By Bryan Rich
June 14, 5:00 pm EST
Tech stocks and small caps continue to behave like an economy that is about to take off.
The Nasdaq is now up 14% on the year. The Russell 2000 is up 10%. The S&P 500 (with more global exposure) is lagging it all, up just 4%.
Is it telling us that the investments in the U.S. are gaining more favor, relative to the rest of the world? Maybe. Is it telling us that capital is flowing toward the U.S. to align with Trump policies and away from those that may be harmed by being on the wrong side of Trump. Maybe.
With that said, we know Europe has been slowing. We know the “Italy-risk” presents another drag on that outlook. As such, the ECB followed the Fed’s hike yesterday with a rather dovish outlook this morning. Draghi laid out a timeline for following the Fed’s lead on normalization that was a little slower/ little later than expectations. That sent the dollar soaring, the euro plunging, and rates in Europe lower.
Tonight, we hear from the Bank of Japan. Remember, this is the lynchpin in keeping a lid on global interest rates. As long as they have the QE spigot wide-open, our yields (and therefore our consumer rates) will be well contained.
Japan’s policy on pegging its 10-year yield at zero has been the anchor on global interest rates. Forcing their benchmark government bond yield back to zero, in a world where there has been upward pressure on interest rates, has meant that they can, and will, buy unlimited amounts of JGBs to get the job done. That equates to unlimited QE. When they finally signal a change to that policy, that’s when rates will finally move.