Mixed Signals Abound

 | Aug 01, 2014 | 3:53 PM EDT
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When are we ever going to stop being so Fed-centric when it comes to what principally drives stocks? It's profits. Both the macro and the bond and stock futures players don't ever have to worry about a conference call or an earnings estimate. They just like to holler and scream about whether Fed Chief Janet Yellen is ahead of or behind the curve. I get that. They don't relate it to companies because they are all up at 30,000 feet.

Me? I am on the ground and I can tell you that Russia is in control right now. The numbers of the industrials are clearly going to have to come down if things don't resolve themselves.

Now, I don't blame the people who yell about bonds for being confused or negative about Yellen's Federal Reserve. I want the Fed to be selling bonds into strength and moving on. The Fed doesn't need to raise the fed funds rate yet but it should be prepping us more in case the economy heats up.

But we are now getting enough mixed signals about the end of July that there is reason to be concerned that the economy is weakening again. The jury's still out.

However, the jury is not out on Russia. We have entered into uncertain times for companies that weren't expecting or seeing a Ukraine issue as recently as Sochi. Plus, the blind fealty we have to Ukraine seems odd to many. And if you didn't know any better, it's as if the powers that be cut a deal over a stronger dollar in order to create a coalition against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

No matter. Believe what you want. But if you think profits matter, then you need Ukraine resolved. If you think Yellen is all that matters, then you obviously don't care about stocks anyway, at least individual ones. Either that, or you are too lazy to care and you default to polemics, ideology and something that you don't need to do any homework on.

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