapid job growth and, again, decades-high levels of inflation.
So, you bet, the bulls -- believing that a Fed serious about reining in excesses (at these levels!) would do severe harm to stocks -- are justified in their worries...
Asian equities leaned green overnight (although they're giving it all back, and some, in this morning's futures action), with 9 of the 16 markets we track closing higher.
Europe's struggling this morning, with 15 of the 19 bourses we follow in the red, as I type.
US major averages are lower across the board: Dow down 223 points (0.61%), SP500 down 0.34%, SP500 Equal Weight down 0.76%, Nasdaq 100 down 0.19%, Nasdaq Comp down 0.08%, Russell 2000 down 1.04%.
The VIX sits at 20.15, up 7.87%.
Oil futures are down 0.73%, gold's up 0.24%, silver's up 0.90%, copper futures are down 0.04% and the ag complex is up 0.05%.
The 10-year treasury is up (yield down) and the dollar is up 0.25%.
Led by solar stocks, base metals futures, silver, utilities and healthcare stocks -- but dragged by Indian equities, Latin American equities, MP (rare earth miner), oil services stocks and ALB (lithium miner) -- our core portfolio is off 0.60% to start the session.
"Never verbalize to yourself that you're getting older, just keep going, keep moving, keep trying."
--79-year-old skier I sat next to on the lift Saturday
I tracked him for a bit. I swear he skied like a person half his age!!
Have a great day!