Wall Street cheerleaders like to claim that the tapering of Fed asset purchases is not equivalent to the tightening of monetary policy. But the markets are clearly telling investors something different. Year-to-date the S&P 500 is down about 4% — not horrific for one month but stocks are certainly not following last year’s upside performance. The economic data such as durable goods, initial jobless claims, personal income, and housing sales have all shown a distinctive weakening trend.
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