The Fed's made it tough to go in and buy stocks ahead of this Friday number. You almost feel after today's statements that you have to have the whole market go down a lot before you are immunized from the next time Janet Yellen speaks about stocks.
How are you supposed to go in today and justify buying when the Fed told you not to? How do you risk buying when Janet Yellen told you that you weren't being prudent with your money?
It really does feel that way, with stocks slowly but surely going down despite a rally in the euro, which had been synonymous with a rally if oil were tame, which it is today.
In other words, I think we would have been up, maybe up nicely, if she had said nothing because while a move down in bonds is not a good thing, the fact that oil can be thrown back at all is a sign that people needn't freak out that we are getting to the point where things are going to get ugly fast -- ugly meaning $80 to $90.
We are, however, losing any moorings when it comes to the 4% crowd, particularly in the real estate investment trust and master limited partnership world. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD), for example, is back to that 4.5% level that I like it so much at. Williams Companies (WMB) intrigues at 4.7%. And I have to admit a fondness for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) at 7.20%, even as it perennially falls out of favor on any big interest rate move.
Now the bond market's a vicious animal, but we have just had a big move up in rates in part, again, because Yellen seemed to be putting us on notice. I don't know how much they can travel now without hard information that things are doing better than I think they are. Interesting to see that the banks aren't going higher despite the rally in rates. Perhaps, that, too, signals that the move could be peaking unless Friday's a barn burner.
In other words, today could have been a good day for the bulls. But the Fed chief didn't want it to be.
So it wasn't.