With the three fascinations of the week, the Fed’s FOMC statement, the separation vote in Scotland, and the Alibaba IPO, now history, will investors re-focus on the economy? Given what the Fed actually said in its statement, and some recent economic reports, it might be a good idea.
With mounting geopolitical tension, lack of opportunities overseas, and the relative attractiveness of U.S. markets, foreign investors are bidding up the price of U.S. stocks and the dollar, which is putting increasing pressure on gold, oil, and commodities, says Martin Armstrong.
When you get down to brass tacks, asset prices are governed by supply and demand. In the markets, the conviction of buyers relative to the conviction of sellers also plays a major role.
The start of trading for shares of Alibaba and the retail availability of the new iPhones are today’s big developments. And the Scotland news is finally behind us, with Scots deciding to retain their 300-year old union with England.
Between Ukraine and ISIS, 2014 has been a year marked by geopolitical tension. Yet, contrary to intuition, market volatility has continued to trend downward along with the price of gold and oil, while stocks continue to hit new all-time highs. Why?
Companies bought back the most shares in 2007, right before the crash, and the least shares at the most opportune time in 2009. In practice, insiders buy low and sell high, and pocket cash from options all the way up. Insider activity is exactly the opposite of how companies treat shareholders.
Oil prices may have gone as low as OPEC is willing to tolerate. After several months of price declines, the secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says the group may cut its production target for 2015 because of an abundance of supply.
The markets felt comfortable with the dovish reassurance that came out of the Fed meeting, with the ‘considerable time’ phrase in the statement telling investors that the FOMC was in no hurry to start raising rates in the spring — the feared timeline for a quicker rate hiking process.
Softer than expected economic growth in China (see discussion) has finally spurred the PBoC into action. However, rather than undertaking asset purchases that would inject reserves into the overall banking system, the PBoC forced liquidity directly into state-owned banks.
Stock prices have a high correlation to economic activity and earnings. History tells us bear markets are often kicked-off by recessions. Recent economic data does not hint at an imminent recession. However, a mixed message came in a September 15 report on industrial production.