May 17, 2017, 4:00pm EST Invest Alongside Billionaires For $297/Qtr
Yesterday we talked about the disconnect between the daily drama from the media in Washington (doom and gloom), and what the markets have been communicating (an economic expansion is underway). Today, you might think that connection is happening — the doom and gloom scenario is finally being realized in markets. Probably not.
For perspective: As of the close yesterday, the Nasdaq was up 18% year to date (just five months in). Gold was in the middle of a three year range. Market interest rates (the U.S. 10-year government bond yield) was just above the middle of the range of the past four years. The dollar was not far off its strongest levels in 15 years.
Today the media has explicitly printed the headline of impeachment for Trump (actually, they’ve run those headlines a various times over the past several months). Nonetheless, stocks (the S&P 500) today are off by 1.6%.
This gets the bears very excited. I saw the story about consumer debt, surpassing 2008 levels, floating all over the internet today. People tried to make the bubble connection — implying another debt crisis was coming.
The real story: Total household indebtedness finally surpassed the previous peak from 2008. That’s precisely what the Fed was attempting to do with zero interest rates. Make existing debt cheaper to manage, and at some point, break the psychology of the debt burden and get people borrowing (at ultra-cheap rates), investing and spending again. Otherwise, our economy and the world economy would have gone into a deflationary spiral.
That said, as I’ve found in my 20 years in this business, people tend to find a story to fit the price. The story hadn’t been fitting the price for much of the past six months. Today, it seems pretty easy. See the chart below of stocks ….
What about the Trump/Comey saga? Aren’t people dumping dollars because of that? Not likely. If that were potentially destabilizing to the U.S., it would be destabilizing to the global economy, and people would buy dollars not sell them.
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