Inflation had some good news on Friday. Services, which represents about 75% of the economy saw a drop in the ISM price survey. Services is what the Fed's watching most and it dropped in a report at 10 am on Friday. Even though the initial stock market reaction was negative, the stock market closed strong, I think due in part to this services price print.
The above was reported on Friday at 10 am.
CPI and PCE are both reported sequential, versus last month, which is what the market probably cares about most.
So ISM manufacturing prices were up in February but ISM services prices, just reported, slowed from January balancing the forces for the next CPI print, Tuesday, March 14th.
That ISM Services Price print was a very very welcome piece of news and to me very bullish. Yes, you know I don't use the term very unless I think very more nearer term.
That was a 'very' berry on Friday.
And guess who's on deck to speak?
The Fed-head himself, Chair Powell speaks to Congress Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am. Tuesday's what matters. Usually everything that matters to the stock market is covered early on.
And I believe he is hand-cuffed and forced not to disagree with 25bp increments for now because 1) he just saw that lovely ISM price print and 2) they are already at 25s and can't move off 25 unless they are forced to with terrible numbers and 3) They need to wait and see the March 14th CPI print first anyway if they wanted to make any (yes) drastic changes like back to 50 basis point increments.
So I don't believe he will say anything new this week to Congress except that the economy is good, that he's watching jobs, inflation is in a trajectory lower (disinflation), 'we're data dependent' and 'we're doing a good job,' please pay me.
We were out bullish ahead of Fed Day February 1st of this year. The market jumped on his speaking and we followed up confirming our bullishness. Since then CPI and PCE both printed high so it's fair Powell may have to adjust. But so far the majority of Fed comments since those high inflation prints only called for 25bp hikes. I doubt he goes against that just yet. I've said we have a window at 25bp hikes which can be good for the stock market.
SPY held its 200-day at 393 very nicely and has been turning up from there. If Powell plays nice Tuesday which I expect, it looks like more upside follow through potentially for the stock market.
To get our live reactions to Powell on Tuesday try Elazar's Fed & Tech Trader Chat with a free trial click here (Market, Bitcoin calls, Big-cap stock calls like AAPL and TSLA, macro and commodity calls, all in one.)
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