Monday, March 14, 2016

Stocks Flat Awaiting FOMC Interest Rate Decision

Don't expect much in the way of big moves until Wednesday, when the FOMC is expected to announce no change in the federal funds rate, quelling fears of another 25 basis point rate hike like the one executed in December of last year, essentially taking the punch bowl of easy money further away from the drunken Wall Street partiers.

If the Fed somehow decides to hike rates again, it would spell doom for the four-week rally that has brought the Dow back a stunning 1200 points. from mid-February lows.

Should the Fed conform to the dictates of the stock market (which it does, but definitely should not), keeping the rate at 0.25-0.50%, there is some suggestion that stocks could rally further, though, with the first quarter winding down and earnings reports still a month out, that really doesn't appear to be a reasonable probability.

More likely would be for speculators to take some money off the table and go to cash for the short term, await the inevitable dip in selected stocks and dive in once again at some later date.

The wild card is still the Fed, which had promised three to four rate hikes this year, but remains, as they say, "data dependent." Otherwise, this is quite the dull market.

At least crude oil came off its recent highs. Expect the recent euphoria to turn toward a more realistic price, closer to $30/barrel in the near term.

S&P 500: 2,019.64, -2.55 (0.13%)
Dow: 17,229.13, +15.82 (0.09%)
NASDAQ: 4,750.28, +1.81 (0.04%)

Crude Oil 37.34 -3.01% Gold 1,236.00 -1.86% EUR/USD 1.1102 -0.49% 10-Yr Bond 1.9630 -0.71% Corn 368.75 +1.03% Copper 2.24 -0.07% Silver 15.36 -1.54% Natural Gas 1.82 -0.11% Russell 2000 1,084.25 -0.30% VIX 16.92 +2.55% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4303 -0.53% USD/JPY 113.79 +0.06%

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