"Overall, the Federal Reserve has many effective tools to tighten monetary policy when the economic outlook requires us to do so. As my colleagues and I have stated, however, economic conditions are not likely to warrant tighter monetary policy for an extended period. We will calibrate the timing and pace of any future tightening, together with the mix of tools to best foster our dual objectives of maximum employment and price stability."
Ben Bernanke is proving himself to be a masterful politician. I'm sure you noticed that the above quote from today's WSJ doesn't really say anything. Bernanke is giving testimony at the Humphrey Hawkins hearings this week, starting today, and got in front of the pack by writing an OpEd piece for the Journal today, assuring everyone that he does have a plan.
It is working for now. Futures are up a little but the flood of earnings continues so that will change one way or another.
The market - U.S. equities - is up year to date. I'm going to keep writing that because it sure doesn't feel like it and it seems like nobody is talking about it.
Intel has the playbook. With growth very scarce, Intel has turned to managing its balance sheet. They announced last night that they will issue $1.5 billion in convertible bonds and use the proceeds principally to buy back stock. If you're a value investor you probably love this. Growth? Not much here.
Apple reports tonight. Odds are the they beat and give conservative (silly) guidance, the stock trades down for a week or so then makes another big move.