Dead cat bounce or does the equity market have what it takes to reverse that negative bear market stigma? As we highlighted over the last few weekly notes, we suspected the equity markets would bounce. However now, we feel that the euphoria has hit some technical levels that should put to test the veracity of this rally. We like to take a longer-term approach in times like this as everyone is all goosed up about the rebound, because fundamentally nothing has really changed. In fact, one can argue where fundamentals are concerned, the backdrop continues to weaken, global instability continues to gain, and the US government furlough seems to be foolishly overlooked.
What a ride the beginning of the year has been so far. As we warned in our year end and 2019 outlook, the equity markets were most likely set up for some bottom pickers to step in and show their support out of the gates.
The FOMC decided to raise rates another 25bp to a high mark range of 2.25%. We applaud the continued move; however, we feel that we could be doing more and doing it faster. Holding interest rates or real rates still negative, some 10 years after the 2008 crisis is deeply concerning. All too often people focus on the Fed Funds rate, but the real rate, the FF less inflation, is still negative. Rates are still very accommodative...although the FED left that word out of the statement today. Watching Powell is like watching your Accounting professor discuss reconciling the balance sheet on a late spring afternoon. He and the FED continue to use words like transitory, gradual and appropriate, a decade into a recovery and we are still using these words. The dot plots are all calling for continued hikes peaking around 3.25/3.65%. We view this as highly opportunistic and we do not think the global economy nor the domestic economy will be able to absorb such a short rate given the sheer size of global debt growth. For those that haven’t seen, we often use our own “dot plot” picture:
First of all, we would like to take a minute to remember all those that lost their lives some 17 years ago today. We will remember that day for quite some time, in fact it was on this day, a sunny crisp Tuesday morning that our phone lines went down to our trading partners inside One World Trade Center at Cantor Fitzgerald. We knew right there and then that something was up and we watched it unfold right before our eyes. Being on the floor of the CBOT, we evacuated and left the city for fear that we might be targeted next. We will never forget those and their families that were so tragically affected that fateful day and we will acknowledge their memorial this time every year for as long as we can.
Just a quick note this week on a few of the things that stood out to us. Before we delve into the markets, we want to note that we lost someone special this week and our time has been devoted to celebrating a life long lived dedicated to helping those in need on Chicago’s west side. For nearly 60 years this man dedicated his life to medicine, surgery and the city in which he loved. He was inspired to come here after the US Army liberated his country and from then on, he knew he had a much larger purpose in life. That purpose, was to give back all he could, when he could and at any cost, he will be missed by many.