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An All Too Brief, Blissfully Boring Week for the S&P 500

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After all the fireworks of volatility over the last several weeks, the second week of trading in September 2019 saw precious little for the S&P 500 (Index: SPX), which closed up for the entire week by less than 1% from the previous week’s close.

All the action during the week was fully consistent with investors being closely focused on 2020-Q1 in setting current day stock prices, as suggested by our alternate futures spaghetti chart.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2019Q3 - Standard Model - Snapshot on 13 Sep 2019

The reason for that was an outbreak of relatively good news, which has reduced the odds of future Fed rate cuts in upcoming months. As of the close of trading on Friday, 13 September 2019, the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is projecting quarter point rate cuts at the conclusion of the Fed’s upcoming meetings this week, and again in December 2019. But whether there will be another in 2020-Q1 has become an open question, which is why investors would continue to be focusing on that particular distant future quarter:

CME Group FedWatch Tool Probabilities of Federal Funds Rate Changing at Future FOMC Meeting Dates, Snapshot on 13 September 2019

We said there was an outbreak of good news, and we meant it! Here are the headlines that caught our attention during the less-than-volatile week that was:

Monday, 9 September 2019
  • Wall Street ends flat amid rate hopes, tech declines
  • Tuesday, 10 September 2019
  • Wall Street mixed as investors flee growth for value
  • Wednesday, 11 September 2019
  • Bigger stimulus developing in China all over:
  • Trump reverses course, seeks negative rates from Fed ‘boneheads’
  • Trade hopes buoy Wall Street as China extends olive branch
  • Thursday, 12 September 2019
  • Bigger trouble developing all over:
  • Bigger stimulus developing all over:
  • Denmark’s central bank cuts key interest rate to historic low
  • BOJ considering ways to deepen negative rates at minimal cost: sources
  • Chinese and U.S. officials will meet next week to discuss trade: Xinhua
  • Wall Street ends higher on trade, ECB stimulus hopes
  • Friday, 13 September 2019
  • S&P ends lower as Apple weighs, trade tensions ease
  • Elsewhere, Barry Ritholtz listed six positives and six negatives he found in the week’s economics and market-related news over at the Big Picture.

    Given overseas events, we’re afraid the upcoming week will be quite different.


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