After some initial uncertainty, equity investors decided to embrace yesterday’s inflation data and run with it. Stocks (Read: The S&P 500) finished at a fresh all-time high, though they’re hovering around the flatline so far today. Treasuries, gold, silver, and the dollar are, too. But crude oil is notably higher.

The last central bank experiment with NIRP – Negative Interest Rate Policy – may finally come to a close in Japan soon. The Japanese bond market is pricing in a near-even chance the Bank of Japan will raise rates 10 basis points to 0% next week, and if not, at the BOJ’s June meeting.

Global Central Bank Policy Rates
Source: Trading Economics

Every other developed world central bank has already done so. But in Japan it’s a big deal given the country’s multi-decade history with NIRP and/or ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) – not to mention its 1.3 QUADRILLION yen ($8.7 trillion) government bond market!

It’s a day that ends in “Y,” so I guess it’s time for another article talking about whether the stock market is a “bubble” or not. But this one is more of an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal, and the conclusion is basically “No, we’re not in a bubble…we just have some froth...but that’s what ‘everyone’ said in the press during past bubbles, too.”

Worth a read. But for the record, I REMAIN in the “Be Bold” camp when it comes to investing – just as I have been (and talked about here, as well as several times at MoneyShow live and virtual events) since the start of 2023.

In corporate news, retailer Dollar Tree (DLTR) whiffed on quarterly sales and earnings. Things are getting so dicey in a higher-inflation, higher-competition world that it will also shutter almost 1,000 stores in the next couple of years. Many of them were outlets it took over by acquiring competitor Family Dollar.

Yes, the outcome was already “unofficially” determined. But now, former President Trump and current President Biden are OFFICIALLY the nominees of their respective parties for the 2024 election. Each captured enough delegates in the latest round of primary votes, meaning both campaigns will formally shift to beating each other in November.