US stocks are hovering near record highs as investors remain optimistic that a slower labor market recovery and transitory inflation will allow the Fed to keep pumping up the economy. It will take a lot more hotter-than-expected inflation reports to move the needle that this increase in inflation will be temporary. This week, Fed’s Quarles noted that they have significant ways to go to full employment and Brainard emphasized that the economy is far from the Fed’s goals with risks on both sides.
Today, Fed’s Harker, Bostic, Evans, and Kaplan will speak. Harker is in the camp that doesn’t have outsized concerns on inflation. He did shift his stance on talking about tapering asset purchases. On May 11th he said it was premature to talk about tapering and then on May 21st he noted that they should speak about reducing bond buys sooner than later. Bostic is in wait-in-see-mode and believes the Fed will have clearer signals in September. Last week, Evans noted he has not seen anything to change his support for the Fed’s stance. Kaplan is now the hawkish member and is leading the charge for the Fed to start discussing tapering.
Wall Street is waiting for a catalyst to trigger the inevitable move higher with Treasury yields, which would allow the dollar to tentatively rebound. Some more willingness to begin the discussion over tapering asset purchases could provide some pressure on bonds, but it will take some blockbuster nonfarm payroll reports, hotter-than-expected inflation readings, and signals from corporate America that pricing pressures are not easing.
Bitcoin steadies, Dogecoin debut
Now that Bitcoin has shown some strong signs of stabilizing above the USD30,000 level, long-term investors are adding onto their positions, while some of the more active traders are dipping their toes in the water. Right now, the majority of Wall Street is on standby until Friday’s nonfarm payroll report, so Meme stock mania and cryptocurrency trading could have little resistance.
Bitcoin’s biggest problem remains regulation and the latest paper from the ECB indicates pressure is growing for countries to develop their digital coins otherwise they may face threats to their financial systems and monetary autonomy. Crypto assets are mostly rallying today, but unless the rebound lasts through Friday, serious money will likely remain on the sidelines.
Dogecoin is rallying in anticipation of its debut on coinbase. Still nowhere near the levels seen before the lead-up to Elon Musk’s appearance on SNL. This dogecoin bounce comes during a period where the cryptoverse is seeing a consolidation of positions, so we should not be surprised if this recent surge fizzles or if it makes another attempt at the moon.