U.S. Economy Still Robust Despite Latest Volatility

With the latest bouts of volatility oscillating the capital markets, investors will no doubt hang on every word of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the Economic Club of New York at noon E.T. on Wednesday, but the economy may be more robust than it appears.

October sell-offs were met with a much-need rally following November’s midterm elections, but more volatility returned prior to Thanksgiving, causing investors to fret over when this latest market correction would finally come to a close. Nonetheless, some analysts postulate that despite the latest turbulence, the economy is actually exhibiting strength.

“A stronger dollar, weak gold prices, and volatile risky assets look inconsistent with the idea that investors now have more dovish perceptions of the Fed,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Strategist Zach Pandl wrote in a note published ahead of Powell’s speech. “In recent weeks, even as nominal front-end rates have repriced, our multi-asset model has interpreted market signals as consistent with a more hawkish monetary policy outlook.”

Even if Powell manages to quell investor fears, the capital markets may need one more trigger event to restore confidence and that could be the forthcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinpging at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires. If the two economic superpowers can settle their trade differences, it could send the markets soaring once again.

“Comments from Larry Kudlow that there is a lot of communication with China ahead of the G20 Summit and that Trump thinks ‘There is a good possibility’ an agreement can be reached have markets feeling positive vibes,” said Brian Gilman of Virtu Financial.

Still, the latest remarks from the president himself and the Fed are giving investors pause.

Jim Cramer: Trump Sees ‘Cracks’ in Economy

President Trump’s recent interview with the Washington Post gave market maven and CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer enough insight to identify Trump’s tell in a high stakes poker game of economic policy in which he saw the president rattled by the latest rumblings in the economy. With the recent news of automaker General Motors announcing plans to slash 14,000 jobs and shutter five facilities in North America, Cramer noticed the president’s uneasiness when discussing the topic.

Furthermore, as has been the norm with every rate hike, Trump also took the time to lambaste the Federal Reserve for their rate-hiking policy, but even they might be starting to exhibit signs of dovishness.

“I think there’s two camps and they’re both very exemplified by the president’s more coherent interview with the Washington Post where he basically said, ‘Listen, it’s not China that’s slowing us down–it’s the Fed,'” said Cramer. “It’s very interesting to hear all these people say that there is no slowdown. The president has been saying there’s no slowdown–he’s no longer saying that. He was rattled by GM yesterday.”