...don't worry, everyone, the wizards of Wall Street are currently positioning themselves for one last melt-up before the whole thing goes down, so there may yet be time to squeeze another few meaningless points out of this stock market rally.
...do the powers that be “want” the market to go to 50K? What would be the point of that? few that I can really see. Sure, it will make the top 5% a whole lot of money, but for the tens of millions that don’t have any way to own stocks…it won’t do a thing for them.
Most of you probably know what this past week was like in market land. Enormous swings up and down. The NASDAQ losing 2K points from its high just 14 sessions ago. Entire indexes giving up all their 2021 gains.
Shortly after the open on Friday, things went south again. The NASDAQ peeled off another 350 points, the DOW plunged red by another 200+ the S&P was blood red by 40. It was another slaughter day. Until….
What’s it all mean? Are we at an inflection point in market land now, and the big bull market is over? Probably not just yet. That said, Quad hangovers can indeed extend several days, as traders reposition and rethink their futures roll outs. But make no mistake, the Fed’s statements, along with Bullard’s opinion, has changed the narrative some. We might see a much more volatile next two weeks as they try and square up all of this. Caution is warranted.
The equities market is a very strange beast, it truly is. Let's take Friday for example.
The fed has been pretty straight forward in telling you that they are going to hike rates until they get up and over 5%. Despite the howls from the market participants, Powell has also said that there would be no rate cuts in 2023.
But Wall street doesn't believe him. See, they've got all this history about the Fed, and for decades the play was always the same. Fed hikes rates to cool down an economy, overshoots, panics and then starts cutting rates.
When rates are being cut, stocks move higher. Why? Companies can borrow more money at a cheaper price. They can use that money to buy up their own shares, and thus reduce the float and therefore push the stock price higher.
Wall street LOVES low rates and the evidence is easy to see. Look at what the DOW has done since 2010. After the 08/09 financial crisis, the fed went into panic mode and printed money like madmen. Do you know where the DOW was in 2010?
No, really.... think about this for a minute. The DOW Jones has been in existence since 1896. Did you know it was that old? Yessirree it is. And from 1896 all the way to 2010 the best it could do, was end the year at 10,600. That's it. 10K in over 100 years.
From 2010 to 2022 it made it to 34,561. Now the back of the cocktail napkin tells me that this is a gain of about 24,000 points.
So, if it took 114 years to go from its humble beginning of 12 stocks, to the current 30 stocks in 2010 and only gained 10K points... why did we gain 24K points in just 12 years? What changed?
You all know the answer to this riddle. Zero interest rates and trillions of freshly minted/printed dollars, that's what. If the fed is cutting rates, and/or keeping them there, AND printing trillions at the same time, the market gets orgasmic and up it goes. We have the proof, it's there in black and white.
But the fed has changed course now, and has been aggressively hiking rates. Well that's sort of peeing in their punchbowl and they hate it. That's why in 2022 we saw the S&P down 20% and the debt heavy NASDAQ down 34%.
First off, let me start with this. Sunday is my 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years ago, my better half lost her mind and said yes in front of a crowd of 100 people at our little church in South Amboy, NJ.
I’m not terribly sentimental about things, but it’s hard to not remember the wedding or the days leading up to it. My friend Jack from “college” ( trade school) flew in to be my best man. Well on the night before the wedding, Jack and I are in my condo, getting ready for bed and there’s a ring of the doorbell. Hmm that’s odd, it's a cold February night in Highlands NJ, it’s snowing, and it’s almost midnight.
I went down to answer the door and there’s a truly “knock out” beautiful girl standing there, dressed like she just came back from a night in the clubs. Oh, and she was definitely “buzzed.”
She said she needed to see David, she needed to see if she could spend the night, because for some reason she couldn’t go home. Well David was the person that owned the condo before me. So I had to explain to her that Dave’s not here any longer, he moved with the military, and I hope you can try another friend.
But she was insistent. She needed a place to stay for the night and wanted in. She was pleading to come in, and then suggested she could make it worth my while. It was at that point, I started to think ‘Hey, I bet one of my goofy friends is behind this, and I’m getting set up here.” So I told her, “I’m getting married at noon tomorrow, and no I can’t let you in, it wouldn’t quite look right. “ She finally left in a huff, cursed me out and to this day I don’t know if it was coincidental, or if I was being tested somehow. Well it’s 40 years later and I guess I passed.
It’s been wonderful. Have there been rough patches? You bet. But you take the bad with the good, and in the end, it has worked out as well as I could have asked for. For all you out there that are working on 30, or 40 or 50+ years, Congrats and Kudo’s. We’ve become a rare breed.
Okay so the high stakes game of chicken continues. Not only did the CPI come in hot, the PPI came in hot. But the market ignored both and every dip was bought. They wouldn’t let it fade. Then to top it all off “The Bullard” and fed head Menard both suggested that they wouldn’t be against a 50 basis point hike in March.