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Markets

(New York)

On the one hand the market looks very healthy (new all-time highs every day), but if you look more deeply there are some signs of dysfunction that appear as though they may spill out into the biggest indexes. Demand for risk assets looks quite weak. Consider for instance that the Russell 2000 is hurting even as large caps rise. Similarly, junk bonds are not doing well despite the seeming risk-on environment. Both of those developments show that liquidity is lacking. “Small caps are more sensitive to liquidity issues, both good and bad”, says a market strategist.


FINSUM: The weakness is small caps and junk bonds shows that more investors are sitting on the sidelines right now, but that does not necessarily mean trouble more broadly.

(Washington)

The Fed has historically been the level-headed kid at the party, always trying to calm things down when they got out of hand. But that appears to no longer be the case, as Powell surprised even the most dovish investors with his very soft statements last week. What comes next may shock markets—some think the Fed will make a rare 50 bp cut in their July meeting. How the market would react is anyone’s guess (likely positive initially). “Historically the Fed has wanted shock and awe when they ease”, says the CIO of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management.


FINSUM: The Fed seems like it wants to go big, despite the fact that unemployment is at record low levels and prices are stable. The central bank clearly wants to keep the bull market rolling.

(Washington)

Goldman Sachs thinks the Dollar might be in a for big surprise. On top of his grumbling about the Fed not lowering rates quickly enough, President Trump has been tweeting about the unfair advantage that other countries have in lowering their value against the Dollar. Trump apparently wants a weak Dollar to help the US compete more effectively in the global economy. Accordingly, Goldman Sachs think there is a good chance that Trump uses some special tool to intervene and weaken the currency, such as through the Treasury department.


FINSUM: This is not as unprecedented as it sounds. Even Powell has said the Treasury is the traditional power in charge of exchange rate policy. This would likely have a big impact on markets.

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