The Fed meets today and tomorrow. The ECB meets on Thursday. Those will be the defining market forces for the next three trading sessions.
There is little if any point in trying to trade this week (at least until Thursday). The Fed is notorious for leaking info to the well-connected. The most recent “accidental” sending of a report a day early is just the latest example.
In simple terms, the market will be even more of an insider’s game today and tomorrow than usual. No point trying to open a new position in that window.
However, against this backdrop the big picture for the markets is growing worse and worse.
The US is almost assuredly back in recessionary territory. This is coming on the back of the weakest recovery (if you can call it that) in post-WWII history.
The Feds hide this economic nightmare by simply not counting those who are unemployed (lower the denominator in the fraction and your unemployment ratio falls), and by using bogus deflators in their GDP growth numbers (the current CPI is 2.1%... but the Feds calculated the first quarter GDP growth numbers use an inflationary measure of 1.2%).
Change your measurements and BOOM you’ve got a recovery. It works if you’re a Government bean counter trying to keep your job. It doesn’t work so well for everyone else.
However, there are clear signs we’re heading back into recessionary territory. I think the first quarter 2013 GDP growth print is the best we’ll see all year. And it’s very possibly things will get ugly before the year ends.
Speaking of which…
Ben Bernanke has announced he won’t be attending this year’s Jackson Hole meeting. A Jackson Hole meeting without the Fed Chairman is like having a performance of Hamlet without Hamlet himself in it. Why would the single most important Central Banker not attend one of the biggest economic meetings of the year?
He claims it’s due to scheduling conflicts. As if he didn’t know about this meeting in advance.
The fact is Bernanke is likely going to step down at the end of this term in January 2014... which means the markets will be losing one of their biggest props, the famed Bernanke Put.
God help whoever fills the role in the future. Assuming things hold together until next year (a BIG assumption) the new Fed Chairman will be inheriting one of the worst messes in history.
For more market insights and investment ideas… visit us at www.gainspainscapital.com