There are three items of note on this fine Wednesday morning. First, let's remember that the FOMC is meeting next week. And while the market now expects Yellen & Co. to raise the Fed Funds rate target by 0.25%, traders don't tend to make big commitments in front of important events.
Next, billionaire hedge fund manager, David Tepper, was back on CNBC this morning offering up his latest views on the markets. Recall that comments from the once reclusive manager have been known to move markets and that the rally in 2010 after Tepper said stocks were in a win-win situation became known as the "Tepper rally."
This morning Mr. Tepper says that while stocks aren't cheap, relief from regulations and improving economic growth both home and abroad are providing a supportive environment for the stock market. Tepper concedes that stocks have valuation issues but says that the backdrop is strong enough to keep him in the market. Tepper, known as an outspoken critic of QE added, "You can't be short stocks" when the punch bowl is still full - a reference to the fact that both the ECB and BoJ continue to print money each month.
The Appaloosa founder also opined that concerns about the French election are overdone and that he's long European equities.
And finally, when asked about his view on bonds, he said, "You bet your heinie" I'm short fixed income here.
While Tepper's comments are not moving futures to any great degree this morning, many managers will undoubtedly take solace in the fact Tepper remains upbeat on the outlook for stocks.
Finally, investors were treated to some surprisingly good economic news before the bell today. ADP reported that the private sector added 298,000 jobs during the month of February, which was well above the consensus expectation for job growth in the 190,000 range.
"February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years," Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. ADP added that 2017 is off to a strong start with private sector job growth totaling 559,000.
Mark Zandi, the chief economist over at Moody's Analytics, summed the situation up nicely by saying, "Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff — tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively."
So, while Ms. Market can and often does do whatever she pleases, it would seem that after four sloppy sessions, the bulls might have received some support this morning.
Thought For The Day:
It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret. -Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Current Market Drivers
We strive to identify the driving forces behind the market action on a daily basis. The thinking is that if we can both identify and understand why stocks are doing what they are doing on a short-term basis; we are not likely to be surprised/blind-sided by a big move. Listed below are what we believe to be the driving forces of the current market (Listed in order of importance).
1. The State of Trump Administration Policies
2. The State of the Fed's Next Move
3. The State of the U.S. Economy
4. The State of Global Central Bank Policies (Think ECB pulling back on QE)
Wishing you green screens and all the best for a great day,
David D. Moenning
Chief Investment Officer
Sowell Management Services
Disclosure: At the time of publication, Mr. Moenning and/or Sowell Management Services held long positions in the following securities mentioned: none. Note that positions may change at any time.
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