Friday, February 19, 2010

Sentiment Holds Steady

As I tried to stress yesterday the Fed change does not change anything intrinsically. The raise in the discount rate is symbolic. So the question was, is this going to affect sentiment.

So far today the answer is no. After the Fed announcement futures promptly tanked over 1%. Asia was down over 2%. This all reversed as the Fed went on a marketing campaign explaining to everyone what "the Fed did and did not mean." Several Fed governors spoke, Bernanke spoke this morning, many interviews with former Fed governors on various media outlets and they successfully succeeded in convincing everyone this really did not mean anything.

If you remember, they lowered the discount rate compared to the Fed funds rate in August 2007. Then the markets were in a panic (that got calmed allowing the markets to go to new highs before the market rolled over for good) and the Fed shocked everyone by lowering the discount rate right before the market open. There of course the purpose was to make it look like a major deal and a major shock and the market soared.

Like I said, it is all about sentiment. It didn't matter in 2007 and fundamentally this didn't matter yesterday evening but the Fed was able to manipulate the sentiment in the short term for the purposes they wanted to achieve.

Going into today the question was if the Fed would be able to do that or would sentiment change? Answer appears like it was a successful day for the Fed and an massively overbought market is becoming more overbought.

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