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Interest Rates Are Going to Be Irrelevant
06/27/2019 10:02 am EST
If the stock market is at the top of a major turning point, which it may be, Fed policy won’t matter, writes Jeff Greenblatt.
So much time was spent by Wall Street linguists last week attempting to decipher when the next rate cut was coming. The Federal Reserve’s Open Markets Committee (FOMC) failed to cut rates but by the time Powell was done with his press conference, the Fed Funds Futures factored in a 100% probability of a rate cut next month. One can only take so much delusion for one day. Thankfully my editor explained to me it’s the pundits who are playing fortune teller. What they should’ve been telling us is the market has already baked into the cake a rate cut for July.
That means they’ve priced it in. It’s just an opinion or a highly educated guess, which could still be wrong. That’s entirely rational and acceptable. The market prices in a lot of things that never happen. Once upon a time, tech stocks sold for hundreds per share without ever earning a single penny in profit. It was an opinion as well, or a delusion. Markets have a way of self-correcting against that kind of delusion.
Here's what I think is going on with the Fed. It’s not as crazy as it appears. Greenspan used to keep things mysterious. Under Bernanke and Yellen, they pledged a reform to make the Fed more transparent. Powell could be tired of Trump constantly beating him up politically. So instead he puts out a somewhat chaotic message to pull back from the transparency.
Barely two days later the United States came within minutes of coming to blows with Iran. We’ve heard the President gave the okay but changed his mind at the last minute. We’ve also heard he never totally gave the go-ahead. It doesn’t matter. We came very close. This time the Iranians shot down a drone. Next time lives could be at risk. The point of this discussion is if a war ever comes to reality, the Iranians will shut down that narrow strait blocking the free flow of crude oil. Prices would likely go through the roof, which would cause a derivatives meltdown and the butterfly effect may very well jeopardize the $1 to $2 quadrillion of debt we’ve discussed in this column.
The problem is we are still living in a lions, tigers and bears, oh my, market. The Chinese trade war, internal Watergate style internal political battle and antitrust situation against big tech will not go away anytime soon. On Monday, James O’Keefe broke his biggest bombshell of all; internal Google (GOOG) whistleblowers documented the world’s most powerful company is committed to meddling in the election next year. As far as Fox is concerned, Tucker Carlson reported on it Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning the media had to cover this issue as Trump stated he’s looking at suing the major tech companies. O’Keefe caught Google in the cookie jar, now we’ll have to see if the President and/or Congress have the political will to do anything. If they do, the FAANG stocks: Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google, will absolutely tank, taking the rest of the market down for the count. Google is already the poisoned well. It’s down more than 4% since the seasonal change point.
A lot of what is discussed here isn’t for today but on the horizon for the market from now until the next election. But we’ve also seen the potential for a black swan like the Iranian situation. If any of these situations implode, all the rate cuts in the world will not help.
On the positive side, there is hope once again the tariffs won’t be as bad once President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi at the G20. So where are we at right now? Gold has reached the last guard at the gate. With a bear range of 874, there is a high settling in at 187 weeks off the bottom. While its looking better and better all the time beating daily and intraday readings it still needs to beat the weekly square out. If an anytime going forward it can break through this 87 vibration odds go through the roof for a major bull leg (see chart).
For the stock market, there are a handful of calculations to go with the seasonal change point. The most interesting is in the S&P 500 (SPX) which is up 617.57 points or a rounded golden spiral 618. We’ve seen many moves over the years in retrospect that completed on either a Fibonacci or golden spiral number. It doesn’t have to hold but odds increase because it materialized on the seasonal change point. Nothing is confirmed or set in stone yet, but we are now on the other side of the Fed meeting and there is a minority opinion that last week’s action was an opportunity to take up the market only to snooker the public in order to drop it down at a later date. That date could be now or in a month from now when there are additional time windows. In the end, the determining factor to this market will be bigger than interest rates.
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