Imagine you’re huddled down in a bunker, with the enemy approaching, and you only have nine bullets left. Do you fire a preemptive shot or two, hoping it will deter the enemy? Or do you save those bullets and wait patiently until you’re sure an attack is imminent? That’s the situation the Federal Reserve is facing right now.
Article Category: Trade
It’s frankly astounding to me how much power the Federal Reserve holds over the psychology of market participants. One reassuring comment from Jay Powell can send the market 5% higher in a week, while an offhand comment, such as we saw in October, can throw the market into a severe correction.
I’ve used this analogy before, but on days like today, one can’t help but feel like investors are nothing more than Pavlov’s dogs, salivating for the inevitable treat they’ve been conditioned to expect. As for Pavlov, he is of course played by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, also known as the Wizard of Oz.
Markets are rebounding today after yesterday’s precipitous fall, in which the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials both experienced their worst day in four months. But make no mistake – the short-term trend remains down.
It’s been a rough start to the week (or an exciting start, depending on your perspective) as a result of reescalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. On Sunday, President Trump stated that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports would increase from 10% to 25%, and that another $325 billion in goods could fall under the 25% tariff “shortly.”