The Bureau of Economic Analysis will report the advance estimate of 1Q18 GDP growth on April 27. These figures will be revised, but the underlying story is not expected to change much. Growth was likely moderate, not horrible, but far short of the lofty expectations that some had put forth at the start of the quarter. Nobody appears too worried about that.
The March reports remained consistent with the view that inflation will move toward the Fed’s 2% goal, perhaps sooner than expected. The FOMC minutes were not expected to surprise, but several Fed officials felt that it might be appropriate to move the federal funds rate above a neutral level for a time.
These are two of the most important paragraphs we have encountered in more than 47 years of studying markets. DO NOT read them just once. Go off to a quiet spot that invites contemplation and READ THEM SEVERAL TIMES. Then reflect on all of the mistakes you have made in trading and investing.
Nonfarm payrolls rose less than expected in March (+103,000), but the trend remained strong, well beyond a pace consistent with the growth in the labor supply.
The definition of a China syndrome is, “A hypothetical sequence of events following the meltdown of a nuclear reactor in which the core melts through its containment structure and deep into the earth; hypothetically to China.”
When we were kids, we used to love having our parents read to us, especially from books written by Lewis Carroll. Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland were our two favorites. One of the quotes that has always stuck with us is, “Down the rabbit hole,” which is a metaphor for an entry into the unknown, the disorienting, or the mentally deranging, from its use in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Unfortunately, the same can be said about the stock market recently.
Recent economic data suggest the overall growth was at a moderate pace in the first quarter, respectable, but short of the very lofty expectations seen at the start of the quarter.
Financial market participants took the Fed policy meeting outcome as “dovish,” but the end result was a little more hawkish. The Fed’s revised economic projections weren’t much of a surprise, but they illustrate the thinking behind the expected monetary policy outlook. Of course, there are risks, notably a major misstep on trade policy. Gulp!
Many of you will recall that T. Boone Pickens and I know each other. In fact, three years ago he and I did a “fireside chat” on stage at Raymond James’ Summer Development Conference in front of a few thousand financial advisors.
The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to raise the federal funds target rate on Wednesday (to 1.50-1.75%). For investors, the key question is the pace of tightening that will follow.