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Dow Volatility Started with Huawei News

We had another very volatile day today on Wall Street, and it really got started last night with the news of the arrest in Canada of the CFO of the Chinese company, Huawei. Her father is the founder of the company and a very prominent, powerful and influential man in China and this set the mood.  the Dow futures dropped initially, I think about 500 points as soon as the story broke.  Obviously, anything that may throw a monkey wrench in the supposed deal that was made over dinner, mano a mano, down in South America between Trump and Xi.  So this caused some problems.

Dow Down About 780 on the Lows

The market clawed its way back; I think we were down maybe 200 and change, but then we started selling off early in the morning and when the Dow Jones opened up, we were down maybe about 400-500 very quickly and we sold off almost down to 800 points. The Dow was down about 780 points on the lows.  This is following yesterday’s market holiday honoring the memory of the late President George Herbert Walker Bush. That day of mourning, however did not do anything to stop the carnage on Wall Street.

Market Clawed its Way Back on Fed “Wait and See” News

What it took was an article that came out later in the day in the Wall Street Journal.  That article basically said that the Fed was considering a new “Wait and See” strategy after the December rate hike. And the odds of a December rate hike, which are coming up, the probability is about 75%, which is lower than it was, so there is still a chance that the Fed does not hike in December. But according to the Wall Street Journal doesn’t take place immediately.  This is after the December hike. So for 2019, the article suggests that maybe there’ll be even fewer rate hikes than the markets believed.

Debt Service Costs Creating a Drag

Everything was weak until we got this news from the Fed that turned a lot of the tech stocks around and got the market moving higher. I don’t think this does anything, because, it doesn’t take the December rate hike off the table, and if the Fed raises rates in December, then all the problems that already exist because of higher rates, will be bigger. This means mortgage rates will be going up. Debt service costs will go up. One of the big drags on the economy now is that debt service costs have gone up. So if the Fed adds to that pain by following through with another rate hike in December, it will be just another weight on the economy’s back. The Fed is still talking about raising rates in 2019 – they’re saying one more, and we’re going to wait and see.