Wealth Watch: Quarterly Options Expiration and Fed Meeting Leading to Market Uncertainty

Wealth Watch: Quarterly Options Expiration and Fed Meeting Leading to Market Uncertainty

June 17, 2021

From the desk of Vance Howard:

The Fed meeting yesterday shed a bit of light on the current monetary situation with inflation rising. We are somewhat concerned that inflation and inflation expectations are running above the Fed’s long-term target of 2%, but we have not hit maximum employment yet. We think the Fed should not be overly concerned with a low-2s inflation expectation-reading for a quarter or two. 

However, if inflation persists or moves higher, the Fed will need to react.  The Fed is assuming inflationary pressures are largely transitory and that long-term inflation expectations will be well-anchored around 2%. So, the Treasury market needs to prepare for higher short-term rates, but ultimately the Fed will not let inflation get out of control, which could temper any rise in longer-term yields.

The data points this week hardly seem to support strengthening inflationary conditions.  In fact, look at some of the commodities below:

- Lumber rolling over
- Copper might be rolling over
- Producer Price Index ex-food ex-Energy at +0.7% vs 0.5% 



So, from the market's perspective, the FOMC is not on its heels if it continues to suggest "transitory" inflation.  In any case, I do not have a strong view on market direction this week.

Also, this week:

- single stock option expiration
- single stock futures expirations
- index option expiration
- index futures expiration

This happens four times per year and will cause some unusual trading this week.


Vance Howard

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