Recorded May 29, 2019
The End of the Bear Market Rally
Back on May 1, when I did my podcast, I officially called for the end of the bear market rally that so many people had confused for a new bull market, and the impetus for that call was the Fed coming out and not living up to Wall Street’s expectations for just how dovish the Fed was. Remember, the market was starting to factor in rate cuts, not just an end to the tightening cycle, but the beginning of the next easing cycle. And Jerome Powell basically threw cold water on that by talking about how low inflation was transitory, and how he expected it to go back up, and all of a sudden the markets were starting to think that the Fed wasn’t going to cut rates and the market went down a bit.
The Fed Giveth and the Fed Taketh Away
I thought that given that the rally was built based on the Fed, that what the Fed giveth by being more dovish than the markets expected the Fed had finally taken away by being more hawkish. Even though I didn’t believe that the Fed was as hawkish as the markets believed, I believe the Fed is far more dovish than the markets believe. But once Powell dashed those hopes, that was enough, I thought, to take the wind out of the sail of the rally.
Throwing Down the Gauntlet on Trade
And then, of course, Donald Trump, himself, pulled the rug out from under the market when, the following weekend, he basically threw down the gauntlet on the trade war; tweeted out that he was going to be imposing 25% tariffs across the board on Americans who want to buy any Chinese products. And then the markets really started to fall. Although, I said at the time, that if the markets really perceived how great the threat was, they would have been down quite a bit more. But we now have two back-to-back better than 200-point declines in the Dow.