Dennis Lockhart

The Key Thing To Watch For In Today's FOMC Statement

The Fed is expected to stay on hold today. Given the Fed’s dovish reaction to the weak May employment report, SocGen expects that officials are likely to be reluctant to commit to any particular path just yet (despite the longest streak of economically positive surprise in US history). In the absence of any signal regarding the next hike, attention will fall on their characterization of the economy. Here are five things to watch in the statement...

Citi Warns "Something Seems To Be Going On Here" As Rate Hike Fears Storm Back

"It is hard to deny that there seems to be something going on here. It could either be a bored market triggering a momentum trade that feeds the narrative or it could be the market has sniffed out a change of tone from the Fed as these new Fed events get scheduled.... With the Yellen speech not coming until June 6, and the UK Referendum a week after the FOMC, I can’t see much logic to a June hike. Hiking a week before the UK vote seems like a totally unnecessary risk that this extremely risk-averse Fed would never take. But July makes perfect sense if they want to get a hike out of the way before election mania."

Frontrunning: May 18

  • Stocks sag as U.S. rate rise expectations revive (Reuters)
  • Clinton, Sanders hit final stretch of nominating contest (Reuters)
  • Bernie Sanders Wins in Oregon, But He Needed Kentucky, Too (NBC)
  • Clinton less than 100 delegates from nomination (The Hill)
  • Trump needs 66 delegates to officially clinch nomination (The Hill)
  • Japan GDP Rebound Not Enough to Stave Off Stimulus (WSJ)

Copper Slides To Three Month Low Despite Flat Futures, Oil; Dollar Rise Continues

After two violently volatile days in which the market soared (Monday) then promptly retraced all gains (Tuesday), the overnight session has been relatively calm with futures and oil both unchanged even as the BBG dollar index rose to the highest level since April 4. This took place despite a substantial amount of macro data from both Japan, where the GDP came well above the expected 0.3%, instead printing 1.7% annualized, which pushed stocks lower as it meant the probability of more BOJ interventions or a delay of the sales tax hike both dropped. Meanwhile, in China we got proof of the ongoing housing bubble when new property prices were reproted to have soared 12.4% Y/Y in April, which in turn pushed the local stock market to two month lows amid concerns the rampant housing bubble sector could divert funds from stocks. Yes, China is trading on the "risk" one bubble will burst another bubble.

Key US Macro Events In The Coming Week

After last week's key event, the retail sales number, which the market discounted as being too unrealistic (and overly seasonally adjusted) after printing at a 13 month high and attempting to refute the reality observed by countless retailers, this week has a quiet start today with no data of note due out of Europe and just Empire manufacturing (which moments ago missed badly) and the NAHB housing market index of note in the US session this morning.

Global Stocks Slide As Dollar Continues Rising: Has The "Pricing In" Of Trump Begun

While there was no unexpected overnight central bank announcement unlike yesterday's surprise by the RBA which unleashed volatility havoc in the FX market, which promptly spilled over into all asset classes, overnight stocks around the world saw another leg lower without a tangible catalyst, while EM currencies fell to a one-month low after two Fed presidents raised concern investors had become too complacent in their belief that U.S. interest rate raises will stay on hold. Or perhaps all that is happening is that after ignoring Trump, the market is starting to finally price in the possible reality of the Donald in the White House (although as Jeff Gundlach pointed out, Trump would be a far better president for the economy and the market than Hillary or Bernie).

Fed Admits "Won't Stop The Music"

During a post-presentation Q&A in Chicago this morning, Atlanta Fed head Dennis Lockhart warned investors that Brexit is a notable risk and was a consideration within Fed policy meetings (along with every global nation's problems, we presume). However, it was his follow-up comment that has created notable chatter among the "mandate-driven","data-dependent" Fed watching community when he said that any Brexit issues "shouldn't stop the music" for The Fed.

Key Economic Events In The Coming Week

While the market is still enjoying the post-NFP weekly data lull, economic data starts to pick up again in the coming days, alongside the start of the reporting season. Below are this week's key events.

On Goldman's "Dubious Advice To Short Gold”

Those betting against Goldman Sach’s retail investment advice have generally been on the right side of things. The same thing is about to happen again. “Short gold! Sell gold!” said Goldman’s head commodity trader, Jeff Currie, during a CNBC “Power Lunch” interview. Currie’s advice was in response to the question “Is there any commodity you are recommending that can help our viewers make some money?” Currie’s provided several reasons for shorting gold, blatantly wrong.

April "Fools" In March

It may be almost impossible to underestimate the gullibility of professional Fed watchers. At least Lucy van Pelt needed to place an actual football on the ground to fool poor Charlie Brown. But in today’s high stakes game of Federal Reserve mind reading, the Fed doesn’t even have to make a halfway convincing bluff to make the markets look foolish.

Former Fed President: "Living In Constant Fear Of Market Reaction Is Not How You Manage Central Bank Policy"

Back in January Fisher said (what even Liesman has now suggested) that "We Frontloaded A Tremendous Market Rally" and there is "No Ammo Left", followed by a second appearance earlier this month when he said that the Fed "Injected Cocaine And Heroin Into The System To Create A Wealth Effect." This morning Fisher was again on CNBC to discuss Yellen's dovish speech at the Economic Club of NY, and said that the Fed is "living in a constant fear of a market reaction. This is not how the way you manage central bank policy."

The Complete Fed Decision Preview: All You Need To Know

At 2 p.m. EST, the only thing the financial world will care about and discuss will be the Fed's [first rate hike in 9 years|epic disappointment]. So for those who still haven't made up their mind about what the Fed's [dovish|non-dovish] rate hike means, here is all you need to know.