Open Thread

If its Saturday nite, then its time for an Open Thread.

The questions before you:  Is a pause a done deal? I think the Fed may surprise many with a hike and then a change in policy statement.

What is the market resposne — is there still a Summer rally out there to be had?

What say ye?

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. AnderL commented on Aug 5

    No summer rally maybe a backtest of NDX 1600 and more down into SeptOctober, then a rally.

    30y treasuries have carved out a good bottom and other than maybe a backtest I think that price is going higher for the 30y giving stocks some relief.

    As a result I give the Fed one more hike a change in statement suggesting a pausing policy with room to move rates up or down at whim.

  2. Heuni commented on Aug 5

    The global central banks are acting in unison to remove liquidity from the market, and there actions are slowly causing volatility in the global markets. Focusing on Tuesday misses the bigger picture that liquidity is being taken out of the market. I think that the Fed has to raise rates on Tues if they are to have credibility going forward, inflation has only gotten more momentum and any perception by the market that the fed will be soft going forward will only embolden the leveraged specs. Either way, expect volatility going forward…

  3. Cherry commented on Aug 5

    September/October bust, major declines 25% possible in all the major indexes as correction begin to nearing housing led recession in 2007. Economy will show “surprising” weakness this fall leading the way down.

    FED will hike again and said they are done essentially……….for now. It will be bland and to the point without much cluttering.

  4. James commented on Aug 5

    I think its a hike and a mention that inflationary pressures should ease as economic growth wanes. I dont agree with the them and really dont like how they are calling a top on inflation. There is scant evidence of deflation brewing. I also think they should be mindful of the fact that the dollar seems acutely vulnerable.

  5. whipsaw commented on Aug 5

    I say that there SHOULD be a hike, not a Pause! The BoE, ECB and even the Russians all raised rates- we have to be able to roll over debt to stay afloat since we can’t actually pay it. The only way to sell it will be to eat the discount which only works for a short while.

    But I think that what we’ll actually see is a Pause! anyway because I suspect that pimco got the inside scoop. The market will go wild for exactly one hour, then sell off thru the close. And keep selling off the rest of the week as it finally dawns on the bulls that this is not a Good Thing, it is a harbinger of some bad times to come.

  6. RickR commented on Aug 5

    I guess you could say we are already having a “rolling bear move” of sorts. Many groups(online retailers, oil drillers, home builders) have been hit pretty well.

    Others, like the major brokerage stocks, and many of the ETFs(especially the foreign ones), hang in there as great momentum plays back to the upside.

    So I guess that we could go back up another 3-5% in the next 30 or so days.

    What bothered me more than anything this week was the huge drop by UPS when it reported. This stock is an informal barometer of the nation’s business, coast to coast. And if you look at its chart, it doesn’t look like it has finished its descent.

    The long drops in AMZN and EBAY appear to mirror UPS’ bad luck.

    I fear that the economy is contracting far more at this very moment than anyone really imagines, regardless of what the Fed the does. The two year cycle of tightening is hitting the economy like a slow motion train-wreck.

    Here in Chicago, we experienced mild price appreciation in our real esate, relative to the coasts over the last 5 years; yet, the city and Chicagoland suburbs are FLOODED with new and existing product for sale. The Chicago Tribune reported last week that home sales here had their biggest monthly drop in over 6 years.

    I just believe with the market internals(A/D line, and cumulative UVOL/DVOL) continuing to deteriorate, it will only be a matter of time before the fundamentals of the economy catch up with stock prices.

    I am not a great short seller; I continue to wait for much lower prices, which may be months away.

  7. muckdog commented on Aug 5

    I think Bernanke’s comments have been less hawkish than other Fed members. Poole (non-voting) stoked the hike fears this week. But I’m going with Bernanke and thinking that he’s the one to keep an eye on. Not these other Fed Freaks. No hike this time.

    The market (SP500) has already made it back near the top of the summer trading range. Folks get more bearish the longer we are in this trading range. Check out the 50dma of the put-call ratio from May through July. This would suggest to me that if we can bust through, we have a lot of potential buyers out there.

    I could list the Wall-o-Worry stuff out there. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we went back down to the bottom of the trading range again. But I got aggressive near the bottom of the range and think that ulitmately we bust through and up to new highs in this bull market. So why try to get fancy?

  8. Bluzer commented on Aug 5

    PIMCO (to use Barry’s phrase) has a BIG dog in the fight. Don’t take them seriously. I posted the para below on an earlier thread. Copying it here.

    Bill Gross and his minions have been trying to talk the Fed into pausing for a long long time. I remember Paul McCulley on CNBC – right after Katrina hit – stating emphatically “The FED is done!”. That was about six well deserved hikes ago. PIMCO’s extremely large holdings of long term bonds gives them a big axe to grind in this context. I’d use that as a contrary indicator, if anything.
    BTW Bill Gross and the other erudite economist at Morgan Stanley – Stephen Roach – also predicted, with no caveats, that the 10 year would yield between 3% and 4.5 %. This was made about a year ago. And the bond has spent very little time in that range since. Being well above it for most of the time.

  9. RickR commented on Aug 5

    To add to your PIMCO comments, Bill Gross commented in his monthly posts in late 2002 and early 2003 that stocks were done for a long time.

    The guy has done so well financially for himself that I believe he has a hard time believing anyone else can possibly be right.

  10. Becky commented on Aug 5

    I’m still trying to figure out how to reconcile Stock Trader’s Almanac’s saying 2007 should be a great year with the fact that the market is usually down after the fed stops raising rates. Any idea which trend is stronger?

  11. tyoung commented on Aug 5

    Most likely a Hawkish Pause, next a Dovish Hike, Next a Hawkish Hike and least likely a Dovish Pause

  12. S commented on Aug 5

    Treasurys seem to be asking for an easing in policy. I’d also note the banks have been very strong performers (BAC and WCF are at 52 week highs), perhaps anticipating a steepening curve?

    No hike on Tuesday. I think the next policy action from the FED will be an easing and I believe it will occur before we exit 2006.

  13. farmerMoonBeam commented on Aug 5

    Lest we forget, Bradley model turned down this week and we have a jupiter, saturn, neptune T square working(a most significant and historical astrological configuration), not to mention the moon’s declination and eclipse all at the same time. my model’s say the market crashes the third week of august or soon thereafter. Summer rally? forgeddboutit. I am buying way out of the money sept oct nov oex and spx puts. Hang on gang, this could be ruff!

  14. whipsaw commented on Aug 5

    I will grant you that Gross has been wrong for a while and does have a heavy bias, but to be blunt I think he cheated and knows what the score is this time. But I don’t think that it really matters too much in a directional sense for the market overall. Friday’s exhaustion rally may have reflected the extent of buyer enthusiasm in any case.

  15. m3 commented on Aug 5

    a pause?

    a hike?

    it doesn’t matter. this has all the hallmarks of a “sell the news” event. we saw the beginnings of it friday afternoon.

    no one’s impressed.

    the market will be lower at the end of the week. (except maybe gold)

    wall street has been whining about this for months, and now that it’s here, the market reaction will be tepid, or at best you’ll get a brief rally, which the smart money will be selling into.

    if double digit earnings growth can’t get the party moving, why would a rate pause in the midst of a economic slowdown spur a rally?

    lol, and imagine what a hike would do… it’s all downhill from here.

  16. brion commented on Aug 5

    i agree with whipsaw that there should be a hike….i thought another.25bps was a dead cert a week ago but
    i honestly can’t predict at this point so won’t.
    Tuesday’s not that far away….Let’s just wait and see what uncle ben brings us.

    agree with m3–it probably doesn’t matter either way.

    Question for all you kiddies….
    I’m using oanda for currency trades….
    Who do you kind folks use for options/futures/indices and how happy are you with them???

  17. r commented on Aug 6

    There are many good theories outlined in the posts above.

    What ‘m3’ said above sort of rings true. It does feel like a sell the news type situation. The chatter is exhausting.

  18. diva commented on Aug 6

    I agree with Barry, fwiw = another 25bp and language that effectively announces a pause.
    I just think the inflation stats have been too high for them to stop yet (even if I think raising rates is the wrong thing to do).
    I would feel a lot better about the future if gold would tell us things were going to be OK. As it is…… gold just continues to flash: inflation!

  19. Craig H commented on Aug 6

    It’s been a long time since the Fed faded the Fed Funds futures pits and threw them a curve ball. I expect them to pause and remind us that the economy is “moderating” but that they’re watching ever-present inflation risks and could hike again.

    I don’t expect a rate cut until crude oil is trading below $65 and other commodities are falling.

    Technical indicators show the market is short-term overbought:

    % of NYSE stocks over 40 day moving average @ 70%.
    New High/New Low Ratio @ 88%.
    5 day and 14 day stochastics overbought or near overbought on most indexes.
    Most indexes bounced off top of Bollinger bands.

    Market also has unhealthy internals:

    % of NYSE stocks over 200 day moving averages has only made it back to 56%.
    Fosback’s High Low Logic Index spiked to 1.60 in the first week of August.
    NYSE advance/decline line bearish divergence.
    MACD bearish divergences on SPX, DJIA, RUT, NYSE.

  20. Yaser Anwar commented on Aug 6

    I strongly believe they will raise rates & hence i’m thinking of going short the 10-year bonds & long the US$. The reason i’m taking this contrarian spread trade is: the 10-year has been rising for 6 weeks & US$ falling alot alongside a short on SPY.

    With wages increasing YOY to 3.8%, big ticket orders for durable goods were stronger than expected, the ISM # was 78.5 vs 76.5 in June & the PCE also being above Fed’s comfort level. All this points towards Fed raising rates, hence i believe 10-year bonds which have been rallying on thoughts of Fed pausing will have a rude awakening & on tuesday the aforementioned spread trade presents a good day trade, if all goes like i believe it will.

    Yaser Anwar

  21. WhateverMan commented on Aug 6

    Bernanke is a model guy. The minions in the bowels of the Fed are rerunning their economic models with all the latest data.

    Based on the speeches, they are trying to determine whether future inflation is rising or falling. Future inflation is the key for the Fed.

    Personally, I don’t see inflation slowing down at all for a while. Over half of the items in the CPI are rising at >3% y-o-y. Energy passthrus have to happen. I just received my electric bill for July here in SoCal and saw that it had frigging *doubled*.

    The real question is whether the Fed’s models include asset-price inflation — and the passthru to core inflation.

    Usually academia is best at explaining events AFTER they happen. In other words, perhaps we need to go through the mother of all asset-price bubbles followed by uncontrollable stagflationb before economists at the Fed understand the mess.

    We’re gonna have to pay for Greenspan’s asymmetric responses (fast to cut, slow to raise, and cut at the first sign of trouble.)

  22. Steven commented on Aug 6

    With a 113,000 employment gain, which is now BELOW the breakeven point of 125-150k of new entrys into the workforce, We should see unemployment slowly rising and labor inflation easing.
    But with more hikes “still in the pipeline” according to Bernanke’s logic- That would cause new job creation to fall to about 100,000 per month which would be a soft landing and increasing labor slack at a controlled pace.

    I say its a pause for sure.

    They are willing to tolerate 2.75 core inflation for a while
    The “comfort zone” is in ruins

  23. brion commented on Aug 6

    whateverMan..i just got this months’ Edison bill…..420$ dollars.

    Four hundred and twenty dollars.

    Completely dusted ANY utility bill i’ve ever had.

  24. Khyron commented on Aug 6

    I’m looking for another 25 bps b/c of the reputation factor. While I think the Fed would like to pause or cut, Bernanke doesn’t have the clout to pull it off yet. There’s too much expectation among the public of inflation. And all those dollar denominated securities in the hands of trading partners need to be justified to their owners, nevermind new issues. Was it something like 23 central banks have hiked recently? Most notably the BoE and the ECB; even the BOJ is in on the action. The last thing the US needs is securities and currencies of other nations to pay better than the dollar. The data has been mixed as well, and better to err on the side of too much than too little lest he destroy his currency too early in his tenure.

  25. zel commented on Aug 6

    Time Out. Katrina has come alive as a Cat 10 creating a climate of severe geopolitical instability as it has gained strength on the Israel- Lebanon border. Benny B. and Be Grosse are irrelevant if you have more than a one hour horizon.

  26. Leisa commented on Aug 6

    Another 25 pbs will not put a nail in the coffin of this economy, IMV. Therefore, I concur with Khyron that it is a low risk high reward (buys Ben his “inflation fighter credential card” along with a nifty tee shirt which only has the initials “IF” which will lead one to wonder much). Re Bill Gross–yep he has a dog in this fight, but he’s also stating that he thinks that bonds are expensive. If we’re near the end, and the market truly discounts 6 months forward, treasuries seem alot less risky now than they did 6 months ago. Does Bill have inside information? I don’t think so. He just has big balls and big credentials so that he doesn’t mind shrugging and say that he was wrong.

  27. Ross commented on Aug 6

    Its not saturday night, its friday night and I’m playing at the Pine Cone Inn

  28. grim commented on Aug 6

    Most likely a Hawkish Pause, next a Dovish Hike, Next a Hawkish Hike and least likely a Dovish Pause

    I nearly wet myself laughing at that. Wife asked what was so funny. I tried to explain it the best I could. She just shook her head, turned away, and called me a “dork”.

    She did the same thing the other day when I had both the Bloomberg website and tv feed up on my monitor. “No hunnie, it’s not the same thing..”


  29. mcg commented on Aug 6

    With elections in the senate and the house coming up in early november, I would bet that the fed would like to be out of the way for all of that. Our new fed chairman needs “street cred”. One more quarter point move up is NOT that big of a deal. If they then pause, there is something for both sides to be happy with. A summer rally of some sort would be nice, but all the problems with inflation, housing, oil, wars, etc. are still out there.

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