Today we’ll be keying off only one market tell: the scheduled Federal Reserve rate cut decision.
I’ve been following a simple model of the Fed’s actions: approximation of the 90 day US government T-Bond yield. At yesterday’s close, the 3 month US Treasury Bond’s yield was 2.280% and in overnight trading they were a bit lower at 2.20% (last time I checked).
Here’s a recent graph comparing it with the Fed rate (in blue):
If only they’d listened to me when I suggested they cut, way back in the summer of 2007!
The Fed is now way behind the curve and in a desperate (some say futile), last ditch effort to forestall a recession in the US economy. I know this sounds crazy but they would have to cut 125 basis points to bring the Fed target rate in line with the bond market - see above graph.
The odds are that we will get a generous rate cut. But probably not that generous. According to Federal Fund futures, we have more than a 70% chance of a 50 basis point cut and about a 30% chance of a quarter point cut. But really, no one knows what the Fed will decide.
All I know is at 2:14 pm today, the futures will go nuts. Since the market is clearly expecting (and needs atleast) a 50 basis point cut, anything less will be a major disappointment. If we get anything more, we could be riding a rocket. The market is clearly in a very oversold condition and a catalyst like an unexpectedly larger rate cut would be all it needs to recover. If we do get exactly 50 basis points, we could flail around and end the day unchanged for the most part.
In any case, the first directional jab is usually a head fake, or has been in the past. So unless you really really have to don’t trade around the decision time.
If you do, just know the risks. Including the risk of losing internet connectivity, losing power, etc. Believe me, you don’t want to be stuck in a position that can move against you mercilessly unless you have planned for every contingency.
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