three steps ballNo one has a crystal ball to predict which way the stock market will zig or zag, but plenty of folks have theories. For example, technical analyst Edson Gould developed a market rule of thumb known as ‘three steps and a stumble.’ It states stock prices may fall after the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises the Fed funds rate three times in a row without a decline, according to Market Technicians Association. [1]

The idea is three increases show the Fed is serious about keeping rates at a relatively high level for a significant length of time. Higher interest rates could potentially mean higher costs and lower profits for businesses. As a result, stock investors may sell shares and share prices may fall. [2]

Last week, with employment and inflation data approaching Fed targets, the Federal Open Market Committee raised rates for the third time, pushing the Fed funds target rate into the 0.75 percent to 1 percent range, reported Financial Times: [3]

“Fed policymakers’ forecasts for growth and inflation remained little changed, with growth tipped to be 2.1 percent this year and next year, slipping to 1.9 percent in 2019. Core inflation is set to be 1.9 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in the two following years. The possibility of looser fiscal policy emerging from Congress has triggered speculation that the central bank will have to further accelerate its rate-rising campaign, but a number of policymakers are insistent that they want to see firmer plans emerging from Congress before making a call on the impact of possible tax cuts on the economy.”

How well is Mr. Gould’s theory holding up this time around? Well, major U.S. stock market indices haven’t stumbled yet. They finished the week higher, as did most markets in Europe and Asia. [4] MarketWatch indicated Asian markets were encouraged by indications the Fed may not increase rates as often as expected this year, [5] and CNBC reported European markets were boosted by a better-than-expected outcome for mainstream parties in Dutch elections. [6]

While financial theories can be fascinating, when it comes to investing your hard-earned money, be mindful that trying to predict short-term market zigs and zags probably won’t get you any closer to realizing your financial goals.

Money Market 3.20

* These are the general views of Jonathan DeYoe and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* The original “Weekly Commentary” was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Jonathan DeYoe is a member of Peak Advisor Alliance and adds, subtracts and edits before publishing.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* “Three Steps and NO Stumble . . .”

Sources:

[1] https://www.mta.org/kb/three-steps-and-a-stumble/
[2] http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/three+steps+and+stumble+rule
[3] https://www.ft.com/content/6723f69c-09a4-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_FinancialTimes-Fed_Increases_Interest_Rates_as_Inflation_Pressures_Loom-Footnote_3.pdf)
[4] http://www.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html (click on U.S. & Intl Recaps, select “The central banks have spoken,” and scroll down to the Global Stock Market Recap) (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_Barrons-Global_Stock_Market_Recap-Footnote_4.pdf)
[5] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-roar-to-life-after-fed-hikes-rates-2017-03-15
[6] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/16/markets-cheer-dutch-election-results-but-future-elections-cause-concern.html
[7] https://www.ft.com/content/71e8c01e-fac0-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_FinancialTimes-Burgers_and_Mircrochips_on_the_Menu_for_US_Fast-food_Chains-Footnote_7.pdf)
[8] http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chowbotics-raises-5-million-for-bringing-robotics-to-the-food-industry-300420903.html
[9] http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Demographic-trends-illustrate-importance-of-foreig
[10] http://www.success.com/mobile/article/19-inspiring-quotes-from-ncaa-basketballs-greatest-coaches

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