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OPINION

All Talk…What’s the Action?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Midway through the most notorious month of the year (most dangerous has been September), due to the previous high profile market crashes, there’s a sense of a turnaround. However, last week was all the more impressive as the bounce came with little fanfare or hype, and no particular news as a catalyst. However, after 1400 sessions without a correction, the market has to start new upside trends.

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For the Dow Jones Industrial Average that means getting back to 18,000 as the old trend line that held as support for years is now going to be formidable resistance.

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If the Federal Reserve holds the future of the economy and the stock market in their collective hands; maybe we’ll get a better sense of our fate this week; and maybe we won’t. These folks talk a lot and it makes me long for the Greenspan era, when it only mattered what the “Maestro” had to say, even if we never truly understood what he was saying.

Today, we’ll hear from three voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which could set the tone for the rest of the week. As I have said in the past, it’s about doves becoming hawks and vice-versa. When I see analysts use reiterations of existing positions to bolster their own, I know it’s a waste of time or an exercise in psyching themselves out.

I want everyone to print out the table above to use as a Rosetta Stone for Fed-speak. The thing to remember, and understand, is nothing Fed members say matters unless it goes against their own embedded leanings. The reason I mention this is because most of financial media has got caught up in saying so-and-so just made dovish comments, that’s why the market is higher, or hawkish comments and that’s why the market is lower.

That’s not true. If a hawk makes hawkish comments so be it, but if you want insight on the next Fed move, look for member to have their own epiphanies.

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The first of three Fed officials has spoken this morning and it’s clear the intense focus on the next move is taking a toll on the committee.

Apparently in a question and answer segment, Lockhart said the questions about whether the Fed will or will not raise interest rates this year, "has become the O.J. Simpson trial of monetary policy."

It’s not clear if we’ll see Lockhart riding down the street in a white Bronco before it’s all said and done, but as a dove still committed to a rate hike, it means the Fed will try its best to get in at least one hike in 2015. If the market can handle this comment, and any others that lean to a hike, it will be a buy signal. But note, today’s session needs an asterisk as the bond market is closed and many traders stayed home (traffic was a breeze this morning).

With the banks and the bond market closed in observance of Columbus Day, we should see thin volume, but this will be an eventual week that needs to pick up on last week’s rally.


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