A Big Week of Big News, But Markets Mostly Yawn

In the news business, some weeks are downright slow while others burst at the proverbial seams with breaking headlines.

This week was the latter. You couldn’t turn away from your computer without seemingly missing some important breaking news capable of affecting your money.

There were two major news events this week. One was last night’s U.S. missile strikes against Syria, a move seen as a punitive response to the Assad government’s recent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

The Assad move was widely viewed as a test of President Trump. One that would give us a chance see how, precisely, the new Commander-in-Chief would respond to a provocative incident.

Well, even if you don’t agree with the actions taken by the president Thursday night, you do have to conclude that the action was swift, decisive and rather unambiguous in its message.

There are still a lot of questions that need to be raised about what happens next. But Mr. Trump’s sharp-yet-measured response has put the global community on notice.

Now, normally, we would expect heightened geopolitical risk to cause some reactive selling in markets. And that happened, to some extent, in Thursday’s session.

Remember, markets traded higher for most of yesterday’s session. However, when word hit that a military response in Syria was imminent, it caused a pullback that left stocks well off session highs.

By Friday morning, markets had largely put the Syrian strikes on the shelf. Traders shifted their focus to what was supposed to be the biggest market-moving news of the week …  the March employment report.

While most on Wall Street were expecting job growth during the month to come in around the 175,000 range, the actual data had a different idea.

The Labor Department said new nonfarm payrolls grew by just 98,000 in March. That’s well-below the 200,000-plus jobs added in February and January.

This number was a bit too cold for comfort. Meaning, the data failed to support the thesis that the economy continues to improve at a sufficient pace to justify relatively high stock valuations.

Moreover, the disappointing jobs report should put somewhat of a damper on the recent positive sentiment readings we’ve seen of late.

Metrics such as Pew polls, earnings expectations and other sentiment indicators such as consumer confidence all are calling for blue skies ahead. However, the actual data we keep receiving has plenty of rain clouds.

Still, the hope rally remains largely intact. Yet how much longer can we go without seeing the numbers buttress the sentiment?

First-quarter earnings season starts soon, and in my view, the numbers better be pretty darned good.

If they’re not, then we could be in for a lot of disappointment in the major averages in Q2.

There were two other big news items that took place this week with implications for money and markets.

President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping could be the first move toward a new policy with the Asian superpower. Yet White House officials have tempered expectations here, saying the meeting was mainly to "set the relationship, set the tone," for the next four years.

Finally, on Friday, the Senate voted to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This is important, because the Senate did so via the so-called "nuclear option." This essentially destroys the filibuster rule requiring a 60-vote majority to confirm nominees to the highest court.

The reason this is important is because now the rules of the Senate really don’t exist. And the next step is to kill the filibuster rule for legislation (which is still in place).

If the Senate can basically change its own rules on a whim, then it has no rules. And that means the country’s lawmaking apparatus is basically broken.

More importantly, major legislation now is subject to the whim of a single-vote majority. That’s not good for legal stability …  especially when it comes to legislating major policies (healthcare, taxes, etc.) that affect us all.

What do you think about this wild week of news? Do you approve of the president’s Syria action? What about the jobs data, earnings season and the Senate’s caprice? I want to know what you think, so if you have a comment or question about today’s Afternoon Edition topic, or any of the topics we cover, just leave me a comment on our website or send me an e-mail.

Good luck and happy investing,

Brad Hoppmann
Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “A Big Week of Big News, But Markets Mostly Yawn”

  1. Hi Brad,

    Well ASSUMING Assad’s gas attacks were NOT a false flag, then the missile attack by the US would be justified. HOWEVER, the BIGGER question is if Assad really did this chemical attack on his own men, women and children, you have to ask WHY?? Why would he do this? What would be the motive??? Did he not understand that Trump is NO Obama? and what are the Russians thinking??? These are the REAL questions here and is a clear reason that we have to make sure this was not a false flag of some sort.

  2. Brad, I am writing in regard to the “nuclear option” employed by the Senate to confirm Judge Gorsuch as the newest member of the Supreme Court. The Constitution only requires a 2/3 majority of votes in five instances: impeachment, expulsion of a member, the passage of a bill that was vetoed by the President, ratifying treaties and amendments to the Constitution. All other matters only require a majority of 51 votes. The Constitution does allow the Senate to make its own rules and they decided to make ridiculous ones such as the 60 vote rule, the filibuster, and the nuclear option. I believe this is a big part of the reason why our Congress is “broken” and ineffective.

  3. I don’t care about Syria, I just want someone to explain in terms I can understand, how the Fed works.
    1. Where does the Fed get the money to buy bad paper from a bank?
    2. Now the Fed owns the bad paper.
    3. When it comes time for the Fed to sell off of the trillions of bad paper they bought, who will be the buyer?
    4. How does the Fed cover the cost of bad paper they sell for less than what they paid?

    My simple brain tells me this is a shell game, I just don’t know how it ends. Has this ever been done before?

  4. Brad,
    You do know that Harry Reid and the Dems did the “changing” of the rules some years ago? This current change simply puts the rules back the way things were from the founding of the nation until Dingy Harry screwed them up.
    That McConnell, typically a coward in all things, actually went forward with this is what’s truly amazing!
    Enjoy your emails every day.

  5. Trump’s action in Syria were critically important because it was a clear message to
    North Korea, Iran et al that the President of the US had no hesitation to take decisive action
    under circumstances he believed warranted such action.

    Doing nothing would have sent the worst message ever.

  6. The missile attack will have no effect on Assad. It’s pure political theatre.
    It gets the 24 hour news networks breathlessly talking about war instead
    of Russia and Trump. Trump has flip flopped his view on Syria 180 degrees in
    the last week. Ironic that drowning and starving refugees are refused entry to the U.S. but bombing is now justifiable for “moral” reasons. There’s a huge number of chess pieces on the board in the Middle East and it’s doubtful Trump has thought about his next move, let alone what the other players will do who are all thinking many moves ahead. This will end badly.

  7. hi brad,

    if you really believe that assad used ‘chemical weapons’ against his own people, well you have just joined the world of mushrooms. there NEVER were any chemical weapons in syria other than those held by ISIS. those 57 missiles were actually 23 because the other 34 disappeared and did very little damage to the syrian airbase. what you see and read on the (ha ha ) ‘news’ is all so much b.s. to fool the american public(once again). the world body investigating the ‘chemical weapons’..found none..anybody for w.m.d.s??

    you see, assad had full control of his country and had no need to do anything. all was well. but not for the american warmongers. so everything is arranged ahead of the actual event by the western press, ISIS and the white helmet brigade (news propoganda body in syria). there was so much instant reporting. so much hysteria. oh well here is a hollywood production again and poor old assad must be wondering about the lunatic performance of the west, once again. brad get some insight into world events as they are portrayed by western media and make some intelligent observations. in other words read between the lines. the whole world knows now how much drivel comes out of your media. i have many american sources who would willingly cut john mccain’s throat along with :soros, buffet, onama, clinton etc. etc. etc. for leading america into stupid, costly FAILED wars. how many wars does your country have to lose before you wake up to the fact that your military is a bunch of losers? russia would defeat your mob in 60 hours according to one of your generals, who told hillary c. to shut up about attacking russia. and, in case you don’t know, there is a tremendous movement in your country to take it back from the criminals who run it, and have ‘run’ it since 1861(pres. lincoln). the rthschild dynasty runs everything, but you can’t see it. cheers ron

  8. Its just a matter of time before we get world war three and with what has been secretly under way for 30 years it will be a blessing, reference geoengineering lawsuits, Pilots, Doctors and Scientists tell the truth about chemtrails. Both on you tube, online petition going ballistic with over 45000 signings so far, A worldwide ban on illegal chemtrail spraying avaaz.org our only chance is to wake up humanity if its not already to late.

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