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Afternoon Note

Tempering Enthusiasm

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
1/31/2024 1:33 PM

The hit comedy show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” begins next week, and it makes me wonder if Jay Powell will take a hint today, and maybe temper some of the excitement he triggered three months ago.

The announcement of three rate cuts in 2024 sent the stock market soaring and it hasn’t looked back.

Bonds initially exhibited as much or more enthusiasm as stocks, then sobered up a bit, but have regained their upward bias coming into today’s meeting.

Speaking of sobering: lots of data out this morning.

From the employment cost index, the Fed looks at private worker wages, excluding incentive paid occupation over three months on an annualized basis.

That figure is coming down fast and below the 2018-2019 average.

The report could be fodder for the soft-landing camp (see decline in CPI is faster) but maybe not the corporate earnings camp.

Speaking of earnings -

The big stock market story of the day is mega cap growth under pressure, especially the Magnificent Seven, which lost $300 billion in market cap during the first hour of trading (that’s equal to the entire value of Nike (NKE) and Pfizer (PFE) combined).

It’s not a terrible day – I thought it would be down even more.

On that note, I suspect Powell pours some cold water on the enthusiasm during his Q&A session.


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