Laugh… Cry… Profit Your Way To “Normal”

“So, ‘Count’ and ‘Recount’ are sitting at a bar in Florida…”

By now, of course, that joke really needs no punch line.

Ballots in the Sunshine State – and neighboring Georgia, too – are still being counted… and re-counted.

As if more of that kind of uncertainty weren’t enough, equity markets took a steep plunge Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down as much as 619 points and finished the day more than 2% lower than it started.

What’s so unusual is that markets are typically quiet when the Treasury market is closed and currencies don’t trade, as was the case in observance of Veterans Day.

And it was just the beginning…

It’s now been four straight losing sessions in a row for stocks heading into Thursday, November 15, 2018.

And recent data continue to bolster the Federal Reserve’s “normalization” plan. So, things are actually getting a little more serious.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met last week for what was widely understood to be a “dead” meeting.

As expected, the FOMC kept the federal funds rate unchanged at 2% to 2.25%.

The central bank’s policy-making arm also signaled it will continue on its path of gradual rate increases.

Its post-meeting statement did change, as members noted that business capital investment “moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year.” Consumer spending, meanwhile, “has continued to grow strongly.”

There was no mention of recent market volatility.

Fortunately for us, there’s enough uncertainty out there – even if Florida gets its counts together – to create the kind of volatility we can profit from…

The Fed Kills

Wednesday morning’s release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October provided more evidence for the Fed’s case.

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