Ignorance and apathy may be a potent combination, but, as the old joke goes, I don’t know and I don’t care. So, if my bashing of Powell hadn’t reached fever pitch yet — comparing him to Fauci in yesterday’s column was a little offside, even for me — this morning on CNBC we had St. Louis Fed President James Bullard noting that inflation is “more intense than expected” causing the Fed to “tilt a little more hawkish.”
How can these people just constantly miss everything? I will tell you how. They don’t live in the real world. They aren’t hamstrung financially by the horrible consequences of unchecked inflation the way the rest of the American populace is.
Inflation hurts. To be sure, it hurts some more rapidly than others, but unelected technocrats like Bullard and Powell will never learn. It would seem they don’t care to, although they are spouting more woke cliches lately, especially Yellen. I would like to ignore them all, but I know that Mr. Market never does.
That’s the setup as we reach the end of the first half of 2021. Options traders know that fiscal months end on different days than the calendar months do, and today’s quadruple witching for stocks essentially represents the end of the first half of the trading year. What is the setup for the second half?
Well, first one has to analyze the first half. As of Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 had posted a 12.83% gain year-to-date. While futures trading is indicating a marked decline in Friday’s expiration-added trading, it will still go in the books as a very strong first half for equities.
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