Market begging for FOMC mercy
Another weak session on Wall Street saw the S&P 500 close at the lowest level since October 2017. Will the Federal Reserve prove willing to pull a dove or two out of its hat, or is Powell determined to hit neutral?
Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning. It has been downgraded to Category 1, but the sheer size of the storm suggests flooding will be like that of a Category 4 storm.
The storm, however, has not blown any ill winds onto Wall Street. The major indices have added to this week’s gains in early trading despite weaker-than-expected Retail Sales data. CPI and Core CPI were below consensus forecasts, but upward revisions to the July report offset the disappointment. Wall Street is emboldened by the mild thaw in US/China trade relations sparked by reports of a new round of discussions in the next few weeks. Pre-weekend profit-taking may limit gains today.
Chart: change in retail sales