When “Bad News” Becomes “Good News”

While Tuesday’s Producer Price Index (PPI) for April came in hotter than expected (+0.5%), markets took the bad data in stride, perhaps because the year/year change on the headline index was still only 2.2% (2.4% for the “core,” i.e., ex-food and energy). Another reason for the lack of market volatility from the release may have […]

Fed’s Dilemma – Hotter Inflation & a Cooling Economy + Why Inflation is so Hateful

Inflation was the main concern of markets this week. On Tuesday (March 12th) Consumer Prices (CPI) came in slightly hot, but within market expectations. As a result, the financial markets took the report in stride and equities rallied. The problem was Thursday’s Producer Price Index (PPI), an index that is a leading indicator of future […]

Despite Deteriorating Economics, Equity Markets at All-Time Highs

There were several important news events this week including the Fed’s January minutes. But this took a back seat to Nvidia’s blowout top and bottom-line numbers and its forward guidance which occurred after Wednesday’s (February 21st) market close. The equity market, which had been relatively flat on Tuesday and Wednesday, advanced more than 2% on […]

Fed Actions (Inactions) are Key to the Economic Outlook

Over the past week or so, we’ve seen some backup in market interest rates. The 10-Year Treasury yield (chart) closed at a 4.15% on Friday (January 19), up 21 basis points from its 3.94% level a week earlier, and 3.79% on December 26th. The rise in market rates was mainly due to the hawkish tone […]

As Inflation Fades and Incoming Data Disappoint The Fed Appears Intransigent

The headline CPI reading of no price inflation (0.0%) in October surprised the financial markets (but not us). It caused a bond market rally as yields (especially on the long end) fell. Then the PPI (Producer Price Index) showed up with a negative number for October (-0.5%), and this is generally a harbinger of what […]