Market Briefing For Monday, May 22, 2023

Brinkmanship around the contentious Debt Ceiling 'negotiations', might be a bit 'less' than advertised by the pseudo-dramatic Republican walkout Friday, even if they're correct that the Democrats were unreasonable with reductions in spending items. It's sort of political foreplay I think; before next week's 'deal'.

I suggest 'less than meets the eye'; as somehow what's a bit more likely is the quibbling behind-the-scenes Saturday; and then suddenly POTUS appears in the White House, and shows the ability to cobble-together instant compromise to the disputed line-items they're fretting over. Actually that's the 'bullish case', given where everything is poised, in an overall extended 'wall of worry' S&P.

More realistically, the flip-flop Fed Chairman Powell remarks matter more. To me it was sort of boring, but I had CSPAN on the 2nd time this week (a rarity for me); the first being to hear Sam Altman's remarks on AI at the Senate.

The Chairman first quipped that they (the Fed) are really serious about taking inflation down to a 2% pace, and that happens to be the moment S&P faded, as far as I could correlate. However very closely timed to the political walkout.

Moments later the Chairman seemed to give leeway to seeing how things go, realizing economics often lag policy movements; and that hinted at a 'pass' on further hikes, at least at the next FOMC meeting. That of course contradicts at least on the surface, what you've heard from some Fed-heads; but maybe not so much. By that I mean they could 'pass' and simply watch to see if trends as are already in place, continue to see price easing and then react accordingly.

In sum: basically nothing changed; other than a stall on the Debt negotiations and maybe a bit of tension hiking regarding Ukraine. I had indicated F-16 pilot training was ongoing; now the NY Times says it happened secretly; well not so secret. 

The overall market is the same; high level range; poked higher then faded just a bit... sort of something I spoke to previously; the idea of behavior symmetry, which precedes some kind of retreat, even if not significant. Of course if grand accord is the outcome following POTUS' return from G-7 (unlikely really grand but will suffice to claw-back Covid funding and so on); S&P will briefly like it.

Treasury Secy. Yellen tried to upset Banking issues with some comments; but the data is not so discouraging. I think her motives relate to pressure on Debt Ceiling negotiations; trying to infer what lies out there if politicians fail to deal.

Meanwhile individual stocks clearly move independently; now with a tendency to shuffle to-and-fro a bit with the perceived move of the market.

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This is an excerpt from Gene Inger's Daily Briefing, which typically includes one or two videos as well as more charts and analyses. You can subscribe for   more

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