This morning, the larger U.S. markets seem fairly placid, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones hovering around their five day marks and not really going in one direction or another, so it’s probably a good time to focus on this new report today that illustrates how many investors are feeling in these very unusual times.
An article by MarketWatch goes into some of the events of the past week, and why there’s significant criticism of federal government handling of the markets.
In a sense, the bit players or frontline traders are getting involved, which is unusual. If you look at some of the tweets and posts curated by the MarketWatch article, you see that there’s a sense that investors don’t want federal officials to weigh in on markets every day.
Many of them cite shoot-from-the-hip, off-the-cuff statements by treasury director Steve Mnuchen or desperate-sounding happy talk from Mike Mulvaney, but many others are furious with the erratic, helter-skelter opining of the Twitter president.
“Been trading 30 years,” tweeted Todd Harrison earlier this week. “Seen my fair share. The blatant attempts at manipulating the stock market are beyond the pale. Not about long, short or the next 5%; it’s about the devolution of capitalism and desperation of leadership”.
These comments, some say, add volatility and exacerbate those market gyrations that make it hard to day trade and difficult to handle a client’s money on the markets.
As for hard issues, many are citing the US/China trade situation and the government shutdown, both of which rest on a political basis and not on economic directives. In other words, these are not things we can’t change as a country. They are thoroughly manageable with the right administration and oversight. That’s the idea behind a lot of the investors’ ire as they look at the market landscape, which is anything but stable.
“We’re sure that the trade spat will be with us for many years to come,” said Barry Bannister, head of institutional equity strategy at Stifel, according to MarketWatch. “(Investors should expect Trump and future presidents to) retain their cold-war era powers over trade. If we do get an agreement, and China misbehaves down the road, we’ll see a resumption of trade tensions.”
Let’s see what happens on Friday and next week. There are reports of bills to re-open government – but nobody has the crystal ball, and some experts are urging caution on the markets.