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fomc (8)

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Most economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected Federal Reserve officials to begin winding down their $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds and other assets this year.

Nearly 70% of business and academic economists polled in recent days expected the Fed will begin allowing the portfolio, also called the balance sheet, to shrink by allowing securities to mature without reinvesting the proceeds at some point in 2017. Of the economists who expected a shift in the Fed’s balance sheet strategy this year, the majority predicted the process would begin in December.

In last month’s survey, just 22.2% of economists expected the Fed to begin…

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Is The Fed About To Experience A Repeat Of 2016?

In the most recent Summary of Economic Projections, Fed officials penciled in three 25bp rate hikes for 2017. The reality, however, could be very different. We all remember how “four” became “one” in 2016. The median dots are neither a promise nor an official forecast. As 2016 progressed, forecasts associated with a lower path of SEP “dots” evolved as the consensus view of policymakers. Will the same happen this year? I don’t think so; it is hard to see the Fed on pause for another twelve months.

As a starting point, I think it best to assume the US economy is near full-employment. But the US economy was near full-employment at this time last year as well. I think the key difference between then and now is that then the after-effect of the oil price slide and dollar surge placed a drag on the US economy sufficient to ease hiring pressure. At the same time, labor force participation perked up, setting the stage for a flat unemployment rate for most of…

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Bank EPS Lifted Ahead Of The Fed Rate Hike

The S&P 500 Financials sector has been a focus sector for the markets in recent weeks. This past week, the Federal Reserve Board increased the target range for the federal funds rate. Earnings for banks and other companies in the Financials sector are particularly sensitive to higher interest rates. In addition, this sector has recorded the largest increase in value (+22.2%) of all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 since the start of the fourth quarter (September 30). Given these developments, have analysts been increasing their 2017 EPS estimates for banks and other companies in the S&P 500 Financials sector over the past few months?

The answer is yes. In terms of EPS estimate revisions, 38 of the 63 companies (60%) in the…

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Remembering The Impetus Of Irrational Exuberance

In December of 1996, Greenspan was clearly beginning to worry about the economic fallout of a bursting asset bubble. Back then he had a front row seat and, in fact, a strong hand in creating the dotcom bubble, whether he admits it or not. He was so worried about the consequences of “irrational exuberance” that he declared these concerns “must be an integral part of the development of monetary policy.” And this was before he had even witnessed any of the actual economic consequences we have now lived with for two decades. Clearly, his worries were well founded but he wasn’t quite worried enough.

The financial well-being of entire generations has been permanently damaged. Think of the Baby Boomers whose retirement dreams turned to nightmares through two stock market crashes in less than a decade.…

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The Bulls Push Back

Just when the (last few remaining) bears were enjoying some market wide liquidation, China apparently launched some stealth QE of their own reversing AUD/JPY and sending markets plowing over weak bears.  From Bloomberg:

  • CHINA’S PBOC STARTS 500B YUAN SLF TODAY, SINA.COM SAYS
  • PBOC PROVIDES 500B YUAN LIQUIDITY TO CHINA’S TOP 5 BANKS: SINA
  • PBOC PROVIDES 100B YUAN TO EACH BANK TODAY, TOMORROW WITH DURATION OF 3 MONTHS: SINA

According to Government Sachs

"This amount is roughly the same as a 50 bps cut to RRR for the whole banking system on a static basis.  Still, such an easing would be consistent with our expectation that…

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Hump Day Reads

  • ADP, GDP and FOMC all in one day.  While no one is truly expecting any change from the FOMC (taper) plan, one never knows.
  • Lackluster forward guidance seems to be the recent earnings mantra (no surprise).
  • Bulls need a follow through to the upside today
  • TWTR beat however issued disappointing outlook.  This may be the "show me" stock for 2014 where disbelievers will have to be proven it's potential vs. $FB.  The good news:  you'll be able to buy it cheaper. The company's second quarter revenue forecast was $270M-$280M against consensus of $272.9M. Twitter's (…

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