Of the various events that might cause investors to give pause to buying stocks, or, worse, start selling en masse, the two most terrifying are probably the threat of the UK leaving the European Union (aka, Brexit) and the ongoing dialogue from the Federal Reserve concerning raising the federal funds rate.
Between the two, a 25 basis point rise in rates is likely the more disruptive, but it is also the least plausible, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, delivering their rate announcement at 2:00 pm EDT Wednesday, after which will be a press conference with Chair Janet Yellen. This figures to be an absolute snoozer, since the May non-farm payroll disaster - a meager 38,000 jobs - pretty much put the kibosh on any rate hikes this month.
As for the Brexit, the fears are real, though the people most affected will not be Americans nor Brits, but the technocrats which comprise the burdensome bureaucratic behemoth of the EU apparatus and its various rules, regulations, and assorted busy work.
For Britain to exit the European Union would be a bold maneuver for the people of the island nation, freeing them from outside influence and regaining a smidgen of national identity, something that has been seriously eroded since adoption of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
What it would do for business is unknown, though Britain could conceivably become a trading partner with the EU, as is the USA and many other nations, rather than a member. Years would pass before all the effects are known and felt, but the fear mongering by Prime Minister David Cameron and others who wish to keep the status quo alive and well are largely overblown.
There, however, is the proverbial rub. The elites in control don't want to give up their power and a Brexit is seen as a direct assault on the powers that be. Common people would be wise to vote to leave the EU, eliminating a large, burdensome bureaucratic malaise. The referendum for Great Britain is to take place on Thursday, June 23. Polls show those favoring leaving and those favoring staying in the EU about even and that has people on Wall Street jumping out of their pants... for no good reason.
Fear and Loathing Monday:
S&P 500: 2,079.06, -17.01 (0.81%)
Dow: 17,732.48, -132.86 (0.74%)
NASDAQ: 4,848.44, -46.11 (0.94%)
Crude Oil 48.58 -1.00% Gold 1,287.10 +0.88% EUR/USD 1.1291 +0.37% 10-Yr Bond 1.62 -1.40% Corn 429.75 +1.60% Copper 2.05 +1.13% Silver 17.43 +0.61% Natural Gas 2.92 +0.24% Russell 2000 1,150.70 -1.14% VIX 20.97 +23.14% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4247 +0.05% USD/JPY 106.1975 -0.56%