The Fed’s decision to not raise the fed funds rate at this time was ultimately taken by the market as a no-confidence vote on our economic health, which just added to the fear and uncertainty that was already present. Rather than cheering the decision, market participants took the initial euphoric rally as a selling opportunity, and the proverbial wall of worry grew a bit higher. Read more about Sector Detector: No rate hike translates into heightened wall of worry
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Read more about What the Market Wants: War Drums Trump Solid Economic Numbers
From the Fed, from Congress and President, and from Europe for starters. Chairman Bernanke may give us the former as he testifies on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Congress must act by Friday over the sequestration issues. And Italy could’ve helped a bit today if its election resulted in a more stable government, although that does appear to be happening. Read more about What the Market Wants: The Market Wants Clarity Now!
The market surprised us this morning with a strong performance. It could be supported by confidence in Housing, as existing sales were better-than-expected and downright positive (stay tuned for more numbers from housing sector tomorrow). Or it could be a technical move off of support at 1343 for S&P 500, which would be nice if the market recognized at healthy 10% sell-off and is now moving forward. Read more about What the Market Wants: A $64 Trillion Dilemma