In Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony today he was quoted as saying,
"The relationship between the slack in the economy or unemployment and inflation.... has gone away."
Uh, wait a minute. Did you see the prints for inflation and jobless claims today. Jobless claims were very strong, as was inflation.
Really, when I saw those numbers I was in shock. They are cutting rates and inflation just hit a 1.5 year high. Something's not quite right.
Let's See The Data
Here's weekly jobless claims.
Lower means stronger; ie less job-LESS claims = Less of less = more jobs.
Let's see inflation.
While jobs are getting stronger, month-over-month core CPI also hit its highest in a year and a half and really equal to its highest in years.
So it's a bit ironic that the day Fed chair says there's no more correlation between jobs and inflation we see strong jobs drive strong inflation.
And A Rate Cut?
This is a very strange set up. If I were to tell you ahead of the Fed chair appearing in front of Congress that jobs numbers and inflation numbers were going to be blow out, what would you expect the Fed chair to say?
I would not expect him to sound more dovish.
And You Are Seeing Bonds and Yields React
Above is (NASDAQ:TLT). You see it getting hit on the Fed comments. This raises yields.
Higher inflation leading to higher yields is a market risk.
A Fed cutting rates in the face of stronger inflation and jobs is a risk that inflation could skip higher. That risks bond prices and stock prices.
What's The Risk?
This is only one month. But a strange one. I've been in this business a little while. Higher inflation and strong jobs are not reasons to lower rates. If anything, they are reasons to raise rates.
If these numbers continue strong, cutting rates now can exacerbate the rise in these data metrics. Then the Fed will have to reverse course and raise rates which is a market risk.
We had an extremely ironic turn of events between the Fed saying the inflation-unemployment relationship no longer matters. That's exactly the day that the data reported in lockstep. That's a day after the Fed talked about lowering rates. Something's not quite right.
Normally I'm speaking about tech. I do make market calls for subscribers daily. But this news today impelled me to write about it publicly.
Very ironic today.
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