It sure looks like Wall Street's betting that in 2010, when it looks back on the economy at the turn of the century, it will fondly remember the period we're in now as one where "the American economy was experiencing a once-in-a-century acceleration of innovation, which propelled forward productivity, output, corporate profits, and stock prices at a pace not seen in generations, if ever."
That partial quote comes from
last night in New York, where he used the 2010 retrospective view of the current state of the economy and how one day we might look back on today.
Considering where major stock proxies are now, they're sure not looking at the converse perspective from 2010 that the Fed chief offered up in his address to the
Economic Club of New York
: He said we "might well conclude that a good deal of what we are currently experiencing was just one of the many euphoric speculative bubbles that have dotted human history."
The market: Join the discussion on
Traders are already expecting Greenspan and his cohorts on the
Federal Open Market Committee
to raise the target fed funds rate Feb. 2, but there was some question of how much. There had been fears that Greenspan & Co. would hike by 50 basis points. Now market players seem to be taking away from the speech last night, and some market-warming inflation data from this morning, that a 50-basis-point hike isn't on the way and the FOMC will only raise rates by 25 basis points next month, as expected.
Peter Coolidge, managing director of equity trading at
Brean Murray Foster Securities
, said that fears of a 50-basis-point rate hike now appear exaggerated, and the market was breathing a sigh of relief.
Coolidge said the action in the market today reminded him of what it was like a month ago. Traders and investors have had a love-hate relationship with the market in the last couple of weeks, he said, and today they're loving it.
The inflation data in question were in the form of the
Consumer Price Index
, which came in a bit below expectations. The overall CPI rose 0.2%, while the core rose 0.1%. Economists polled by
projected overall CPI to rise 0.3%, while those polled expected the core CPI to rise 0.2%.
blowout earnings report late
yesterday helped fuel a sharp rally in tech stocks. The market's advance has cooled somewhat, however, as the morning has dragged on, in part as the bond market has tumbled sharply.
The 30-year Treasury was off 21/32 to 92 17/32, its yield swelling to 6.71%. (For more on the fixed-income market, see today's early
Steinberg Sees Tame Inflation but More Tightening
Bruce Steinberg, chief economist at
, in a commentary after the CPI was released said he expects inflation to slip in 2000 and that both the overall CPI and core CPI will rise less than 2% on a fourth-quarter-over-fourth-quarter basis this year.
"In his speech last night, Alan Greenspan made clear that more tightening was coming down the pike," wrote Steinberg. "Not because of current inflation, but because wealth-induced demand is growing faster than productivity-enhanced supply. We expect at least two more 25 basis point tightening moves from the Fed, on Feb. 2 and March 21."
Nasdaq Composite Index
was pacing the market's major gauges higher. The Comp was up 106, or 2.7%, to 4063. Semiconductor, and semiconductor equipment makers, and computer makers were boosting the Comp. Also lending a hand were index heavyweights
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
was up 7.2% in the wake of Intel's earnings and on a positive outlook for chip equipment makers.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 114, or 1%, to 11,696, powered by Intel, which was accounting for 59.26 points of positive influence on the Dow. Financials
, along with Microsoft, were juicing up the blue-chip gauge.
was up 14, or 1%, to 1464. The small-cap
was up 5, or 1%, to 506.
Internet stocks have gained, but the advances haven't been staggering.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
was up 9, or 0.8%, to 1107, powered by
Check Point Software Technologies
which was flying after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.
Breadth was decidedly positive, although off its best levels, and volume was heavy (see below).
Perception of Fed Predictability Helps Stocks
Paul Cherney, market analyst at
, sees good things ahead for the market for a number of reasons over the short term.
Cherney pointed out that on a fundamental basis, the earnings confessional period for companies is drawing to a close, and that "sort of bodes well" for earnings reports going forward. Also, in the wake of Greenspan's speech last night, the market has embraced the notion that a 25-basis-point hike in rates in February is on the way, and probably another 25 basis points in March, he said.
"What the market knows doesn't hurt. Right now, there's no uncertainty with the Fed," Cherney said.
As for the bond market, he said he thinks the bond market has discounted interest rate hikes totaling 50 basis points, subject to new economic data.
"I would say we're going to have net gains over the next three to five trade days," Cherney said. He said the market could probably see prints in the S&P 500 of 1500 to 1520 within the next two weeks.
As for the Nasdaq Comp, the analyst has resistance on the Comp at 4140 to 4192.
Also encouraging to the analyst is the fact that the market's enjoying better breadth, which is usually a good sign and shows a greater confidence in the overall market.
Among other indices, the
Dow Jones Utility Average
was up 0.5%, the
Dow Jones Transportation Average
was up 0.9% and the
American Stock Exchange Composite Index
was up 0.4%.
New York Stock Exchange:
1,593 advancers, 1,270 decliners, 655 million shares. 98 new 52-week highs, 38 new lows.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
2,301 advancers, 1,606 decliners, 998 million shares. 212 new highs, 31 new lows.
For a look at stocks in the midsession news, see Midday Movers, now published separately.