Stock March Madness - Who You Got?

Prepare yourself. March Madness could be here. No, I’m not talking about the college basketball tourney either.

Stocks will be hanging onto Jay Powell’s every word and every breath on Wednesday (Mar. 17) and scrutinize his thoughts on interest rates and inflation.

Pretty much, we’re the Fed’s hostages until this thing gets some clarity. Even if Powell says nothing, the markets will move. That’s just how it’s going to work.

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO for global fixed income, echoed this statement. “I think the last press conference, I think I watched with one eye and listened with one ear. This one I’m going to be tuned in to every word and the markets are going to be tuned in to every word. If he says nothing, it will move markets. If he says a lot, it will move markets.”

Jay Powell is the biggest market mover in the game now. What’s coronavirus anymore?

So far, it’s been a relatively tame week for the indices. The Nasdaq’s continued playing catch-up and has outperformed, while the Dow and S&P are still hovering around record highs.

The wheels are in motion for pent-up consumer spending and a strong stock rally. Plus, we have that $1.9 trillion stimulus package heating up the economy and an army of retail traders with an extra $1,400 to play with.

Inflation fears and surging bond yields are still a concern and have caused significant volatility for growth stocks. But let’s have a little perspective here. Plus, jobless claims beat estimates again and came in at 712,000. This is nearly the lowest they’ve been in a whole year. Last week’s inflation data also came in more tamer than expected.

But bonds yields still remain the market’s biggest wild card. Yes, yields are still at a historically low level, and the Fed Funds Rate remains 0%. But depending on how things go around 2 pm Wednesday (Mar. 17), yields could potentially pop again, reinvigorating the rotation into value and cyclical plays and out of tech and growth plays.

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Disclaimer: All essays, research, and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Matthew Levy, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be ...

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