U.S. Markets Responding to a Basket of Factors


This morning, investors are hopeful as the S&P 500 ticks up once again, picking up about .12% as of press time just 30 minutes after the  bell – meanwhile, the Dow Jones stuttered this morning with a loss of .03% from around $26,560 to $26,545 and then lower to around $26,530.

However, it’s early in the day, and early in the market session as investors look for a basket of earnings reports from companies like General Motors, Apple, GE, Pfizer, and McDonald’s.

Experts cite a potential U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision Wednesday, and jobs reports later in the week. There will be a lot of news to change these numbers.

“The Fed left interest rates unchanged in March 2019, but is hinting of a definite rate rise later in the year dependent on data,” wrote Alan Longbon earlier this month anticipating a May 1 Fed meeting.

This morning, Bloomberg reports on possible activity on U.S./China trade:

“U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin travel to Beijing to continue trade talks. China and the U.S. hope to seal a deal by early May.”

Elsewhere, the Treasury Secretary himself weighs in on Maria Bartiromo’s show on FOX Business News:

“This was – tax cuts, tax reform, regulatory relief and trade deals,” Mnuchin said, touting recent economic activity and suggesting that America is going to get bigger growth in the future then many of the naysayers project.

Mnuchin noted that many people said America wouldn’t get to 3% last year.

“The president’s economic program will continue to show strength,” Mnuchin said of future markets, calling the U.S. “the bright spot of the world” and suggesting that markets in China and Europe will not be able to keep up.

Some analysts are taking that with a grain of salt.

In fact, the transcript of a recent interview Mnuchin sat for with NPR’s Kai Ryssdal underscores the ambiguity on deficits, trade and GDP, with Mnuchin making a Herculean effort to back ideas that future growth will make the administration’s tax cut deficit-neutral.

“The catch of course is, and as you know, you did have two quarters of 3 percent economic growth this past year, but year-over-year growth in the American economy was 2.3 percent,” Ryssdal says. “So you’re still far away from the target, right?”

“Absolutely,” responds Mnuchin. “That’s why we’re doing all of these things. So these things have some impact. And all of our economic plans are about creating sustained economic growth.”

Much of market analysis, after all, is about making these kinds of predictions. If you’re into scrying the U.S. economy at all, especially if you have “skin in the game” in the form of IRA/401k holdings, it might be a good idea to give the transcript a quick read and see where you stand in independent analysis.