What can we expect from the markets this week given the Fed meeting?
September was supposed to be a bad month for stocks. It’s been great so far, but is the Fed about to change all that?
Since the early 1970s, the benchmark S&P 500 index has lost an average of 0.52% in September. But this time, it’s different – since the start of the month, the index is up 3.3%.
The sector leading the charge is industrials, which is up over 4%. In fact, all sectors are up except one; Utilities are down 0.4% in September.
For the year, every sector is up, some substantially more than others. Health care is up 27% since the start of 2013, followed by consumer discretionary stocks (up 26%). The only two sectors up in the single-digits are telecom (4%) and utilities (6%).
But, hanging over the horizon are the potentially volatile clouds of the Federal Reserve Bank’s next move. Its Board of Governors meets tomorrow and the market is expecting they will move to taper its $85 billion per month bond-buying program (known as “quantitative easing”). This policy has the Fed purchasing US Treasury and mortgage bonds, lowering bond yields (and, thus interest rates) and adding cash into the financial system.
It is believed by some that recent historically lows in interest rates and more cash in the economy helped push the markets to its record highs. But, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted back in May that the Fed could taper quantitative easing with improved economic data, the market began to contemplate a world with less future dollars in the system and higher interest rates. Nonetheless, the S&P 500 is just 1% away from its April record highs.
Coupled with taper talk is the race for the new Fed Chief. Yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration because he thought he would have an "acrimonious" battle with members of congress during the nomination process. While Summers was considered a “dove” on monetary policy, he was still believed to be a little more hawkish than Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, the person now considered the leading candidate. Summers'' withdrawal led to a rally in Asian markets overnight.
So, what can we expect from the markets this week given the Fed meeting?
CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, Chairwoman and Founder of Chantico Global, looks at the market’s fundamentals. On the charts for the S&P 500 is Jonathan Krinsky, Chief Technical Market Analyst at Miller Tabak.
What should we be on the lookout for this week? Watch the video above to see Sanchez and Krinsky analyze the market’s next move.
More from Talking Numbers: