Saturday, July 15, 2017

All Janet Yellen, All The Time Sends Stocks Soaring

“Because the neutral rate is currently quite low by historical standards, the federal funds rate would not have to rise all that much further to get to a neutral policy stance.”
-- Janet Yellen, in prepared remarks to House Financial Services Committee, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Since that statement, released prior to the opening bell on Wednesday, stocks have taken flight to new highs. For instance, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday at 21,409.07, and closed Friday at 21,637.74. A couple hundred points isn't bad, but check out the NASDAQ:
NASDAQ close 7/11/17: 6,193.30
NASDAQ close 7/14/17: 6,312.47

119 points in three days is OK work if you can get it, and Wall Street perfectly got it, interpreting Yellen's statement that the Fed's controlled federal funds interest rate would not be rising very quickly this year, if at all. Good news! Buy!

The soft underbelly of that statement is that the US - and by extension, the global - economy is not growing, inflation is not roaring (June CPI was flat, as in 0.0%, and the Fed is desperate for inflation), wages are not rising and employment is still flagging. Additionally, the number of people out of the labor force is enormous, pension plans in states such as Illinois, Connecticut, California and elsewhere are imploding, putting additional pressure on the Fed, Wall Street and the PPT to keep asset prices rising. Otherwise, the entire financial system collapses.

Also, P/E ratios on the S&P 500 are hovering around 25%, which is about 40% higher than the norm. The market badly needs to correct, but, thanks to Yellen and her cohorts, central banks continue to purchase assets at exorbitant prices.

What could go wrong?

Have a great weekend.

At the Close, 7/14/17:
Dow: 21,637.74, +84.65 (0.39%)
NASDAQ: 6,312.47, +38.03 (0.61%)
S&P 500: 2,459.27, +11.44 (0.47%)
NYSE Composite: 11,897.31, +52.69 (0.44%)

For the week:
Dow: +223.40 (1.04%)
NASDAQ: +159.39 (1.59%)
S&P 500: +34.09 (1.41%)
NYSE Composite: +144.33 (1.23%)

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