Fed Blackout Period
The Federal Reserve Bank’s no-comment period commenced on Friday at midnight. No Fed members are permitted to speak about economic outlook ahead of the July 31 FOMC meeting, where a 25 basis point interest rate cut is expected after months of unusually strong speculation over the size of the cut.
Last week demonstrated the power that Fed members commentary can have on markets as John Williams, Fed President, made remarks that the market misconstrued as a signal for a 50 basis point cut. The NY Fed then recanted, causing commotion that reached all the way to the White House. President Trump commented, “I like New York Fed President John Williams first statement much better than his second,” referring to remarks that the Fed had raised rates too quickly in years past.
Earning Season’s Biggest Week
133 of the S&P 500 companies report earning this week, with plenty of big names among them, including UPS, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Ford, AT&T, Chipotle, Tesla, and Boeing. To wit, Halliburton beat estimates handily, up 12.5% based on strong international demand.
It’s worth noting that earnings last week and those announced so far today have been markedly better, or at least less bad, than the market had forecasted. The major negative guidance for the second half of the year has not materialized yet in Q2 earnings.