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Did the Fed Put a Lid on Inventory Costs?


The S&P 500 (SPY) was off to a different nice begin in 2024. That was till Chairman Powell grabbed the mic at his January thirty first press convention. And issues went south in a rush. Why is that? And what does that imply for inventory traders within the days and weeks forward? Funding knowledgeable Steve Reitmeister shares his views together with this high 13 trades within the commentary that follows beneath.

Shares had been merrily on their means in direction of a rendezvous with new all time highs at 5,000 earlier than Fed Chairman Powell took the rostrum on Wednesday afternoon. At first traders appreciated what they heard with some buoyancy in inventory costs.

However as soon as Powell made it clear that he sees price cuts as extremely unlikely on the subsequent assembly in March, then inventory costs tumbled right into a -1.61% loss for the S&P 500 (SPY).

Gladly it was not all dangerous. Actually, I’d say that it was a little bit of an overreaction.

So, let’s spend our time immediately digging into the important thing Fed statements and what meaning for the market within the days and weeks forward.

Market Commentary

I religiously watch the Fed press conferences which commences half-hour after they launch their price hike determination. The ready statements sometimes replicate the identical sentiment as discovered within the aforementioned press launch.

The important thing to the occasion all the time resides within the Q&A bit. These unprepared remarks by Powell reveal rather more perception. Past the phrases can be the physique language and emphasis from the Fed chairman. You possibly can immediately see the market’s response to each optimistic and destructive remark.

The online results of the January 31st press convention was a close to free fall in inventory costs. Past the -1.61% we see a way more painful -2.45% slashing of small caps within the Russell 2000 index.

Why?

It just about comes down to at least one very important sentence:

“I do not suppose it is probably that the committee will attain a degree of confidence by the point of the March assembly to determine March is the time to try this (begin slicing charges).”

With that the chances of a March price lower had been lowered…brief time period bond charges went greater…and shares imploded.

Gladly on Thursday cooler heads prevailed. That is as a result of Powell additionally made it clear that the committee nonetheless thinks that 3 price cuts are on the best way this yr. So shifting out expectations for the primary lower to Could 1st shouldn’t be so dangerous within the grand scheme of issues.

Internet-net, the ten yr Treasury price has dropped again below 4% and inventory costs are again on the upswing with 5,000 looming giant on the horizon.

Now let’s get into a number of the granular element from Powell’s press convention as there are some very attention-grabbing ideas to share. Generally, I’m paraphrasing what was stated to get straight to the purpose.

(Listed below are the important thing concepts from the ready assertion part)

Inflation nonetheless too excessive and thus path ahead is unsure.

Coverage is effectively into restrictive territory. And thus, doing effectively on twin mandate to get inflation again right down to 2% purpose whereas additionally attaining most employment.

Reversing coverage too quickly would danger re-igniting inflation which is dangerous information for the common client.

Reversing too late has draw back dangers to the economic system and the labor market.

They’re conscious about the balancing act required and proceed to do what they consider is important.

(After Powell’s ready statements traders are realizing it is the identical outdated track from the Fed and that they overreacted to a number of the language within the press launch. With that bond charges fell and inventory costs climbed briefly.

Now onto the Q&A portion which, as famous above, sometimes unlocks rather more priceless insights.)

The committee continues to be all agreeing to chop charges. And three instances this yr is the newest prediction. The important thing query is WHEN to begin the cuts?

Would a weakening within the employment image hasten your need to chop charges? Sure!

However proper now employment continues to be a bit sturdy…and that gives nonetheless an excessive amount of wage inflation. Much less of an issue than earlier than…however nonetheless too excessive.

You did not agree that mushy touchdown has occurred. However would you say {that a} arduous touchdown is off the desk?

Govt Abstract from Powell: Development is stable to sturdy. Ditto for labor market. And have seen inflation come down. Total, it is a fairly good image.

And thus he aspect stepped the mushy/arduous touchdown dialogue.

Key assertion: Do not suppose March price lower is probably going based mostly on assembly immediately. And from there the underside dropped out of the inventory market.

Wednesday @ 2pm ET the S&P 500 stands at 4,889. But on the closed all the best way right down to 4,845.65 (1.61%). Russell 2000 was even worse at -2.45%.

(Finish of Powell press convention statements).

As famous earlier, merchants had been overly zealous to hit the promote button on Wednesday afternoon. But as they awoke Thursday they noticed that in actuality the funding panorama had not modified that a lot.

Which means {that a} 6 to 12 week delay for the primary price lower does not actually change the financial outlook nor bullish case for shares.

Alternatively, the S&P 500 is fairly absolutely valued at PE of 20. Thus, as this stage we have to see an acceleration within the economic system to stoke earnings progress to substantiate a lot greater share costs.

This most up-to-date earnings season doesn’t assist that image as future estimates have really been lower. Actually, the following 3 quarters are anticipated to common a tepid 1.5% common earnings progress which is effectively beneath the long run common nearer to eight%.

No…this isn’t a case for a big scale correction nor to go bearish. That is merely a case for five,000 prone to be a spot of stiff resistance for some time resulting in an prolonged consolidation and buying and selling vary.

In these durations the general market common might flat line, however the cream of the crop corporations will rise to the highest. Particularly these with wholesome progress prospects buying and selling at cheap or discounted valuations.

That is exactly the shares that the POWR Scores helps us drill into and explains our current outperformance…and constant outperformance over time.

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What To Do Subsequent?

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That is all based mostly on my 43 years of investing expertise seeing bull markets…bear markets…and every little thing between.

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Wishing you a world of funding success!


Steve Reitmeister…however everybody calls me Reity (pronounced “Righty”)
CEO, StockNews.com and Editor, Reitmeister Complete Return


SPY shares had been buying and selling at $493.59 per share on Friday morning, up $4.39 (+0.90%). 12 months-to-date, SPY has gained 3.85%, versus a % rise within the benchmark S&P 500 index throughout the identical interval.


Concerning the Writer: Steve Reitmeister

Steve is healthier identified to the StockNews viewers as “Reity”. Not solely is he the CEO of the agency, however he additionally shares his 40 years of funding expertise within the Reitmeister Complete Return portfolio. Study extra about Reity’s background, together with hyperlinks to his most up-to-date articles and inventory picks.

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