2 reasons why the Fed may keep raising rates

The equities
markets posted solid gains last week
, as the Dow was also able to post a modest
breakout. The bulk of the gains took place on Tuesday with the catalyst for the
strength being the release of March’s Fed Minutes report, which suggested that
the Fed was nearing the end of their tightening cycle. This news sent stocks
firmly higher and shorts scrambled to cover their bearish bets. Despite
Tuesday’s announcement, Tech shares struggled for the remainder of the week due
to a number of lackluster earnings reports. Bellwethers Intel, Apple, Juniper, Novellus and SanDisk all had disappointing reports, which caused the NASDAQ to
significantly under perform. Meanwhile, Energy shares continued their winning
ways, as crude oil finished the week above $75 per barrel.

There was a
lot of market-moving news for market players to digest over the last 5 trading
sessions. Not only did we have a full schedule of earnings reports, but there
were several critical economic reports, as well as several important comments
made by Fed officials. Also, commodity prices continued their rally, with gold,
oil, copper and silver all recording multi-decade highs (copper and oil are at
all-time highs). Clearly, there were many crosscurrents to navigate when
trading in recent days.

stepping back and looking at the big picture, I still can’t help but remain
concerned over the possibility of the Fed continuing beyond what most market
players expects. We have seen endless “one and done” rallies over the last year
(i.e. one more rate hike and the Fed is done), but obviously the Fed has
continued on with 15 straight rate hikes. There are two main reasons why the Fed
may continue to raise rates. First, many economists expect Q1 GDP to be around
5%, while corporate profit growth has remained strong. Second, commodity prices
have continued higher in the face of these hikes, which has to cause one to
question whether inflation is contained. One would have to assume that the Fed
could be becoming nervous over the lack of impact that recent rate increases is
having with regard to commodity prices and economic expansion. This, in turn,
may cause them to keep tightening beyond what is necessary in order to show they
are in control of inflation. Unless something changes, it would not be
surprising to see a further correction in the market near-term.

Daily Pivots for 4-24-06

Symbol Pivot R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3
INDU 11356.71 11396.62 11445.80 11485.71 11307.53 11267.62 11218.44
SPX 1311.85 1317.10 1322.93 1328.18 1306.02 1300.77 1294.94
ES M6 1317.67 1323.33 1329.67 1335.33 1311.33 1305.67 1299.33
SP M6 1317.60 1323.20 1329.40 1335.00 1311.40 1305.80 1299.60
YM M6 11400.00 11441.00 11489.00 11530.00 11352.00 11311.00 11263.00
BKX 108.56 108.96 109.41 109.81 108.11 107.71 107.26
SOX 521.66 528.00 537.57 543.91 512.09 505.75 496.18

Please feel free to email me with any questions
you might have, and have a great trading week!

Chris Curran


Chris Curran started his trading career at the
age of 22 with a national brokerage firm. He combines fundamental and technical
analysis to get the big picture on the market. Chris has been trading for 15
years, starting full time in 1997, and has never had a losing year as a
full-time trader.