January 17, 4:00 pm EST
Yesterday’s slide in stocks was all recovered today, despite the continued threat of a government shutdown. As we discussed yesterday, holding the government budget hostage to make gains on partisan demands hasn’t been enough to move the needle on the stock market the past three times we’ve seen it happen (2013, 1995-1996 and 1990).
Still, incredulously, the chatter about a “top” in stocks was heavy, yesterday afternoon and throughout this morning – given the 300 point move off of the top in the Dow (and accompanied by a sharp slide in bitcoin this morning).
The media and Wall Street experts must need to be reminded daily that we have a huge tax cut hitting this year, into extremely favorable economic conditions (low rates, cheap gas, record low unemployment, record high household net worth, record high consumer credit worthiness), with continued pro-business policies being executed, a major infrastructure spend pursued, and global growth expected to run as hot as we’ve seen since before the financial crisis.
With this in mind, Apple told us today that they plan to repatriate all of their offshore cash (about a quarter of a trillion dollars worth — thanks to a new, massive repatriation tax break), hire 20k people over the next five years and spend $30 billion in capex, to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy overall.
So, this is a direct result of incentives. And creating these incentives are the motivations behind the fiscal stimulus policies – all in an effort to achieve the behavior we’re seeing from Apple. Ultimately, it’s all about escaping the dangerously slow economic growth that was manufactured by central banks – so that the 10-year global economic slog doesn’t give way to a full-blown depression. So these incentives are working. Fiscal stimulus is working. And, as we’ve discussed, this should promote the big bounce back in growth that is typical of post-recession recoveries, but has been lacking in this post-financial crisis environment.
Still, people with the most influential voices continue to underestimate the outlook. The Fed is looking for just 2.5% U.S. GDP growth for the year (that’s likely less than what we’ll see for full year 2017). And Wall Street is looking for just 6% growth in stocks (according to this WSJ piece). The S&P 500 is already up 5%.
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