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Tag Archives: fed funds

Why Fed’s Monetary Policy Is Still Very Accommodative

Here are two statements from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) immediately following their interest rate decisions of August 1, 2018 and September 26, 2018. August 1, 2018 – In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.75-2.00%. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2...

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Examining Rates

Is the rate hiking cycle almost done? Not the question on everyone’s minds right now so a good time to ask it, I think. A couple of items caught my attention recently that made me at least think about the possibility.  There has been for some time now a large short position held by speculators in the futures market for Treasuries. Speculators have been making large and consistent bets that Treasury prices would fall. That short position covered shorter-term Treasuries such as the 2-year...

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Quick Take: Bulls Attempt A “Jailbreak”

Yesterday, I discussed the “compression” of the market being akin to a “coiled spring” that when released could lead to a fairly decent move in one direction or another. To wit: “As you can see in the ‘reddish triangle,’ prices have been continually compressed into an ever smaller trading range. This ‘compression’ is akin to coiling a spring. The more tightly the spring is wound, the more energy it has when it is released.” As shown, the bulls are “attempting a jailbreak” of the...

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The Myth Of “Buy & Hold” – Why Starting Valuations Matter

If you repeat a myth often enough, it will eventually be believed to be the truth. “Stop worrying about the market and just buy and hold stocks.” Think about this for a moment. If it were true, then: Why do major Wall Street firms have proprietary trading desks? (They aren’t buying and holding.) Why are there professional hedge fund managers? (They aren’t buying and holding either) Why is there volatility in the market? (If everyone just bought and held, prices would be stable.) Why does...

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Quick Take: Market Breaks Important Support

I have often discussed that as a portfolio manager I am not too concerned with what happens during the middle of the trading week. The reason is daily price volatility can lead to many false indications about the direction of the market. These false indications are why so many investors suggest that technical analysis is nothing more than “voo doo.” For me, price analysis is more about understanding the “trend” of the market and the path of least resistance for prices in the short and...

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Bull Markets Actually Do Die Of “Old Age”

David Ranson recently endeavored in a long research report to simply declare that “bull markets do not die of old age.” “The life expectancy of bull markets can be inferred from history. Fourteen bull markets in U.S. stocks have come and gone since 1927, and their mean lifetime is 55 months. But this calculation can be taken further. From the age of one year to the age of eight years, there’s no overall tendency for life expectancy to decline as a market advance gets older. The present stock...

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Analysts’ Estimates Go Parabolic – Is The Market Next?

At the end of February, I discussed the impact of the tax cut and reform legislation as it related to corporate profits. “In October of 2017, the estimates for REPORTED earnings for Q4, 2017 and Q1, 2018 were $116.50 and $119.76. As of February 15th, the numbers are $106.84 and $112.61 or a difference of -$9.66 and -7.15 respectively.  First, while asset prices have surged to record highs, reported earnings estimates through Q3-2018 have already been ratcheted back to a level only slightly...

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The Risk To Markets – Global Growth

The stock market has been rallying on the surge in global economic growth (recently monikered global synchronized growth) over the past year. The hope, as always, is that growth is finally here to stay. The surge in growth has also given cover to the Federal Reserve, and Central Banks globally, to start reducing the flood of liquidity that has been propping up markets globally since the “financial crisis.” That optimism has bled over in recent months as improving confidence has pushed...

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Tax Cuts & The Failure To Change The Economic Balance

As we approach “tax day” in the U.S., I wanted to take a moment to revisit the issue of taxes, who pays what, and why the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” will likely have limited impact on economic growth. This week, Laura Saunders penned for the WSJ an analysis of “who pays what” under the U.S. progressive tax system. The data she used was from the Tax Policy center which divided about 175 million American households into five income tiers of roughly 65 million people each. This article was widely...

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CBO – “Making America More Indebted”

In December of last year, as Congress voted to pass the “Tax Cut & Jobs Act,” I wrote that without “real and substantive cuts to spending,” the debt and deficits will begin to balloon. At that time, I mapped out the trajectory of the deficit based on the cuts to revenue from lower tax rates and sustained levels of government spending. Since that writing, the government has now lifted the “debt ceiling” for two years and passed a $1.3 Trillion “omnibus spending bill” to operate the...

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