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My article last week, “Tale of the S&P 500 Tailwind,” came on the heels of the Emini S&P 500 (ES)’s rally of 100.75 points (4.1%) off the 2019 low and 53.25 points (+2.1%) above the Christmas week close. On its face, the advance was impressive, but recall that I qualified my enthusiasm, stating the following:
“In the aftermath of the Christmas Upside Reversal, last week ES (e-Mini March S&P) traversed a range from 2438.50 to 2539.25… and ALL OF IT occurred on Friday (1/04/19) after Jay Powell acquiesced to the wounded easy money masses, appearing to become a kinder, gentler, and more investor-sensitive Fed Chairman.”
On the morning of Wednesday December 26, the first trading day after the Christmas Day holiday, the ES (e-mini March S&P 500)) plunged to a new three-month corrective low at 2316.75, a full 21.4% beneath its September 21 high. In the hours thereafter, ES reversed strongly to the upside, from an acute oversold condition, and with a bit of prompting from the POTUS.
In my closing commentary in our member room at MPTrader.com, I wrote::
One of the most disturbing scenes in the series Breaking Bad was when
Todd shoots and kills a boy on a dirt bike after he witnessed
Heisenberg, Jesse and Todd heist 900 gallons of methylamine. Jesse: “Todd, that Opie Dead Eyed piece of shit…”
That is similar to the feeling I got after the Fed hiked the funds
rate as expected, but then declined to offer the stock market much
relief for its ongoing temper tantrum.
Below are the Opening Notes and Bond Market segments from last Sunday’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 530. Jerome Powell was actually more firm than I expected. Atta boy Jay! Aside from my prognostication the more important stuff (IMO) begins at the 4th paragraph. That is where I put on my tin foil hat and tell what I think. It does seem to dovetail with what we saw today out of the Fed chief.
Opening Notes: FOMC at Center Stage
It is likely that the Fed is going to raise the Funds rate on
Wednesday because this is a confidence game and a Fed suddenly showing
weakness and doubt could exacerbate the market’s already frayed nerves.
As a side note the 76% reading of CME futures traders expecting the hike
to happen has not changed in the last few weeks.
You’re going to hear a quintet of words many times over the next day: “All Eyes On The Fed“, as the bloodied financial world prays that Jerome Powell will have absolutely no backbone at all and, out of fear of getting a mean tweet from the President, will cease raising interest rates. This morning, we can also see the hope that he will in fact wilt built into a saucer pattern on the ES:
This graph from SG Cross Asset Research/Equity Quant by way of Kevin Muir’s article attempts to show that the accumulated rate hike tightening and “shadow” tightening as a result of QE suspension has now met or exceeded the levels that preceded the last two economic recessions. (more…)
Excerpted from the Market Internals segment of this week’s Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 522 (Oct. 21). The segment focused on the bond market and its macro signaling this week. There was more to the segment, including US and global negative divergences in play to long-term yields (positive divergences for bonds) despite the bullish technical situation, and some possible implications/downside targets for the stock market.
Treasury Bonds and the Fed
The technical signs [of a potential bond bear market/breakout in yields] are there, but…
President Donald Trump unleashed another attack on the Federal Reserve, calling the central bank his “biggest threat,” in an interview he gave to Fox Business Network. “My biggest threat is the Fed,” Trump said, according to excerpts released by the network ahead of an interview to air at 8 p.m. Eastern. “Because the Fed is raising rates too fast and it’s independent so I don’t speak to them but I’m not happy with what he’s doing because it’s going too fast because you looked at the last inflation numbers they are very low.” When pointed out to Trump that he nominated Jerome Powell instead of Janet Yellen, the president said he wasn’t blaming anyone. “I put him there and maybe it’s right maybe it’s wrong but I put him there.” He also referenced the other nominees to the Fed he’s made. “I put a couple of other people there I’m not so happy with too but for the most part I’m very happy with people.”
“Because the Fed is raising rates too fast…”
The 2 year note players in the bond market are and have been raising rates too fast if anybody is; and I don’t think they are. But Trump does have a point in that it appears the Fed is playing catch up on his watch after being way too slack on the previous administration’s watch (as I used to routinely bitch about). (more…)