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Fed Shocks The Stock Market...

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2016 May 19, 2016 - 06:51 AM GMT

By: Jack_Steiman

Stock-Markets

The fed minutes were announced today at 2 PM ET. The market was expecting the minutes to say that things aren't that good economically, and that the prospect was for continued low rates. SURPRISE!!!! The minutes said that Ms Yellen would hike if the data improved in Q2. While that's not very likely, it is interesting that she talked about raising rates in June. She's so far behind of the curve that maybe she's getting anxious about keeping rates too low. Maybe she's preparing the market for the inevitable. It has to happen some year. Maybe this year will be that year, although I wouldn't hold my breath. That said it does seem she wants to hike and maybe the market is simply picking up on that. That it doesn't matter if the economy doesn't recover.


Yellen has been so dovish that this was a real shock to the system. At least it keeps things more interesting. The bulls not always getting what they want. The bears finally getting a bit of good news for their side of the story. The one and only thing that has kept this bull market alive the past few years has been the prospect of low rates forever. If that goes away, then we can't count on the market holding up like we have before. The low-rate bull market may have just taken a devastating blow, but then again, the burden of proof is on the bears to make things happen that haven't happened for seven long years. Let's remember this day. It may have been the day the market took a blow from which it simply can't recover. The next several days to weeks will be very telling where we go longer-term. Maybe Yellen finally realized that keeping rates this low isn't healthy after all, and is finally waking up to the real world. Maybe her friends have done well enough, or maybe it's time for some market medicine.

Let's take the other side of the argument. Play devil's advocate. If she raises one or two times this year, would it be enough for folks to take their money out of the market? Are there still enough alternatives for people to run to? Doesn't seem likely. If rates are 1%, would that make any of you run somewhere with your dollars? I doubt it, so an argument can be made that this news won't kill the market. Maybe the market struggles, but maybe the bears also don't get what they want. Maybe it's just more of the same. Lots of volatility. Lots of whipsaw back and forth. You can play either side and be right in your thinking.

Bulls and bears still have a case on their side to support their ways. The bulls can also say that the economy is not likely to rock, so maybe Yellen still won't raise rates. There are so many ways to look at it all. The market will tip its hand in the coming days and weeks. Today's close doesn't really tell us much. We have to see what occurs in the near-term. Let folks take it all in, and then we'll know more. Don't form a strong opinion either way yet as to what today's announcement truly means for the market. It is still about 2023 and 2085, for now.

I wish I could make this simpler for all of you, but the bottom line is another rate hike or two still may not be enough to sway the big money to leave the game. The sad part is we may be range-bound for even longer now. Swinging about to nowhere day after day and week after week. We can hope the market makes a decision that's agreed upon by all, and, thus, get a directional move for once that lasts a few months. There's nothing pointing to that as a reality yet, but the next few weeks could finally set things up that way.

I wish I could be more positive for all of you, but I can't since Ms Yellen, and her group, are trying to always protect the market at all costs. If they'd step aside, it would be so much easier, but that's not going to happen any time soon I'm afraid. Day to day in this market to hopefully somewhere shortly.

Peace,

Jack

Jack Steiman is author of SwingTradeOnline.com ( www.swingtradeonline.com ). Former columnist for TheStreet.com, Jack is renowned for calling major shifts in the market, including the market bottom in mid-2002 and the market top in October 2007.

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