It's just a whisper thus far, but the Fed may have sent its first signals that it may be getting ready to begin tightening.
Last night at the Atlanta Fed, Bernanke said the Fed will raise the interest rate on excess reserves as its primary tool for tightening monetary policy rather than selling assets from its balance sheet.
I don't think we've heard this level of specificity before. And it seems to have passed under the radar. Or maybe that's the plan at this point.
The Fed's eventual tightening -- which may not happen for years if the market rolls over on its own -- is likely to be telegraphed far ahead of time. It feels as though it began last night.
Instead, the headline on Marketwatch this morning was BLACKROCK TO FED: TIME TO EASE UP ON BOND BUYING. Okay, boss.
There was also this: Why we’ll see Dow 18,000 before this bull run ends.
"If the Fed remains committed to a transparent monetary policy and earnings continue to grow beyond Wall Street’s consensus expectations, the Dow may keep moving up."
Transparent monetary policy cuts both ways. And the other side of the knife may have just begun to cut.
Perhaps it was the Japanese that noticed. The Nikkei rally slowed to a stop last night, and the yen turned stronger, both on the heals of pundits saying you gotta be in this yen and Nikkei trade . . . it's a wall of money . . . they're buying everything.
As for the S&P, it got above 1560.26 yesterday and opened up a bunch of scenarios. Friday's 1539.50 could have been the low. Or it could have been a wave-A low. The lowest odds reside in Friday's low being wave 1 of a developing five-wave impulse down.
The 78.6% sell retracement is 1565.60. It closed above the 61.8% sell retracement, which is technically bullish.
Yes, the 1530 area is still a possibility, but unless price rolls over in the next day or two and plunges in a straight-line move closer to 1500, the market may want to trace out yet another triangle before thrusting to new highs. After all, for all its bearish bluster last Friday, it could not pierce the March 19th low of 1538.57, a subtle tell.
As with the Fed's latest messaging, as with life in general, sometimes it's subtlety that says it all.