How Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole Speech Could Impact Stocks and Bonds

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Simply put, it's all priced in. 

Both stock and bond investors want to see more than one interest rate cut for 2019, and they expect the Federal Reserve will deliver on that. The S&P 500, after having dipped on trade-induced recession fears in mid-August, is back up to an almost 17% year-to-date gain. The 10-year treasury bond is yielding less than 1.6%. 

Now, investors will be looking for unwavering confirmation that the Fed intends on cutting interest rates more than once, when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming Friday. 

"I think that the risks here are very asymmetric for Jerome Powell," Albert Brenner, director of asset allocation strategy at People's United Bank said. "He can sort of support or reinforce the expectations that we are going to get rate cuts, and that accommodation will continue to support asset prices. If he says almost anything to pare that back or to indicate some sort of reserve, that's like to hurt the markets."

If the market thinks there's a lower probability of a rate cuts, bond investors, eager to for real yield, will sell bonds, pushing the price down and the yield up, with the expectation of slightly higher rates than previously anticipated. Stock investors will sell stocks, pushing prices down, with the expectation of less economic stimulation with slightly higher rates. 

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