Jobs. Who needs 'em?
Friday's epic non-farm payroll data turned out to be disappointing to the Fed cheerleaders and assorted brain-dead economists and analysts who are still touting the "recovery" mantra.
Instead of the predicted 205,000 net new jobs that were supposed to be created in April, the BLS reported a net gain of just 160,000, a 20% miss, but at least something to seize upon by those who believe in ultra-low interest rates (aka, free money).
Thus, in the world of bass-ackward economics, stocks actually gained on the final day of the week, thinking (probably correctly) that more evidence of a weak economy would cause the Fed to continue to pause on their relentless rate-hiking journey, which, to date, has been confined to one measly 0.25% hike in December of last year, which was a prima facia cause for a wicked stock market decline in January.
Since then, however, the Fed has talked down the rate hike theme with alarming accuracy as relates to paper assets (stocks), and the markets have responded in kind, reversing all of the losses from January and the first two weeks of February.
Odds of the Fed raising the federal funds rate in June are now approaching infinity, because the one thing the Fed wants to avoid is another market correction. They are, in the estimation of many leading private money managers, OUT OF THEIR MINDS.
A return to "normalized rates," - something on the order of 3-5% on the fed funds front - is still years out, and, since the only data the Fed is interested in happens to be the levels on the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ, the market is probably going to overrule the ivory tower charlatans at the Fed. Corporate profits are and have been heading south since the third quarter of 2015, and will likely continue to do so, as capital is being mis-allocated to an alarming degree.
The levels of absurdity between stock prices and profits also are approaching extreme levels. It's only a matter of time before investors (and the term is used loosely, because most of the market is algo-driven, speculative, and dominated by institutional buyers and sellers) give up on future gains, cash out and head to the safety of alternatives, those being cash, bonds, and precious metals to a small degree.
In other words, the Fed has not abolished the business cycle. They've managed only to delay the inevitable, and by delaying, in a perverse avoidance of any pain, will cause degrees more devastation to not just financial markets, but markets in everything.
The Fed is courting depression by denying the failure of their experiment in fiat money with no backing save faith, and that faith has been on the wane. Expect a cratering of the economy just in time for the November presidential election. Between now and then, plenty of market noise, but nothing any good at all.
For the Week:
Dow: -33.01 (-0.19%)
S&P 500: -8.16 (-0.40)
NASDAQ: -39.20 (-0.82)
On the day:
S&P 500: 2,057.14, +6.51 (0.32%)
Dow: 17,740.63, +79.92 (0.45%)
NASDAQ: 4,736.16, +19.06 (0.40%)
Crude Oil 44.56 +0.54% Gold 1,289.70 +1.37% EUR/USD 1.1405 -0.04% 10-Yr Bond 1.78 +1.83% Corn 377.25 +0.94% Copper 2.15 -0.09% Silver 17.50 +1.03% Natural Gas 2.09 +0.82% Russell 2000 1,114.72 +0.61% VIX 14.72 -7.48% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4431 0.00% USD/JPY 107.1050 -0.02%