What a year!
In just the last 34 days the stock market has risen 12%. But the 56 days prior to that the market dropped 16%. And the 60 days prior to that the market rose 17%. For the entire year so far, the market, as measured by the S&P 500 stock index, is still down 16%. In previous dispatches, we have said that stock markets will probably not turn around – pivot – until the Federal Reserve or inflation shows signs of turning around. During the last month we have had such two small indications. The most recent Consumer Price Index report showed that inflation was slowing down – a hair. Today, the Producer Price Index, that is, the prices received by mostly manufactures, also showed an indication that inflation may have peaked. These two measurements have spurred market activity. Perhaps ironically, the recent midterm elections have had negligible impact.