Because the issue is credit, the Federal Reserve is involved in appeasing equity investors. I don’t recall a time when the central bank acted so fast to placate the needs of the stock market.
Many are talking about an interest rate decrease within the next month. I guess this will help investor psychology the most. There’s still a lot of inflation in this economy, but the needs of investors seem to be more important. Of course, there’s the housing market, which also needs propping up. Perhaps the central bank will stay the course and let the economy return to its equilibrium on its own.
Stock market reaction to changes in economic fundamentals is super-quick these days. So if we do get an interest rate reduction in September, I don’t see why stock prices can’t reaccelerate in the fourth quarter.
I’m still wary about taking on new equity positions right now. My gut feeling is that we’re still in for it. Technically speaking, if the S&P 500 Index were to fall much further, it would break its solid upward trend that been a winner over the past four years. The stock market isn’t particularly expensive now; the only issue it has is a matter of confidence.
There are lots of good investment opportunities in the marketplace at this time, but I have to say that there are very few great opportunities. Now that earnings season is over, the stock market can only worry about things. This is why I don’t expect any potential reacceleration until we get into third quarter earnings season. A cut in the Fed Funds rate and third quarter earnings results should be enough to get things moving again.