Fed Chair Jerome Powell is speaking before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee Wednesday and before the House Budget Committee Thursday.
In prepared remarks, Powell has signaled that the Fed is likely on hold as to interest-rate policy for some time. Some economists are even predicting that the Fed will hold at current levels through 2020. Powell says that central banks are well-positioned to deal with the current "sustained" economic expansion.
There is nothing surprising about these views. The market has not been anticipated any more rate cuts in the near term and seems to be comfortable that the Fed will act should economic conditions shift. Powell has indicated many times that the Fed is "data dependent" and that seems to satisfy the market.
The more important immediate question is whether the computer programs might use Powell's appearance in a few minutes to make a few moves.
In the early going the dip buyers quickly showed up and there wasn't any rush to sell following some of the usual China trade news. Breadth is running 2,500 gainers to 4,500 losers, which indicates again that stock-pickers are not much interested in this action. On the other hand, the mighty Apple (AAPL) is holding up and seems to function as a de facto money market account these days. It is a great place for some to park cash and that helps to keep the indices hovering near highs.
The bears continue to look for some corrective action to kick in, but as I discussed in my opening post, that would be simple, easy and logical and that isn't the way the market tends to operate.
My focus remains on finding some new stock picks. It is interesting to see the extremely strong momentum in Datadog (DDOG) today and I'm looking for additional entry points.
Stock-picking remains very difficult but trying to time the indices is even more challenging.