Mid-week market update: Stock prices have been rallying as it hit a trifecta of good news. First, a compromise seems to have been made on the avoidance of another government shutdown. As well, Trump has been making encouraging noises about a US-China trade agreement. Either both sides could come to an understanding on or before the March 1 deadline, or the deadline will be extended, which is a sign of progress. Should the announcement of a definitive time and date of a Trump-Xi meeting, that would be an encouraging signal that an agreement has been made, and the formal signing ceremony would occur at the summit.

Lastly, Reuters reported that the Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester stated the Fed is finalizing plans on scaling back or completely eliminating its program to reduce its balance sheet, otherwise known as quantitative easing:
The Federal Reserve will chart plans to stop letting its bond holdings roll off “at coming meetings,” Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Tuesday, signaling another major policy shift for the Fed after pausing interest rate hikes.

“At coming meetings, we will be finalizing our plans for ending the balance-sheet runoff and completing balance-sheet normalization,” Mester said in remarks prepared for delivery in Cincinnati. “As we have done throughout the process of normalization, we will make these plans and the rationale for them known to the public in a timely way because transparency and accountability are basic tenets of appropriate monetary policymaking.”
As a consequence, the SPX is breaking out above its 200 day moving average (dma) and approaching resistance at about the 2800 level.


I have been bullish about the likely prospect for a Sino-American trade deal (see Why there will be a US-China trade deal March 1 and The Art of the Deal meets the Art of the Possible). Should we see news of a trade deal, but that event may represent the short-term peak of good news. After all this, what other bullish developments can you think of that could propel stock prices to further highs?

The full post can be found here.




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