"The punchbowl remains on the table, the record player keeps spinning tunes — and the party’s still lively."
That's from John Stoltzfus, the chief market strategist at Oppenheimer, summing up the state of the market.
And it really doesn't get any simpler.
In the view of market participants, nothing has changed to derail the more than five-year-old bull market.
The economic data is solid, and it's showing no signs at all of a slowdown.
But the economic data isn't so hot that the Fed has to tighten. And the Fed has given no indication that it plans to remove the punchbowl (raise rates). In fact, last week Janet Yellen suggested that the unemployment rate was overstating the strength of the labor market and that the rising pace of inflation was just "noise."
Incidentally, Morgan Stanley strategist Joachim Fels says that Yellen's use of the word "noise" to describe the latest inflation data could go down as one of the most important Fed utterances in years.
In my book, this five-letter word could become one of the most important (and shortest) code words or phrases that central bankers have used in the past few years. It might well end up alongside other important code words such as “strong vigilance”, “whatever it takes”, “extended period” and “measured pace”.
And so the music spins, and the party is lively. And stocks are expected to rise and rise.
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