Both political uncertainty and Fed policy changes could contribute to increased volatility, but solid economic and earnings growth—both in the United States and globally—should help the bull market to continue. We suggest looking past the political rhetoric for the most part and focusing on economic developments and the long-term stability the United States provides. Globally, we’re seeing improving growth, but China is a concern that bears watching and emphasizes the need for a globally diversified portfolio.
"Three steps and a stumble" was first illustrated by Edson Gould, the legendary market technician from the 1930s through the 1970s. Ultimately the baton was passed from Gould to another legendary market analyst (and my mentor/boss for my first 13 years in this business), Marty Zweig, who incorporated the "rule" into his monetary policy indicator.
On a craps table, if a 7 or 11 rolls on the first throw of the dice, you are an automatic winner if you are betting the “pass line.” But, if you roll a 2, 3, or 12 on the first roll, you lose.
The Fed story may well command attention. I classify it as an important story, but not an urgent one. I have some strongly-held viewpoints:
I am in California, which means that I woke up this morning to a market that was already open—and dropping. Washington, DC is the cause once again. Growing turmoil in the nation’s capital has called into question the ability of the Trump Administration and Congress to enact their policy goals.
Some inflation numbers were reported last week. They read: April PPI jumped 0.5% month/month, +2.5% year/year; +2.2% year/year was expected. Meanwhile, core PPI increased by 0.4% month/month, +1.9% year/year; +0.2% month/month and +1.6% year/year were expected.
We have a very quiet week for economic reports. The housing data are quite important, but it will be a Tuesday story without legs. The White House drama will be compelling for the media. Whether investors like the idea or not, we should expect another week of news that is mostly political.
Subscribing to the "sell in May" theory has not always been financially rewarding, so be cautious about trying to trade around any likely volatility. The U.S. economy is growing, but not too fast, earnings have accelerated sharply, and fiscal tailwinds are still blowing. There is the potential for a retrenchment in the gains in emerging market stocks in the near term, but sticking with a diversified portfolio is important. Pullbacks are possible but stay focused on fundamentals and your long-term goals.
So Andrew and I received a plethora of emails wanting to know what we meant about “A Seinfeld Market,” which was the title of Friday’s “Morning Tack.” As disclosed in that report, the concept was not ours, but rather Dr. Ed Yardeni’s as scribed in his insightful blog.
Much ink has been spilled lately by the financial press on the dramatic move down in market volatility as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), to the lowest level since February 2007.