Stock market marks time for Uncle Ben

Traders await the Oracle of the Fed. So do we. Resistance is futile. Photo: Federal Reserve bank building/public domain

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 — At this precise moment, writing a column on today’s stock market action seems fairly superfluous. The world, and particularly high-frequency traders, seem to be awaiting Ben Bernanke’s pronouncements from on high, due out fairly shortly, and the real action is likely to begin right then. Or half an hour or ten minutes before then, as someone planted in the Government and/or the Federal Reserve invariably tips of the Important People (not you and I) ahead of time so they can take advantage of the trade at our expense.

Markets were strongly up Monday and Tuesday, anticipating that Uncle Ben would issue soothing, benign words, indicating that the Federal government’s money printing presses would continue to crank out Benjamins indefinitely, enabling the Fed to buy most bonds in existence for a few more months as both Washington and its friends in Japan and the EU attempt to inflate our collective way out of the mess that the fat cats caused, starting circa 2005.

Today, though, markets are more iffy. If the upcoming oracle proves to have a positive spin, the mini-rally could resume. If it can be remotely interpreted as negative, we’ll likely experience another Wile E. Coyote moment on our way down to the canyon floor far below.

In any event, predicting what Ben says, and then predicting what markets will do on top of that is a fool’s errand, and we don’t feel like carrying it out.

So let’s just sit tight and see what happens. Above all, let’s not commit any new cash.

If something cataclysmic happens, we’ll update this article later in the day. But right now, we’re simply going to sign off and wait for Valhalla to make its move.

SEE RELATED: Wall Street’s ‘Hindenburg Omen’: A lot of hot air?

Disclaimer: The author of this column maintains several active trading and investment portfolios and owns residential and investment real estate.

Positions mentioned above describe this author’s own investment decisions and should not be construed as either buy or sell recommendations. The current market is highly treacherous and all investors travel at their own risk, so caution should be exercised at all times.

Illustrations, charts, commentary, and analysis are only the author’s view of current or historical market activity and don’t constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security or contract. Views, indications, and analysis aren’t necessarily predictive of any future market or government action. Rather they indicate the author’s opinion as to a range of possibilities that may occur going forward.

References to other reporters, analysts, pundits, or commentators are illustrative only and do not necessarily represent an endorsement of such individuals’ points of view. If specific investment vehicles are mentioned in any article under this column heading, the author will always fully disclose any active or contemplated investments in said vehicles.

SEE RELATED: Fear the taper: What’s really behind the REIT decline

Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

Follow Terry on Twitter @terryp17


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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, movies and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was formerly the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2009) before moving online with Communities in 2010.  



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