Stocks are off to a modestly positive start here, while crude oil most decidedly is not. Gold and silver are flat, as are the dollar and Treasuries.

On the news front…

It’s “Fed Week”! Not as exciting or visually appealing as Shark Week, I know, but important for markets nonetheless. This Wall Street Journal “curtain raiser” story from Nick Timiraos suggests the Federal Reserve decision will be a close call.

Some at the Fed want to skip a meeting to see how the economic data shakes out, in part because they’re worried about a credit crunch stemming from banking sector losses. Others think inflation isn’t slowing enough – and the economy is still growing enough – to justify another hike this week. Tune in Wednesday to see what happens!

If you’re an optimist about the stock market, you’re on “Team Goldman Sachs (GS).” If you’re a pessimist, you’re on “Team Morgan Stanley (MS).” I say that because Goldman’s strategist David Kostin believes the narrow market rally will broaden out later in 2023, helping push the S&P 500 up another 5% in the back half of the year. But Morgan’s Michael Wilson says the 20% rally off the October 2022 lows will likely fail, hurt by a 16% drop in S&P 500 earnings.

Finally, on the political front, former President Trump is now likely to surrender to federal officials in Miami on Tuesday. Following the hearing, he is expected to speak to the press from his golf club in New Jersey.