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 I Think the Fed Will Hold Rates Steady

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gastaoss



Number of posts : 440
Registration date : 2007-07-01

PostSubject: I Think the Fed Will Hold Rates Steady   Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:00 am

I Think the Fed Will Hold Rates Steady





Posted on Aug 22nd, 2007Keith Lenger submits: Where do we begin today?
We
have been publishing posts on this site for 4 months. It has been a
fascinating journey into marketing oneself, spelling and grammar
corrections by others and serious hesitations about publishing market
comments. One of the bi-products of running a financial blog is seeing
the stats being produced. It is some real big-brother-1984-style monitoring.
This
month's stats are very interesting, as traffic at the start of the
month was low and then spiked like hell on the 14th, 15th and 16th. As
more time goes on, it will be interesting to run a regression analysis
of the data. Both with the S&P 500 and the VIX. Could this be
another potential indicator?
Bernanke is looking like a
natural. This recent upset is an extremely important milestone in
understanding a bit more about the Bernanke Fed. We still chuckle over
Maria Bartiromo's airing comments he made to her privately at a
gathering they had attended together. At this point it is anyone’s
guess what the Fed will do. Our take is that Bernanke will hold rates
this round. This is in the very small minority of opinion. The bedrock
of the economy still seems to be holding up and the lack of credit
still needs time to work through the market and economic numbers.
However, we think it is just a function of time.
The markets
this week have been very skittish. It is a bit like the aftershocks
from an earth quake. The real question at hand is the other potential
leg down. Technicians are always talking about the 'double bottom'
confirmation. However, if you subscribe to WSJ, we would suggest
reading (Lessons of Past May Offer Clues To Market’s Fate). We have provided a few excerpts below.
Those
two periods — the stock-market crash of 1987 and the downdraft of 1998
— bear striking similarities to the present. They also provide insight
into the role of the Federal Reserve, which bolstered markets Friday,
sparking a rally.
In both 1987 and 1998, stocks fell sharply
starting in July or August and, although markets seemed to stabilize by
September, they abruptly plunged again, and didn’t come out of their
tailspins fully until October…
In the previous two cases and
again this time around, market downturns turned into routs as
computer-based stock-trading models blew up in the faces of the
investors who used them…
To be sure, there are also some big
differences. One is what analysts call valuation — stock prices
compared to the company’s underlying value. Valuation looked excessive
in 1987, with stocks trading at more than 20 times corporate profits.
Price/earnings ratios were similarly high in 1998. This time around,
the ratios remain in the teens, close to the post-1945 average of about
16.
We would seriously encourage those to read the full
article, as it brings out a few more market nuances occurring in this
market cycle. From our perspective, we are still happy to sit on our
dry powder. We are still looking at commodities as a source of funds.
We’ll keep our eyes open for another hurricane in the gulf.
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