Tax collections improved in October, but are still well below pre-pandemic levels. The US may look like it’s recovering, but it’s still in the hole it dug when Covid19 first hit. That means that Fed policy isn’t likely to change any time soon.
And it also means that we should expect a stimulus package of some kind, at some point. With the uncertainties surrounding a divided government regardless of whether a new Administration takes over, guessing how much stimulus there will be, and its timing, is a fool’s errand. The one thing that we do know is that whenever it comes, the bigger it is, the more bearish it will be.
And if they spend the $1.7 trillion on hand mostly to pay down debt, that would be very bullish.
Meanwhile, economic data is useful for guessing what Fed policy will be, and under normal circumstances might be useful for making an educated guess about fiscal policy. It’s not possible to translate this data directly into an expected market outcome. It always comes down to measuring the strength and persistence of the trend through technical analysis, and more direct liquidity inputs, such as the PONTs. That’s essentially the difference between the quantity of Fed QE versus the amount of new Treasury issuance.
This data gives us an outline of where the economy really stands, and what it means for the outlook for stocks and bonds.
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