I guess this week should go down in the stock market annals as the week the indices stood stock still. After all, three major indices made new highs the week before. This past week was a whole lot of spinning of the wheels, with nary a teeny move even.
Of course, by now you must have heard plenty of dire warnings from the gurus, swamis and pundits pontificating about how stocks are overbought, about how short their book is, how the bonds and equity markets are flashing huge danger signals, how oil is to blame for the markets malaise, how the historic lows in the bond markets are signaling a disaster for stocks, how this is the best opportunity in a lifetime to be short equities, how the sky is going to fall on your head if you own stocks and finally, why we should all be heading for the hills shouting "woe is me" in unison and also beating our chests for good measure, while we are heading for the recommended hills.
However, in reality there is one reason and one reason only why uncertainty has once again returned to our markets and they seem totally schizophrenic all over again. Yes, you guessed it: it is the Fed heads; you win a cookie. This week was the first week when the various Fed heads that were on their pulpits yet again started turning hawkish on rates, which has led our markets to an absolute stand-still.
Let the sweaty swamis, the pontificating pundits, and the glib gurus get on the boob tube and talk about yields, and about oil going up and oil going down, about how strong our economy is or how weak it is, and who knows what else, but it is the Fed that has markets stuck.
Yes, it is actually that simple. Always has been and always will be. Fed heads start talking and contradicting themselves almost every day, our markets freeze up, like deer in the headlights.
C'est la vie!
Moving on to the week ahead, earnings season is fast fading into the history books, although we still have a few companies of note in tech land that will be reporting in the coming week, starting with Intuit (INTU) and Nimble Storage (NMBL) on Tuesday after the closing bell.
On the economic data front, we have the usual overdose of economic releases, but none bigger than our GDP data on Friday. Also on Friday Janet Yellen, Fed boss herself, will regale us with her opinion on our economy all the way from Jackson Hole.
On the international economic data front, Wednesday brings us German GDP data and on Friday we will get British GDP data.
However, for now it's time to carry on with our weekend plans and put all thoughts of the markets on hold till Monday morning.
With that, I wish each and every one of you a safe and joyful weekend with your loved ones!